Monday, March 06, 2006

TAPPED: March 2006 Archives --
Via Matthew Yglesias at TAPPED comes this Washington Post article by Thomas B. Edsall on how Republicans sought to use 9/11 to break the Democratic stranglehold on the Jewish vote.

Nearly five years ago, immediately after the Sept.11, 2001, attacks, Republican strategists identified what they hoped would be a powerful new engine of support. "September 12 Republicans" were Jewish Democrats and independents who would switch their allegiance because of their concern over national security and their appreciation of President Bush's stalwart support of Israel.

Of course, the GOP doesn't just care about votes.

But the much-trumpeted effort by the Bush White House to make deep inroads on the Democrats' historic claims on Jewish voters -- and, even more important politically, the campaign contributions of Jewish donors -- has not materialized in any convincing fashion, according to poll data, fundraisers and campaign finance reports.

One would almost think that Republicans don't care about the black vote because there is not a huge pool of rich black donors.

DeLay's problems, likewise, have set back GOP efforts in cultivating Jewish supporters. He has been one of Congress's most aggressive and outspoken backers of Israel's Likud government, and sponsored resolutions of support that were often so strongly worded that some Democrats -- including those who had supported Israel's Labor Party -- abstained or voted no. Republicans cited these votes in arguing that the Democratic Party could not be counted as a reliable ally of the Jewish state.

Which would make sense if most American Jews support Likud.

There's always a danger of seeing September 11 as this watershed event that changed everything forever. It could be, but it may turn out not to be and more political fallout will be due to the Bush administration's response rather than the event itself. For a great number of people, it hasn't made much of a difference. Almost everyone who will be changed has already been changed. The question is how much 9/11 changed people who aren't old enough yet to vote.
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