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Gelman: Vote Within Your Race

Yesterday, Newsweek’s Rabbi Marc Gelman tackled the issue of the Sen-CT race between Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont, and some Republican who’s getting less support than Katherine Harris. This is one of the more disturbingly bigoted articles I’ve read in the last few weeks, so I’ll go through the whole thing after the jump.

At the core of Gelman’s argument, if you can call it that, is the idea that many Jews have deserted one of their own:

Joe Lieberman did not lose the Democratic primary because of his support for the war in Iraq. He lost because of his lack of support from Jews. Joe got the support of black Baptists (except of course for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who stood so conspicuously behind challenger Ned Lamont on election night). He got the support of Catholic Union guys. He got the support of all the Connecticut papers, and he got the support of most Jews, but not at all an overwhelming number of Jews and that is why he lost. He lost because Barbra Streisand’s highly publicized contribution to Lamont and because of the number of Jews who hated Bush and the war more than they loved Joe. That’s why he lost, and I don’t get it.

Well, a majority of Jewish people in the United States are fairly liberal. And Joe Lieberman, meanwhile, is a supporter of a President that tens of millions of liberals passionately hate. Hell, the President gave him a vigorous kiss.

But Rabbi Gelman ignores the obvious, instead believing that Jews were persuaded because… Barbra Streisand endorsed Lamont. Does Gelman actually have such a dim view of Connecticut Jews that he believes over 30% of them are so ignorant that they’ll give their support to whomever Barbra tells them to?

Please understand, this is not a political rant.

Uh, okay.

Yes, I support the war and yes I support and admire President George W. Bush, but I understand and respect those who have come to another conclusion about how best to fight the war on terror. My disappointment is with my people. I simply do not understand why so many Jews bailed on Joe. I cannot understand why Joe’s percentage of the Jewish vote was not in the high 90s instead of the 54-57 percent range (according to Lieberman’s campaign). I have opinions on way too many things I don’t know nearly enough about, but I know about Jews. I am a professional Jew, and yet if you asked me to explain why Jews did not vote for Joe the way blacks voted for Barack Obama or Catholics voted for John F. Kennedy I would not know what to tell you.

Considering Gelman’s inability to write anything remotely intelligent or enlightened, it’s not hard to imagine why he admires President Bush. But what, exactly, makes someone a “professional Jew”? Being a Rabbi? And this gives him the right to speak admonish other Jews for not voting within the race? Oh, but Gelman “know[s] about Jews” (a disturbing insinuation that he believes all Jewish people are alike).

What doesn’t seem to cross his mind is the fact that most Jewish people in this country aren’t so ignorant that they will support someone based purely on the candidate’s race and purported religious views.

In truth I am also bewildered about why Jews do not support President Bush more than the pathetic 22-26 percent (depending on which exit poll you look at) he received in 2004. Bush would win a landslide in Israel, and never once invited Yasir Arafat to the White House, but that is a bewilderment best left for another day.

Now the article takes a turn for the hilarious: Gelman actually postulates that a Christian who believes in the rapture would get elected (by a landslide) in Israel. Oh, and the two metrics American Jews should use to measure a politician’s performance are their approval rating in Israel and their record on inviting someone who’s dead to the White House. Fucking brilliant. It’s a wonder that Shakira doesn’t run!

What has frozen me is the lack of support for Joe by Jews. Joe voted the Democratic line 90 percent of the time.

Yeah, Joe Lieberman’s such a Democrat that.. uhh… hrmm…. Karl Rove considers him a personal friend! Yeah, that’s it! What a liberal! Where’s your tie dye anti-war bandada, Joe?

Twenty-nine other Democrats also voted for the war and none of them was targeted (yet). Joe is the most famous Jewish politician of all time (unless you count former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia whose mother was Jewish).

Rabbi Gelman: not a big fan of that whole “history” fad that was the rage when he was in school. Benjamin Disraeli? Only famous in England, and that doesn’t count. Henry Kissinger? Who’s ever heard of him? David Ben-Gurion? Who’s he, again? Yitzhak Rabin? Wasn’t he Palestinian?

He is an observant Jew and obviously he was on the presidential ticket in 2000. He is modest and self effacing. He is moral and faithful. He is principled and intelligent … and he is one of us! What more do you want of the guy?

Joe Lieberman is modest? Of course. That’s he tells Connecticut voters that they need him. Moral? Well, sure. Unless you count the lost 6th Commandment. Faithful? Why, just ask the DNC! Principled? Of course! That man shouldn’t have gotten a blowjob from that woman. And video games? Why, those are tearing the moral fabric of America apart: Joe’s fighting the good fight again freedom of choice! Intelligent? Absolutely. He knows which special interests to please.

Oh, but there’s the big reason to vote for him: “he is one of us”. Why, what better reason do you need, Gelman wonders, apparantly lusting for the days when people voted purely on skin color and blood affiliation.

So he supports the war. So what? The actual difference between intelligent people’s positions on the war in Iraq is between those who know we must leave eventually but do not want to embolden our enemies and weaken our friends by telling them when we will leave, and those who also know we will leave eventually and also do not want to set an arbitrary timetable, but who really, really, really want everybody to know that we will be leaving.

Ah yes, the ol’ “take the same position and pretend that it’s two different ones” trick.

Those who want to bring all the troops home by next Monday, and those who want to “nuke the bastards” are both nuts. So among reasonable non-rabid people, the differences over Iraq are just not that big.

55% of the population wants a timetable for withdrawl from Iraq within a year. Is Gelman suggesting 55% of the U.S. population are extremists?

And for this we dumped Joe? It just makes no sense to me and it ought to be a huge embarrassment to all card-carrying Jews whether they agreed with Joe or not.

Some Jews carry cards? Do they say “Official Jew (as Certified by Rabbi Gelman)” on them? These sound awesome. I wonder if you can get them with your picture on it.

There are and have always been only two kinds of Jews: tribal Jews and cosmopolitan Jews. Tribal Jews love anything Jewish. Cosmopolitan Jews love anything but Jewish. Tribal Jews are not trying to pass, assimilate or deny their tribal roots, their attachment to Israel and their love of other Jews no matter who they are. Cosmopolitan Jews are trying to pass and assimilate and become an undifferentiated member of the majority culture. The problem with tribal Jews is that they have trouble loving non-Jews. The problem with cosmopolitan Jews is that they have trouble loving other Jews. The reason for this split is you are Jewish by blood and not by belief. Judaism, which is the religion of Jews, has many wonderful beliefs but you can reject them all and still be Jewish.

Ahhhh, racial stereotyping: the last refuge of the intellectually challenged. But don’t worry: He’s a Professional Jew, he knows what he’s doing, folks!

I learned this distinction from the men of the Western Shvitz. One day a tribal Jewish friend took me to a shvitz on Western Avenue in Chicago. A shvitz (there are hardly any of them left) is a place where heterosexual Jewish men used to go to sit in a searingly hot steam room, get hit with soapy oak-leaf clusters called pleitzas, eat herring and black bread with red pop, play cards and tell jokes.

So, is there a “No Homos Allowed” sign outside or something?

I was really beaten down that day. I had been unsuccessfully trying to raise money for Israel from an assortment of cosmopolitan university Jews, each of whom had some phony but articulate reason why they would be intellectually compromised if they gave me a dollar for Israel.

You “cosmopolitan university Jews” and your articulation! Why, I’ll bet you think literacy and secularism are good things!

The men of the Western Schvitz were street guys. Most had money but none of them had a Volvo or had read Kant or Hegel or listened to The Dead or smoked dope. I had done all those things but they still let me into the schvitz because I was, after all, Jewish and a rabbi. I told them of my problems raising money for Israel and they laughed at me the way wise guys laugh at someone who has no clue. When I returned home that night I felt something in my jacket. It was an envelope filled with cash for Israel and a note that read, “From the guys at the Western Schvitz, Stick with your tribe.” Joe Lieberman lost because the guys I met at the Western Schvitz do not live in Connecticut.

Of course, the last nine sentences could have been replaced by a simple “Vote within your race!” sentence but noooo, he had to add in the latent homosexual imagery.

My best friend is a priest, so I have to explain Jews to Christians all the time. Usually it is easy and fun. Because Joe lost, it’s no longer easy and it’s no longer fun.

“Yo, priest, check this out: Cosmopolitan Jews drive like this. Yeah, but Tribal Jews, see, they drive a car like this.”

  1. Santa Anna says:

    Yeah, that would be fucking brilliant.

    Seriously, that’s just what the world so desperately needs: another article telling humanity how fucked up Charlie Sheen, the green anarchist movement and/or any other leftwing lunatics have to say about an issue which was dead from the outset.

  2. Pascodilla says:

    ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Wish you would dedicate the same amount of time to shredding the shit out of real idiots like those 9/11 truthers… How about Fetzer or David Ray Griffin or even Kevin Barrett – now there’s a real moron. Better yet, how about that retired Lt. Colonel Bowman? The guy with a Ph.D in aeronautics and nuclear engineering? Fucking nutballs. Why can’t they just understand that those dirty terrorists hate our freedoms?!

  3. Santa Anna says:

    Ian, Ian, Ian! I was just about to tell you how the Cosmopolitan Finns, Norwegians and Irishmen have desecrated the three purest, most splendiferous cultures that have ever graced this earth.

    But now I have a feeling that you just wouldn’t “get it.”

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