Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer
Rabbi Prof. Dov FischerCourtesy

I like many of the Republicans seeking to unseat Joe Biden. First, Trump:

I like 98 percent of Trump’s policies very much. (He is weak on the lives of the unborn.) I love the once-in-a-century conservative-yet-populist agenda he implemented successfully. He is the first and only Republican president in a century who consistently and reliably named conservative judges and justices to the courts.

Just look at Israel to grasp what a difference it is to have judges who are honest and true to the law instead of their leftist-indoctrinated ideas of what is “reasonable.” Gasoline prices at the pump were under $3 a gallon in the Trump days before Biden declared a “war on fossil fuels” that has raised gasoline to over $6 a gallon in California. America became a net exporter of clean energy. Inflation was so low that younger people had to look up the word in a dictionary to know what it is. Black unemployment was the lowest ever, as was Hispanic unemployment.

Under Trump, Putin behaved himself, as did the North Korean Doughboy. NATO — a conglomeration of the cheapest penny-pinchers on earth (forever projecting their own cheapness on Jews) — started paying their dues. The American embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem, the U.S. gave formal recognition to the legality of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and stopped calling it the “West Bank.” Threw the PLO office out of Washington, D.C., cut off the “Palestine Authority,” and pulled out of the anti-Semitic U.N. “Human Rights Council.” America got tougher on crime, tougher on illegal immigration, started building the wall Trump promised.

If only Trump also were more of a mentsch instead of a bullvahn sometimes! If only. Still, I liked Trump very much at the GOP debate.

What are you saying? He wasn’t on the stage? He actually was all over it.

And yet I also love Mike Pence. There is not a more honest, deeply conservative, religiously faithful man in the race than he. More: Until the January 6 mess, he was 100 percent loyal to the Trump MAGA program, and he still is.

January 6 was unfortunate. He did what he had to do. He was not the Villain of January 6. Rather, all the foolish Republican leaders in Congress and throughout the states who have allowed voting by “no shows” via postal mail and vote harvesting and unattended drop-box voting and two-week and four-week and six-weeking voting windows instead of a single defined Election Day, and a new failure to carefully match signatures to voting records —- those are the criminals of January 6 . . . and will be next January 6 and the January 6 after that . . . until America gets elections back to the way they always were here . . . and are all over the rest of the world. There needs to be only one day of voting, and it is called “Election Day,” with discrete exceptions made only for diplomats stationed abroad, armed forces stationed away from home, hospitalized patients, and maybe non-felons incarcerated that day.

I like Mike. I like Mike Huckabee. I like Mike Pompeo. And I like Mike Pence. I trust him as much as I can trust any politician. He knew the price he would pay politically for taking his January 6 stand. He is true to the Constitution. I cannot buy into demonizing such a good man.

The thing is, I know he is not really running for President because he knows his brand is so damaged in the GOP right now. So what’s his game? First, to tell the public his side of January 6. He has no other bullhorn forum because the leftist mainstream media shut out all Republicans. And he hopes to run in 2028, so he is working to burnish his credentials. I like you, Mike. But I am a “polygamist” when it comes to GOP presidential candidates because I like so many of them. So, yes, I have said some nice things about you here because, well, that was big-a-my.

Which brings me quickly to Governor Burgum of one of the Dakotas. Every time I see him, I turn up the sound because, otherwise, it looks to me like Martin Scorcese is on the stage. Those eyebrows, the whole get-up. The only way I am sure it is not Scorsese is that, wherever Scorsese is, Robert DeNiro is right behind. And I know that DeNiro, whose acting I always have loved, is a foul-mouthed urchin. So there is that. Other than his eyebrows, Burgum does not much matter in the GOP race.

As to Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, it is so weird watching the two candidates from South Carolina beating up on each other. First of all, I like them both, and it’s like watching my two brothers fight publicly with each other. It pains me. (It would pain me even more if I actually had brothers.) Also, it’s weird because Nikki, when she was governor, named Tim to be a United States Senator when there was a vacancy. He never would have had the opportunity to show America how great he can be if she had not given him the chance. Once in, people saw how good he is.

But not good enough to be President of the United States, at least not yet. Maybe in 2032. But he is pretty good.

Nikki is a more interesting bird. What is she thinking — that she is going to be nominated over Trump and DeSantis? Of course not. She is smart as a whip. She is running for Vice President — only, that is a secret that only she and I know. She saw how Kamala did it. Kamala, whose rise from obscurity to political name recognition came about because of her nighttime escorting the half-century-older Willie Brown, who was married to someone else, has finally gained the opportunity for the public to judge the real Kamala Harris on her own merits. She is revealed to be a giggling idiot — perfect for a Biden Vice President, someone so incompetent and plain stupid as Veep to assure he would not get impeached until the end of his only term because the Senate would be terrified to open the door to her earlier.

That’s where Nikki is at. She has some good foreign policy experience. Was a good governor. Actually has some excellent qualifications for the job. And, like Kamala, she has roots from India and thus is a Person of Color (sort of like my Uncle Stanley of Brooklyn after he would spend two weeks in Florida every winter). She will have to make up with Trump after he gets nominated, but she was his U.N. ambassador, and he forgives critics who seek his mercy. Trump might decide a Woman of Color, from Kamala’s India, might help with women voters. That’s Nikki’s game. In the alternative, she will take Secretary of State.

Which brings us to Mr. Ramaswamy. What in the world is he doing there? How do these things happen to America? Who is this character?

He talks well and is quick on his feet? So am I. So are several million of us. Really. Catch one of my relatively few debates or interviews or speeches on YouTube. I’m incredibly good at public speaking, debating, coining memorable one-liners, and stuff like that. So why don’t I run for president, too? Because I have a more important role here at Arutz Sheva, writing my kishkes out trying to explain how it is possible to love both Trump and Pence (i.e., the winning 2016 ticket) evn though they can’t stand each other.

Talking about Nikki and India, Ramaswamy’s strategy is basically to show up, talk smoothly, slick up his hair, promise a Santa Claus bag of goodies that he has no idea how to deliver, and just be a new face. While everyone else on the stage bad-mouths Trump, as though that will help them with the GOP base that loves him, Ramaswami talks up Trump and praises Trump.

Get it? He is playing three-dimensional chess. He knows it is hopeless to beat Trump, and he knows Trump rewards not only genuine supporters (as he should) but also sycophants. So Omarosa ends up in the White House because she once was a contestant on his TV show. Ramaswami knows Trump is watching the debates. Therefore, he is running for Vice President as the only Trump sycophant there. And we have not seen this spirited a cage fight between two Americans from India since the last National Spelling Bee. He definitely will end up in Trump’s cabinet, not bad for a guy who apparently sneaked past security and ended up on the stage with pros.

That leaves Christie. He is there for one reason: Vendetta. This is not about the presidency; it is about that Trump never named him to a cabinet spot. Christie would have been a better Attorney-General and attack dog than Jeff Sessions, who inadvertently torpedoed Trump’s first term like a guy recovering a fumble and then running 99 yards with it the wrong way. He would have been better as head of the FBI than Trump’s cockamamie appointment of Christopher Wray. But Christie got blacklisted. Why? Because he had fiercely, correctly, and successfully prosecuted and locked up a bad man in 2005 as United States Attorney in New Jersey. But that criminal’s son ended up marrying Trump’s daughter, so Christie’s mazal was that the guy he busted ended up Trump’s mekhutan (in-law). So it’s purely personal. The debates give Christie a stage to defame Trump for the next six months. As long as people are willing to donate to his therapy sessions, we get to listen.

That’s about it.

Oh, DeSantis? I love him and hate him. It’s personal. Half my synagogue congregation has left Newsom’s California to live in DeSantis’s Florida. My chazan (High Holy Days cantor) moved to live under DeSantis. (Hi, Chazan Erblich! Regards to Leah.) Also, my Assistant Chazan has moved to DeSantis’s Florida. (Hi, Rabbi Mizrachi! Regards to Sheila.) Half my congregation. Warren. Janine. Selwyn. David and Cynthia. I can go on and on.

DeSantis is my top choice for 2028 because he actually has done stuff: changed Florida’s public school textbooks to take out the LMNOPQ garbage, and teach kids real American history. He has stood up to the the Disney Leftists. He ships Illegals to Eric Adams, since New York City has announced they warmly welcome undocumented immigrants in the Sanctuary City, where they are greeted with a smile and afforded a choice of street corners to sleep every night. DeSantis turned Florida from Democrat to Republican by knowing how to pick fights, when to hold, when to attack. He is great. This run is his sneak preview. My ticket for 2028 is DeSantis-Pompeo. (Pompeo is running for 2028. Watch the movie “Route 60: The Biblical Highway.” He is in the ring.)

Bottom line: As of now, I predict a Trump-Haley ticket. Ramaswamy as Secretary of Transportation. Pence on a successful book tour. Christie defending Giuliani in court for the next four years. Tim Scott a notch higher in the Senate. DeSantis in Florida stealing more of my minyan (quorum of worshippers). And the guy from Dakota starring in a biography of Martin Scorsese.

Adapted by the writer for Arutz Sheva from a version of this article that first appeared here in The American Spectator.

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Rav Fischer’s recent hour-long interview on a range of pressing contemporary Jewish issues, ranging from the “Palestine” Fraud to incorrigible Jewish leftists and their like-minded reform rabbis to the weakness of pro-Israel campus Jews who root their advocacy in Victimology instead of Jewish strength, can be found here.