The Not Your Job Prize: Meg Whitman and the Jewish Question


Here are some plain facts about politics: Carly Fiorina will not be able to overturn the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision from the U.S. Senate. It is not President Obama's job to opine on New York City zoning regulations for religious non-profits. And there are even limits to the natural powers of Christine O'Donnell, who was last seen winning the scrapple faceoff against Chris Coons. No matter which of the Chrises wins the Senate seat Delaware voters once leased to Joe Biden (getting burned in the deal), your right to masturbate yourself – or, in this age of rapid technological progress, others – will not be infringed.

Most or all human commerce is outside the purview of politicians. And agents of the government operate for brief durations under specified authorities that are very clearly restrained—by the U.S., state and local constitutions, and by common sense. These points are intentionally buried during campaign years (now defined as "all odd years and all even years").

You can herniate yourself arguing, "Yes, but the county board of supervisors can't vote to end the war in Iraq," or "the president doesn't issue marriage licenses" or "how often will the secretary of commerce need to be up to speed on the principles of natural selection?"

But why fight it? The Not Your Job Prize honors the highest achievers in the race to politicize everything through radical upsizing of politicians' job responsibilities. The first NYJ winner comes from the current issue of L.A.'s Jewish Journal (whose piece on Jean-Luc Godard is the most disappointing cover story since The Atlantic promised us "The End of Men" as if that would be a bad thing). In a full-page ad on page 3, California's Republican candidate for governor makes clear that she will support Israel's right to exist when her post in Sacramento gives her authority over U.S. foreign policy:

Commerce with all nations, provincial-level diplomacy with none.