Obama–Jews’ Damn and Faint Praise

Haim Watzman

It’s Sukkot and I’m supposed to be having a good time instead of blogging. But I just mailed in my U.S. ballot (my first since 1980, see Should Obama Get My Vote?) and my inbox and Facebook page are filling up with links to endless articles and posts about whether Jews should vote for Obama.

Two caught my eye–Yoram Ettinger’s apocalyptic screed about Obama’s supposedly anti-Israel world-view, and Alan Dershowitz’s tepid endorsement of the man that Ettinger says will place the Jewish state in mortal danger.

Dershowitz wants Obama to win in order to save liberal Zionism and fight left-wing anti-Semitism. That’s sort of like cheering for McCain in order to save Jabotinkyism. Say what? Couldn’t you come up with anything better than that, Al?

Ettinger reiterates the standard stereotype of the tough, fighting McCain versus effete, diplomatic Obama. Of course, it goes without saying that toughness and fighting are what’s good for Israel.

Neither of them addresses the simple fact that a militarily and economically weak United States will be less able to offer any help to Israel, whether it’s arms, logistics, diplomacy, or financial aid. After eight years of Republican rule, the U.S. army is tied down and the U.S. economy is in crisis. This is good for Israel?

One candidate has vowed to continue the current administration’s policies. The other one has vowed to change them.

I voted for the other one.

3 thoughts on “Obama–Jews’ Damn and Faint Praise”

  1. Obama comes off as flexible, someone who would be willing to listen to opposing views and make a reasoned judgement. I think McCain will be trounced by the economy as people are afraid and want someone to cling to who appears to (key phrase there) know what he is doing and surrounds himself with others who are competent. Palin is a terrible liability in this regard – the momentary balloon that turned into an anvil.

    But, Obama worries me because he is too much in the mode of promising gov’t help to any and all. What’s happening now is a mighty attempt to pull the system up by its bootstraps and I’m not sure it can work. When the standard of financial security, the federal government, is going profoundly into debt to perform a rescue there is the danger that there will be nothing left that is secure and the entire edifice will collapse. The gov’t only stands secure because of the power to tax a prosperous nation. It has now committed that taxing far, far into the increasingly fragile looking economic future.

    The gov’t is refusing to say the same thing that American individuals have refused to say – “we can’t afford that” – and acting like there is a bottomless well of money. A Democrat as president with a Democratic Congress is likely to roll right along trying to help one and all.

    So Peter, the gov’t, supported solely by Paul, the taxpayer, is trumpeting how much he will pour money into Paul’s hands to help him out.

    In 1989 as the Soviet Union collapsed I was wary of all the celebrating, thinking that our time would be coming. It appears to have arrived, only we will be taking the entire world with us…running the economic ship onto the rocks of “The American Dream” of home ownership – a dream turned into a nightmare.

  2. It’s always ironic to hear the fear of Democratic taxation when it’s the Replublicans who really balloon up the national debt and leave us with debt service payments that drag down economic growth.

    Steve McGourty at http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm – “For the mathematically inclined, if you take the first derivative of the data presented to find the slope of each President’s debt increase, you will find that the Republican slopes are consistently more positive than the Democratic slopes. For everyone else, this just means that unbiased mathematical proof exists to support the claim that since 1945, Republican presidents have borrowed more than Democratic presidents regardless of the inflation rate[4].”

    In other words, Republican tax cuts help the economy the same way credit cards help my household finances. It only appears to work for so long. The current financial crisis shows tax cuts are no substitute for growth in the “real economy”, although it is a great way to increase debt and create a further drag on the economy.

    Yes, I too grew up thinking Republicans were the more fiscally responsible party, but this myth has to go the way of the tooth fairy after the Reagan and Bush II administrations.

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