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Jewish World Review August 14, 2000/13 Menachem-Av, 5760

Suzanne Fields

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Consumer Reports

The Creator returns to the public square -- BARRY GOLDWATER told the story about the time his brother played golf with Bob Hope during the 1964 presidential campaign. Since it was well-known that the presidential candidate was half-Jewish, it became known that his brother was, too.

When Bob Hope and Barry's brother Bob signed up to play golf on a course on the Hudson River, the pro, on seeing the Goldwater signature, told him he couldn't play because the club didn't allow Jews. "Well,'' answered the brother Bob, "can I play nine holes? I'm only half Jewish.''

There's nothing half-Jewish about Joe Lieberman, but there sure is something half-conservative about him. There are lots of Democrats, including lots of Jewish liberals, who would rather not have him play on their turf, only they're not saying so.

Among those who are quiet as mice are the Hollywood glitterati who don't like Joe Lieberman's denunciation of pornography, violence in films and obscene, women-hating lyrics. These same people were not happy that Lieberman joined Bill Bennett in offering the "Silver Sewer Awards'' for raunchy television shows. They don't like his support for the v-chip, either.

But like the Republicans who didn't agree with everything they saw and heard in Philadelphia, the disgruntlers in Los Angeles are likely to keep their mouths shut. They still prefer Gore-Lieberman to Bush-Cheney.

Many of these Hollywood types didn't like Joe Lieberman's scolding of Bill Clinton's sexual behavior, when he disdained the euphemistic word, "inappropriate,'' and called it what it was, "immoral.'' They thought his speech to be the stuff of puffery and prudery. They're not going to talk out loud about that, either. Some of them will be having fun at the Democratic fundraiser for Hispanics, hanging out with Hef at the Playboy mansion.

Joe Lieberman spoke out so eloquently against affirmative action that he got an angry letter from the Jesse Jackson, but Jackson, who once dissed Jews as "Hymies,'' offered nothing but kudos for Lieberman's nomination, saying it expanded the nature of freedom in America. What you're hearing from the campaign today is how Joe Lieberman cast votes in favor of racial preferences, or quotas, as some people call them. As my daddy always said: Where you stand depends on where you're sitting.

Among the most important disagreements that Joe Lieberman has with Al Gore is over education vouchers for private -- and therefore some parochial -- schools. Al Gore, beholden to the teacher unions, hates the sound of vouchers. Hence it is likely that Lieberman will have to change his opinion on vouchers, too. Lieberman concedes that he will follow Al Gore's leadership on policy issues. "When President Gore decides, Vice President Lieberman will support him entirely,'' he says. Such is the fate of vice-presidential running mates, no matter of what religion or moral conviction.

Joe Lieberman has also supported parental notification when a child chooses an abortion, which doesn't endear him to the pro-choice absolutists. He also likes partial privatization of Social Security, an idea that gives the vice president heartburn.

Lieberman is probably most at odds with the vice president's assessment of Bill Clinton. Gore calls him one of "the greatest presidents of the United States,'' and so far the senator hasn't. Lieberman was, in fact, chosen by Al Gore because of his scathing criticism of the president's behavior. But from now on you're going to hear both men accent only the positive about President Clinton.

So the half-conservative side of Joe Lieberman will be absorbed by his liberal half in this election. What Al Gore can't absorb is the senator's moral stature.

When George W. testified that the Christian Messiah had changed his heart -- and his behavior -- he was the prodigal son who returned home chastened by repentance for his dissolute ways. Al Gore, in choosing Joe Lieberman, took biblical prophet into his tent, a Jeremiah who pointed out the immorality of the president, implicitly chastising those Democrats who remained silent in their judgment.

Religious conservatives who always wanted G-d restored to the public square can't believe that it took a religious Jew to deliver the message from the Book of Chronicles: "To give thanks to G-d and declare His name and make His acts known to the people.''


08/10/00: Bursting with pride, but caution too
08/07/00: Brains, beauty and beastly politics
08/03/00: A candidate with a superego
07/31/00: The sizzling Lynne Cheney
07/27/00: The party of the aging Playboys
07/24/00 Hillary drives the Jewish wagon into a ditch
07/20/00 Conservatives gone fishin'
07/17/00: Snoop Doggy Dogg was a founding father, wasn't he?
07/13/00: When a teenager doesn't need a prime minister
07/10/00: Abortion as cruel and unusual punishment
07/06/00: Surviving 'survivor' TV
07/03/00: Independence Day with Norman Rockwell
06/29/00: Here comes 'something old'
06/26/00: Waiting too long for the baby
06/22/00: Good teachers, curious students and oxymorons
06/19/00: Wanted: Some ants for Gore's pants
06/15/00: Like father, like daughter
06/12/00: Culture wars and conservative warriors
06/08/00: Return of the housewife
06/05/00: Hillary and Al -- playing against type
05/31/00: The sexual revolution confronts the SUV
05/25/00: Waiting for the movie
05/22/00: Pistol packin' mamas
05/18/00: Journalists and the 'new time' religion
05/15/00: There's nothing like a (military) dame
05/11/00: 'The Human Stain' on campus
05/09/00: We've come a long way, Betty Friedan
05/04/00: From George Washington to Mansa Masu
05/01/00: Gore's ruthless doublespeak
04/28/00: Doing it Castro's way
04/24/00: Women's studies beget narrow minds
04/17/00: The slippery slope of anti-Semitism
04/13/00: A villain larger than life
04/10/00: When mourning becomes an economic tragedy
04/03/00: The last permissible bigotry
03/30/00: Seeking the political Oscar
03/23/00: The gaying of America
03/20/00: Pointy-eared quadrupeds on campus
03/16/00: The shocking art of the establishment
03/13/00: Sawdust on the campaign trail
03/10/00: Campaign rhetoric of manhood
03/06/00: The Amphetamine of the People
03/02/00: Elegy for Amadou
02/29/00: With only a million, what's a poor girl to do?
02/24/00: The changing politics of change
02/16/00: Tip from Hillary: 'Let 'em eat eggs'
02/10/00: No seances with Eleanor
02/07/00: Campaigning like our founding fathers
02/03/00: When neo-Nazis have short memories
01/31/00: George W. -- 'Ladies man' and 'man's man'
01/27/00: Dead white males and live white politicians
01/25/00: Smarting over presidential smarts
01/21/00: A post-modern song for `The Sopranos'
01/19/00: When personality is a long-distance plus
01/13/00: French lessons in amour --- and marriage
01/10/00: Reaching for the Big Golden Apple
01/07/00: Liddy Dole as the face of feminism
01/04/00: Hillary: From victim to victor
12/30/99: 'Dream catchers' for the millennium
12/27/99: In search of a candidate with strength and eloquence
12/21/99: The president as First Lady
12/16/99: Columbine with blurred hindsight
12/09/99: Homeless deserve discriminating attention
12/07/99: Casual censors and deadly know-nothings
12/02/99: Why mom didn't make general: A reality tale
11/30/99: Potholes on the road to the Promised Land
11/25/99: A feast for the spirit and the stomach
11/23/99: Fathers need to say 'I (can) do'
11/18/99: Adventures of a conservative pundit
11/15/99: Traveling with Jefferson on the information highway
11/11/99: Wanted: 'Foliage of forbiddinness' for the oval office
11/09/99: Eggs, art and rotten commerce
11/05/99: Al Gore, 'Alpha Male'. Bow wow.
11/01/99: Gay love
10/28/99: Lose one Dole, lose two
10/26/99: Rebels with a violent cause
10/21/99: Reforming parents, reforming schools
10/19/99: The male mystique -- he shops
10/13/99:The campaign of the Teletubbies
10/08/99: Money is in the eye of the art dealer
10/01/99: Lincoln's 'Almost Chosen People'
09/29/99: Introducing Bill and Hillary Bickerson
09/27/99: Must we wait for the next massacre?
09/24/99: Miss America meets Miss'd America
09/21/99: Princeton's 'professor death'
09/16/99: The Cisneros lesson
09/13/99: No clemency for personal politics
09/08/99: M-M-M is for manhood
08/30/99: Blocking the schoolhouse door
08/27/99: No kick from cocaine
08/23/99: Movies don't kill people
08/19/99: A rude awakening
08/16/99: Dubyah and that 'language' thing
08/09/99: Chauvinist sows -- oink oink

©1999, Suzanne Fields. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate