GATEMOUTH (DECEMBER 20, 2011): As I’ve noted, Fidler has a strong track record with the Orthodox Jewish community (and the Russian community as well).

Of course, so did David Weprin, who lost this area two to one.

As the Weprin race proves, whether or not the Orthodox community still does the hora with those who brung them is at best an open question.

Whether or not David Storobin’s 120 vote lead holds up, this is a victory for the Republican Party.

In two special elections in a row, the Jewish part of white southern Brooklyn has shown its vibrant portions (Orthodox Jews and Russians) to be strongly Republican.

Moreover, they’ve shown it in a general election where the top of Democratic ticket was winning by a landslide.

Does anyone doubt they will show it in a general election where the Democratic ticket is headed by Barack Obama?

The 27th, in its soon to disappear configuration, went 57% for John McCain.  

While there is still in Southern Brooklyn a large countervailing group of the type of Jew who goes to a Conservative synagogue every Saturday, and afterwards goes out to the diner with the other members of the Men’s Club for bacon and eggs (hence, the term “Bacon and Eggs Jews”), with every moving van to Florida or hearse ride to a Long Island cemetery, their numbers get smaller.  

If Fidler had won (and he may still), it will be a purely personal victory, but it will not give Steve Cymbrowitz or Bill Colton any reasons for comfort (even though they both voted against same-sex marriage).

 Would it have made a difference if Fidler hadn’t gotten caught on tape tripping over his tongue, (and then compounded the error by doubling down instead of apologizing immediately)?

In a 120 vote election, it might have been dispositive.

Would it have made a difference if Fidler hadn’t been hospitalized for a long period, losing crucial campaign time, and spurring a GOP whispering campaign?

Of course, but as I stated, while this would have changed the result, none of this would change the Southern Brooklyn facts on the ground.

In 2010, Anthony Weiner lost his old Councilmanic District and Kirsten Gillibrand lost here to Joe DioGuardi.

Joe DioGuardi?!?

Can Fidler pull this election out?

I’ve seen elections flip in a paper count, provided one side has done its homework.

Fidler always does his homework. There are always multiple mailing to the permanent absentee list in any Fidler-run operation.

Plus, “Bacon and Egg Jews” make up almost all of the Snowbird Absentee Vote.

If Fidler does pull it out, it is clear he should not run in the new Super Jewish District. All indications are that Fidler got his clock cleaned among the Orthodox.

Despite a lifetime (predating his election to any office) spent delivering for the Orthodox community, Fidler got almost zero Hakoras Hatov (roughly translated as either “thankfulness and appreciation”, or “dancing with those who brung ya.”)

As I’ve said before, once there was rough consensus in the Jewish community on certain issues which served to hold it together politically.

Now, that consensus exists less and less.

As these changes gradually evolved, Orthodox Jews became a swing vote—the default position was Democratic, but it did not take much to move them to the GOP column.

I may have been among the first to recognize that those days are truly over.

As I’ve noted before, in 2010, the Orthodox community rejected Democrats lock, stock and pickle barrel.

Being a Democrat running among Orthodox Jews was now 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 come to an end.

You know what an Orthodox Jewish voter tells a Southern Brooklyn Democrat with two black eyes?

Nothing. He’s already told them twice.

In 2010, the default Orthodox vote was Republican, and it was the GOP who was held harmless down-ballot for transgressions of the boob (Carl Paladino) at the top of their ticket.

As I noted then, “Orthodox Jews hate Barack Obama and the Republican are poised to take advantage of it down ballot in a big way.”

These chickens have now come home to roost.

This is a lesson for the Democrats, but it is not a lesson without consequences for the Orthodox community.

If the Orthodox community believes it can look at allies like Lew Fidler and David Weprin, and stop taking “yes” for an answer, those politicians, and others,  are going to respond by no longer giving them that answer.

It was one thing when the Republicans were pastrami barrelers like Al D’Amato and George Pataki. With Pataki and D’Amato, even when they made cuts that hurt the community, they funneled enough back in favors to give the illusions of more than making up for the damage.

But, Pataki and D’Amato have given way to the likes of David Storobin and Bob Turner, hard line anti-government ideologues. If their policies are ever implemented, no amount of member items (if indeed the still exist) is going to heal the pain when the mohel’s knife slips a bit too far and too hard to the south.

And then, when you come to the Democratic Party looking for friends, someone is going to ask:

"But vus haf ya dun fuh me lately, boychick?'


Like the mohel’s knife, Hakoras Ha-Tov cuts both ways.

And now, with the humiliation of Lew Fidler, maybe the Democrats are going to get this.

At least one has.

An ambitious elected from a different (but safe) seat with a substantial Orthodox population told me last fall “I deliver all I should and a bit more, I do all my mitzvoth. Yet now they tell me, ‘fine, if you are running for Public Advocate in a field of six liberals, we will support you, but if you are challenged at home by a social conservative, no matter how crazy, you’re out of luck.’

 What is supposed to keep me delivering for them, besides the fact that the need is there and it is the right thing to do?”     

Food for thought.

Anyway, if Fidler does pull this out, he should just give up on the Super Jewish District and spend the 8 months making Marty Golden’s life miserable. As a bonus, the Dems will be able to nominate someone like David Greenfield in the new seat.

And if Storobin wins, then the Dems should still nominate someone like Greenfield, because the GOP will be saddled running David Storobin among folks who’ve forgotten the meaning of Hakoras Hatov.