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December 16, 2009

GOP’s Fabricated Chanukah “Miracle”

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, GOP Hypocrisies, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally published in Talking Points Memo

By Ira N. Forman, CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council

Despite the poor economy and other pressing national issues, the pitiful state of the Republican Party seems to overshadow its actual contributions to serious policy issues. Today’s example is a former White House Jewish liaison for President George W. Bush, Tevi Troy.

Troy is not your typical political hack; he does have some actual policy background. However, his focus for the last month has been the number of invitations sent for this year’s White House Chanukah party and how his numbers prove the right-wing myth that President Barack Obama has neglected the Jews.

It’s actually quite shocking. A man who used to pass for a credible GOP policy wonk has been reduced to speculating about what unconfirmed numbers of Jewish holiday party attendees may mean about public policy decisions.

This week, in a blog for National Review, Troy admitted that the numbers he cited for Chanukah invites during the Bush Years and for this year’s Obama event may not be accurate. But he then proceeds to crow that his original uber-partisan rantings are what gave more Jews access to a Jewish holiday party.

It seems to me that the White House has taken my message to heart and increased the number of invitees in order to alleviate the clamoring to get in and to diminish the criticism on what is a symbolic and not a substantive issue. Credit to them for changing their tune, but that does not change the accuracy of the initial analysis. As this story comes to an end with the party on Wednesday, the folks who should be happiest are the new invitees. They are beneficiaries of a modern Hanukkah miracle—150 more invitations to the White House.

What a load of nonsense. If this is what the Republican policy crowd is reduced to, the GOP can expect to spend many, many years in the political wilderness.