In his latest epistle, Dick Morris opines against Al Gore and Joel Hyatt regarding the sale of Current TV to Al-Jazeera. I will ignore the Morris charge as being unworthy of serious response from serious people. Morris in fact insults the intelligence of Jewish voters, whom he believes will give credence to his slanders. Gore has spent a lifetime supporting Israel and counts among allies a long list of Israeli leaders, commanders and champions. Morris, presumably seeking tickets for the Romney inaugural ball after the Romney-Ryan landslide he predicted, possibly following the swearing-in of the new Republican Senate that he also predicted, got a little carried away. The larger issue is not Morris, who is to political analysis what the Red Sox owner who traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees was to baseball scouting, but what Morris represents in a GOP that has adopted a smear-and-leer politics bannered by a deluded conservative media that leads to GOP disaster.
Lord knows many players in the GOP did everything they could do smear and leer President Obama in an attempt to win Jewish votes, yet Obama won that vote in a landslide. Ditto for the Catholic vote.
These Morris-like attacks insult the intelligence of Jewish voters who are highly informed about issues they care about, are not in need of advice from Dick Morris (or me, for that matter), have proven they reject the kind of attacks that Morris has again launched, and are only being insulted by partisan propaganda from sources they repeatedly reject.
This brand of politics hurts Israel. Israel has always sought bipartisan support. Using Israel or Jewish voters as wedge issues, while politically inept, is an attempt to divide Americans about Israel, which is exactly what Israel has sought to avoid since 1948.
There have been differences, at times, between the U.S. and Israeli governments, but mostly these differences involve issues on which Republican and Democratic presidents have generally agreed.
These Morris-style visions of media have done, and are doing, huge damage to Republicans, who are victims of a kind of distemper rarely seen in American politics. Would someone explain the plan of insulting Hurricane Sandy victims and the Republican Speaker refusing to take the calls of the Republican governor of New Jersey?
No less than Joe Scarborough, a lifetime conservative Republican, has (correctly) warned on MSNBC that the Republican House is in grave danger of imploding politically.
There is a great contradiction between the interests of what can be called the Conservative Media Industrial Complex, which makes money by whipping the most fervent into a frenzy, and the Republican Party, which has lost three of the last four national elections, which loses votes in direct proportion to the degree that the frenzied few alienate the moderate masses (and inspire turnout and donations from fervent believers of the other viewpoint).
These Morris-style attacks are an advertisement for moderates to vote Democratic, an inspiration for liberals to vote in larger numbers, an insult to Jewish voters who largely ignore them as condescending propaganda, a harm to Israel's efforts to seek bipartisan support, and an insult to reasonable people throughout the Middle East who seek a world in which coexistence will replace carnage and make life better for Arabs and Israelis alike.
Saturday, 5 January 2013