Weprin vs. Turner: Sorry Excuses Can’t Conceal Truth


turnerBy John Podhoretz

If and when the news comes tonight that a conservative Republican has won the special congressional election in a Brooklyn-Queens district with three times as many registered Democrats as Republicans, you’ll hear excuses pour forth from liberal blogs, commentators and political experts.

Take the excuses seriously, because they’ll all have merit.

Then reject them — because this surprisingly significant race has more to tell us about the election of 2012 than anyone could have expected even a month ago.

Objection No. 1: The Democrat, David Weprin, is a lousy candidate.He is. And the quality of a candidate matters.

But in this district, even alousyDemocratic candidate should be a gimme. The area has never gone Republican in a national race. It has the largest concentration of Jews in the nation, and Jews are the second-most reliable Democratic ethnicity.

A Jew has represented the area in Congress (in whole or in part) since1922.

Weprin is Orthodox, and sports a yarmulke. The Republican, Bob Turner, is a Catholic.

Something more is going on here than Weprin’s inarticulate bumbling.

Objection No. 2: Israel played an outsized role.Yes, President Obama’s behavior toward the Jewish state gave Turner an opening to tell the district’s Zionist voters to send him a message. That makes the race an outlier that offers little in the way of guidance about 2012.

But, while the Jewish vote may be decisive only in this one district, the Jewishvoteris another matter — of great interest to the party not only because of what he does at the ballot box, but because of his generous political donations.

Democrats depend on Jewish givers for a wildly disproportionate share of campaign funds.

Even if Jewish disaffection nationally is less than in NY-9, that would still be wildly harmful to the national party’s interests. Tens of millions of dollars are at stake.

And the Jewish votecanmake a difference in two key swing stakes, Florida and Pennsylvania. Obama won both in 2008, but is doing badly in recent polls. If he loses both, he loses the election. Even if he loses just one, he probably goes down to defeat as well.

Jews make up 4 percent of Florida’s population but probably closer to 7 percent of the electorate (since they’re almost all of voting age), and 2.3 percent of Pennsylvanians.

If, say, a third of the Jews who voted for Obama in either state in 2008 decided to vote against him in 2012 — or not to vote at all — that could be game, set and match for the president.

Objection No. 3: Special elections don’t mean much nationwide.True: Republicans lost a bunch of special elections early last year, then wiped the floor with Democrats in November. And, sincethiselection is the result of Anthony Weiner’s sex scandal, one shouldn’t extrapolate from it.

But then there’s that killer detail in polling done over the weekend by the Democratic firm PPP. It found Obama with an approval rating of 31 percent — in a district he carried with 55 percent in 2008.

That horrific number can’t all be due to Israel. Surely the economy is also playing a large role.

More important: However ethnically peculiar the district, one can argue that it provides an interesting parallel to the country as a whole: It went 55 percent for Obama as the president won 53 percent of the national vote in 2008.

In other words, NY-9 is a weird conventionally Democratic semi-swing district. And if PPP’s polling is to be believed, the bottom has fallen out for Obama there.

And independent voters (not Republicans) in the district gave Obama a favorability rating of only 29 percent in last week’s Siena poll, with an astonishing 68 percent saying they viewed him unfavorably

So, yes, a Turner win tonight is the result of several unique factors.

But it will also indicate that, even if professional pundits tell you to look away from this car crash because there’s nothing more to see here, Obama is in far worse trouble than even the bad national polls over the last month have suggested.

{NY Post/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I hope Turner wins, but there has been too much gloating before the election was decided. What will Mr. Podhoretz say if Weprin wins? We should vote and do what we can do, but no gloating even after the election, kal vachomer before.

  2. last but not least: the way it is written, making it sound as if TURNER WILL FOR SURE WIN is putting an ayin hara & can cause hashem to change the gezeira, lest people say we knew already what would happen.


  3. You have forgotten to mention that Weprin sponsered and voted for the bill legalizing same gender marriages which even for the B’nai Noach is forbidden. Weprin could had abstained and kept quiet on the issue but for an Orthodox Jew to be blatantly in favor of the bill which is certainly forbidden this is the reason not to vote for him as many Rabbonim and Roshei Yeshivos have signed their names to.

  4. The Rav of my congregation signed, among many other Rabbonim, the letter about Weprin. Yesterday we got an e-mail from stopdomesticviolencenow@earthlink.net stating the following:
    You and your organization are being reported to the IRS for apparent violations of 501(c)(3) requirements.

    Those requirements state: “Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

    At this next link, you may view the IRS’s list of organizations recently to have had their 501(c)(3) status revoked:

  5. I find it funny that the MSM media is refusing to take note of the fact that a large number of Orthodox Jews refuse to vote for Weprin not because of Isreal per se but rather his repugnant behavior over the so-called marriage equality act recently passed.

  6. Funny how the media can’t comprehend how abhorrent the notion of same-gender marriage is to Orthodox Jews. It’s all about Israel – which doesn’t make much sense since Weprin is also pro-Israel.

  7. I will vote for Turner because he has taken a stand against toaiva marriage. However, my community is telling us to vote for Goldfeder in a local race even though I saw a video of him saying he can’t impose his religious beliefs on others. This is obviously hypocritical and I will vote for his opponent who took a clear stand against toaiva marriage because she is roman-catholic. Shame on us speaking from both aides of our mouths. Additionally this website reported that Sheldon Silver directed 40,000 dollars to goldfeder’s campaign. Isn’t that reason enough to vote against him?