Kenneth P.Vogel of Politico reports the Republican Jewish Coalition
will gather Tuesday evening for a reception at a Washington stekhouse where some of the party's most generous Jewish donors- including Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson- will clebrate the incoming Senate majority and fete their most influential allies. Expected attendees include Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, John McCain of Arizona and Rob Portman of Ohio, as well as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The reception, to be held at at the Capital Grille, also will commemorate the swearing-in of freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, who carries the heavy burden of replacing the powerful former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as the only Republican Jew in Congress.
The RJC "has a well-developed strategy which was executed during former Majority Leader Cantor's tenure and will continue with the new leadership tema in the House and new Senate Majority, thus ensuring strong, virtually unanimous Republican support for Israel at this dangerous time," asserted Florida mall developer Mel Sembler, who contributes to the RJC and sits on its board.
The outreach to Jews, whose activism and willingness to donate to political candidates far outweigh their numbers in the population, is of some concern to Greg Rosenbaum, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, who
acknowledged the RJC has become a force because of its gaudy budget (it raised $10 million in 2012, compared to $1 million for the NJC, which is not holding a welcome event for the new Congress) and effective messaging on Israel. Democrats need "to be vigilant" in combating the narrative that the GOP is stronger on Israel, Rosenbaum said. "We need to keep reminding Jewish voters that Israel requires bipartisan support and it is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. And we think that, once we neutralize that, we can win Jewish voters overall by showing that on the bulk of the issues, Democrats comport more closely with Jewish values."
With the close relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and Repubs in Congress, the tension between the Israeli Prime Minister and President Obama, and the GOP tendency toward scare tactics in the matter of foreign policy, it will be difficult for the NJDC to compete with the GOP in its pro-Israel rhetoric. But convincing Jewish voters "Democrats comport more closely with Jewish values" will not be as difficult.
For that, they have an ace in the hole, and it comes in the form of one likely GOP presidential candidate. At the Family Research Concil's Values Voter Summit in October, 2007 former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee claimed
Sometimes we talk about why we're importing so many people in our workforce. It might be for the last 25 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortinunder a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973.
Clearly not amused, Anti-Defamation League President Abe Foxman wrote Huckabee
The Holocaust was a unique tragedy in human history- an attempt by the Nazis to exterminate the Jewish people that led to the deliberate murder of six million Jews. We find the use of analogies to the Holocaust in other contexts deeply painful, disturbing and offensive. Such analogies can only trivialize and diminish the horror, and cause further pain to Holocaust survivors and to those alive today who lost friends and loved ones."
Either forgetful or not chastened, two months ago at the Iowa Republican party's Celebrate Life Event, Huckabee referred to the "55 million babies" aborted since Roe v. Wade in 1973 as the "incredible Holocaust of our own." After Huckabee and members of the clergy visited Auschwitz and Birkenau on a "Mike Huckabee's Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II Tour," the Arkansan gave a speech in which he maintained (at approximately 1:13 of the video below)
If you felt something incredibly powerful at Auschwitz and Birkenau over the 11 million killed worldwide and the million and a half killed on those grounds, cannot we feel something extraordinary about the 55 million murdered in our own country in the womb of their mothers? Does that not speak to us?
Just this past weekend, Huckabeee quit his Fox News program to explore a presidential bid. Commenting on the 11/13 speech, Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk had claimed "you're done before you've even started."
Not nearly. we're speaking of the Republican Party, whose favorite Jews are Israeli Jews and billionaire Adelson, whom Politico's Vogel believes is looking most closely at governors Christie, Walker, and Kasich, three not coincidentally virulently anti-labor chief executives. There is little or no chance any Repub, fearing a backlash from the"pro-life" crowd, will question (much less confront) Huckabee on his comments trivializing the Holocaust. And "little" is on its way out-of-town.
Comparing abortion- or anything- to the Holocaust is an abomination,not unlike making comparisons to slavery. Mike Huckabee (assuming he becomes a candidate) probably will not be able to resist the temptation to do it again. And if he does, and no Republican has the courage to call him on it, it should not go unnoticed by the Democratic Party.