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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 20, 2012/ 27 Shevat, 5772

The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama

By David Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa seems like scorched earth today, and not only because there has been an unusual drought of snow this winter.

The caucuses are over, the candidates are gone. But a sense of anxiety, even embarrassment, lingers.

Part of the extensive unease here comes from the bungled election count. Iowans and people across the country went to bed that Tuesday night last month thinking that former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts had prevailed, winning a vital political contest that had eluded him four years earlier. Then it emerged that the actual winner was former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, whose great strength so far has been in states contiguous to this one.

Part of the anxiety comes from the shrillness of the campaign rhetoric, which was discordant in this state of unusually high literacy and unusually good manners. The combative language that began here has continued, maybe even grown more coarse, as the contest has moved east, then south and then west. Party leaders across the nation worry that the sticks and stones of winter could end up hurting the Republicans in autumn.

And part of it is the sense of helplessness some Republicans feel as the debate veers out of control, the party seems to lack ballast if not balance, one of the principal challengers seems more set on personal revenge and personal redemption than to have the party prevail in November, and the frontrunner's campaign seems rooted more in its sense of political inevitability than in its ideological irresistibility. Indeed, 70 percent of those who voted for Mr. Romney in the Nevada caucuses said their top priority was his electability.

And so, if the country -- with a president with vulnerable poll ratings and an opposition party with no rudder or gyroscope -- seems to have a case of political influenza, the seasonal flu seems particularly virulent here.

"Apparently the confusion that occurred with the caucus count happens all the time and it doesn't matter because the caucus results aren't close," says Barbara Trish, a Grinnell College political scientist. "But this year it was close, and it mattered. We know that this after all is a party event, not an election, and there aren't the kind of formalized proceedings you see when a state runs a primary, but it still was embarrassing. At the same time, some of the campaigning turned people off. Activists weren't impressed with the field and were alienated by the fighting and the language."

Sociologists might describe The Winter's Tale here in Iowa and the GOP conundrum across the country as anomie -- a social instability or personal unrest growing out of a breakdown of standards or the absence of purpose. It is particularly pervasive here, where Matt Strawn, the Republican Party leader, has stepped down amid criticism, particularly strong among conservatives, that the party was reluctant, and then late, to announce Mr. Santorum's triumph.

Beyond providing early political tests in unusually homogeneous settings, Iowa and New Hampshire share many qualities. They both are jealous of their positions at the front of the political parade and exceedingly vigilant about preserving their prerogatives. Iowans, both Republicans and Democrats, are worried that the fumbled January vote count, the lengthy recount, tardy announcement of the new results and the tawdry nature of the campaign could endanger the pre-eminent role the caucuses have played for more than a third of a century.

Any re-evaluation of the place of Iowa inevitably would raise the question of the preeminence of New Hampshire. Nobody is ready to touch that issue right now -- but almost everybody, including candidates past and present, has been critical of the incivility of the Republican race thus far.

"This race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in our nation's history. This is the most important election of our lifetime," former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah said in his endorsement of Mr. Romney just before the South Carolina primary. "The current toxic forum of our political discourse does not help our cause."

While a candidate, however, Mr. Huntsman also used strong negative characterizations of his opponents.

Nationally, Republicans have been unusually forthright about the deficiencies of their nominating process, shining a light on the great vulnerability of the American political system: how we choose the finalists in presidential elections.

The Democrats bow to no party in their ability to tinker with, and then comprehensively overhaul their nomination process, almost always making it more inscrutable, more unresponsive to the times and more unlikely to produce a plausible president at the end.

Now the GOP, having fought the equivalent of the 1943 tank battle at Kursk, will end a long hiatus with contests in Arizona and Michigan a week from Tuesday. From the great shouting to the great silence, the Republicans were stuck in midwinter hibernation.

Of course, in other political years, the primaries were fewer and later. In 1960, the Democratic calendar didn't start until March 8 and included primaries in only 15 states and the District of Columbia. As late as 1976, the Republicans held only 27 primaries, beginning in New Hampshire on Feb 24. The nomination processes used in 1960, when Sen. John F. Kennedy and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey engaged in a spirited Democratic fight, and in 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford and Gov. Ronald Reagan battled for the Republican nomination, didn't choke off what we now know were important debates about the parties and their futures.

Today's parties shy away from the smoked-filled rooms like the one at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago where GOP leaders selected Warren G. Harding as their nominee -- but party leaders privately pine for the days when a few professionals could bring order to the chaos of a modern nomination process.

You can hear some Republicans yearning for those days, though perhaps not for Harding, at a time when their party members are marching through their political calendar with the nagging notion that their most gifted field generals are on the sidelines -- in Indianapolis, Trenton and perhaps even in the antechambers of the Senate in Washington.

Then again, that is the nature of political contests. Even in years when incumbents are campaigning for a second term, we hold elections to satisfy our desires for what we don't have and think we want. Then more elections follow.

Comment by clicking here.

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Previously:



02/13/11 Which Ike to like?
02/08/11 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/11 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/11 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/11 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/11 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar





© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

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