Sometimes in life, we have to laugh to keep from crying. I was hit with one of those moments when I heard the now infamous "kosher meal" robocall from Newt before the Florida primary. As I heard, read the text, heard again, and reread the text of this craziness, I kept hoping that Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg would step forward and say that I was "punked." Unfortunately, it seems that Newt For 2012 did produce the robocall. Newt himself referred to the kosher meal situation on the Saturday before the primary while campaigning in Jacksonville, Florida.
In case you missed the frightening robocall, here is the text:
As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney's compassion for our seniors? Tuesday, you can end Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on religious freedom with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.
If you care for the truth, I ask you to do your own research about how this pathetic and desperate piece of vote-grabbing fiction came to life. And if you don't care for the truth, there is no need for you to continue reading this piece. You are the problem, and there is no hope that you will be part of the solution.
Florida has more than its share of seniors and Jews. I had the pleasure of meeting a practicing rabbi from Vermont, who doubles as a stand-up comic. His name is Bob Alper. He claims he is the only practicing rabbi who also does comedy... intentionally. Bob talks of facing the land of his ancestors when he prays -- he says that he faces south toward Miami.
The writing was on the wall in Florida. Things didn't look very good for Newt. Evidently, some slick marketing people thought if they could get Bob's ancestors to vote for Newt, they could save the primary. The secret plan was to convince all the Alper family and friends that Mitt hated seniors, Jews, and kosher food. When asked about the comment and robocall, Newt said, "I have no idea what you are talking about."
I want to make it clear that this is not about Newt. This is about a horribly broken campaign system. It is about a system where secret money can buy politicians, and lies circulate the country much faster than the truth.
When will it be enough? As someone who loves America, I have had enough. Is this "jumping the shark" moment by Newt enough to anger the voters? I hope so. Is this where American voters scream, "I'm as mad as hell, and I am not going to take this anymore?" I hope so. Is this when we finally say this broken campaign system must be fixed? I hope so. In the words of singers/songwriters Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley, Newt and our campaign system have stepped "One Toke over the Line."