Originally published September 4, 2019
To the surprise of both of her fans, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ended her campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination this past week. Gillibrand, who never achieved more than three percent on any poll, quietly faded away after not qualifying for the third Democratic debate, scheduled for September 12. New York is now stuck with her until 2024, but her political flip-flops should leave New Yorkers wondering why she deserves her Senate seat at all.
After winning the special election in 2008 when the position was vacated by Hillary Clinton, Gillibrand immediately began flipping on nearly every policy issue. As a Member of Congress, she received an A rating from the NRA. She earned the ire of then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for her position on illegal guns. When she was trying to win the votes of Upstate New Yorkers, her opinions were radically different. When she was pandering to the Manhattan donors, she became virulently anti-Second Amendment.
The same is true for illegal immigration, abortion, and gay marriage. Gillibrand used to be a “blue-dog Democrat” on all these issues, saying what she needed to say to the conservative Upstate New Yorkers to win her Congressional seat. Once she realized she no longer needed them, she went along with the flow of leftist extremism that has been growing within the ranks of the Democrat Party.
The problem with Gillibrand is her inability to have any convictions on even the clearest of issues. When Senator Al Franken was hit with a bevy of sexual harassment allegations, it took Gillibrand 20 days to make a statement about it. She then took credit for “leading the charge” to get Franken removed from the Senate. During the height of #MeToo in 2017, Gillibrand happily threw former President Bill Clinton under the bus for his conduct in the 1990s, whereas a mere six months earlier she campaigned with him to get Hillary elected. She even said of President Trump during a Democratic debate that her first act as President will be “to Clorox the Oval Office.” For literally decades, she has had no such comments about Bill Clinton’s tenure as President. She was a staunch defender of both men when she needed their support, but turned on them the minute they no longer suited her.
This trend has continued with rhetoric and policies that deeply affect the Jewish community. Gillibrand, who has no moral compass other than what helps her gain more power, has repeatedly turned on her Jewish constituents as it no longer suits her to consider them. In September 2009, after a visit to Israel, Gillibrand released a statement endorsing the idea of collaborating with Russia and China to put pressure on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “Iranian regime’s word cannot be trusted, and a nuclear Iran cannot be tolerated,” she said. A mere few years later, in 2015, she supported the Iran deal, which she herself called “imperfect,” and would have given Iran a path to nuclear power within a decade.
In May of 2017, Gillibrand became a co-sponsor of S.270, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. This bill was one of many iterations of legislation preventing the federal government from contracting with businesses that boycott the State of Israel. However, after pressure from the ACLU, Gillibrand withdrew her co-sponsorship in August of 2017. When Senator Marco Rubio’s Senate bill S.1, which includes the “Combating BDS Act of 2019” came up for a vote, Gillibrand was one of 22 Democrats (which includes Bernie Sanders, who is technically an Independent), who voted against the bill. This comes after the State of New York, which is supposed to be the people she represents, passed their own anti-BDS legislation and Governor Cuomo signed anti-BDS executive orders.
In the midst of her re-election campaign in October 2018, Gillibrand had noted anti-Semite and founder of the Women’s March Linda Sarsour introduce her at a campaign rally. Sarsour is an important figure on the socialist left, so if Gillibrand needed to drive out the vote in a hotly contested Senate re-election effort, having her to introduce might be a defensible choice. However, Gillibrand’s challenger, Republican Chele Farley, barely cracked 33 percent in the General Election. This was not a tight race by any stretch of the imagination. Gillibrand still chose to spit in the face of the pro-Israel and Jewish communities by associating with one of the most despicably anti-Semitic figures in the American political scene today.
This explains her lack of comment regarding the multiple anti-Semitic statements said by freshman Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Between the two there have been at least a half dozen national controversies in 2019. On Twitter, which has become the most efficient way to communicate with the public, Gillibrand said nothing about any of those statements. Many other Democrats, including the other Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, condemned the remarks by Omar and Tlaib.
What about Israel? Since beginning to tacitly support, or at least not be anti, the BDS movement, Gillibrand’s support of Israel and her right to defend herself has waned. When 600 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in May of 2019, Gillibrand was silent. There was no mention on Twitter, no statement on her website, and no press release. Gillibrand does not care what happens to the Jewish State, and will not condemn those who attack it.
The increase in anti-Semitic crimes in New York is barely a concern to the Senator from New York. She tweeted once in February after seeing a story in The New York Times, and her condemnation of the shooting at the Chabad of Poway was centered around guns, not anti-Semitism. This is after New York City had seen a massive spike in attacks on Jews in 2019, up 83 percent compared to previous years, according to the NYPD. Gillibrand has been too busy on a failed presidential campaign to notice what’s happening in her own backyard.
The Jewish community of New York should be sick of the politicians who take them for granted. Gillibrand is every value that is held dear in the hearts of countless numbers of her constituency. Fortunately, she will not become President. Now it’s up to New Yorkers to ensure that she will no longer be representing them when her term is complete.
Moshe Hill is a political analyst who has written for The Daily Wire, The Queens Jewish Link, The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org. He is regularly featured on “The Josh M Show” podcast. Subscribe to aHillwithaview.com for more content from Moshe Hill. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/ahillwithaview and follow on Twitter @TheMoHill.