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Romney Gingrich
Keepin' it positive. (Phelan Ebenhack/Reuters and Chris Keane/Reuters)
In today's episode of Relentlessly Positive Theater, Florida primary edition, we learn from a Gingrich campaign robocall that Mitt Romney wanted to take kosher food away from Holocaust survivors. This is a double whammy against Romney; he didn't just want to hurt old people, or Jewish people, he wanted to hurt old Jewish people. Via the Huffington Post, the text of the robocall:
"As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who 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."

The issue in question was a 2003 Romney veto over additional $600,000 in funding for kosher kitchens in Massachusetts nursing homes (a veto that was overturned), which in turn was an attempted patch of previous funding cuts to those homes. Is it a fair hit? Well, Gingrich's campaign is blatantly lying about the "were forced to eat non-kosher" part, because it never happened. Even if Romney's veto had been upheld, the most probable net effect would have been not to end kosher meals, but for the nursing homes in question to possibly have them delivered from elsewhere. But yes, he did veto that funding.

The only part of this that confuses me is that I thought Republicans liked cutting government spending in ways that hurt old people, so that wouldn't seem too effective a slam, and the party's relationship with Jewish Americans in general is, um, a bit conflicted.

Newt Gingrich would seem to be a rather poor candidate for defending Jewish citizens from harm, given that he spent yesterday in a batshit-crazy Florida church listening to a prominent batshit-crazy religious conservative talk about how to best convert Jews away from their shameful, shameful Jewishness:

Gingrich was an hour late, and he and his wife quietly slipped into a pew near the back. This church was similar to the one they visited that morning, also with a giant robed choir, full orchestra and space for thousands.

As he arrived, Gingrich updated his FourSquare account to announce the occasion, saying, "Tip: Don't be just a pew sitter." [...]

Inside, the topic of the evening discussion, led by Joel Rosenberg, a novelist who writes about Islamic terrorism, focused partially on how to convert Jews to the faith.

"As a Jewish person," Rosenberg, who was raised by a Jewish father and a Gentile mother, "our people really didn't get it the first time Jesus came."

He urged the audience not to be bashful, and to act quickly in case the End Times were nigh. "I know you know Jewish people," he told them. "You have an accountant, you have a lawyer..."

Good gawd. Well, here's another tip: Don't freaking text in church. And if you have time to text in church, maybe you should spend more time commenting on how you don't actually believe the convert-the-Jews-before-the-End-Times crap the batshit-crazy preacher is going on about, and less time updating your goddamn FourSquare status.

Fine, whatever. It's campaign season, so of course Newt can listen to how shameful those Jewish accountants and lawyers are, not properly converting themselves so that we can have a good ol' fashioned Armageddon showdown with rockets and lasers and Jesus flying a jet fighter or whatever it's going to be, while at the very same time Newt can release a robocall pointing out that the other guy is so mean that he wants nursing-home-bound Holocaust survivors to have to eat non-kosher food. Yeah, great.

Given that the entirety of primary season seems to be a contest to see which well-funded monkeys can throw their poo the farthest, it's really hard to get outraged. I'm gonna just despise all of these candidates equally and be done with it.

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