Friday, July 07, 2006



The Scripture-quoting scold that Lieberman has always been somehow takes it for granted that Connecticut Jews "owe" him their votes. He's Jewish and his support for Bush's war in Iraq and brutal occupation of that country is predicated on Lieberman's misguided support for Israel's extreme right wing. Never mind that many Israel's not associated with that country's extreme right do not feel that the Bush/Lieberman approach was in Israel's interests. (Yuval Diskin, the head of Shin Bet, Israel's FBI, claims that the chaos that have resulted in the Bush/Lieberman policies are actually far more dangerous to Israel than the old status quo.)

Nonetheless, a few days ago one of Lieberman's crudest hatchetmen, John Droney, made some more typically bizarre public statements sure to offend many Connecticut Democrats, particularly Jewish one. "I find the behavior of a large segment of the Jewish community to be reprehensible and outrageous. When he's in trouble like this, they all ought to rally to him. It's too bad that you have to listen to an Irish-American to realize that you've got to support your own home cooking."

I'm sure Haddasah still supports Holy Joe, but a recent poll shows that a clear majority of Connecticut Jews (50%-41%) favors Ned Lamont over their co-religionist, who many feel is over-the-top and even dangerous. Lieberman is an observant Orthodox Jew-- when it suits him (he's divorced but he won't turn on an electric switch on Saturdays)-- but most Connecticut Jews, while respecting Lieberman's personal religiosity, are more secular. Even observant Jews tend to be more dedicated to the either Reform or Conservative Judaism than to the fundamentalist Orthodox approach that Lieberman has embraced. Many Jews agree with the ideas expressed by Shin Bet's Diskin that Lieberman's and Bush's rampage in the Middle East has made Israel and the United States less secure and less safe, not more secure or safe.


Starting today and for the rest of the weekend, any DWT reader who is Jewish and wants to register support for Lamont please add 1 cent to your Lamont contribution at our ACT BLUE Page. And if you're not Jewish but want to support a safe and secure Israel by changing the Bush-Lieberman policies in the Middle East, add 2 cents to your donation. (Or if you go to shuel Saturday or Church Sunday, pray for wisdom and strength for progressive patriots taking on the Bushes and Liebermans of both parties.)


Matt Stoller just reminded me that Lieberman's pal Droney is also a crooked pol who is well-known in Connecticut for using his political connections to get kickbacks from state pension funds operated by Republicans.


At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. It's an uphill battle to remind people that in CT the "jewish vote" comes in all sizes, shapes, stripes and political orientations. And you are as likely to hear an angry rant against Lieberliar from someone Jewish as someone who is not Jewish for a whole assortment of reasons, not even just for the war. In fact, the first person in CT I knew to vehemently despise Lieberman long ago ca. 2000 was a musician and happened to be Jewish.

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as reprehensible as this is, has the lamont campaign done anything with it? asked for an apology or for joe to fire this idiot?

At 10:13 AM, Blogger keninny said...

I'm trying to write something on this subject, but for now I just want to say that as a Jewish voter in a "near-home" state to Connecticut, I'm revolted, and I think there's at least the possibility that "playing the Jewish card" will backfire on Holy Joe's campaign.

Any Jewish voters who were on the fence about abandoning "our guy" have been given an even clearer picture of who and what he is, which may maker it even easier for them to vote their conscience, which is surely saying, "Joe must go!"


At 10:41 AM, Anonymous JollyRoger said...

LIEberman is desperate. And his promise to go independent (snicker) if voted down shows that the only thing he's actually interested in these days is maintaining his power.

I find LIEberman's commercials claiming to be for the little people especially knee-slapping funny. Any quick glance at his overall voting record for the last 20 years will quickly put that LIE to bed.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous mui said...

Here's a little bit about Droney from McEnroe's Hartford Courant June 13 2006 blog post:
Weirdos of the World Unite

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Jill said...

I'm not doubting what you've stated here, but would you mind providing links to the statement by Droney, or point to a source for the quote, and also provide a link to the poll numbers re: CT Jews favor Lamont 50-41%?

As a Jew born and raised in CT who lived there until 1988, some of your descriptions of the different sects within Judaism are a little more colorful than how I would describe them, having experienced and/or observed them all. But this is your blog and your impressions, so I understand that. However, people unfamiliar with the different degrees even within Orthodoxy could really get one-dimensional impressions from this post, unless they read other sources on the subject.

In any case - I agree that Lieberman or his staff, if they are taking the Jewish vote for granted or trying to guilt them into it, shouldn't do either. I just would like to get a view for myself of the statements that indicate that that's happening. Being in Ohio, I feel the same way about Ken Blackwell and the African-American vote, or even the Christian vote. Not all Christians are so far right or support Blackwell's platform.

Frankly, no one's vote should be taken for granted by any candidate. But that doesn't really reflect a strategist's reality now, does it?

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jill, as a person with some Jewish background from CT I actually take offense at your statement, of "having experienced it all." Frankly I doubt it. That is impossible. Everyone's experience has limits. And a lot has changed since the 80s I am sure. If I read the comments and the article correctly you are mistaking sect, as in religious(?) for what is meant to mean individual politics, occupation, and other types of ingredients that contribute to an individual's outlook and world view. Unless you are of course not looking beneath the surface, individual comments and outlooks are always colorful, not matter what background. And trust me, I listen. As far as I can tell, Droney is talking about a universal tribalism among persons of Jewish background in CT that would ensure votes for Lieberman. That does not exist. There is an underlying antisemitism in Droney's statement that is completely offensive.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Anon - I agree that there's an anti-semitism in Droney's comment, and it's not even underlying, IMO.

As for seeing it all, well, you can start here and that will give you a little sense of the variety I've experienced when it comes to Judaism. We can have a more personal conversation about why I would say that if you want to email back and forth. But knowing how much I usually dislike big generalizations, I can understand why you might have trouble with someone asserting one. So noted.


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