Lots of soul-searching among Republicans on how best to proceed. And not much of a surprise on the direction advocated by the major Republican Jewish donors.
A number of Romney’s financial backers — including Fred Zeidman of Texas, Mel Sembler of Florida and Sheldon Adelson — are among the RJC’s leadership, and Brooks made clear that their voices would be heard.
“A lot of the major financial support the candidates received was from the members of this organization,” Brooks said. “There is a lot of weight behind their message on that.”
William Daroff, the Washington director of the Jewish Federations of North America and a former deputy to Brooks at the RJC, said Republican Jews would likely advise the party to moderate.
“The conventional wisdom is that the election will result in the shift of the Republican Party to the center, particularly on issues of immigration,” Daroff said. “To the extent that the party does shift, it would make Republican candidates more appealing to Jewish voters who may be inclined to vote Republican on foreign policy and homeland security issues but who have been turned off by conservative Republicans rigidity on social issues.
Some of the leading voices counseling moderation of hard-line Republican policies have been Jewish conservatives. One of the first post-election posts from Jennifer Rubin, who writes the Right Turn blog for the Washington Post, said it was time to stop opposing gay marriage in the political arena.
“Republicans for national office would do well to recognize reality,” Rubin said. “The American people have changed their minds on the issue and fighting this one is political flat-earthism. As with divorce, one need not favor it, but to run against it is folly, especially for national politicians who need to appeal to a diverse electorate.” (“On the morning after: Jewish Republicans Advise the Party“
See also John Graham on Jewish Republican donors on behalf of gay marriage: “New York gay marriage: Follow the Jewish money“).
Charles Krauthammer wants amnesty in exchange for an effective border fence, but says nothing about legal immigration. This will add millions of Democrat voters, likely more than the 70% of Latinos who voted in Democrat in the last election. (One would like to see the racial profile of the Latinos who voted Republican; I suspect they are far more racially White and far less likely to be recent immigrants than the rest.) To be fair, the rest of the Republican establishment isn’t mentioning legal immigration either, even though the 40,000,000 legal immigrants and their descendants are the by far the most important reason for the imminent death of the party.
Zeidman, a major fundraiser, make immigration a Jewish issue: “The rest of the party has to understand what we as Jews have always understood — that this is a nation of immigrants and to ignore them is to end up losing.”
So the message comes down to urging the Republicans to accept immigration legal and illegal, along with the other liberal cause of the day, gay marriage–all labeled “moderate” positions by their advocates. And because Jewish Republicans are now a major part of the Republican fundraising base–perhaps almost rivaling their dominant role in Democratic fundraising, their message will be heard. As to whether that message resonates either with the Republican base (very unlikely) or with Latinos (also unlikely, given their desire for lots of free stuff) is another issue. But we can expect four more years of this.
The following is from a review of Norman Podhoretz’s Why are Jews Liberals? ( “Remaking the Right“)
Jewish neoconservatives — by far the most important group of Jews who (at times) advocate voting for the Republicans — are not really conservatives at all. Their one and only concern has always been to steer U.S. foreign policy in the direction of Israel. They have consistently advocated liberal positions within the Republican Party and have only adopted conservative positions as “positions of convenience” designed not to imperil their larger pro-Israel agenda. The fact that the overwhelming bulk of Podhoretz’s book deals with support for Israel rather than any specifically liberal or conservative issue confirms this.
Exhibit A for this is immigration. Jewish neoconservatives have been staunch supporters of the most destructive force associated with the left since WWII — massive non-European immigration into America and other Western countries. As neoconservative Ben Wattenberg has famously written, “The non-Europeanization of America is heartening news of an almost transcendental quality.” Such attitudes typify the entire Jewish political spectrum, from the far Left to the neoconservative Right.
And when it comes to opposing illegal immigration, the neocons jumped on the bandwagon only after it became politically expedient to do so. Bill Kristol, whose comments in the Commentary symposiumon Podhoretz’s book indicate that he doesn’t want to think too deeply about why Jews are on the left (my paraphrase: “Just keep on being Jewish and things will take care of themselves”), is a good example of a neocon who navigates Republican politics to achieve his more basic goal of supporting Israel. As John O’Sullivan noted regarding Kristol’s activism on an amnesty bill,
Kristol, representing many neoconservatives disposed to favor the bill, came out against it. He did so in part because it had serious drafting defects but, more importantly, because it was creating a bitter gulf between rank-and-file Republicans and the party leadership. That in turn was imperiling Republican objectives in other areas, notably Iraq.
Kristol will return to immigration enthusiasm once he has helped persuade Bush to attack Iran.
At a rational level, I am happy that Romney lost for all the reasons Cooper Sterling mentioned. There is less likelihood of war with Iran, although there will no doubt be a huge push in that direction in the coming months. The recent incident where an American drone was shot on may just be the beginning–the Americans claiming it was over international waters. There may well be more such incidents, quite possibly some staged by the Mideast country that is most desirous of Iran’s destruction.
And certainly Romney would not have done anything to stop the tide of legal immigration that is guaranteed to make Whites a minority even discounting amnesty for illegals.
But Obama’s win is depressing nonetheless because it seems to be a tipping point. The democratic process has now gotten to the point that either the Democrat’s predominantly non-White coalition will be a permanent majority (more likely), or the Republicans will regain power by becoming a slightly different version of coalitional politics, attracting more non-Whites while keeping their White base happy enough to keep voting for them (much less likely)—both parties committed to making America a minority non-White country as soon as possible. This is the vision pursued by the big Jewish Republican donors.
The 2016 election will be even more decisive than 2012 because I suspect that it will end any hope that the Republicans might have that they can remain a force in national elections. Then things will get interesting.