Global, Politics

Jewish Republican Senators: Extinct!

With Arlen Specter (RD-PA)’s switch to the Democratic Party, there are now no Jewish Republicans left in the United States Senate! (The other Jewish Republican senator, Norm Coleman (R-MN), lost his seat in the 2008 election, and so far has spent his retirement obstructing the seating of his successor. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has never adopted the Republican label, and continues to caucus with the Democrats.)
This is the first time that there have been no Jewish Republican senators since Jacob Javits (R-NY) entered the Senate in 1957, representing a very different Republican party. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives.

4 thoughts on “Jewish Republican Senators: Extinct!

  1. This is an example of monoliths not being what they want to appear to be and why I’m always wary when organizations of all kinds proudly claim themselves to have wide enough umbrellas to fit all philosophies. There should, even if just for practical purposes, be minority opinions in every organization, but sometimes those voices get stifled to the point of no return.
    Specter’s decision – and subsequent wails from the few remaining Republican moderates such as Olympia Snowe (R-ME) – remind me of two experiences within the Reform movement. One was listening with some dismay when a major player in the (then) UAHC insisted that “we” (Reform Jews) believed and did something (don’t remember the exact idea/action). My reaction? I thought we were supposed to be a big enough umbrella to fit all sorts of ideologies (within a certain range, of course). If I disagreed w/a prevailing wind, did that mean that there was no room for me in the Reform movement? And then there was this: At a years-ago URJ biennial, I believe the plenary was discussing a gun control resolution and I was seriously shocked to see several URJ delegates stand to support the NRA. Reform Jews were members of the NRA? Who knew? While their position was clearly not on the “winning side,” their voices seemed to be heard with respect. Yes, there are Reform Jews with conservative political leanings.
    Too bad our political system which is becoming increasingly polarizing can’t handle minority opinion without resorting to shrieking hysteria and condemnation.

  2. Penk, there are core values that the URJ has, and diverse articulations of those values. In the “diverse” world of the URJ, do you think there is any room for non-egalitarianism?

  3. B.BarNavi asks <>
    Good question. A stock answer would be that each member synagogue is autonomous and has no obligation to answer to any authority. If a member shul decided to go non-egal, that would be their choice. Would I join that shul? No, but doesn’t mean that someone else might not.

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