15 August 2006

Sectarian Violins

At MSNBC, Rabbi Mark Gellman is confused, disappointed, and mystified why "Jews did not vote for the way blacks voted for or Catholics voted for John F. Kennedy". After all, he's "a professional Jew".

Me, I'm just an amateur Jew, but I can offer a few possible reasons:

  • Most of us don't "support the war and yes...support and admire President George W. Bush".
  • Many of us consider ourselves American first, and want what's best for our country. Not all of us have divided loyalties.
  • Some of us believe that irrational bellicosity does not lead to the safety and security of anyone - American, Arab, or Israeli.
I also have to differ with the Rabbi's assessment of "intelligent people's positions on the war":
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. 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. 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.
What about those of us who'd like to let Generals dictate how best to deploy our soldiers in harm's way? To commit an appropriate number of troops to clean up the mess that Rummy and the OVP have caused, and then set a clear end date at which time the Iraqis must self-govern or self-destruct?

As our President famously said, "I don't think our troops should be used for what's called nation building." From the way he's been mis-running the travesty in Iraq, it's clear he still believes that.

The Rabbi should be careful what he wishes for. I don't think he'd much like an America where Jews vote for Jews, blacks for blacks, Baptists for Baptists, and every man for himself.