May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
August 17, 2011
/ 17 Menachem-Av, 5771
Who's In, Who's Out
Who says presidential debates and straw polls don't matter?
The field of Republican presidential candidates has both narrowed and expanded after the presidential debate-cum-straw poll at Ames, Ia., the capital of American presidential politics until it moves to the snowy fields of New Hampshire. What a system. If the United States of America follows any plan in selecting its presidents, it must be the same one Topsy followed when she just growed.
These close-up-and-personal encounters of the political kind give Americans a chance to judge the field. And after each one, there aren't as many contenders as there were before. Or there may be new ones. For the moment all is still in flux. Like the American economy.
The candidate who's out is Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota. His first reaction to doing less than well in Iowa's straw poll was to say he was in this race for the long haul, then quickly decide that a short haul was best after all. The question raised by his departure -- well, one of them -- is not why he left the race but why anyone sane would want to run for president of the United States in the first place.
One of the other questions left dangling after these results in Iowa is why Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who failed to win another term, is still in this race. His showing in Iowa was dismal. Maybe he just likes to travel and see the country, going from primary to primary. There have got to be more enjoyable ways to tour America the Beautiful. Like hitchhiking. Or driving from one Motel 6 to the next. Or taking a slow train through Arkansas.
The new addition to the GOP race, whose entry was so expected it came as an anticlimax, is Texas' Rick Perry. The Texan enters with one heck of a handicap, namely: He's a Texan. And the rest of the country, to indulge in the broadest-based, unfairest, most stereotypical of generalizations (my specialty), doesn't much like Texas. Which is just fine with Texans, who (a) don't much care, being Texans, and (b) may not like the rest of the country, either.
Case in point: Governor Perry, who in one of those moments that haunts every presidential candidate, once said something offhand about Texas' seceding from the Union. As if it hadn't once before -- with dire consequences. You'd think all of us in these Southern latitudes would have learned better after The Late Unpleasantness.
Among those Republicans candidates still standing after this latest straw in the wind, literally, since the show at Ames was only a straw poll, are Michele Bachmann, the big winner; Mitt Romney, who had the good sense to avoid this carnival at Ames, and, oh, yes, the inescapable Ron Paul, who might as well have walked in from some convention of gold bugs circa 1896.
Congressman Paul hasn't accepted to any development in American foreign affairs since the Spanish-American War, or any change in the monetary system since the Federal Reserve System was created in 1913. He's a society for creative anachronism all by himself.
Whether or not Ron Paul goes anywhere in this quadrennial American circus, he'd be a big hit on PBS' "Antiques Roadshow."
Back in the real world, to repeat a thought I've had before, like immediately after the GOP's last presidential debate, any American political party that matters is always divided between its passions and its calculations. The candidate who satisfies its passions -- a Barry Goldwater, a George McGovern, a Robert A. Taft -- might prove a disaster in the general election, when not just the party faithful but independents and even the more flexible members of the other party will need to be courted. Which is why, once again, we're all going to hear the word "electable" next year till we're sick of it.
But that quality -- electability -- remains the attraction of any centrist candidate, preferably one with a non-threatening personality who assures rather than scares. Like an Eisenhower. Or, this year, maybe a Mitt Romney.
Paul Greenberg Archives
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