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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 August 22, 2010 / 12 Elul, 5770

Why Obama's spokesman is angered, and pessimistic

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Acouple of weeks ago, when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was criticizing "the professional left" for prematurely finding fault with President Obama -- an act for which he later sought to make amends -- he did not, as far as I can recall, name names.

If he had, he might well have mentioned John B. Judis, the opinion journalist who wrote the cover story in the latest issue of the New Republic, "The Unnecessary Fall: A Counter-History of the Obama Presidency."

Gibbs's target was the left wing of the Democratic Party, which, rather than celebrating Obama's victories on health care and financial regulation, has piled up complaints about his failings at home and abroad.

Judis, a man of the left, decided to anticipate the voters' November verdict and rush his explanation of the Democrats' defeat into print without waiting for the election to be held.

Referring to the off-year setbacks in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, he wrote: "What doomed Obama politically was the way he dealt with the financial crisis in the first six months of his presidency. In an atmosphere primed for a populist backlash, he allowed the right wing to define the terms."

The problem, as Judis sees it, is that when "the public was up in arms," Obama did not do enough bashing of the banks. Instead, the president argued that excesses had been committed by everyone in "a perfect storm of irresponsibility" that implicated Wall Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street.

Judis quoted Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) as saying that because Obama "hired people from the culture of Wall Street" for top jobs in his administration and "failed to push Congress to immediately enact new financial regulations or even to set up a commission to investigate fraud," he "sparked a right-wing populist revolt in the country."

If Obama was not going to mount the barricades, then, in this version of history, the Tea Party movement, Glenn Beck and Fox News would. No matter that their targets were different; to populists the anger always is believed to obliterate any substantive differences, let alone ideology.

I have witnessed this blurring before. When George McGovern was running for president, his pollster, Pat Caddell, argued that emphasizing his prairie populism would make McGovern an appealing candidate to millions of George Wallace's followers. It didn't matter, he thought, that they were mad about different things.

After many paragraphs lamenting "Obama's reluctance to rail against Wall Street," Judis does get around to acknowledging that reality, and not just rhetoric, does have some influence on the voters. "There is no doubt that, if the economy were growing faster, and if unemployment were dropping below 9 percent, Obama and the Democrats would be more popular and not fearing a November rout."

But even after acknowledging that fact, Judis quickly argues that rhetorical timidity bred equal cravenness in economic policy. So "the principal culprit is clearly Barack Obama. He has a strange aversion to confrontational politics." In other words, he outgrew the tactics of Saul Alinsky and never emulated those of Jesse Jackson. How odd.

What's worse, Judis says, Obama does not seem to realize that "populism has been an indelible part of the American political psyche, and those who are uncomfortable making populist appeals . . . suffer the consequences at the polls."

He cites three cautionary examples for what awaits Obama: Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter and John Kerry.

Mr. Gibbs, he's your witness.

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