Squaring The Circle
In Anthony Weiner’s race, his opponent, Robert Turner, actually ran a race, which was largely ignored by the press. Turner took 39.14%. Now, I am not going to claim that Turner got all those votes from Orthodox Jews; he clearly targeted conservative White Christian areas and rampaged through communities like Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach.
But Turner targeted the Orthodox as well, and it worked.
In the 48th, Turner beat Weiner 50.90% to 49.10% and in the 45th, he won 50.15% to 49.81%.
This is jaw dropping.
Weiner is a Citywide figure who these voters once backed for Mayor. Unlike Nadler, who is at the right end of left Zionism, Weiner’s buff card could accurately read “Likud.” If there was ever a member of Congress to have taken the necessary steps to insulate himself from an Orthodox revolt, it was Tony Weiner.
But, it is more than that.
Not only has Weiner represented most of these voters in Congress for nearly a decade and a half, but these voters largely track the original district that elected Anthony Weiner to the New York City Council in 1991.
In other words, Anthony Weiner was this year rejected by the voters who know him the best and for the longest.
That is a pretty profound message…
The real lesson is clear. This year, being a Democrat running among Orthodox Jews was an obstacle to be overcome. The once sacred Orthodox pattern of holding down-ballot Democrats harmless for perceived transgressions at the top of their ticket has finally come to an end. This year, the default vote was Republican, and it was the GOP who was held harmless down-ballot for transgressions at the top of their ticket…
Am I saying Orthodox voters are permanently lost to the Republicans?
What I am saying is that Orthodox Jews hate Barack Obama and the Republican are poised to take advantage of it down ballot in a big way.
· But there are some important differences that militate in favor of the Democrats.
A key factor in Bob Turner’s defeat of David Weprin was his endorsement by Ed Koch.
Some of Koch’s importance was on the issue of Israel, where Koch outlined a seemingly credible scenario why Jews should vote against an Orthodox Jewish right wing Zionist in favor of an Irish American to send the President a message.
But, perhaps more important is that Koch gave Turner cover, vouching for Turner like a kosher stamp on the issues of Medicare and Social Security, even though Turner had a paper trail which indicated that he was more traife on those matters than spare ribs in lobster sauce.
Any hopes of GOP Senate candidate David Storobin pulling a similar “rabbi” out of his hat were blown to bits yesterday, as Koch endorsed Democrat Lew Fidler, giving Fidler some well-deserved credibility in fighting the ridiculous GOP charges that he is some wild-eyed radical.
Sez Koch: “[Fidler] is a Democrat who I consider to be in the image of Hubert Humphrey-kind of Democrat, the Scoop Jackson Democrat, the Pat Moynihan Democrat. A moderate.”
This is undoubtedly true, but I suspect other reasons for Koch’s action.
One is that in 2010 every State Senate Republican signed Koch’s pledge to support a non-partisan independent reapportionment commission, and THEY ALL LIED.
Koch sometimes forgives a grudge, but never before he first avenges it in as painful a manner as possible.
Another reason is same sex marriage. Before endorsing Turner, he extracted a promise that Turner would not make SSM an issue in the campaign against Weprin.
I am convinced that Turner’s campaign violated that pledge, but they were careful never to have their fingerprints on the goods. They zealously protected their plausible deniability, while supposedly independent surrogates raised the issue and spread the hate.
Storobin’s Facebook postings demonstrate two things: 1) Storobin was one of those surrogates, and 2) he intends to personally raise the issue of Same Sex Marriage in his Senate race, in as hateful a manner as possible.
Why is Koch important?
Doubtless, a lot of Orthodox and Russian Jews were voting for Turner anyway, as they had when he ran against Weiner, but Koch certainly juiced the numbers.
Even more importantly, Koch hurt Weprin and helped Turner among many “bacon and eggs Jews.” Weprin won the majority of those votes, but by a far smaller margin than he should have. Many of them went for Turner; many others stayed home.
Most important, Koch gave Turner credibility in the media, and changed the narrative of the race.
Storobin starts this race with many advantages, but, at least for the moment, the narrative is not going his way.
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