April 13th, 2009
11:41 AM ET

Four tough questions for Democrats

Editor's note: Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. His new book, "Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security - From World War II to the War on Terrorism," will be published this fall by Basic Books. Zelizer writes widely on current events.
By Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

This week, Jews will conclude the eight-day celebration of Passover, a holiday that has often found its way into the political realm.

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. frequently invoked the story of the liberation of the Jewish people from the Egyptians in his struggle against white oppression. President Obama made headlines last week when he hosted a Passover Seder in the White House.

Today, Democrats can draw an important lesson from Passover, this time not so much from the story that is retold during the holiday but through the rituals that are the focus of the week. Last Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Jews gathered with families, friends and other groups to have a Seder.


Filed under: Democrats • President Barack Obama
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    Interesting....this weekend, my 86 year old mother said that Obama is apologizing for America....I pointed out that it is critical that President Obama make a distinction between the policies, i.e. the bailout, that was passed through Congress during the Bush administration and his current policy and reform bills.

    That confusion is clearly on the shoulders of the Republicans.

    Sure the Democrats are NOT making their case current, benchmarking the delineation and strong enough to the American public.

    April 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  2. Melissa

    Not particularly tough questions.

    The Republicans are being marginalized based on their own behavior, not anything the Democrats are doing. And if they keep up the behavior they've been showing recently, the Republicans will still be out of power in 8 years.

    People are finally starting to wake up to the fact that the Republicans are like a bunch of whiny children and don't have a clue what they're doing.

    Idealism is great but it doesn't make sure your family is fed, it doesn't make sure that illness doesn't kill them because you can't afford to pay for treatment, and it doesn't make sure you have a roof over your head. Republicans still haven't gotten that fact, no matter how much they claim to. They keep trying to blame the messanger instead of the message when its the message thats the problem.

    April 13, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  3. Michael C. McHugh

    Since we're in a reform period of the type that only comes around every 30-40 years, we should just go for broke and try to pass everything we can–a Second New Deal or Progressive Era. Forget about compromising with the Republicans, which they have no inclination to do anyway.

    April 13, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Mike in NYC

    That Seder did not belong in the White House. And Zelizer's analogy was strained, to say the least.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm |