Politics

A Great American And A Great Jew

In an era in which mainstream American Jewish organizations have been hijacked by right-wing partisans, and in which the most visible American Jewish politician holds views that are out of line with those of the vast majority of American Jews (not to mention most Americans), it’s time the community saluted Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a politician whose convictions are actually consistent with some of the greatest values held by American Jews.
Despite the usual Administration attacks charging that stopping this war means betraying our troops, Senator Feingold has courageously taken steps to block funding for a troop increase — or, to put it another way, to take the keys away from the drunk determined to drive our nation’s security off a cliff.
This is what Senator Feingold said today at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing he is leading on “Exercising Congress’s Constitutional Power to End a War”:

In the United States of America, the people are sovereign, not the President. It is Congress’s responsibility to challenge an administration that persists in a war that is misguided and that the country opposes. We cannot simply wring our hands and complain about the Administration’s policy. We cannot just pass resolutions saying “your policy is mistaken.” And we can’t stand idly by and tell ourselves that it’s the President’s job to fix the mess he made. It’s our job to fix the mess, and if we don’t do so we are abdicating our responsibilities.
Tomorrow, I will introduce legislation that will prohibit the use of funds to continue the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq six months after enactment. By prohibiting funds after a specific deadline, Congress can force the President to bring our forces out of Iraq and out of harm’s way.
This legislation will allow the President adequate time to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq, and it will make specific exceptions for a limited number of U.S. troops who must remain in Iraq to conduct targeted counter-terrorism and training missions and protect U.S. personnel. It will not hurt our troops in any way — they will continue receiving their equipment, training and salaries. It will simply prevent the President from continuing to deploy them to Iraq. By passing this bill, we can finally focus on repairing our military and countering the full range of threats that we face around the world.

Full text.

40 thoughts on “A Great American And A Great Jew

  1. Feingolds an embarrassment to America and to the Jews.
    I don’t know whats happened to this blog…. it used to be really good. Its just gone to shit.
    Have the bloggers changed? Have all of them got together and decided on some new policy where they all act like fucking pinkos?
    What changed?

  2. Wow. Go Senator Feingold. I got chills reading that speech (the good kind). The President has done an amazing job of screwing the pooch on the Iraq War and our security as the US in general.
    Three cheers for the Constitution. It would be incredible if Congress followed through on Feingold’s plan and forced some accountability into the White House.

  3. What changed is that the Dems finally got a PAIR O’ BALLS!! BIG HAIRY BALLS, and their names are “Russ” and “Feingold,” respectively!!!
    Bush is the most morally corrupt President we’ve had since Nixon. Maybe moreso, because Nixon was acting out of personal insecurities but Bush is over-secure knowing he will never be caught or punished.

  4. “Have the bloggers changed? Have all of them got together and decided on some new policy where they all act like fucking pinkos?”
    I think that counts as troll-like behavior. Becuase I’m not pink at all, I’m red.

  5. Let the record show that a different Adam said the first comment in this thread. By the way, which more moderate Jewschool is that guy referring to? I’ve been reading this blog for years, and it’s always been left-oriented.

  6. see here adam hyman’s first comment on jewschool.
    adam, let me ask you–
    what in particular in the bush administration’s approach to middle east policy has been good for israel?
    name me one god damned motherfucking thing that the scumbag that you helped put in office has done to make israel more secure.
    cuz ya know, last time i checked, al qaeda is mobilizing in gaza city; israel is considering ceding even more territory; the u.s. has cut off all shipments of weapons to israel; foreign aid to the palestinian authority has increased 10% since hamas took over; the u.s. is sending shipments of arms to fatah which the al aqsa martyr’s brigade claims to be receiving; israel lost its first war, and to a rag tag guerrilla army no less; the g.o.p. blocked a congressional resolution affirming israel’s right to self-defense; iran is going nuclear; islam is more resolute in its calls for the destruction of the jewish state, and more powerful than ever in advancing those aims; jews are being violently attacked in every major city in the world; and the botched operation in iraq which has costs the lives of 3000+ american troops, and the limbs of 20000+ american troops, is being blamed on the jewish community by both the right and the left.
    so tell me fuck-o… what the fuck has your hero george w. bush done for the state of israel, other than jeopardize its very existence?
    are you that fucking stupid and blind?
    every time george w. bush breathes the word israel — which i’m sure makes you feel all smug and gooey inside — all he does is pin the greatest fuck up in american foreign policy history on the jewish state and its supporters. while he and his buddies are raking in billions of dollars in war profits, jews are being stabbed in the streets and israel is falling. wake up asshole.

  7. “I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God.” —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik

  8. Mobius you douche-wad. Don’t you read the left-wing blogs?
    According to them (and there’s probably some truth to it) the REASON we went into Iraq was for Israel.
    Israel benefited more than any other country from the war in Iraq.
    Iraq was NEVER a threat to America. Even if they had nuclear weapons, they would have nuked Israel, as Saddam had spoken about… before they nuked America (which he’s never spoken about).

  9. Adam,
    I would say your credibility is continuously hurt by the fact that THIS IS A NOTORIOUSLY LEFT-WING JEWISH BLOG!!!!!!!
    You’re clearly thinking of jewlicious.
    Douche-wad? Did you really say douche-wad? Who the hell says douche-wad? Honestly. You’re such a spaz.

  10. Eric,
    Because he speaks with the integrity and search for justice that have characterized the greatest parts of our community — and the vast, blessed majority of our community in terms of political beliefs — since we entered modernity and especially since we entered the 20th century. For more on Judaism and social justice, though, see Moby’s debate with S. Weiss on Jewcy (I’m too hungry to find the link now…)

  11. hey adam — uh: five years in, you got any WMDs to show for yourself?
    are you really basing your belief that bush is good for israel on an antisemitic canard perpetuated by lefty idiots?
    and have you completely ignored the fact that israel’s leading policy analysts now agree that the war in iraq has jeopardized israel’s security?
    U.S. policies have made Israel less safe, experts say
    Iraq war: Good or bad for Israel?
    Sharon Warned Bush
    i’m sorry i wasted my time talking to such a fool, who even now, after all this mess, is still defending bush; you are clearly disconnected from any sense and reason

  12. Yes, I’ve been watching the Mobius/Weiss brawl!
    “…he speaks with the integrity and search for justice that have characterized the greatest parts of our community”
    I don’t get what refusing funding for the mission in Iraq has to with “integrity” or a “search for justice”. What does justice have to do with this??? Sen. Feingold obviously has integrity in the sincerity of his beliefs. But senators on the right are also sincere in their beliefs. Do they lack “integrity”? I understand your support for his support of your beliefs…but the only element of “integrity” that I particuarly see is Feingold’s forthrightness in advancing an issue that most like-minded congresspersons are too cowardly to address directly, and so instead dance around the issue by trying to hedge their bets. But that has nothing to do with the content of his beliefs equaling “integrity”.
    “…and the vast, blessed majority of our community in terms of political beliefs — since we entered modernity and especially since we entered the 20th century”
    The vast, blessed majority of American Jews may well be leftist but so are the vast majority of black Americans. So why does advancing leftist beliefs make one a great Jew? It just makes you somebody who advances Leftist beliefs (and maybe does a great job of it). That’s just not the same as Judaism.

  13. Y’all are all over the place. Saying Bush sucks and rationalizing your reasoning is perfectly cool. But that doesnt make the other guy any better.
    Russ has always made alot of noise on utterly worthless legislation like McCain-Feingold (that REALLYshaped up the election process), or on the Censor Bush push (“because of the “domestic spying” program) when “Moderates” like Ted Kennedy and another one of your “outstanding Americans and Jews” Charles Schumer told him to drop it. He looked like a total ass on TV pimping a bill that none of his colleagues would get near especially once the demographics came in showing that Americans support it (and see throught the Media/Democrat spin DOMESTIC SPYING) but his ego wouldn’t let him.
    The man is a disgrace.
    I also refer the good reader to how he was kissing Bush’s ass waiting for him in the hallway after the state of the union to congratulate him on a “job well done.” Talk about a whore . . .

  14. Don’t even get me started on the McCain-Feingold Wealthy Incumbents Protection Act (which popularly goes by the deceptive name of campaign finance “reform”)…

  15. Y’know, I think that Feingold won my admiration when he was the ONLY senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act. His opposition to this abridgement of civil liberties only weeks after 9/11, particularly considering that his state had only supported Gore by a .22% margin in 2000, showed that he was truly a person of principle. And if that’s not a quality of a mensch, I’m not sure what is.

  16. so tell me fuck-o… what the fuck has your hero george w. bush done for the state of israel, other than jeopardize its very existence?
    are you that fucking stupid and blind?

    I dunno, you can swear at me for all you want Mobius, but I’ve been reading Jewschool for a few years pretty much since it started up, and I find most of the posts and comments to be close to unreadable. Rather than being fresh, edgy and informative it seems to be devolving into a shrill, vitriolic and hollow bullhorn. Is a bunch of empty profanity really the pinnacle of what our community’s best and brightest have to offer? It’s like Indymedia with a yarmulke and that’s kind of sad.

  17. Eric,
    If over 3,000 Americans have died because of lies and a level of incompetence that is practically criminal (e.g., the Administration’s practice of punishing those with different military views), then ending the mission is just, and it has integrity. But I guess it depends on whether you feel the Iraq War is a just war.

  18. BZ wrote,
    “‘Adam Hyman writes:
    Israel benefited more than any other country from the war in Iraq.’
    Israel? You’re thinking of Iran.”
    BZ is 100% right. I think about this a lot, and I am sure he and others do as well. I know for a fact EV does. I have nightmares about this and what it means for the future. I don’t think Jewish Republicans and Neocons understand how many of us are horrified at how detrimental this war has been to BOTH the U.S. and Israel. Make no mistake about this, and do not confuse the horrific pleasure those small segments of the anti-American far-Left sometimes exhibit for the feelings of despair the rest of us have.

  19. Adam Hyman’s idiotic post reinforces how strong forces who believe in the Constitution, don’t want more US soldiers dying and would like to prevent WWIII from being triggered by our insanely idiotic, myopic Iran-confrontation policy.
    Given Bush, the Republicans and a few Democratic Senators (not to mention Congresspeople) passing the Military Comm. Act of 2006 (http://bluemandarin.blogspot.com/2007/01/constitution-and-ugly-truth-early-in.html). Check out Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick’s “2006 Civil Liberties Hall of Shame” in my post.
    Some in the blogasphere have argued the Left should promote impeachment charges against Bush for war crimes for Guantamo et al. I disagree. But Biden should stop spouting election sloganeering, put his cards on the table and pass a resolution that Congress must approve any act of aggression against Iran within its borders or outside its borders before we have a spark a la Sarajevo that lights off WWIII as it happened almost 100 years ago with that little thing called WWI –
    http://weblogs.annenberg.edu/digipol/2007/01/memo_to_biden_and_democrats_on.html

  20. Ask the soldiers what they think.
    Ask the general in charge of Iraq what he thinks.
    But hell, what would they know? They are just there fighting it, unlike the great wise Russ Feingold.
    The extra troops are specifically charged with cleaning the thugs out of Baghdad, so Baghdadis can live and work without being terrorized. Petraeus asked for them and knows how he will deploy them.
    I have been reading the milblogs for 4 years and I know what they think and they know more about it than you or Russ Feingold.
    Anyone who wonders what will happen to the Iraqis if we leave now, read up on what happened to the South Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon. Or the 300,000 Shia who Saddam massacred because they rebelled at the end of GW1 thinking we were going to back them. But we turned around and went home, and Saddam wreaked so much devastation on the marsh Arabs that you could see the ecological devastation from satellite views.
    That what happens when we Americans get fickle.

  21. i apologize for losing my temper with adam…
    but i am sick of people jeopardizing MY LIFE and MY SECURITY with their idiotic notions about what’s best for israel and the jewish people
    we’re past the point of mistaking bush’s policies as being good for israel; it’s now more than concrete that they’re not
    israel is in peril, and you have bush to thank

  22. Yehudit…. the bloggers on this site have egos that are so big, they don’t allow for them to consider anyone else. Never mind military experts or anything like that.
    They’re all about tolerance and diversity…. except diversity of THOUGHT.
    They can’t deal with someone making an intellectual argument against them, so they resort to emotions (as demonstrated above) and personal attacks.
    I feel sorry for them. They don’t have much going for them and now they understand why people laugh at liberal arts majors.

  23. “Feingolds an embarrassment to America and to the Jews.
    I don’t know whats happened to this blog…. it used to be really good. Its just gone to shit.
    Have the bloggers changed? Have all of them got together and decided on some new policy where they all act like fucking pinkos?”
    Adam, was the above an intellectual argument? And who ever said we’re nont tolerating your thoughts? Calling you an asshole for writing the shit you wrote isn’t intolerant, that’s simply calling it like it is.

  24. I’ve also argued that there’s a “A New World Disorder – New’s Flash: There’s a Male Identity Crisis” so Adam Hyman, just click on my name and you’ll find out that you’re not alone.
    It’s no coincidence that the first American, known “Out” AQD member (did anyone else read the recent NEW YORKER article on him), all 9/11 terrorists, Bush, our dear friend Adam, and most insane, power-hungry, greedy terrorists leaders not to mention the leaders of the Christian right historically are all men and are exhibiting serious adjustment and anger management issues.
    We’re in for a bumpy ride.

  25. I just want to duck into the fight for a moment to say that one of my favorite parts about living in Wisconsin is having the honor of voting for Feingold. He’s a stand-up guy. Personal note, but touching, nonetheless – he sent my husband and I a wonderful letter in honor of our wedding, just because my father-in-law happened to mention it to one of his staffers. Though I know that a divorced, Jewish man from the midwest who’s vocally anti-war and pro-gay marriage wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance, I really wish he was running for President.

  26. RB writes:
    Though I know that a divorced, Jewish man from the midwest who’s vocally anti-war and pro-gay marriage wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance, I really wish he was running for President.
    The majority of the American people now thinks that the Iraq war was a bad idea, and just elected a Congress that agrees.

  27. “we’re past the point of mistaking bush’s policies as being good for israel; it’s now more than concrete that they’re not
    israel is in peril, and you have bush to thank”

    Moby, that’s just silly. You’re telling me that Israel is now in danger because of George W. Bush’s national security policies? Come on man! Really: Saddam was one-man bankrolling the majority of suicide terrorism against Israel. He’d already launched missiles against Israel. He had (at least at some point) a pretty aggressive WMD program. Would he have used those against America? Against Israel? Against Turkey? Against other Arabs? Obviously no one on this earth will ever know. But we do know that the Kurds and the Iranians found out the hard way.
    So what happened? US invaded Iraq. Ditched Saddam. Ditched the fascist sunni/Arab party that ran Iraq. And now? Conflict, internecine murder, etc, etc, etc. the usual. That situation is nothing more than part of the changes that would have to occur with: a) the progressing fall of the previous generation of Arab tyrants and b) the ascension of Iran and the Shi’a as geopolitical forces in Islam generally and in Arab lands. Are you going to claim that this is happening “because” of Bush?
    You must be kidding. You think Iran would not be pushing for nuclear missiles if not for the evil moronic Bush? Please. They’ve been working on missiles and nuclear systems since the 1980s. According to the news this week it’s possible Iran’ll soon be able to “deliver” payloads to anywhere on earth. And at this point the US now has Iran surrounded on 2 sides. Lucky coincidence?
    Furthermore at exactly the point at which Arab governments are trying to smoothly transition into the next generation of comfortable tyranny, the US throws a monkey wrench into all of it, and brings about the first serious threat to the eternal dictatorships of those lands.
    History progresses and things change. We need to get used to that. Israel’s security is always at risk. The only thing that changes is the nature of those risks. But once in a polka-dotted moon you get a move like the invasion of Iraq that could actually change that picture in the long term. And none of us has any idea yet whether it will work or not.

  28. Eric-
    Which country is/was/will be a greater threat to Israel – Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or Iran? And who has done more than anyone else to bolster the regional power of that country?
    (Answers: Iran, George W Bush)

  29. Eric,
    Yes, it’s happening because of Bush. And because of Cheney, and because of Rumsfeld. If we had put in 450,000 troops there, not disbanded Saddam Hussein’s army and provided jobs for a majority of the working-age population (an astoundingly costly endeavor but hey, you break it, you bought it), what is happening today would not be happening. You act as if civil war was inevitable — or, as Rumsfeld said, “Stuff happens.” Even if civil war wasn’t inevitable, this war was a suicidally foolish decision. We took our eyes off Al Qaeda, off the rebuilding of Afghanistan, and off Iran. But if it was inevitable, how can you possibly say that a civil war in Iraq, with Iran free to pursue nuclear weapons, with a potential regional war as a result of our absurd mendacity and incompetence througout this endeavor, with Al Qaeda taking up space in the newest failed state of the region — how can you possibly say this is good for Israel and for America?
    Oh, and it’s not that Iran wouldn’t be pursuing nukes if we hadn’t invaded Iraq. It’s that we wouldn’t be paralyzed to do anything about it were we not bogged down in this quagmire. The fact that we still have to have this argument in 2007, after the abyssmal record of this Administration in Iraq, boggles the mind. I’m guessing you also believe the Bush did everything possible to protect our country when he went on vacation after receiving warnings of the impending 9/11 attacks.
    I can see how an Evangelical yearning for Apocalypse would see the positives in the Iraq situation. But I can’t see how anybody else can.

  30. “these people support jane fonda. need i say more?”
    oh, i don’t know, a little more might be nice. that comment was so intriguing and enticing! in fact, i would positively love for you to say more. please, say more.

  31. I’ve been travelling the past few days, and so I missed out on this lively discussion. I’m just gonna throw about three cents in here
    1 – Mobius, you were wrong for your choice of words earlier, but thank you very much for apologizing.
    2 – Perhaps we can soften our criticism of Bush. (don’t worry, there is plenty left to blame him for) It is not Bush who is to blame for radical islam or for people hating Israel. They hated Israel beforehand, and will continue to do so. Mr. Bush inheirited a world that appeared solid, but whose instability was growing. The threat of conflict with radical islam was already noted by the Clinton administration and was seen as one of the great challenges of the future. With 9/11, that world seemed to get much more unstable very quickly, and Bush felt the need to respond, and he failed. 6 years after taking office, the world is less stable, the threats to Israel and America more severe, then when he started. so, let’s not blame bush for causing the problems, but merely for failing to stop them
    3 – This is to Adam. I am sorry that your earlier post was rejected with such strong words, but, I agree with Mobius, and i do think you’re wrong Now, just for your information, I now this has come up before, but aybe we should repeat it. Many of the bloggers and commmentors here that you mock actually live in Israel, trying to live a good life while having to stand in the shadow of the various threats Israel is facing. Further, many of those same people are Israeli soldiers and veterans who have already put their lives on the line for Mr. Bush’s vision, and will likely be teh first to die if things go awry.
    Oh, and by the way, just because Bush might have fascist leanings, doesn’t meant that if you oppose him you are a communist

  32. Its very important now that it is clear that there is a diversity of views in the Jewish community in the US.
    This war was for oil imo but there are some prominant Jews who have backed this mess. It looks to me like some people will try to shift the blame to Jews and to Israel. It might even be the people who wanted this war for oil, will try to place the blame on Israeli defenders like Aipac. These hidden people have used some Jews as a front imo but their goal was always oil and they don’t care about Israel.
    People like Feinstein and Carl Levin are making it clear that not all Jews agree with right wing conservative neocons. The idea that there is a Jewish hold on the media or on American policy will back fire against Israel, so its important to show the diversity of views in the Jewish community.
    Jews who are liberal should speak out more loudly and not be intimidated by name calling.
    Recently some American Jews have been called anti semites by other Jews. (Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is an example of someone called an anti semite who is really very mild in his opinions.)
    Its a pleasure to read so many points of view here and to see the effort to hold a polite and respectful debate.

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