For her detractors, both conservative and liberal, she is uncouth, unschooled, a hick, anti-science and anti-intellectual, an upstart, and a religious fanatic. There is no group so firmly in the latter camp as American Jews. And there is much to learn in their reaction to Palin, both about her and about the sociological makeup of American Jewry today. While Palin enjoys support from some prominent Jewish conservatives, it is not an exaggeration to say that, more so than any other major political figure in recent memory (with the possible exception of Patrick J. Buchanan), she rubs Jews the wrong way. In a September 2008 poll by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Jews disapproved of Palin as the pick for McCain’s vice-presidential running mate by a 54 to 37 percent margin. (By contrast, 73 percent approved of the selection of Joseph Biden as Obama’s.) Ask an average American Jew about Palin and you are likely to get a nonverbal response—a shiver, a shudder, a roll of the eyes, or a guffaw.
Not everyone agrees with Rubin’s assessment. In “Do Jews Hate Palin?” former Bush speechwriter David Frum notes that Palin “is one of the most unpopular figures in modern American life,” adding that dislike for the populist from Wasilla is hardly restricted to a single demographic. As Frum puts it, “if Jews do ‘hate’ Palin, this may be just another manifestation of the old rule about Jews being like other people, only more so.”
Meanwhile, Philip Munger over at Progressive Alaska offers a helpful summary of the Rubin/Frum conversation, as well as reactions from Tommy Report at Conservatives 4 Palin, who wonders whether “Republicans and Conservatives hate David Frum.”
Could someone please explain why Mike Huckabee fails to evoke similar emotions?