Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Thursday, March 20, 2003
Very important piece by Byron York about the feud between Grover Norquist and Frank Gaffney over the Bush Administration's relations with Muslim groups with links to terrorism. If this Administration has a Achilles heel, this is it: the cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia and with entities involved in terrorism but backed by that country.

But let me make a side comment about Norquist's strategy. It's not a crazy idea to say: let's go after groups that are socially and economically conservative but who are members of ethnic or religious minority groups. It's not crazy for the Republicans to target Muslims, or Hindus, or Orthodox Jews, or Pentecostal Hispanic small-business owners, or what have you. But catering to these groups' foreign-policy or ethnic agendas will be a losing strategy, always, because back "home" many of these groups are in conflict with one another. How do you court the Hindu vote and the Pakistani-American vote, or the Orthodox Jewish vote and the Arab vote? You're not going to do it by highlighting your sensitivity to their concerns about the Indo-Pakistani conflict or the Arab-Israeli conflict. You're going to win their votes by tailoring a universal message - on individual responsibility, business initiative, respect for the family, etc. - to the particular concerns of the group. And funny, I thought that this kind of universalism was what being a Republican was all about.