Beyond the Cusp

March 6, 2014

Michele Bachmann to Receive False Denunciations

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann told Tony Perkins on the Family Research Center’s radio channel that many American Jews had “sold out Israel” by voting for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 which will bring on her accusations of anti-Semitism. Where the Jews voting for President Obama in 2008 could claim they were unaware of his stance on Israel, after his first six months in the White House, President Obama’s hatred, vindictiveness and malice for Israel was unmistakable to anybody paying even the slightest attention. President Obama dove into the Arab-Israeli peace process standing firmly in his intent to uplift and liberate the downtrodden and victimized Palestinians. President Obama acted in complete lockstep concurrence with the misconception that the Israelis were the sole blameworthy entity in the desperation and despondence of the Palestinian people which was locking millions of refugees, refugees only by the warped definitions of UNRWA, in decrepit and rundown camps removed from civilization and forbidden to hold most positions of employment or own property. It was working from this misconception that President Obama has pursued policy exclusively for the first year plus where he made edicts of positions that even the Palestinians themselves had dared not pursue. President Obama was the inventor of the idea of an Israeli building freeze, the return to the 1949 Armistice Lines, the surrender of East Jerusalem including all the holy sites and dismissing those who complained that under his ideas the Jews would be removed from many holy places as they had been before 1967 by Jordan.

 

Representative Michele Bachmann further stated, “The Jewish community gave him their votes, their support, their financial support, and as recently as last week, 48 Jewish donors who are big contributors to the president wrote a letter…to the Democrat Senators in the U.S. Senate to tell them to not advance sanctions against Iran. This is clearly against Israel’s best interest and what has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel.” She concluded, “They sold out Israel.” And the report by Slate.com that Bachmann also described to Perkins her conviction that End Times, as predicted in the Bible, were coming. As proof, she pointed to Obama’s “threatening” of the Jewish state adding, “The nations of the world will come against Israel and the scripture very specifically says all nations,” Bachmann said. “[F]or the United States, we don’t have that experience until recently under President Obama with the United States not standing with Israel.” This last part will be used to prove that she is an off the wall Evangelical End Times fanatic who sees everything through her slanted interpretation of the New Testament.

 

Where everything Representative Bachmann said is based in fact, her statements will also be judged by those very same American Jews who she was revealing had placed the Democrat Party in general and President Obama in particular ahead of what is best for Israel, the Jewish homeland. What I can personally attest to is that she has a valid set of points even if these truths are difficult for some who see themselves through glasses which alter reality to fit their own conceptions even to the point of holding contrary ideals and thoughts. The one difficulty I faced in the United States was as a conservative and a Zionist I was unable to find a synagogue where I was accepted, especially since I am unabashed about my feelings and beliefs the world be damned, and often I was. Now, in Israel, I find where all the other American Jews who agree with much of my politics had gone, they are here living happily in Eretz Yisroel. Still, the American Jewish mainstream organizations are often liberal or leftist first and only Jewish either in crisis or if it does not contradict their political beliefs. Representative Bachmann is brave to have stated these facts but she is no stranger to controversies, much to her credit. I feel a sympathetic kinship for her views as I have often faced the barbs, slings and arrows from fellow Jews in the United States. The only mitigating news I can tell, and it is mostly a secret, there are more American Jews who are conservative and vote for conservative and Constitutional principles and do not give blanket support to the Democrat Party than most believe. I would meet these fellow Jews in quiet whispers when we were away from prying ears and eyes as to be seen speaking with the outspoken conservative Zionist Constitutionalist heartless person next to whom you never sit in Synagogue except on High Holy Days due to lack of empty seats as to be seen speaking with me could cast one as one of them. The Rabbi, G0d bless him, in my last synagogue did speak with me as it is part of his duties to make everyone feel welcome. The surprise which was likely as much a surprise for him was we agreed on many if not most principles and only varied in method of attaining them. He saw everything as a communal project and then slipped from communal to government where I would not make that connection and instead believed in the individual to do good if left alone and with sufficient resources by government. All I can do is offer my credit and sympathy to Representative Bachmann for speaking truthfully, an act that is almost always guaranteed to get you thrown into a pit full of accusations and disparages.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 1, 2013

What the Coming Republican Wars Doth Wrought

For those confused about this title, let’s first describe the coming conflict which could split the Republican Party wide open and possibly cause a disaster at the midterm elections. What some people refer to as the Old Guard or the Establishment Leadership Republicans are blaming the Party’s election woes on what they refer to as the Tea Party extremists and Constitutional purists. Meanwhile the more conservative Republicans and independents are accusing many of the longstanding Republicans such as Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others as having slowly drifted away from their original conservative principles more towards the mainstream progressive big government middle which they claim they will no longer support demanding that their concerns be addressed and candidates more willing to back small Constitutional government be offered. Both sides claim that the only path to gain majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as any chance to win the White House in 2016 goes through the center of their constituencies. Obviously both cannot be correct and only one side will ultimately prove victorious in getting those they back onto the ballots where the elections will prove or disprove their contention to have the best chance to win in the election booths. The initial battle will come during the primary elections and the final determination of which extreme of the Republican Party is better able to get their people elected. In a perfect world there would be an equal number of Republicans of both stripe on the ballots so that a definitive result will be produced after the elections and to the victors should go the future of the Republican Party.

 

Needless to say, but should the Tea Party, conservatives, and Constitutionalists succeed in gaining a fair number of candidates after the primaries and they prove to be far more successful than the reputed establishment candidates the Old Guard will not yield and will likely claim that these candidates were only able to win in the reddest of red states and have no possibility of being elected in battleground states which are necessary in Presidential elections. This will be their argument which they will defend their right to retain control over the mechanisms and various committees within the Republican Party and attempt to minimize the numbers of Tea Party and fellow travelers from gaining much of a foothold. The people who are part of the establishment always resist change as change is the greatest threat to their hold onto power and control over who their party places on ballots and supports with funding and other forms of assistance. This is one area where the truism of, “Old habits die hard,” proves to be very true. The fight over the heart of the Republican Party will prove to be very interesting as it is our opinion that one side has all the mechanisms of power, financing and established structure including established mailing lists while the other has the excitement of new leadership, a waking support base, and a bigger and better message that will gain strength even beyond just the Republican Party and be attractive to many independents, libertarians, classical liberals and even some of the older established Democrats who are finding that the new Democrat Party has left them and no longer supports the same issues and views they did when they joined the party.

 

Going forward there is a possibility of a third party becoming established provided the Tea Party can enlist those others who also support their core issues which include but are not limited to smaller government, Constitutional government, more power and control at the State and local governments, government out of our lives, more liberty and a return to the principles on which the United States was originally founded. In many ways these people are purists who have one problem in that they are unable to compromise and tend to be rigid idealists. For those who agree with their general views and positions will see no problem in their intransigence but that also creates other problems. The one failing which strident conservatives are often guilty of is that they demand complete compliance with their every position before they will support any candidate. An example would be a fiscal conservative who is pro second amendment but will allow for stem cell biological experimentation and research using the existing supply of stem cells will run afoul of the most strident anti-abortion wing and they will never be able to garner the votes from that wing and that can cost them the election. This in turn creates an interesting dilemma where an establishment Republican candidate would be unable to win an election without garnering the Tea Party, conservative and Constitutionalist voters while Tea Party and related conservative voters face the problem of splintering their base voters as they all fall in separate camps around their core issues and principles which include such issues as gun rights, abortion, medical research practices, fiscal prudence, individual liberties, limited government, and societal morality. I guess the moral of the story is that no matter which political stripe a candidate identifies with there are a million reasons that people will find to pick them apart and any one of these would be reason enough to withhold their support. The candidate’s challenge is to find the message that offends the least number of voters and then sticking to the principles which they ran with when elected. Honesty in politics is more often rewarded than punished and that may be because in many ways it is so rare.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

July 28, 2013

Of Likud and Republican; A Problem Shared

They say that misery loves company and should that be true then members of America’s Republican Party and Israel’s Likud Party have plenty of company. Both of these political parties have had a split from in their membership and both sides blame the other for any election misgivings and shortfalls. What makes things even closer between the two is in both cases the split pits political purists who hold tightly to high political standard that might be best described as the pure essence of their party in theory while the other faction claims to be practical realists who hold that high political morality is great in theory but practice demands that the party must be more open to a wider group and that compromise is paramount. In both parties the purists claim that they have been ignored and that they have not had a candidate who holds fast to their strict definitions of belief while the realists blame the purists for forcing the party too far from the center and costing them the so-called swing voters which are necessary in national elections.

In the United States the Republican Party has had a group from which has been defined as the Tea Party Republicans but might be best defined as Constitutionalists and Libertarians. These Constitutional purists hold strongly to individual freedoms as defined by the Founding Fathers in their letters, writings and the founding documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Their claim is that there are a multitude of voters who believe the same way as they do and that many of these voters are even more stridently defined and are willing to stay home on Election Day rather than vote for a candidate they feel is too compromised on their issues. The realists claim that the dogmatic purity is too restrictive and denies the party the support of middle of the political spectrum voters. The realists claim that the Republican Party needs to position their candidates just slightly more conservative than the Democrat’s candidate as this will position their candidate to pick up the centrist voters as well as the strident conservatives of all stripes as who else would such people vote for, the Democrat or some third party candidate? They claim to run a stridently conservative candidate would leave the party with high political morals but no vote totals and they doubt that third party candidates actually take that many votes away due to their reference to put forward a compromise candidate. The biggest disagreement between these two groups in the Republican camp is where their recent candidates for the Presidency stood on the issues, especially in the last two elections where they lost to the Democrat Party candidate, Barrack Obama. In both cases the purists claimed that both John McCain and Mitt Romney were members of the realist camp while the realists claimed that due to catering to the purists these two candidates appeared too far to the conservative and libertarian end of the political spectrum. Both sides claim that the candidates were chosen and ran as if they were the epitome of the other side’s idea of the perfect candidate. Obviously both sides cannot be correct.

In Israel, the Likud Party has had an even rougher time despite currently being the party in power. All one has to do to see the convulsions which have wrought through the Likud body politic is to review some of the up and coming and established Likud Party leaders over the last decade or so. It was from the Likud Party that Kadima was born when the realists’ extremes of the party felt they could no longer accomplish their desired policies and remain within the Likud Party. It was a Likud elected Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who divided the Likud Party by taking a fair number of the leadership and merging them with other opportunists from Labor and other parties to form a new party they named Kadima. Those who split and joined Likud claimed that their moderate views were not welcomed in Likud and that they really had little choice. Some of those who left Likud with Ariel Sharon, among others, were Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, Shaul Mofaz, Meir Sheetrit, Gideon Ezra, Avraham Hirschson, Ruhama Avraham, Majalli Wahabi, Roni Bar-On and Omri Sharon. The main reasons for the divide was over whether Israel should carry out the disengagement plan and simply remove all Israeli presence from the Gaza Strip and turn the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority as a test case to give the Palestinians an opportunity to govern and prove their capabilities. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carried out the disengagement and a short while later Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip in a violent coup which led directly to the rain of rockets and other terrorist attacks emanating from the areas Israel had vacated.

Despite the obvious failure of the disengagement as far as Israel is concerned and, oddly enough, as far as the Palestinian Authority was concerned, there is still a strong worldwide push to force another disengagement from Judea and Samaria turning the entire area over to the Palestinian Authority assuming that this time will work out better. What makes the push for finding a peace in which much if not almost all of the areas of Judea and Samaria, also known to the Arabs as the West Bank, is turned over to the Palestinian Authority is once again the issue that is splitting Likud onto two camps, one is the Zionist Camp which purports that Israel should simply annex the entirety of Judea and Samaria and set a method by which the Palestinians could apply and qualify as citizens in Israel while the other camp are the so-called realists who hold that the Palestinians cannot be granted citizenship in Israel for any number of reasons among which include the “demographic bomb which states that in thirty to fifty years the Palestinians will outnumber the Jews in Israel simply through natural reproductive growth, or the idea that Israel will find themselves in even a worse position where the rest of the world will impose a solution on Israel where they will lose everything and therefore a compromise must be found. Currently, the Likud led coalition is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu who is working towards finding a path to making a treaty with the Palestinians where, according to rumors, Israel would retain the major Jewish settlement blocks which amounts to around fifteen percent of the lands of Judea and Samaria and the Palestinians would be allowed to form their state in the remaining eighty-five percent. This would entail the Israelis absorbing between sixty and eighty thousand Jewish Settlement refugees from the towns and farms that would be ceded to the Palestinians. As the lands of Judea and Samaria are a large portion of the traditional ancient Jewish-Israelite-Hebrews historic and biblical homeland, there are many who feel that relenting on these areas to be sinful and sacrilegious, tantamount to treason against the true faith of Judaism. One should be able to see that giving up lands whose name is Judea might be a serious compromise for a people and religion denoted by the name of Judaism.

So, what does the future likely hold for these two parties and their respective nations? First off, in the Likud the future is relatively clear in that the younger members of the party such as Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin who are strident Zionists and favor Israel retaining all of Judea and Samaria and offering the Palestinians who wish to remain and become Israeli citizens a methodology and plan to do so and for those Palestinians who would prefer to leave and live in the Arab world be given fair compensation for all of their properties and an additional payment to facilitate making their transition easier. This shifting towards a stronger nationalistic outlook also matches one of the trends within the Israeli population along with trending towards the populations as a whole becoming more religious. There is a real, visceral, tangible revitalization of Judaism taking place within Israel that is growing healthily in accord with nationalism. The window that we hear being bandied about as a limited time remaining in which forming a Palestinian state being possible is very probably an accurate assessment but for reason different than those stated. The problem is not that the two sides are growing more strident in their positions and thus reaching a compromise will soon become impossible as it is that a growing number of Israelis are beginning to realize that the Palestinians will never live peaceably even should they be granted their own state but will continue to use terror and pleadings to the world, especially Europe, to return all of the lands to them and remove Israel from the map. It really should not be a huge surprise as this has been the message shouted loud and clear from Palestinian society and the Arab World at large since before Israel was founded and it has never changed. The Israelis hear it constantly on Palestinian radio and television broadcasts, read it in Palestinian newspapers, journals, magazines, and their children’s textbooks, and it is evident on their maps which show all of the land as Palestine with no mention of Israel whatsoever. Likud will eventually become an almost purely Zionist Party as will other Israeli political parties and that will not be a contended position in elections. Likud also supports capitalism, free trade with other nations, smaller government, privatization of government run services and companies, and less regulations and restriction on business in general. Their main competitors in the political realm are all socialists of different stripes.

The Republican Party’s future is not quite as easily determined as there is not the generational split anywhere near as obvious as it is for Israel’s Likud Party. The Tea Party segments of the Republican Party are a growing sector which is still flushing out its organizational structure and thus will gain some more voice and strength in the immediate future. The challenge for the Tea Party members will be maintaining their higher than average level of involvement which is often found when a movement is in its early stages and still growing. There have been signs in some elections where the Tea Party has surprised the establishment and pollsters by winning what were termed upsets such as Bridenstine against Sullivan in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Ted Cruz in Texas, among others. The problem with predicting the future of political parties in the United States over doing so in Israel is an obvious one, size matters and the United States has size over Israel in every manner you care to measure with the exception as both nations have a similar number of Jewish citizens, for now. When one speaks of the Republican Party, there is a huge difference as you look at different locations. An example which makes this point is that if one compares a Democrat elected to the United States House of Representatives from Texas or Wyoming to a Republican elected to the same august body from Maryland or Massachusetts, one would likely find that the Democrat would be considered the more conservative of the two. That is why it is impossible to form an exact definitive description for a member of any political party in the United States and especially for the two main parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. Politics in the United States is a lot like real estate, what matters a lot is location, location, location. Still, the Republican Party will likely face a reformation of sorts over the next decade or two and a good prediction would safely contend that Republican candidates will become more aligned with the founding declarations of individualism, freedom, and less reliance on government. They will push for reforms that lessen the reach and purview of the federal government and push for empowerment of the individual states and even to local city and county governments. Any contributions from the Federal Government will be in the form of block grants and there will be less stringent restrictions on their use. Whether this resonates with the public remains to be seen but there is a high likelihood that should some of the over-bloated Federal Government programs, even some of the newest among them, become financially untenable that rather than allow for Federal taxes to rise close to if not over fifty percent, the people of both parties will demand somebody take a carving knife to the Federal budget and the programs it supports. This will be the result more of necessity than anything else but it is surprising how frugal people can become when their ability to survive is on the line. But, as we have said before, time will tell.

Beyond the Cusp

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