Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Republicans Win Midterms

Michael L.

Writing in the Washington Post, Dan Balz tells us:
Campaign 2014 surpassed its advance billing, as an electorate that was deeply unhappy with all its leaders handed the biggest rebuke to President Obama and the Democrats by giving Republicans control of the Senate. For Democrats, election night turned out far worse than any of them had feared.

At every turn in almost every state, the Republicans proved superior. They won nearly every competitive contest in states held by Democrats and held on to the states that had looked like they might go to the Democrats. Instead of slipping into the majority, the GOP stormed to power in the Senate.
I have no particular love for the Republican Party, but the Democrats, in my not so humble opinion, deserve a good ass-kicking if for no other reason then they provide milk and cookies to political anti-Zionists.


  1. Now each side has an opportunity to put its best foot forward without obstruction and let the people decide for 2016.

    Perhaps a new counterculture can take hold that rejects the sprint toward nihilism.

    Perhaps there will be recognition that people are not evil because they have different views or beliefs.

    I wonder if Obama is capable to change himself or if Republicans can refrain.

    With 2016 upon us, I would not be surprised to see the dysfunction continue or get worse.

    There is opportunity, but it's time to lose the constructs that have us in the surreal.

    1. Let me ask you this, School.

      What is your sense of current levels of left-leaning Jewish support for Obama?

      I do not know where left-leaning Jewish supporters might be gathering these days, but I suspect that enthusiasm has calmed.

      What's your sense when you put your ear to the track?

    2. I answered but it was eaten. In short, progressives will be progressives, often insulated from the theories they practice on others. Some would justify no veto at the Security Council, blind to the notion that actions toward Israel empower Jew hatred and constitute discrimination.

  2. Unfortunately, foreign policy is one are where the change in control in the Senate will have negligible if any effect. All that will really happen is that the Senate will refuse to hold hearings for any of Obama's nominees and we might have a few instances of the Republicans holding the economy hostage to Obama acquiescing to the dismantling of the ACA.

    As to Jews and the left, I can't tell you what left-leaning Jews in general think, but my view is that I do not like having a choice between Obama's foreign policy and the reinstitution of Lochner.

    1. There is today a single Jewish Republican in the lower house. The DNC abandoned the Jews but the Jews didn't abandon the DNC.

  3. I bet the Democrats in the Senate are not thrilled with the consequences of them changing their own filibuster rules in the Senate to accelerate cloture now. In either case if Ruth Ginsburg retires or dies, Obama getting another Sotomayor are near zero. It also puts every name floated by the White House to replace Eric Holder pretty much in the trash. And it will put the EPA at loggerheads with all the Senate's priorities in the next two years.

  4. Here you go Mike... We (Jewish Voters) voted for Democratic candidates 66% - 33%

    Here is what Pew said: Groups that have traditionally voted Democratic did so again this year. Among those with no religious affiliation, 69% voted for Democrats, as did 66% of Jewish voters. However, Democrats appear to have lost some ground with Jews since the 2006 midterm cycle, the last midterm elections in which a sufficiently large number of Jewish voters were included in the exit poll to analyze their voting patterns. In 2006, Jewish voters favored Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 75-point margin (87% to 12%). In 2014, by contrast, the margin of victory for Democratic House candidates among Jewish voters nationwide was 33 points (66% to 33%). The 2006 election, however, represents the high-water mark of Jewish support for Democratic candidates in recent congressional elections. Jewish voters’ level of support for the Democratic Party in 2014 was similar to that seen in the 2012 presidential election year.

    I can proudly say I was one of those voters. California stayed Blue and Thank G-d for that! Let our recovery continue.

    1. And there is this:

      WASHINGTON — American Jewish support for Democratic candidates remained stable in the face of a sweeping Republican victory in American midterm elections, with the vast majority of Jewish voters polled supporting a two-state solution and at least a partial freeze in settlement building, an election night poll commissioned by J Street indicated Wednesday.

      Despite strong Republican victories across the country, 69 percent of American Jews polled in the J Street survey said that they voted for Democratic congressional candidates over 28 percent for Republican candidates.

      Where TOI has these two paragraphs:

      Obama remains significantly more popular with Jewish voters than with the general population. His 57 percent approval rating among Jews is 15 points higher than it is among Americans as a whole, but at the same time, it demonstrates that a significant percentage of Jews who voted for Democrats in congressional elections do not approve of Obama’s performance.

      While the J Street poll focused on issues of Mideast policy, pollsters found that American Jews, like the rest of the electorate, cast their midterm votes with domestic policy in mind. Only eight percent identified Israel as decisive in how they vote, ranking it tenth on a list of 14 issues behind the economy (44 percent), healthcare (31 percent) and Social Security and Medicare (20 percent).

    2. Thanks, VB.

      That is exactly the kind of information that I was looking for.

      So, we can reasonably say that Jewish support for the Democratic Party has remained stable.

      Are we in agreement?

      Although, I do wonder the extent to which the same can said to be true of American Jewish support for president Obama?

      Obama had, what?, 80 percent American Jewish support in 2008 and something like 70 percent in 2012. Something along those lines. Now there is a slight erosion, maybe, in Jewish support for the party at 66 percent.

      I think this is more or less as expected.

      I certainly did not expect large-scale defection.

    3. Mike I think we are in agreement that Jewish support for the Democratic Party is relatively stable.

      I would go further to say that given the noxious nature of the Republican Party and their domestic policies, this is something that should maintain itself. Why? Because while Israel is important to many of us, The United States is our home and the combination of an absolutely horrible domestic agenda coupled with a very different interpretation of how things are playing out in the Middle East than has been expressed at this site, has us voting Democratic and will vote Democratic for many years to come.

    4. I do not doubt it for one moment, VB.

    5. As Golderg said:

      This also means that the post-November White House will be much less interested in defending Israel from hostile resolutions at the United Nations, where Israel is regularly scapegoated. The Obama administration may be looking to make Israel pay direct costs for its settlement policies.

      Next year, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will quite possibly seek full UN recognition for Palestine. I imagine that the U.S. will still try to block such a move in the Security Council, but it might do so by helping to craft a stridently anti-settlement resolution in its place. Such a resolution would isolate Israel from the international community.

      How would that affect American Jews?

      We saw yesterday that Obama, down to 57% among American Jews. If yesterday's press conference is any indication, he will not deviate in the pattern he has established where he sees Netanyahu like a domestic opponent.

      Luckily, Obama is constrained by an American public, though far less among Democrats, that sees Israel as a true friend. If that were not so, I wonder where he would really stand.

  5. No it's simply a matter of good ideas and intentions. It's like asserting that a theory of the left is abstractly better than something else while ignoring or denying how it plays out in reality. No one says 'being nice' is a bad thing. Some people look at how that gets executed and say 'well that was a goat rodeo' while others assert that clicking their heels together three times and saying "I want to go home" is a better approach. 50 years ago sociologists were saying that Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans. So that's nothing new. The fact that Jews still vote 2:1 Democrat even now shows how immovable that old bromide is. But in the intervening 50 years the Democratic party has itself moved and changed. What was once conceivably a coherent ideology has morphed into a confederacy of special interests. What holds them together is now not so much a belief system as no options to be anywhere else. Gays, Jews, Illegal Aliens, Blacks, Unions, Greens, anti semites, Marxists and all the rest have almost nothing in common and apart from their shared membership in the Democratic party loathe one another. It's not even a matter of the GOP's reactionary and social extremists trying to steer the other 85% of the GOP in one direction. There's dozens of factions in the Democratic party and all the Democrats it seems have to hold their noses to be in the same room with anyone else not of their parochial ilk. Like a mini-Parliamentary system on its own. But in reality the isolationists on the left and the Greens aren't any different from paleoconservatives like Pat Buchanan. They all want more or less the same thing foreign-policy-wise. And like Elie Wiesel said decades ago "The left hates Israel and the right hates the Jews." All I can suggest is keep holding your noses.