web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


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. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


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.

Current Top Story
Yeshiva boys learn Torah together at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.  Due to their participation in a pre-army intelligence program, the IDF requires their identities to remain secret.
Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva
Latest Indepth Stories
Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Zechariah Schwarzberg, z”l

Though intimately acquainted with mankind’s darkest side, he never lost his faith&love in God or man

Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

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.

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

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: