Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 29, 2011 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5771

The vacuum calls

By David M. Shribman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Something's missing.

Or maybe that's not quite right. Maybe it's: Someone's missing.

Listen to Republicans these days and look at their presidential field and you sense a vacuum.

Twice in a few days the Wall Street Journal editorial page called for someone new to join the GOP presidential race. First it was quite explicitly Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the darling of the conservative intellectual elite. He demurred last week.

Then the Journal called for someone else, and it was hard to avoid the thought that the description of the certain someone was someone certain (probably former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida). Who else fits this description of the perfect prom date: a leader who "might combine Mr. Ryan's reform ambitions and the seriousness of his message with executive competence and a record of achievement at the state level?"

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, maybe. Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, absolutely not. But Mr. Bush said he's not running either -- but he did deliver a strong warning to the 2012 candidates: "If you're a conservative, you have to persuade," he said on Fox News. "You can't just be against the president.''

No party has been so openly dissatisfied with its own roster of candidates since the Democrats' contenders for their nomination in 1988, when the party's field was dubbed the "Seven Dwarfs." But look at those dwarfs and you might wonder about the description.

Bruce Babbitt became a distinguished Interior secretary. Michael S. Dukakis holds the record for service as governor of Massachusetts. Richard A. Gephardt became majority leader of the House. Paul Simon is remembered as a cerebral and important senator. Jesse Jackson will be in your grandchildren's history books. Al Gore and Joseph R. Biden Jr. became vice president and Mr. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Those candidates were dwarfs only when compared at the time with the candidates the party really wanted, Mario M. Cuomo, who decided not to run, and Gary Hart, who left the race after a sex scandal.

And the reason the so-called big guns, including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, didn't run in 1987 was far different from the reasons the conservative Kalishnikovs aren't running in 2011. Those who stood down in 1987 thought they couldn't win. That's not the reason the Republicans are running away from running for president now, with a weak incumbent in the White House. It may be that they don't want to be in a debate that seems to favor the tone of the tea party, the issues of the social conservatives and the rhetoric of the absolutists.

Before we continue, let's acknowledge that for a good chunk of Republicans, and maybe for a majority of Republican primary voters and caucus participants, there's nothing awry with this field, which includes, among others, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Michigan and Utah (given his various addresses over the years).

But the GOP field is taking on the tone and timbre of last year's Senate races in Nevada and Delaware, where tea-party activists swept high-caffeine candidates into the general election who were unacceptable to the remainder of Republicans, to large slices of independents and to most Democrats. Even in years when the incumbent president is unusually vulnerable, American primary elections are run at the extremes but general-election races are run in the middle.

That's what worries some Republicans, and not only the regulars. But that's not the only thing that troubles them. They're uncomfortable with Mr. Romney, who didn't cultivate much populist appeal last week when he announced he wanted to quadruple the size of his home in California, a state where most politicos didn't even know he owned a home. (Average price for a house in La Jolla this month, including the 2.3 percent drop in real-estate prices: $2,399,832.)

Having a big bank account, or several big houses, isn't on the face of it a disqualification for president. (Setting aside the Bushes, Republican presidents of recent vintage have tended to have modest finances, while Democrats have had their share of plutocratic presidents, including liberals such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.) And on the surface, Mr. Romney is the sort of candidate the Republican gallery would be yearning for ... if he weren't in the race.

Indeed, in many ways Mr. Romney is a textbook Republican nominee -- someone who (like Thomas E. Dewey, Richard M. Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Robert J. Dole and John McCain) ran before, has a conservative record, is business-oriented, is regarded as intelligent, has a record of success, is articulate and has a history of marital fidelity. What's not to like?

In two words: Health care. Mr. Romney's support of the Massachusetts health-care plan, which Democrats gleefully point out was a model for the Obama health-care plan, is the stain he cannot expunge. It so repelled conservatives that many of them cannot support Mr. Romney. Others distrust his avowed conservatism, worrying that it is a costume of convenience for the primary season. Indeed, Democrats believe that the best thing about Mr. Romney is that he doesn't believe a thing he says -- the sort of critique, by the way, that they offered of George H.W. Bush only to watch Mr. Bush in office nominate Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

Like most candidates on the sidelines, Mr. Bush, Mr. Christie and former Gov. Sarah Palin look a lot more appealing out of the race than they might on a debate panel. If they doubt that, they might consult Pete Wilson, Fred Thompson and perhaps even Rick Perry.

Comment by clicking here.

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


Previously:



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.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles