Last month the Republican Jewish Coalition angered co-religionists and even some fellow Republicans with a mudslingin’ “push poll” that tried to plant a link in voters’ brains between Barack Obama and that nefarious trio of Pat Buchanan, Iran, and Palestinians.
Now, with the election only a few days away, the GOP Jews are so desperate that they’re openly showing love to Hillary Clinton in a last-minute ad campaign aimed at showing that Obama is a soul brother to Iranian crackpot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The ad (shown above) is running in the Jewish Daily Forward and probably elsewhere.
Last month’s GOP gaming of Obama was less of a shock than its new campaign of praising Hillary. But it was much more devious. The Forward‘s Brett Lieberman reported on September 18:
[T]he Republican Jewish Coalition is mounting an unusually aggressive campaign that has drawn criticism from Democrats and even some Republicans.
Obama supporters led a September 16 protest outside a Manhattan calling center, where pollsters asked 750 Jewish households in the battlegrounds of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and New Jersey whether several negative statements about Obama changed their attitude toward the Democratic presidential candidate. The RJC, which sponsored the poll, said it was researching Jewish public opinion. Critics say it amounted to a “push poll” that is sometimes used to spread untruths about a candidate.
If you’re uncertain how such “push polls” work, the story continues with a good explanation:
According to the Web site Politico.com, Jewish Democratic groups, and others who documented the calls, those surveyed were asked whether their vote would be affected if they learned, for instance, that Obama had given money to the PLO or if they learned that the leader of Hamas hoped for Obama’s victory.
Respondents were asked about how they would react to other “ifs”: if Obama’s political advisors are “pro-Palestinian,” if Obama once said “the Palestinians have suffered the most,” if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad endorsed Obama, or if former President Jimmy Carter‘s anti-Israel national security advisor is one of his foreign policy advisors.
“I’m sure that a part of this is to be provocative so that you can raise these issues, and without your fingerprints on it, raise doubts,” said Norm Ornstein, a political expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “Those questions are certainly much more push-poll questions than traditional questions.”
On October 23, the Forward reported that angry Obama aides pulled out of any event featuring the Republican Jewish Coalition.
The Republican Jews’ fanatical embrace of identity politics plays well with American Jews in Israel.
But not so much with Jews who live in the U.S. Most of whom are more liberal and moderate than the right-wing leaders of most major U.S. Jewish organizations. The Voice of America reports that the American Jewish Committee’s national survey late last month showed Obama leading John McCain 57 percent to 30 percent.
That’s not as strong a showing as most Democrats have made in past AJC surveys, but what do you want from me?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 30, 2008