View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, November 02, 2003

Why Does This Always Happen to Us?

The Washington Jewish Week carries one of those articles that looks like it could have come from the 1950s, or 1930s, the notion that the whole world revolves around the Jews. The article argues that Texas Republicans are specifically targeting Martin Frost because he's Jewish, and are trying to split up the Jewish vote. There are far more Hispanics and Blacks in Texas than Jews. The notion that Texas redisticting was targeted at Texas's small Jewish population is self-importance masquerading as oppression.

Frost is, of course particularly bitter, and if Tom DeLay led the state Republican forces in this fight, Martin Frost was every bit as active organizing the Democrats. But for him to say that DeLay "can't on the one hand say he wants Jewish funding and votes, and on the other hand eliminate the only Jewish lawmaker ever elected to Congress from the state of Texas" is identity politics at its worst. Frost has been active in supporting Israel, but the Democractic Party as a whole has been less so. There's no reason to think that Jews and Israel won't benefit from a stronger Republican delegation. I should point out that the US House Assistant Majority Whip is a conservative Republican Jew from Richmond, Va., and he didn't get there because Tom DeLay didn't want him there.

Democratic State House member Scott Hochberg had this to say about state legislative redistricting: "The issue of chopping the Jewish community was brought to the attention" of the Republicans. "A community should always have the ability to elect its own leadership." There's nothing that's keeping the Jewish community from electing its own leadership. This should in no way be confused with an entitlement to ethnic representation in any legislative body.

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