Watchdog Blog

Gilbert Cranberg: Gingrich and the Adelsons (and Alinsky)

Posted at 3:41 pm, January 30th, 2012
Gilbert Cranberg Mug

Sheldon Adelson and his Israeli-born wife are unabashedly Jewish and are unabashedly trying to buy with their riches Florida’s presidential primary for Newt Gingrich. That’s a potentially toxic combination in a country where some still harbor negative stereotypes about “Jewish influence.”

Give the Adelsons credit for being up front about their faith and their pro-Israel agenda. Another pair active in American life, the Koch brothers, haven’t been nearly as forthcoming. The brothers operate largely in the shadows behind a welter of misleadingly-titled front groups.

Not all that long ago Jews were openly despised and in many places forced to advertise their Jewishness by wearing distinctive headgear or insignia, usually yellow. The Adelsons figuratively wear their faith on their sleeves by openly proclaiming it. That’s quite a remarkable switch.

Gingrich is a pragmatic, some would say slippery, politician who takes his support wherever he can find it. There is a person, Saul Alinsky, who seems evil incarnate the way Gingrich frequently describes him. Very few in Gingrich’s audiences know who Alinsky was, but many no doubt recognize a Jewish-sounding name when they hear it. That’s slippery.

Yet in the Adelsons, Gingrich has found backers whose No. 1 priority is Israel. Are Americans in the mood for a candidate who casts his lot with them?

Florida’s primary may offer some interesting clues about Jews in American life and the perception of them.

2 Responses to “Gingrich and the Adelsons (and Alinsky)”

  1. taikan says:

    The loss sustained by Gingrich in Florida has nothing to do with Americans’ perception of Jews and the role of Jews in America. Instead, it reflects the success of the negative ad campaign run by Romney and the main Super PAC supporting Romney.

    While it is true that Gingrich’s “Super PAC” was funded in large part by the Adelsons, during the Florida campaign both Romney and Gingrich took positions designed to gain as much as possible of the Jewish vote, despite the fact that most of the Jews in Florida are registered Democrats. Indeed, as one Israeli news website noted, according to exit polls less than 2% of the voters in the Florida Republican primary identified themselves as Jewish.

  2. Annalisa Krog says:

    The absurd notion that liberals promote a “culture of victimizat­ion” is one of the clearest examples of right-wing projection I’ve ever witnessed. The ENTIRE conservati­ve movement is built on feeling sorry for themselves and claiming they’re the victims of nefarious forces (the “liberal media”, “liberal academia”, “liberal teacher’s unions”, “liberal PC culture”, “liberal secularist­s”, the “liberal ACLU, etc.) Noticing a pattern here? The left is far, far weaker than the right in America, and yet, they’ve built up this all-purpos­e liberal bogeyman / straw-man to blame all its failures on.

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