Before I begin tossing tomatoes in her general direction, I will say that recent history – with a couple of notable exceptions – is on the side of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (D-Fla.) When she describes the Democratic Party as “the natural home for Jewish voters,” even as insulting as that phrase sounds, there’s a lot of electoral data to back it up. But let’s give the lady a moment to explain it herself.
The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee says President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will own the Jewish vote in 2012.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Thursday pushed back hard against the claim that Democrats recently lost a House seat in a traditionally blue district in New York as a result of Obama’s weak policy on Israel.
”That is absolutely not the case, and it will be demonstrated in the election next year that the natural home for Jewish voters, both domestically in terms of policy and in our Israel policy, is the Democratic Party and President Obama as our candidate,” Schultz said on Fox News.
Jewish voters “overwhelmingly” support Obama, the congresswoman said, arguing that Jewish-Americans have no problems with the president’s position on Israel.
Electoral history aside, it’s an interesting statement to make after losing NY-9 and seeing figures like Ed Koch running around endorsing Republicans. But that’s really not the major burr under my saddle at the moment.
I’m not sure what’s more offensive… taking an entire demographic group – ostensibly an anchor of your base – completely for granted without doing diddly squat to earn that support, or lumping so many millions of people together as if they were one homogenous block. Of course, she’s doing both when making these types of bold claims.
Talking about “the Jewish vote” is pretty much on par with talking about “the Hispanic vote.” You just can’t do it and maintain any credibility. If you examine Hispanic communities in, for example, New York City, L.A. and Miami, you’ll find groups so diverse in their primary issues and concerns that they hardly seem to have anything in common. The same can be said of pretty much any demographic slice of the nation you’d care to name.
It’s also patently false to assume that the only thing Jewish voters care about by and large is US policy on Israel. The fact is, if that were true, the Democrats would probably never get another vote from any of them again. People are funny, as my Mom used to say, and you never know what’s going to motivate them. But it would be nice if Jewish voters across the country held Ms. Wasserman Schultz accountable for her statements and asked why they’re being taken for granted in this fashion.
(Edit: NY-9 would probably have been a better reference… Jazz)