THE COLLECTED WRITINGS OF RABBI PINKY SCHMECKELSTEIN
On the US Presidential Race
Over the last few weeks I have been asked by many of my Talmidim to offer a Rabbinic ruling on who is the best candidate in the current US presidential primary season.
Of course, this is a natural request, given my recent designation as Poisaik of the Year in Fortune Magazine, which focuses its profile on my recent Psak Halacha where I ruled that a man with one arm may put his Tfillin on his leg, though there is a machloikess between RASHI and Rabbeinu Tam on where exactly he should place his Shel Roish…
Another reason why the Buchrim have been reaching out to me on this topic is because I spent six years as Lieutenant Governor of Utah. I had high popularity ratings, but was forced to resign due to a public scandal – word got out that I had only one wife (my beloved Bashert, Feigah Breinah).
In any case, in order to evaluate all of the Goyim running for office, I employ three screens:
a) Is the candidate good for the United States? Does he or she have adequate experience, and a set of beliefs and perspectives that will help the country address its key challenges (such as mandatory Shatnez checks on all clothing imported from China)?
b) Is the candidate good for Klal Yisroel? Is he/she good for the Jews? After all, our sustained presence in the ghetto is based on the kind-heartedness of the President, who is liable to order pogroms at every turn, and who is capable of eliminating all US support for Israel without hesitation. Indeed, he/she may halt military and financial support to Israel, or, even worse, help Israel broker a peace agreement, chass v’sholom.
c) Does the candidate act in a manner consistent with Halacha? How many of the TARYAG Mitzvois does he or she keep? Can he/she serve as an example for our Kinderlach? Or will he or she be mezaneh with a White House intern, instead of cutting taxes and increasing spending the way the Reboinoisheloilum likes?
Using these three screens, I hope to take you through a discussion of each candidate, using lucid and rational arguments that will result in you mindlessly following every word I say. Shoyn.
Candidate # 1: Senator Barack HUSSEIN Oibama
a) Overall: Eppis, he is really smart and charismatic. He’s like Duvid HaMelech after a three week vacation to the Bahamas! Now, he has only been in the Senate for two years, and has abstained from many key votes. But he did serve in local government in Chicago, where he introduced critical legislation that would automatically qualify the Cubs for the World Series if they cannot get there on their own by 2015. He was also the Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and is a frequent contributor to Penthouse Letters.
b) Klal Yisroel: This is an area of great concern to Klal Yisroel. As has been pointed out by many, Senator Oibama is a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ, and his pastor is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who is an avowed critic of Israel who has made rants that border on the Anti-Semitic. In addition, Oibama has a longstanding relationship with Minister Louis Farrakhan, and is rumored to have shared a room with Minister Farrakhan in college for one semester. It is also well documented that while in college, Oibama spent summers overseas teaching munitions in a Midrassa in Iran.
Many have also pointed with great concern to his foreign policy team. The team includes Anthony Lake, the anti-Semite, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Soinay Yisroel with too many consonants in his last name, Samantha Power, who, frankly, no one has ever heard of before, and Adolf Eichmann.
Even more disturbing, however, are Senator Oibama’s own words. In an interview with Time Magazine in December, Oibama said that he was opposed to raising income taxes, but suggested, “there are lots of alternative ways to make up the deficit. We could use consumption fees, or charge an air usage tax linked to the size of each citizen’s nose.” And most alarming is what Senator Oibama told NBC’s Meet The Press in February, “I hate the fucking Jews. Those kike bastards have been stealing the pennies of my people ever since they brought us over on slave ships.”
c) Halacha: Finally, Senator Oibama clearly fails the Halacha test. According to joint research by the Newsweek, the American Medical Association, Blueboy Magazine, and Yated Ne’eman, Senator Oibama’s schvantzel is more than 2000 amois long when he gets a… errr… shverkeit. Consequently, every time he does the double mitzvah on Friday night he goes beyond the Tchum Shabbos*. And there is no evidence at all that he has ever made an Eiruv Techumim!
Candidate #2: Senator John McCain
a) Overall: This is an area of grave concern. Let’s face it: the guy spent 6 years in a wooden box monitored by his Viet Cong captors. How do we know what they did to him? Maybe they programmed him to be their sleeper agent. Indeed, John McCain could be the REAL Manchurian Candidate! (This is the exact same thing that happened with Moishe Rabbeinu. He spent a few days in a box, and then spent many years living the perfect life of a Mitzri. But when the right moment came around, BOOM, Hakadoshboruchhu activated Moishe, pulled him out of deep cover, and had him do exotic tricks with his “big magic staff” while Paroih’s advisors stuck dollar bills in his g-shtreimel.)
Of course, this is all conjecture. So how will we know if this is a real problem? Very simple: We should all keep our eyes on the Republican convention. If McCain gives his nomination acceptance speech in Vietnamese and starts off by thanking Chairman Mao, we know we’re in trouble.
b) Klal Yisroel: This is actually positive. John McCain did spend 6 years in a box, but the good news is that the box was made out of old Jaffa Orange shipping crates. As a result, McCain is believed to be sympathetic to Eretz Yisroel and Klal Yisroel.
We can also look at who he surrounds himself with. McCain’s foreign policy team includes: George Schultz, Reb Dovid Feinstein, Moishe Feiglin, Yoko Ono, Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, and James Baker.
c) Halacha: This is another positive sign. McCain has clearly given a lot of attention to Halachic consideration in his daily life. Indeed, according to a recent article in the New York Times, McCain insisted that his lobbyist mistress go to Mikvah before they were Mezaneh. And McCain’s wife Cindy certainly wears a Shaytel. Have you seen that hair? Either it’s a wig, or she has so much hairspray on that it counts as a Chatzitza Gemoorah**.
Candidate #3: Senator Hillary Clinton
a) Overall: When I view Senator Clinton, I don’t see a woman simply dabbling in politics. In fact, with all those pantsuits, I’m not sure I see a woman at all.
In any case, Hillary Clinton has been a Senator for 8 years. Before that she was the First Lady of the United States, and before that she was the First Lady of Arkansas. In her career, she has been involved in many of the key issues facing the United States: In the Senate, she is on the Legislative Committee. In the White House she was involved in early efforts to address the Health Care crisis. And throughout the years she has been a strong advocate of Defense: She has worked day and night to prevent her husband from being frontally violated by power hungry bimbos, or, at minimum, from being caught.
Furthermore, Senator Clinton has demonstrated wisdom earned through years of experience. In her, the United States will have a president who is a tough negotiator, but who is also capable of painful, even personal, compromises if it will serve the greater good. Let’s face it: her entire career has proven that sometimes you have to stay married to someone you absolutely detest for 35 years in order to get what you really want.
b) Klal Yisroel: This is largely a binary, philosophical question. If you favor the actions taken by Former President Bill Clinton with regard to Israel and peace, then you are likely to favor Hillary. If you are against Oslo and the many subsequent efforts made by Clinton, then you are likely to oppose Hillary. But one thing is clear: Bill Clinton left his mark or Klal Yisroel, or at the minimum on Monica Lewinsky’s dress.
A number of people have expressed concern at a snapshot in time, the embrace of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton with Suha Arafat, even at a time when Suha made claims of blood-libel proportions. In Senator Clinton’s defense: 1) The US and Israel were in the midst of a peace process, and sometimes you have to “look the other way”; 2) This entire image is the result of media bias, only showing the world part of the picture. In truth, Hillary was actually the more restrained of the Clintons: While the cameras caught Suha embracing Hillary, they completely ignored that at that very moment, Yasser was on his knees in front of Bill...
So, one key question is: what role will Bill have in a Hillary administration? Will he be a key foreign policy advisor, even a Middle East envoy? Or will he be given a “safer” role, such as the manager of the White House Internship Program?
c) Halacha: This is not an obstacle in the case of Senator Clinton. According to a Gemarrah in Maseches Brachois, a Tumtum or Androginus is exempt from keeping Halacha. Therefore, as a she-male, Hillary has no Halachic responsibilities whatsoever. However, according to the Shulkhan Aruch, MiDeRabbanan she is required to bind the Ritzuouis of her strap-on on her left leg, but only if she is a right handed.
So what’s a Ben Toirah to do in the current election season? If none of the three candidates are acceptable, who should we support?
Rabboisai, we needn’t look very far. In the White House today we have a president who is bold, who is motivated, and who acts with fortitude and purpose. A man who has proven his worth to Klal Yisroel. Of course, you are wondering how President Bush can continue to be president given that he is approaching the conclusion of his second term in office. But I ask you: Did Duvid HaMelech have term limits? Did Shloimoi HaMelech have to step down after serving eight years? What kind of Mishugass is that?
There are those of course who would argue that President Bush is a failure, that the war in Iraq is a quagmire, and that the economy is in shambles. But to them I say the following: It took Moishe Rabbeinu forty years to bring Klal Yisroel to the Promised Land. This president has not yet had time to complete his work. He needs one more term to complete his program.
In four more years, Iraq will no longer be a problem, since by then it will have merged with Iran. Oisama Bin Laden will no longer be a threat; on the contrary, he will favor a stable, peaceful United States, since his family by then will have bought a controlling stake in every bank in America to bail them out of the mortgage crisis. And with another term of President Bush, the economy will no longer be an issue. There will be no more unemployment; by that time, the dollar will be so cheap, the Indians will be outsourcing to us.
Ah Gutten Shabbos, You Minuval.
* - Tchum Shabbos: The legal distance that one may travel on the Sabbath – approximately 2 miles beyond an established community.
** - Chatzitza Gemoorah: Complete (hair) covering.