web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Bush, Jews And Democrats (Part IX)


Media-Monitor-logo

The 1988 presidential election – unlike those of, say, 1972 and 1980 – was notable for its lack of sharp differentiation between the Republican and Democratic nominees on the issue of Israel and the Middle East.

For one thing, this was the first election since 1968 without an incumbent, so neither the Democratic candidate, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, nor his Republican counterpart, vice president George Bush, had a record on which to run.

True, Bush had just spent eight years as second in command in an administration considered extremely friendly toward Israel, but any anecdotal evidence that leaked out during that period was not of the type to inspire confidence in him as someone with an instinctive appreciation of, and sensitivity to, the Jewish state. On Israel, as on much else, it was widely felt that Bush was no Reagan.

But Dukakis, who until he decided to run for president had given not the slightest indication that he’d ever entertained a single thought about foreign policy, also was far from reassuring to the pro-Israel community. His speeches to Jewish groups raised more questions than they answered, and he seemed to view the world through the eyes of an unreconstructed McGovernite.

Dukakis, in sum, gave every impression that as president he’d be distrustful of American military power and even more fearful of using it. Not a good sign to Jews who had come to appreciate that the anti-military isolationism that defined the Democratic party in the 1970′s and 1980′s was far from being in the best interests of either the U.S. or Israel.

As we’ve seen in earlier chapters in this series, it’s rare for an appreciable number of American Jews to vote for a Republican presidential candidate even when the Republican is clearly more sympathetic to Israel than his Democratic opponent. It therefore came as no surprise that the returns on election night showed Bush being shellacked by Dukakis among Jewish voters, 73 percent to 27 percent, at the same time that he was easily defeating Dukakis in the country at large, 53.4 percent to 45.6 percent.

Amazingly, Bush over the next four years would find a way to squander much of his measly 1988 Jewish support. By the time the 1992 presidential campaign got under way, Bush, who along with his secretary of state, James Baker, appeared to develop a bad case of gas at the mere mention of the word “Israel,” had become hopelessly unpopular even with Jews normally not averse to voting Republican.

In fact, not since the Eisenhower years had relations between the U.S. and Israel been so lukewarm, and while Bush’s record on Israel was not as grim as some sought to portray it – the administration did succeed in getting the UN to rescind its infamous 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism – the close relationship and good feelings of the Reagan era were already distant memories.

Given the intense disappointment with Bush among supporters of Israel, it was hard to believe that it was just twelve years since Ronald Reagan won nearly four Jewish votes in 10 – a showing that triggered talk of widespread Jewish defections to Republican ranks – or four years since Bush himself had won 27 percent of the Jewish vote, a figure that now actually seemed quite large in light of Bush’s severely diminished standing in the Jewish community.

As it turned out, Bush lost almost half his Jewish support during his term in office, managing to hold on to just 15 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992. His Democratic challenger, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, won the backing of 78 percent of Jewish voters and Ross Perot, the loony billionaire third-party candidate, picked up the remaining 7 percent of the Jewish vote. Overall the numbers read: Clinton 43.3 percent, Bush 37.7 percent, Perot 19 percent .

(Continued Next Week)

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bush, Jews And Democrats (Part IX)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Indepth Stories
The annual  Chabad menorah lighting in Sydney has been called off this year because of the murders in the Lindt cafe.

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-68/2002/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: