In the past 24 hours or so, there have been two Jewish community-releated objections to President Obama that have been really either exceptionally stupid or breathtakingly chutzpahdik on the parts of the umbrage-takers. Many (including the Washington Times in an ostensible news story) claimed that the re-election campaign’s new slogan, “Forward,” carries Marxist and socialist connotations, because several socialist groups and newspapers—not least the Forverts—associated themselves with that sneakingly subvervise word, fraught as it is with Commie jussiveness. And some, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, reportedly criticized Obama for not wishing Prime Minister Netanyahu condolences for his father Benzion’s death within a day (he did today: well within, I can’t help but add, the shiva window).
Decorum matters, and for example I’ve written many times that, especially given that he visited Cairo in his first six months of office to give a speech directed toward the Arab world, Obama can be faulted for not having visited Israel as president. Yet this stuff is nuts. A few other objections I foresee:
• We’re hearing all about Obama’s girlfriends now. What, he couldn’t have dated a Jewish girl?
• Why couldn’t the Obamas have acquired an Israeli water dog? What’s so good about the Portuguese?
• Obama’s first chief-of-staff was Rahm Emanuel and his current one is Jack Lew. What does he have against Reform Jews?
• The White House Seder is all well and good. But must Tu B’Shevat go unobserved at 1600 Pennsylvania?
• Wait, his middle name is Hussein?
New Obama Slogan Has Long Ties to Marxism, Socialism [Washington Times]
In U.S. Election Year, Even Death of Netanyahu’s Father Is Political [Haaretz]