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President Barack Obama inherited eight abysmal years from the Bush administration, a housing and mortgage mess and two wars that were funded without a tax increase — something without precedent.
It is not reasonable to expect Obama to solve these huge problems not of his making in the short period of time he has been in office, and particularly when he is faced with a partisan, obstructionist Republican Party only interested in denying him a second term rather than legislating for the benefit of all the people.
Notwithstanding Republican claims to the contrary, state Assemblyman David Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) loss to Republican Bob Turner in the special election in the 9th Congressional District was no message to Obama about dissatisfaction with his handling of the economy. (“Turner upsets Weprin to take House seat,” Sept. 15-21).
Weprin lost the race by approximately 3,500 votes, which I believe was due to the Orthodox Jewish community’s false obsession with an issue fueled by former Mayor Ed Koch’s claim that a vote for Turner would be a message to Obama about dissatisfaction with his Israeli policies.
I am Jewish and a resident of the district. There is no substantive evidence to support any claim Obama is anti-Israel, as The New York Times said in its Sept. 15 editorial “Israel and New York’s Ninth District.” I do not believe there is any American president — Democrat or Republican, past, present or future, and notwithstanding occasional constructive criticisms — who will abandon Israel, the only true ally we have in the Middle East.
There is no reason to assume a national rejection of Obama because of the vote of a geographically small group of Orthodox Jews who do not speak for the vast majority of those who are secular and disagree with their agenda.
As to Weprin, he made two mistakes that may have cost him the election. He should have made clear there are constitutional issues with regard to same-sex marriage that cannot be ignored and to let the courts decide the matter. Religious views should never decide constitutional issues and those who oppose same-sex marriage on such grounds should not seek to impose them on others of different persuasions.
Weprin should have taken the Obama-Israel matter head-on and with the available evidence shown Obama is no threat to Israel — particularly when almost 50 percent of Israelis do not agree with their current government.
As to Obama as president, Weprin should have pointed out that Turner would have supported Texas Gov. Rick Perry if he was the Republican presidential nominee, a man who believes this is a Christian country to be governed by Christian principles, indicating a complete lack of understanding of separation of church and state; that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme; and the 90 percent-plus scientists who support global warming are fabricating their findings just to make money.
As to those Orthodox who are unhappy with Obama, it is difficult to believe they would be happy with Perry. In supporting Turner for the reasons claimed, they may have made a bargain with the devil.
Finally, as to Koch’s letter to TimesLedger Newspapers (“Koch: Editorial on my views resorted to ageism,” Sept. 15-21), Koch misses the point. Gen. Douglas MacArthur was not dismissed because of his age, but because he failed to recognize the constitutional limits of his authority. It was MacArthur who sought to cover up his excesses by claiming he was let go because of his age, which was not the case at all. In suggesting Koch should fade away, it was based upon his false obsession about Obama and Israel, not his age.
Benjamin M. Haber
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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