We’ve known for a long time that Jewish voters and political donors tend to side with Democratic candidates. That’s no secret, but one politician has wondered publicly why these supporters don’t stray from a party that has failed to condemn anti-Semites within its midst.
Maine’s former GOP governor Paul LePage asked why Jewish donors support the Democrats in the face of comments like that of Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Paul LePage, who left the Augusta governor’s mansion in January after two terms in office, made the remarks during an interview with a local radio station in Portland, Maine, in which he rebuked statements Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has made about Israel over the past month.
“The Jewish people in America have been great supporters of the Democratic Party,” LePage told WGAN-AM. “In fact, that’s where their money comes from for the most part. They should be absolutely insulted for what she’s been saying.”
LePage has a point. The Democrats have been the party of anti-Israel sentiment for years, and they’re becoming increasingly anti-Semitic as well.
Rather than directly condemn Omar for her statements – which included the suggestion that Jewish donors “buy” politicians with their donations – House Democratic leaders generated a resolution condemning hate speech in general. Individuals have called out Omar, but the generic, largely toothless statement is the only action we’ve seen from Democrats as a whole.
LePage suggested that the Democrats may see a dip in fundraising from Jewish donors after Omar’s remarks, but it’s worth noting that Politico took the occasion to take what LePage said and turn it into a “gotcha” headline: Ex-Maine governor: Democrats’ ‘money comes from’ Jews ‘for the most part.’ Naturally, the media took a GOP politician’s words and made them sound more controversial than they are.
It’ll be interesting to see if the increasingly anti-Semitic lurch from the left will drive Jewish (and some Christian) donors away. I can’t help but think that the embrace of anti-Semites like Ilhan Omar could hurt them in the long run, especially if more people like LePage speak out.