Randall Hoven noted in American Thinker that according to a recent Commentary article Obama got 75% of the Jewish vote. This is a greater portion than Kerry got and about the same that Gore received with a Jewish running mate (Joe Lieberman).

Yet with facts that are irrefutable, Hoven manages to draw the precisely wrong conclusion. He concludes that it is hopeless for the Republicans to try and attract or target any ethnic group because Blacks, Latinos, and especially the Jews will vote for the Democrats no matter what.

To begin with this is factually wrong. Ronald Reagan got over 40% of the Jewish vote. The Jews abandoned Jimmy Carter partially over his increasingly hostile attitudes toward Israel, but largely over his inept domestic policy. To accept Hoven’s prescriptions we must assume the Jews ignore the issues; nothing can be further from the truth.

Jews are socially liberal and historically sensitive to issues of tolerance which they see, often wrongly, as the strength of the Democrats. Yet they have a concern for Israel that often puts them at odds with fellow liberals. Their concern with Israel is more than a direct religious and cultural connection; Israel represents the same liberal values they value. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that allows due process, gay rights, equality for women and a free press. They are also America’s most dependable ally in the world.

Their vote for Obama belies an openness and tolerance that is nothing new. Obama convinced the Jewish voters that in spite of the ocean of e-mails, some of his associations, and even his middle name that he was not a threat to either the American Jews or Israel. If his performance in the next four years turns out otherwise the American Jewish voters may turn on him just as they did with Carter. I do not expect that to happen, but it also depends on what sort of alternative the Republicans offer.

The Jews have a very cautious stance toward the Christian right which has a very ethnocentric view of the political landscape and foreign policy that makes the Jews uncomfortable. Comments from conservative commentators such as Ann Coulter about Jews being ‘unperfected Christians’ do not help the perception.

Yet Hoven recommends that the Republicans abandon any precept of religious and ethnic openness at a time when the demographics of the country would indicate that such a position would be political suicide. America is no longer the white Christian nation it was, if it ever was. America’s diversity and tolerance has been its strength. Google was founded by the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant.

Instead of pushing away groups by the insistence that we are a Christian nation (which version of Christianity?), the Republicans should pursue values across ethnic lines; values like refusing to be a victim, self reliance and responsibility, innovation, openness, and tolerance.

Blaming the Jews for one’s problems has been all the rage now for over two thousand years. Instead of mistakingly presuming that the Jews have a blind and mindless loyalty to a single party, he should examine the policies and positions, as well as the strategy and tactics of the Republicans themselves.