They may become less rare if David Storobin has anything to say about it.
You remember Family Feud, don’t you? Richard Dawson asks family member contestants a question that was also asked of 100 people and the contestants have to guess what the survey answers were.
So if you’ll allow me to play Richard Dawson for a moment, here’s the question for you, dear contestant:
“One hundred people surveyed. Top answers on the board. Name an elected Jewish Republican.”
If you said, “This is a trick question; they don’t exist,” congratulations, you got the most popular answer, with 54 percent on my hypothetical survey. The second most common answer, at 23 percent, was Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, followed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who, as a man of deep principle, was a Republican from 2001 to 2009 after being a Democrat for many years and is now an Independent) with 18 percent and “Is Joe Lieberman a Republican?” with 5 percent.
In other words, there is only one nationally known elected Republican Jew — Eric Cantor — and even he, despite being the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, isn’t well known as a Congressman — much less as the only Republican Jew in Congress — outside of his home state of Virginia. Cantor is the only Republican among the 39 Jewish members of Congress (House and Senate combined) despite the share of Jews voting Republican averaging over 20 percent for the last decade.
Jewish pundits on the right (a less rare breed than you might think) such as Norman Podhoretz, Robert Goldberg, and even yours truly, have analyzed and lamented the persistence of the Jewish tendency to lean politically left and vote Democratic. Some say, and it’s hard to disagree, that the first religion for most American Jews is liberalism.
And while pontificating, if you’ll pardon the Catholic term, about Jewish Republicans is fun, it doesn’t actually do much to help turn the tide of stubborn Jewish fealty to the party of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, which is to say the party of institutionalized American anti-Semitism. What would help, however, is for voters — and not just Jewish voters — to have more Jewish Republican officeholders at any level to point to as role models and inspiration.
One such role model may be David Storobin, a Jewish Republican who is running for the New York State Senate representing the Senate’s 27th District, in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn. The special election will be held on March 20.
Storobin, who I met several years ago at a Cato Institute event, will be running for an open seat after the incumbent, Democrat Carl Kruger, pled guilty to corruption and taking bribes. He’ll be taking on Lew Fidler, described in the Wall Street Journal as “a veteran and well-financed City Councilman from south Brooklyn.”
The campaign is, not surprisingly, getting a little ugly with Fidler making perhaps an electorally fatal mistake of saying that the Jewish Storobin has “ties to skinheads, neo-Nazis and white supremacists.” Standing in front of a banner proclaiming that “character counts,” Storobin responded by saying that “Mr. Fidler’s character makes him unfit to serve in the New York State Senate,” adding that Fidler is “the kind of person who would say or do anything to get elected.” Fidler later said that he meant “links” to skinheads and neo-Nazis because, according to the New York Times, “a local blogger known as Gatemouth (who said that he donated to Mr. Fidler’s campaign) had discovered that some Web sites with neo-Nazi and white supremacist ties had linked to Mr. Storobin’s articles.” Storobin rightly pointed out that he is not responsible for who links to his articles, calling Fidler’s rhetoric “shameful.”
David’s Storobin’s story is that of a man chasing the American Dream, having arrived in the U.S. from Russia at the age of 12, learning the lessons of hard work and opportunity, earning a law degree, founding an international affairs analysis website, and starting his own law firm at the ripe old age of 25: “Since I had only meager savings at this young age, I had to max out my all of my credit cards, the only time in my life when I did not pay them off in full. I started by working out of my friend’s office, then got a virtual office, then a tiny one-room office. Today, I have two real offices with full-time associates and paralegals working for me.”
Being young, smart, and energetic — while better than the opposite — certainly doesn’t guarantee electoral success. But Storobin has a lot more going for him.
Former Borough President of Staten Island, Congressman and Republican big-hitter in New York, Guy Molinari, will serve as co-chairman of Storobin’s State Senate campaign. Other well-known local supporters include Congressman Mike Grimm, Congressman Bob Turner (about whom more in a moment), and NY State Senator Marty Golden. Given David Storobin’s prior support of, including volunteering for, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral and presidential bids, it would not be surprising to see “America’s Mayor” throw some valuable support Storobin’s way though it hasn’t happened yet. Storobin has also received the endorsement of the local Conservative Party organization.
One might think Storobin at a substantial disadvantage in the very Democratic Brooklyn: the New York Senate Democrats’ web page says that “Democrats maintain an overwhelming voter registration advantage in the district.” According to Storobin, “It’s 3:1 Democrat, but anyone who knows anything about southern Brooklyn knows it’s irrelevant. It’s because people registered many years ago and didn’t re-register. The new registrations are leaning Republican, which is why in my district, it went from almost 5:1 to 3:1.”
The district substantially overlaps the now infamous NY-9 Congressional District, until recently held by Anthony “The Bulge” Weiner. In the race to replace Weiner, Republican Bob Turner beat Democrat David Weprin in a stunning 54 percent to 46 percent result, making Turner the first Republican in 91 years to hold that seat. In the part of State Senate District 27 that overlaps NY-9, Turner won 66 percent of the vote.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online