Too Many Jews In US Senate?

Are there too many Jews in the U.S. Senate?

Maryland state senator C. Anthony Muse, who running for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in next Tuesday’s primary, seems to think so. 

A flyer backing Muse’s challenge to incumbent Ben Cardin told voters there are 12 Jews in the U.S. Senate but no African-Americans.  It did not bother pointing out the religion of the other 88 senators. Muse is black, and Cardin is Jewish.

The flyer with a sample ballot indicated it was authorized by Muse’s campaign and is being distributed at early voting centers, according to the Baltimore Sun, and has a picture of President Barack Obama and Muse declaring “making history together.”

Obama has actually endorsed Cardin, as has former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, who Cardin defeated in the 2006 primary.

Muse made the Black-Jewish comparison earlier this year in a Twitter posting but deleted it after reporters started asking questions, the Sun reported.  A Muse spokeswoman called the latest incident “misleading and inaccurate” but did not deny it came from the campaign. A later unattributed statement from the campaign said the comparison was “taken out of context,” and it was only intended to “highlight that there are segments of our community that have no representation in the Senate.”  

Arthur Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, said he was unhappy with the flyer and, "I would ask the candidate why the only religion he identified is Jewish."

Of the 12 Jewish senators, two are retiring this year, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Herb Kohl of Wisconsin , and two are up for reelection, Cardin and Barbara Boxer of California.  The other eight are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Al Franken of Minnesota, Diane Feinstein of California, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Carl Levin of Michigan, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Chuck Schumer of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon.  Lieberman and Sanders are Independents who caucus with the Democrats.  There are no Jewish Republicans in the Senate.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.