May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nov. 12, 2008
/ 14 Mar-Cheshvan 5769
To Battle Stations
Vox populi the voice of the people was uttered Nov. 4. But what did they say, and what will President-elect Obama and the Congress do based on that voice? All we know for certain about the first question is that about 66 million people cast their votes for Obama, and about 58 million cast their votes for McCain. Interpreting why they voted that way will be the first subject of contention. From all across the political, ideological and interest group spectra, there will be fierce claims that the election proved this or that. For Obama, this is an exercise in claiming he now has a mandate for (fill in the blank). For the losers, it will be claimed that in voting down McCain, the public did not oppose this or that.
Now, if you can make the case that the people's vote endorses your position, then you assert that vox populi, vox dei (the voice of the people is the voice of G-d).
If you are on the losing side, then you may find convincing the advice of Alcuin of York, the great English scholar and top adviser to Charlemagne: "Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit." ("And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of G-d, because the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.")
But beyond the cynicism and preposterous spin involved in this exercise of "mandate, mandate, who has the mandate?" is a very serious business. For both the winners and the losers, the greatest danger is that they come to believe their own spin. Shortly after the election, I was in a radio show debate, and my liberal interlocutor asserted that the vote for Obama proved that the public finally had rejected "Reaganism" from free, deregulated markets to all those traditional and religious cultural arguments that Republicans "have been using to confuse the people."
I can only hope that Obama and his team assume that his 53-46 percent win at a moment of calamitous economic news and a vastly unpopular president constituted a rejection of every non-leftist impulse in the public. It is revealing that the exit polling disclosed that the public self-identified itself as 44 percent moderate, 34 percent conservative and 22 percent liberal, which was statistically identical (45-34-21) to the numbers after Bush's 2004 victory. Moreover, the fact that 20 percent of self-identified conservatives voted for Obama or 6.8 percent of the electorate shows that if McCain had held all the self-identified conservatives, he would have won the popular vote.
No one can know for sure why any of the approximately 124 million voters voted the way they did. Obviously, there were some conservatives who voted for a liberal. Maybe they were punishing the Republicans. Maybe they just admired Obama as a man. Maybe they liked his tax cut promises (though not his position on abortion). Likewise, there were some liberal Hillary supporters who voted for McCain just because they didn't like the way Obama treated their heroine.
But if the Obama team is susceptible to over-interpreting their mandate (as most winners do), the Republicans run the risk of underestimating what forces have been unleashed by this election taking undue comfort in the fact that the ideological center of gravity of the electorate does not appear to have moved leftward in this election.
Consider that in 1980, when Ronald Reagan won his first presidential election, the public was self-identified as 46 percent moderate, 28 percent conservative and 17 percent liberal. But by the 1984 Reagan re-election, the public had shifted to 42 percent moderate, 33 percent conservative and 16 percent liberal a statistically significant shift to the right. In those four years, Reagan had persuaded 5 percent of the electorate to move largely from moderate to conservative. And that 5 percent has stayed conservative for 24 years, right through the 2008 election. It is that 5 percent that has made America a center-right country rather than a centrist country allowing a fairly conservative Republican Party to win congressional and presidential elections most of the time.
That is why it is so vital for both the Republican Party and a newly aroused conservative movement to work feverishly to make the case to the broadest possible public for our right-of-center views during the next four years. Obama has not made his case yet. Just as Reagan won in 1980 in part because a lot of moderates were tired of Carter double-digit interest rates, stagflation, Soviets in Afghanistan, Iranian hostage crisis so a lot of moderates voted for Obama because of the housing market crash, financial crisis, drop in 401(k) account values, and two wars.
Obama will try to convert those temporary moderate and conservative votes of his into permanent liberal and moderate voters just as Reagan did in reverse between 1980 and 1984. If we conservatives can make our case, the election of 2008 will be a blip, just a kick-the-bums-out election. If Obama makes his case, he may have moved the center of political gravity to the left for a generation. Every conservative man and woman, to battle stations.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Creators Syndicate
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K