Mark Greenberg
Life-long Progressive Who Got Woke

Trouble on the North Shore

Former US president Barack Obama, July 22, 2013. (AP/Cliff Owen)
President Barack Obama, July 22, 2013. (AP/Cliff Owen)

I am upset that I have not boasted a blog in some time.

I am committed to posting with greater frequency, given the lunacy that is beginning to build with the 2020 presidential election, the political turmoil that is always Israeli politics, and the building confrontation with Iran and their Shi’a proxies.

I was in the affluent, hyper-progressive North Shore of Chicago a few days ago. This is the home of J Street Judaism, the bastion of Jewish Community support for Barack Obama and the Pritzker Family (one of whom now governs the State of Illinois), heterogeneous in a way that Texas could only aspire to be given the uninterrupted flow of Central American “families” flooding into our state.

The purpose of my visit was for the unveiling of a joint headstone for my mother and father. But, I have become accustomed to an unrelenting assault on my personal values (“Your mother told me you had become a Republican!”) and a series of absurd questions regarding Texas life which only reflect an inability to see beyond the coastal boundaries of Progressivism (“Does everybody down there own guns??”).

But, as I sat and munched a delicious spread of bagels and lox, I couldn’t help but overhear some of the conversations between people of like-minded political views in the aftermath of the two nights of “debates” among the Democrats who aspire to replace Donald Trump.

“I think things are getting a bit extreme,” one of the attendees said. “Frankly, I have no intention of supporting someone who wants me to pay for free health care for immigrants who are storming the border.”

What?? I muttered quietly to myself, as I nearly choked on my Israeli salad and falafel.

“And I have no intention of giving up my private health care coverage,” another chimed in.

This was stunning to me. I have been with members of this familial group over the course of thirty years, and I had never heard even the hint of a deviation from the Progressive catechism.

I have often been the subject of derision at many a Shabbat dinner when in their neck of the woods because it has become well known that I have left the Progressive cause so drummed into me by my beloved mother who often remarked, “What happened to you? Where did I go wrong?” with her tongue firmly implanted in her cheek.

My first cousin and his wife – Jewish educators for a lifetime – who presided over the unveiling, who had made aliyah about a year ago and were about to return to Jerusalem – had presented my two nieces with gifts from back home. “I decided to buy you girls gifts made by Palestinian women. Palestinian (she said with some derision). I know how sympathetic you are with the Palestinian people (she said without any hint of sympathy).” The two girls were quite offended by my cousin’s wife’s sardonic implication that their sympathies with the J Street/Progressive arm of American Judaism found little purchase with her, now that she lives in Jerusalem.

As they discussed the two nights of “debate” among the field of Democrat candidates who aspire to replace Donald Trump, there was a sense of disbelief, really, that the collective platform of the party had indeed become Collective. Both in a socialist sense and a near-uniform sensibility. The only candidates willing to break from dogma are polling in fractions and have to do something to try to separate themselves from the pack.

But these quasi-moderates are in fact the fringe element. No one really expects these people to be among the survivors. They do not have the ability to attract money or popular support.

All except Joe Biden. He walks a tightrope between an Obama-connected moderation and a need to adopt some elements from the Ocasio-Cortez wing which seems all but assured of assuming control over the party when the sclerotic Nancy Pelosi fades.

But, as someone who has never held a job in the private sector, his campaign rhetoric, man, is laced with such hollow attempts, folks, to connect with a blue collar, working man sensibility which was once presumed to “belong” to Democrats, it rings with empty authenticity.

He also resorts to historical revisionism regularly, claiming, for example, that, “You think that [Russian election interference] would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? …I promise it wouldn’t have and it didn’t.”

That is a completely false assertion. Who can possibly forget (except Lunch Pail Joe) Barack’s assertion that he told Putin to “cut it out”? Michael Isikoff, the Yahoo Chief Investigative Reporter (who is up to eyeballs in the promulgation of the Steele “dossier”), no great friend of the Trump Administration, says, “At the end of the day, Obama was the president, and he’s the one who shrunk from action.”

From today’s perspective, it is difficult to see this Joe Biden representing this Democrat Party as its nominee, despite the fact that he probably has the best chance to challenge Trump. His stilted campaign style is out of step with the party, and his baggage (particularly as it relates to his son, Hunter) will sink him like a stone. Even if his fellow Democrats don’t sink their teeth into that red meat, Donald will literally fillet him.

But if not Joe, then whom?

Kamala Harris and all the others have made the pilgrimage to genuflect with anti-Semite Rev. Al Sharpton, frequent commentator for MSNBC, an unrelenting impeachment drum-beater, and all have promised the Rev. Al they will sign a bill for reparations for slaves if brought to their desk.

All have raised their hands, at the insistence of “moderators” from NBC News, at the first debate offering assurances of free health care to illegal aliens while American citizens enjoy no such benefit.

These are not right-thinking political memes intended to appeal to voters who may have been marginally swayed to vote for Trump because they could not stomach the thought of a second, more corrupt Clinton Administration.

This is a party participating in self-immolation. They want so desperately to remove Trump from office, they are willing to burn their house down to prove how committed they are.

But even some of the occupants realize this is not strong strategic planning.

About the Author
Professionally, Mark Greenberg comes out of the world of New York Media. He was a member of the management team that started MTV. He turned down a job at ESPN to move to Austin to raise his family of four boys in a more rational atmosphere. He was also a member of the bicoastal media elite that he critiques on a regular basis.
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