May 13, 2013
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
Nov. 3, 2010
/ 27 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
The Morning After
If the polls were unerring, historians would now be debating the pros and cons of the first Dewey administration.
But as I write these lines, Americans are still observing the ritual, communion and act of faith known as voting. Perhaps it's not entirely coincidence that those little voting booths we enter to cast our ballot resemble confessionals.
By the time the polls finally closed across the country, The People in all their electoral majesty had spoken, God help us all. As you read these lines, you'll know all about it, or rather most of it. For there are always those cliffhangers, competing victory announcements notwithstanding.
Some of the claims and counterclaims can go on for days, for weeks ...for whole historical periods. Remember the Mexican standoff (if such a phrase is still allowed in our politically correct, post-Juan Williams days) back in 2000? It went on for weeks that seemed an eternity until all but the most extreme partisans just wanted it to be over, over, over ... so the country could finally get a president-elect, any president-elect, out of all that hanging chad mess.
And just who won the Hayes-Tilden bout in '76 -- that's 1876 -- is still disputed. I'd say the Old Confederacy did, since the compromise that finally ended that election also ended the federal occupation of the Southern states. But some might argue even with that once safe historical generalization. Of horse races, jury trials and American elections, there's no sure predicting. Sometimes there's no telling even after the election's over.
If the pollsters got it right this time, the Republicans will have recaptured the House and the Democrats will have held on to the Senate by the skin of their pork projects. By now the airwaves will have been filled with the usual jubilations as the winners proclaim a New Era/Deal/Beginning/Foundation, while the losers lick their wounds and mutter, "Wait'll next election...."
It's not the proclamations of victory but the concessions of defeat, the true test of grace under pressure, that interest some of us most. Those are the real measures of character. Richard Nixon, of all people, passed it in 1960 when he conceded without making a Hayes-Tilden out of it. Al Gore failed it by refusing to accept defeat for the longest, most nerve-wracking time.
For election-night style, few American politicians have ever matched Adlai Stevenson's statement in 1952, which was both concise and eloquent. (The two tend to go together). He was too old to cry, said Gov. Stevenson, and it hurt too much to laugh. Can anyone remember what the winner, Dwight Eisenhower, had to say on that occasion? We don't. Words may endure; elections come and go.
If the verdict at the polls Tuesday bore out the pollsters, it's the GOP that has reason to be singing that old Democratic anthem, "Happy Days Here Again." Ah, yes, those happy days of the last Republican ascendancy, featuring such hits as Katrina's mishandled aftermath, a war almost lost in Iraq till a general named Petraeus came along (and the country had a president willing to back him up), the groundwork for the Great Panic that would hit the country in 2008-09, and enough corruption to cover more than any one administration.
If the Republicans are celebrating this week, here's hoping that somewhere just one of their spokesmen will have had the candor to say what the real lesson of any GOP victory this year should be: "We better not screw up again."
As for the Democrats, here's hoping they'll react to any setback by proving educable -- that they'll rethink losing propositions like ObamaCare, the cap-and-trade job killer, socking it to capital by their refusal to extend all the Bush Era tax cuts, bailouts in all directions, and pork-stuffed stimulus packages that don't stimulate but strangle the economy.
Wouldn't it be something if one of the Democrats' spokespersons, preferably the president himself, would react the way Bill Clinton did after the Republican landslide in 1994 woke him up? And decide to adopt some of the better Republican ideas, like welfare reform and balanced budgets. Who says gridlock can't be good for the country? It all depends on who's gridlocked -- the kind of politicians blinded by their own partisanship or the kind who learn from the election returns.
But if the pollsters turn out to have been wrong once again, and Democratic Congress is still riding high (and roughshod over the country), then this column and all bets are off -- and prayer is even more in order. Thank goodness, as a German statesman named Bismarck once observed, God looks after fools, drunkards and the United States of America. May He ever do so. Amen, and watch it out there!
Paul Greenberg Archives
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