13 February 2019

Note From Norm: The Fight For the Soul Of The Democratic Party Begins

The fight for the soul of the Democratic Party has begun in earnest as Democrat Socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (AOC)  unveiled her “Green Dream” proposal with the support of 60 Members of the House of Representatives and 9 United States Senators.

In the world envisioned by AOC we would ban air travel. Cows would stop passing gas.

And, we would all become vegans riding bicycles.

Government (i.e., taxpayers) guarantees everyone money – whether they actually work or not.

Job guarantees that give paid vacations.

Best of all, in her world, it’s all free!

Except it’s not.

You are the one paying for it!

The enemy for AOC and the far left are the job creators- American business.

So much so that when Howard Schultz, of Starbucks fame, announced he would run for President as an Independent, the political Left-O-Meter nearly imploded.

He will, they have all collectively insisted, help re-elect Donald Trump as President.

It’s a convenient foil now because it allows the Democrats to avoid dealing with the reality that the 2018 Election does not equate to the 2020 political revolution they believe is coming their way.

Schultz, while a businessman, is hardly a political centrist.

His political leanings are farther left than many of the Democratic candidates currently running for President.

He, however, understands that putting the word “Businessman” and “Independent” in front of his name conjures up a sense of moderation, and commonsense and stability.

To his credit, he understands those attributes are sadly lacking within the Democratic Party, and in far too many of the newly elected members of the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last week I wrote of the growing anti-Israel, anti-Jewish influence of a newly emerging, and powerful progressive force, within the Democratic Party- the AOC wing of the Democrat party. This new generation of Democrats casually dismisses the historical wounds of the Holocaust, or the history of Israel literally fighting for its life every day of its creation.

Instead, they seek to classify Israel as an apartheid state -although the Arab Israeli community in Israel is 20% of the total population and holds 17 of the 120 seats in in the Israel’s Congress- the Knesset.  They enjoy the same freedoms as every other Israeli.

This false narrative emerges at a time when emerging Democratic Leaders are willing to appeal to any extreme view of the world, facts don’t matter.

What matters is how they “feel” – the “funk” they find themselves in –the “occupation” label they assign to anyone who isn’t onboard with their world view.

There are some Democrats who are alarmed by the direction of their Party, especially on the matter of Israel and anti-Semitism.

According to a New York Times story, several prominent Democrats are trying to push back against those in the party who seek to define Israel, and the broader Jewish community, as antithetical to peace and justice in the world.

Calling themselves the Democratic Majority for Israel, political leaders like former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Former Bill Clinton White House Communications Director Ann Lewis, Longtime Democratic Pollster Mark Mellman and former Clinton Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros are engaging in a struggle to push back against those who are ascendant in their party who espouse policies that are not only antagonistic towards Israel, but dangerous to the Middle East and to the United States.

As Chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition, I welcome the organization to the fight to preserve and protect the historical alliance between the United States and Israel.

And, at a time when anti-Semitism is both on the rise in the United States and elsewhere in the world, there is no better time than to remind all of us that Israel – and the fight against bigotry towards Jews – is a non-partisan battle.

In my own state of Minnesota, and in nearby states, there have been growing reports of young people engaged in activities that only underscore the need for a concerted effort to push back against those who would seek to inflame passions against Israel and Jews.

Newly elected Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, has repeatedly criticized and condemned Israel, and her anti-Semitic rhetoric just got worse when she tweeted that those who stood up for Israel were doing so only because “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”

So outrageous was her comments that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi immediately condemned her comments and demanded an apology.

She was right to do so.

She would be right to now remove Omar from the House Foreign Relations Committee.

The so-called BDS movement “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” is one in which more and more Democrats, particularly some of the most high-profile members of the new House Democratic Caucus, have embraced.

The self-described “…Palestinian led movement for freedom, justice and equality…” is a thinly veiled anti-Israel group that has the support of more Democrats today than it had previously, and unless confronted will have increasing influence in the Democratic Party.

The growing influence of the BDS movement is evident even with those in the media.

Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN Commentator and advocate for the viewpoints of the organization, called for a “…free Palestine from the river to the sea…” at the United Nations.

CNN quickly fired him.


Because it’s the same rhetoric that was the slogan from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) –“Palestine from the river to the sea”—and its rallying cry to destroy Israel from the date of its beginning in 1964.

While some Democrats spoke out against these words, others, including freshman Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, defended him.

The same Tlaib who put a Post-It note on a map replacing Israel on it with Palestine.

The Democratic Majority for Israel and Democrat Leaders like Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have their work cut out for them because the Democrat liberal base no longer stands firmly with Israel.

I, like many Republicans, are ready to work with them to stand up for Israel and to push back the growing anti-Semitism in their ranks.