The list of congressional Democrats who intend to boycott Netanyahu’s speech to Congress because of the way President Obama was treated is growing by the day.
Mike Lillis of The Hill reported:
A growing number of top Democrats plan to skip next month’s Capitol Hill speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, and Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), are just the latest lawmakers to indicate they won’t attend the March 3 address before a rare joint session of Congress.
The Democrats join other leading Capitol Hill liberals – including Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the civil rights hero, and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), head of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – in protesting the speech by vowing to steer clear of it.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) predicted that Jewish voters will vote Republican because of the Democratic boycott, but reality tells a different story. President Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008 and 69% in 2012. In the awful Democratic year of 2014, Democrats still got 66% of the Jewish vote. Since 1916, the highest percentage of Jewish votes earned by a Republican presidential candidate was the 40% given to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.
In short, if Republicans thought that they could use Netanyahu’s speech to make Democrats look anti-Israel and drive Jewish voters to the GOP, it is not going to work. The Democratic boycott has nothing to do with support for Israel. The issue is how the invitation was handled and the disrespect that has been shown to the President of the United States. The Republican attempt to make this a Jewish issue is a cynical and pathetic grab for votes.
The Democratic boycott is growing. The only thing that Republicans have done successfully is turn their disrespect of this president into an international incident.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association