This week the Republican Jewish Coalition held its presidential
candidates forum, and the visiting contenders engaged in transparently
obsequious rhetoric to demonstrate their love of Israel. Media accounts
made the event sound rather embarrassing, but it’s almost poignant, if
you think about it. Because despite groups like the RJC, the reality is
that Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrats and identify overwhelmingly
as either Democrats or Independents. All the groveling about Israel is
unlikely to shift the balance if the GOP doesn’t get smart about one
crucial issue: religion.
No matter how they try to downplay it with veiled language, the GOP
is a Christian party with a Christian message. When pols appeal directly
to that base, they may forget (or perhaps not care) that Jews are out
there too watching TV and hearing what’s being said.
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