The 9th Congressional District in Queens and Brooklyn, New York, was represented in the past decade by an aggressive, outspoken Democrat named Anthony Weiner, who was noticeable for his fighting spirit against conservatives, the Tea Party Movement, and the Republican Party. He made a lot of news with his confrontations on the floor of the House of Representatives in the past few years.
But Anthony Weiner also had a fatal flaw, not unique to him among politicians, and that was his private sexual drives, which led to him putting text and pictures of his naked body on Facebook and Twitter, erupting in a scandal which forced him to resign in June of this year.
Now, as a result of his antics and stupidity, a district which was Democratic controlled since 1923, has gone to the Republican nominee, and it is being interpreted in different ways.
Let the author point out that this district was the one in which he resided for 15 years before his move to Florida in 1989, and he lived specifically in the community known as Fresh Meadows in the Flushing area of Queens County.
The thought that MY district is now represented by a Republican is hard enough to take, but the issue is its meaning!
Some would say it is an aberration, and a reaction against Anthony Weiner himself, as a similar situation with an upstate New York district, traditionally Republican for a very long time, went to the Democrat a few months ago after a similar sex scandal.
It should also be pointed out that this district will disappear due to the mandated change in district lines for all members of the House of Representatives after reapportionment of seats with census results now in, and therefore, the whole district will be divided among others, with New York losing two seats in the House of Representatives. So the new Republican, as much as if the Democratic candidate had won, is unlikely to be able to stay in Congress more than one year. In fact, since Weiner was personally not well liked in the New York delegation, he probably would have been thrown into a primary against a fellow Democrat in a newly established district, with a good chance of being defeated, without the scandal which unseated him!
Having said all that, some see the defeat as a repudiation of Barack Obama on the economy.
Others see it as a repudiation of the stand on Israel and the Palestinians that Obama and his administration have promoted, seen at least by Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, a large portion of the Jewish population of that district, as anti Israel.
Still others see it as a repudiation of the Democratic nominee, who while Jewish, supported gay marriage in the state legislature, something that Orhodox and Hasidic Jews loathe with passion!
Does this mean that the general Jewish population is ready to abandon Barack Obama and the Democrats nationally?
The answer is who knows, but while it seems highly doubtful that large numbers of Jews will vote Republican, it is certainly a warning to Obama and the Democrats to work hard to convince Jews that Obama is NOT working against Israel’s interests, that they will fight for more jobs, and at the same time, NOT back off on gay marriage and gay rights!
Orthodox and Hasidic Jews have the right to be against gay marriage, as much as many Catholics and evangelical Christians, but that does not mean that their personal prejudices should deny equality in all ways to gay and lesbian Americans! This needs to be seen as a civil rights issue!
Since the percentage of Jews who are Orthodox or Hasidic is small, and since most Jews believe in the New Deal and Great Society programs that continue to be defended by Barack Obama and his party, this election, most likely, is simply an aberration!