Monday, January 28, 2008

The Republicans Part I

The Preacher Man

Before all else, I have a personal bond with this guy. He lost God knows how many pounds, something I'm always struggling with, especially in recent weeks.

This guy, who wants a Christian America, probably gets the least Jewish votes of any candidate. The fact is, surprising as it may be for those of us who grew up in public school with all the little Christian kids telling us we were going to hell, there's been a major turnaround in the Evangelical Christian outlook on Israel. I've gone shopping in the states and been approached by Christians who see my kippa and want to offer me blessings. "Why?" I ask.
"Because the bible says that whoever blesses the children of Abraham will be blessed, and whoever curses them will be cursed."
Wow. They know our bible better than most Jews. Of course, there's the sneaking suspicion that the Christians have become so friendly all of the sudden because they believe that we all have to be here in the holy land in order for Jesus to come and send us to hell, but, as they say here, "Yesh v'yesh." There are some who are friendly for altruistic reasons and some for more selfish reasons.

If you want to hear what is esseintially a distilled version of my own feelings on mideast politics, click below.

The guy's got it spot on! Sadly, there is as yet no Israeli leader to mirror his rational evaluation of the last mellinium of regional politics, and likely will not be one for several decades more, until the current batch is swept away by sheer demographics.

The problem with Huckabee lies in some of his other views. He wants to shut down the IRS, push a flat tax, apparently wanted to quarantine AIDS patients, and, well, there's lots more. Who knows how much is true, but he hasn't come out and denied any of it. He also seems to be so loaded with social programs that, were he pro-Abortion, he would have to run on the democratic ticket. Sadly, I just don't think this guy can stand up in a general election, and his chances are fading fast as he sinks beneath the waves. He's already supporting McCain and dissing Romney, a sure sign that he's angling for a Vice Presidency spot after he drops out following super Tuesday. He would have been a good soldier in the culture war, but that's on hold. This year, it's the economy, stupid.

The Mormon Guy

So Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Actually, I had a Mormon roommate once, which was kinda cool, except that every time the "Elders" were having a meeting in my apartment, their eyes would light up on the site of the Yarmulke on my head. I knew they were all thinking, "potential prey." But I suspect I myself am a gilgul (reincarnation) of a Mormon, since I pretty much avoid all caffeine and alchohol, so I know how hard it must be when Romney goes to a business meeting and everyone is pushing schnaps and coca cola on him.

Advantages: He went to Harvard, so he's smart. He's run a business and a state, so he could probably run a country with all the same white-collar accumen he polished in the private sector. Hey, with economic woes abounding, maybe he can make America as rich as America has made him!

Disadvantages: He's a bit stiff, blow-dried, pollsterized, and just plain old uncharismatic. The last seven years have shown us that uncharismatic Presidents who can't convey their thoughts and emotions seldom get very far. He can't deliver a line without looking like he practiced it in front of the mirror until midnight the night before. He's a typical country club republican who appeals to a certain over-$100,000 per year demographic, but doesn't appeal to America. Oh yeah, and he holds the opposite position of most positions he held five years ago.

On Israel: In reasearching his Israel positions, I could only find the usual "strong allies" talk. Most of his focus has been on Iran, which he said he would prevent from attaining nuclear arms, which would be nice, since we all want to live.

Ron Paul, Libertarian

Ron Paul has no chance, and no place in the Republican party. Still, he's been endorsed by some of my friends at Arutz 7 becuase of his proposal to withdraw American military aid to Israel. I also think that Israel needs to get off America's nickel and reduce its dependence on foreign assistance, as Israel's foreign and domestic policy is now molded as needed to suit American pressures. But this is something that will have to come from an internal upwelling of spirit within Israel, not from just yanking the plug on aid in one day. If the eighteen billion in aid that Israel's Arab aversaries receive in American aid were reduced in addition to the two billion that Israel receives, then this could actually put Israel at a major advantage.

Advantages: He is the only Republican who is against the Iraq War, which most Americans were also against. At least, six months ago. Nowadays, the surge seems to be working and the economy is tanking, so other concerns have taken over.

Other than on that particular issue, Ron Paul is a nut. He wants to go back to the gold standard, an issue which was decided a century or so ago, and legalize most drugs. That's not going to fly with most people, and he belongs on the Libertarian "throw your vote away" ticket.

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