Oceans of printer’s ink and gales of political blather have flowed over the election of Bob Turner who first time in a century snagged the seat left vacant by the disgraced Anthony Wiener, for the Republicans.
The overarching opinion of the talking heads and pundits and sundry other commentators and whoever saw in wet behind the ears Turner a condemnation of the way president Obama’s record on a fast sinking US economy.
Everyone is hurting, it goes without saying, but the very rich whose interests Turner has sworn to uphold and further endow with tax privileges. However, and we stress however, two issues predominated the race against the David Weprin the Democrat who lost.
The 800 pound gorilla in the wings is Israel. The three time mayor and major pooh bah of egoism Ed Koch put his two cents at the beginning of the contest. He was going to send a message to Obama whom he tarred and feathered as not being pro Israel as he thinks.
The 9 NY Congressional district is majority Jewish. It houses a strong orthodox element which in the past has voted Democrat. In fact, it went for Obama big time in 2008. Local Democratic councilmen and state representatives crossed party lines to send Obama Koch’s message: don’t weaken US unconditional support for Israel. If anyone doubted that Israel is a domestic issue in American politics, doubt no more. Contrary to America’s record on Israel, the propaganda mills of the Israeli lobby, with big bucks and lobbying and contributions to political races on the local, state, and federal level, carries a big stick it never hesitates to use liberally for anyone who steps out of line.
A liability on Weprin’s slate was his vote for same sex marriage which alienated him from his more pious and conservative supporters even though he is an orthodox Jew!
Israel and the gay issue brought big money and huge support from the Catholic church, orthodox Jewry, evangelicals, and of course, infusion of funds from right wing Republicans, and they tilted the balance for Turner’s win.
The economy played a lesser part in Weprin’s defeat.