Joseph Lieberman for vice president?


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Salon Staff
August 10, 2000 11:59PM (UTC)

CORRECTION:

In the story "Too Jewish?" a reference to the 1996 Senate race between challenger Jill Docking and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., misquoted from a Brownback ad. The ad actually said, "Jill Docking, she's not the kind of Docking she pretends to be," while briefly showing a small snapshot of her birth certificate, on which her name reads "Jill Sadowsky." Salon regrets the error.

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Anti-Semitism, from the sotto voce country-club variety to the raging, all-out Christian militia brand, will emerge as never before in the coming months. I look forward to watching and listening as Americans consider this thoroughly qualified vice-presidential candidate and dance around the issue. What a stroke of bravery on the part of Al Gore! What a litmus test of the national conscience.

-- Gita M. Smith

The shatter we just heard was Sen. Joseph Lieberman breaking through the glass ceiling that formerly excluded Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians and other minorities from seeking the second highest office in the land, or the highest.

If the team of Vice President Gore and Sen. Lieberman wins in November, that glass ceiling will forevermore be smashed, and anyone -- regardless of race, religion or ethnic origin -- will truly and matter-of-factly be considered on the "A" list of candidates for highest office.

Then, we will be practicing the real politics of inclusion.

-- Lois Erwin

Since 11 percent of the Senate is Jewish, while only 3 percent of the population is, this confirms that Americans are quite willing to ignore religious differences.

Every individual can find somebody that does not like them, but on the whole, Americans have proven themselves tolerant.

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-- Michael Osinski

What I find more exciting about this development is the idea of a "half-Jewish" administration that supports a rapidly expanding demographic. With the rate of Jewish intermarriage increasing exponentially (currently 52 percent of American Jews are marrying non-Jews) there will be more "half-Jews" than full-Jews in just one generation. The Gore-Lieberman ticket seems to be a first step in creating mixed representation for a mixed population. Far from establishing a state of ambivalence, the Jew-goy ticket will advocate forcefully for a multicultural perspective, for inclusiveness.

-- Jessica Kraft

An old rich, white male is "breaking new ground"? Sheesh, the spinmeisters have been busy.

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-- Michael Brad

If a Republican candidate for national office were found to have the Ten Commandments hanging on his office wall, believe the Bible is the literal word of God (as Orthodox Jews do), vehemently decry the pollution of values by Hollywood and remark that government and religion should find a partnership like the founding fathers did, he would be pilloried in the media and run out of town on a rail. Intellectual honesty demands that Jake Tapper and the rest of the hard-left hit squad at Salon admit that they are treating this religiously motivated man far differently than they would treat one from the other side of the political aisle.

-- Scott McKim

It amazes me how quickly the press jumps to stories about Joseph Lieberman's religion before assessing the real political issues. I am more than troubled that Gore, who has supported the banning and censorship of music, has picked as a running mate who is at least partly responsible for the so called "V-chip." Let us not forget that Lieberman has supported the censoring and banning of electronic entertainment. His constant disrespect of the First Amendment only shows the contempt some politicians have for the intelligence of United States citizens.

-- John Marzulli

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Al Gore is showing his leadership skills with his VP pick, but could it have been a bit smarter? Lieberman is an eastern moderate of the liberal vein, and the "eastern liberal" bugaboo is still alive and well in the western states. I think Al Gore could have found a western moderate to help cement western votes. He seems to have written off the West as going to George Bush by his choice of Lieberman.

-- Britt Elliott

In 20 years as a voter, I don't remember any candidate who hasn't claimed faith as a campaign position. What is shocking to me about this choice is a vivid memory of Joe Lieberman deliberately missing his place in the roll call during the Clarence Thomas confirmation, and then returning to cast a "no" vote when the majority not to confirm was already achieved. And what is also shocking to me is that, by bypassing John Kerry, Al Gore has deliberately flipped the bird to the liberal wing of the party. This is a sad day, when a conservative presidential candidate feels no need to balance the ticket in any way.

Ralph Nader, anyone?

-- Claire Potter
Department of History, Wesleyan University

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The real Lieberman issue for us Orthodox Jews for the next four to five months is: How will we ever be able to withstand the onslaught of Orthodox rabbinical sermonizing about this topic? My local rabbi speaks incessantly about political topics anyhow, as if he had a Ph.D. in foreign affairs or once was our country's secretary of state. And most (not all) Orthodox rabbis believe that they have some prophetic claim to insight in contemporary affairs.

Lord save us. This is the real Lieberman problem for the Orthodox Jews. How will we ever withstand the rising crescendo of the onslaught of months on end of op-ed sermons?

-- Tzvee Zahavy


Salon Staff

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