Amid the despair and gloom (and word that unemployment will spike again this Friday) there have been bright shining lights of hope and change that have in fact sprung out of the Obama presidency. Well, for Republicans, at least.
First we had the formation of the Tea Party, a direct result of the Obama/Democratic policy initiatives. Now, are we seeing a migration of Jewish votes - a key bloc in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and of course Florida - that can swing elections towards the Republicans and break the seemingly impenetrable fortress of the Democrat's last bastion of power - the liberal Northeast?
Congressman Eric Cantor in this weekend's Wall Street Journal:
"I tell the Jewish groups that more and more of the problems with convincing folks that Israel's security is synonymous with our own comes from the Democrats. There are a lot in the progressive movement in this country who do not feel that the U.S. should ever be leaning towards Israel. They are openly hostile" toward the Jewish state.
Mr. Cantor points to a poll indicating that 46% of American Jews say they would consider voting for another individual for president. "That is astonishing given the history. Reagan got 40%—that was probably the high water mark."
And Jennifer Rubin at Contentions:
It turns out that, as troublesome as the Obama era has been for American Jewry (not to mention Israel), a president as hostile as the current one and an organization as noxious as J Street have helped forge a degree of consensus in the Jewish community. American Jewish organizations may not agree on tone. They may have different levels of enthusiasm about the peace talks. But they agree on this: Israel is a democratic country entitled to make its own national-security decisions; efforts to delegitimize Israel, whether by Richard Goldstone or the UN Human Rights Council, should be roundly condemned; the U.S. does harm to itself and to its democratic ally Israel by distancing itself from the Jewish state; peace depends on putting an end to Palestinian rejectionism and terror; and the greatest threat to the Middle East and to the U.S. is a nuclear-armed Iran.
All of the above, incidentally, are beliefs not shared by Barack Obama, or the majority of the elected officials in the Democratic party.
Obama got almost 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008, an obscene figure which I am less charitable about than Eric Cantor (who claims in the WSJ article that Jews are "drawn to the underdog"). And while as a whole Jewish groups may be turning against Obama, there is little evidence yet that it will have any effects on the midterms.
But if our as-yet-unnamed 2012 Republican nominee can peel off some of the Jewish vote - say, even bring Obama's total down to only the low-50% range - it will almost ensure an Obama defeat in his bid for re-election. And if the Republicans work to keep this new percentage on their side - really, by simply maintaining their positions, only screaming about them louder over the din of media misinformation - then a new partner may yet be added to the new Conservative Coalition.
Jews and Republicans, marching hand in hand - it's the kind of change only a man(nay, a "miracle worker") like Barack Obama could have brought about.
Good job, Mr. President...