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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 4, 2010 / 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Blindsided by their own blindness

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two words: Narrative, schmarrative.

Democrats have talked endlessly about the importance of narrative - missing in President Obama's case. We've heard over and over about the lack of smart messaging and the president's failure to communicate. If only Obama could better express himself, all would be well.

Seriously? This is the same president whose soaring rhetoric once sent his ratings into the heavenly realm and who, after assuming office, never stopped expressing himself.

For months, he was everywhere. Talking, talking, talking. Admit it. How many times did you flip on the tube and say, "Omigod, he's talking again"? Several Teleprompters had to take early retirement from sheer exhaustion.

Here's a narrative: You can't sell people what they don't want, no matter how mellifluous your pitch. This is the clear message of the midterm elections, and who didn't know?

Only Democrats, apparently.

They - the imperial "they" - say that the people weren't voting against the president. Check. Most Americans don't dislike the president, as in the person. Obama didn't create this dismal economy, and most acknowledge that fact. But voters were clearly casting a ballot against his policies.

And no, the Tea Partyers weren't voting against his pigmentation, as my colleague Eugene Robinson suggested in a recent column. "Take back the country," the popular Tea Party refrain, doesn't mean reclaim it from "the black man." It means reclaim it from a rogue government.

There were so many clues, even the clueless should have seen what was coming.

In February 2009, Obama had an approval rating of 76 percent. Let me repeat that: 76 percent! Few but God poll better. Obviously, one can go only downhill from there, but you can't pin the slide on racism. All those people didn't suddenly realize their president was African American and become racists.

Are there racists in America? Sure. And some of them show up at Tea Party rallies. Say what you will about the Tea Party, and there's plenty to say, but it is fundamentally unfair to label the Tea Partyers overall as racist. It is also just plain incorrect to say that opposition to Obama is anti-black. The election was a referendum on policies that are widely viewed as too overreaching and, ultimately, threatening to individual freedom. It's that simple.

The essential question that voters were answering was whether government or the private sector is better suited to create jobs. This is a question on which historians and economists disagree, but it was the crux of Tuesday's election. At the risk of oversimplifying, the midterm bloodbath was a fight over capitalism.

Whether candidates could properly articulate market arguments was less important than whether they understood that expanded government means less individual freedom. You don't need a doctorate in Keynesian theory to get them apples.

Obama's declining popularity since his planet-realigning ascendancy is easy enough to graph. The dipping points in his approval ratings correspond to specific agenda items, such as the stimulus bill and health-care reform. Interspersed among those major initiatives were red flags the size of Chile.

In November 2009, New Jersey and Virginia both elected Republican governors - Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, respectively. These two elections were referendums on Obama's agenda, specifically tied to health care. Then in January came Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts, another Democratic state, thundering into the Senate to fill the slot left vacant by Ted Kennedy's death.

That's narrative for you. Yet somehow Democrats couldn't see it. They turned a blind eye and did the very thing Americans loathe: telegraphed disdain for the misinformed masses and insisted that people would like what their government was doing for them once they understood it. Translation: Shut up and take your medicine.

It was less than reassuring to hear House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tell a gathering of county officials: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

Instead of hearing the people's voices, Democrats and the White House doubled down and began to demonize the opposition. It was Rush Limbaugh's fault. Fox News was the problem. John Boehner, today the presumptive speaker of the House, became a target du jour. In an echo of some of the Tea Party's worst moments, the White House advanced the them-vs.-us mantra.

They're the problem. Except, alas, "they" were The People. And their voices were being ignored. For better or worse, our system of governance doesn't include a monarchy.

Obama didn't need to be a better communicator. He needed to be a better listener. End of story.

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