Hillary Clinton

The Passion of the Clark

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The most important issue in America at this hour is obviously whether the New Republic's Jonathan Chait is right or wrong about Wesley Clark. A couple weeks ago, pundits piled on Clark for suggesting that "New York money people" were distorting the debate over whether to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. I suggested that this was factual, and not anti-semitic. In rather more (and better) words, Matthew Yglesias suggested the same thing. Chait responds by calling Clark's words anti-semitic.

[T]o suggest that a tiny clique of Jewish financiers can by themselves force the American government to go to war goes well beyond any hard-headed analysis of Jewish political power. It assumes that small numbers of wealthy Jews essentially control the government.

This isn't what Clark was saying. "Rich Jews control the government" is an untrue assertion that Clark didn't make. "Rich and connected allies of Israel have a lot of influence in our politics, to the extent that candidates don't want to piss them off even when they're agitating for a scary Iran policy" is more like what Clark meant. Look, here's the context:

Clark was really angry about what he'd read in this column by UPI Editor at Large Arnaud de Borchgrave. In the piece… de Borchgrave details Bibi Netanyahu leading the charge to lobby the Bush administration to take out Iran's nuclear facilities, and paints U.S. air strikes against Iran in 2007/08 as all-but-a-done deal.

The crucial part of that column, italics mine:

Netanyahu then said Israel "must immediately launch an intense, international, public relations front first and foremost on the U.S. The goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. We must make clear to the government, the Congress and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S. and the entire world, not only Israel."

There are signs this is already happening in Washington. Before the invasion of Iraq, the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld troika decided the ousting of Saddam Hussein had to become an integral part of the "war on terror." Eventually 60 percent of Americans thought Saddam was behind 9/11, even though there was no link between the two. Today, the Bush-Cheney team faces the same spin scenario: how to weave the global war on terror and the Shiite powers that be in Iran.

So de Borchgrave reports that pressure by powerful allies of Israel is increasing the likelihood of a strike on Iran. (There's even better stuff in the column, including the Blofeld-esque comments of Oded Tira: "We need to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure. Hillary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party (must) publicly support immediate action by Bush again Iran." However, Tira is a Tel Aviv money person, not a New York money person, so this is irrelevant.) Instead of debating this, pundits debate whether you can refer to wealthy political donors* who 1) support/agree with Netanyahu and 2) want to strike Iranian nuclear facilities as "New York money people." There's a sort of forest-trees thing going on here, isn't there?

*It's worth noting that of the top 10 zip codes for political giving, six are in New York. Just don't say they have money!

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  1. [*It’s worth noting that of the top 10 zip codes for political giving, six are in New York. Just don’t say they have money! ]

    Wow! I’ll bet that if anyone said “wealthy New York Jews”,some folks would really dump a load in their pants!

  2. The New Republic ran an article from Martin Peretz about Harvard’s firing of Lawrence Summers, in which the author stated that “anti-Jew animus” was one of the reasons the faculty wanted him out.

    No, seriously.

    So you can pretty much treat accusions of anti-Semitism from the New Republic with all the respect they deserve.

  3. That’s right, sugar tits. The New York Money People have started all the political campaigns in history.

  4. Steve Sailer’s website today quoted a letter from a correspondent who told Sailer: “If you’re offering commentary that’s supportive of America’s soi-disant ‘pro-Israel’ forces, as [Michael] Barone was, it’s considered perfectly acceptable to note, albeit elliptically, that said forces are influential in the Democratic Party in part because they contribute large sums of money to Democratic politicians who are willing to toe the line. If, by contrast, one observes this fact by way of criticizing the influence of ‘pro-Israel’ forces, you’re denounced as an anti-Semite.”

    Of course, it’s probably anti-Semitic of Sailer to point this out.

  5. “Rich and connected allies of Israel have a lot of influence in our politics, to the extent that candidates don’t want to piss them off even when they’re agitating for a scary Iran policy” is more like what Clark meant.”

    So what if they are? Rich and connected allies of Mexico lobby the government on immigration. Rich and connected allies of China lobby the government on trade. Does Reason plan to change its position on these issues because big money allies of China and Mexico agree with them? I wouldn’t think so because the fact that big money allies of foreign countries support free trade and loose immigration does not necessarily make those ideas suspect. What does that have to do with the merits of the case for or against striking Iran. What makes Clark’s statement and Weigel’s support of it at best xenophobic and at worst anti-Semitic is the implication that just because “rich allies of Israel” are advocating the policy that policy and their support of it is by implication suspect or nefarious, unlike Chinese support of free trade or Mexican support of free immigration.

    If Weigel or Clark thinks that it is a bad idea to bomb Israel they should say so and explain why. It is perfectly reasonable to argue that Iran is not a threat or if it is bombing them will not help. What is not reasonable is to argue that bombing Iran is a bad idea merely because “big money allies of Israel” support it.

  6. Bomb Iran, not Israel.

  7. “Bomb Iran, not Israel.”

    Aw hell! Bomb ’em both and do the world a favor!

  8. “What is not reasonable is to argue that bombing Iran is a bad idea merely because “big money allies of Israel” support it.” That is not what Clark or Weigel or anyone is arguing. The argument goes like this – bombing Iran is a bad idea. There are a number of people in the US who seem to have a vested interest in bombing Iran no matter what the facts and what the consequences. Many of those people are rich New York (really East Coast) Jews who are using their resources to skew the debate in their favor. The fact that they are Jewish is relevant because their self-professed concern for Israel seems to be the main reason they have such an animus toward Iran. If you’re attacking a crazy policy I don’t think it is unreasonable to point out who the people behind the craziness are.

  9. “Does Reason plan to change its position on these issues because big money allies of China and Mexico agree with them?”

    I don’t know, John – why don’t you and your buddies spend a few years accusing them of being anti-Latino and anti-East Asian, and see if they cave.

    The” implication that just because “rich allies of Israel” are advocating the policy that policy and their support of it is by implication suspect or nefarious” exists entirely in your head. Clark didn’t say he opposed bombing Iran because of who supported it, but because it’s a bad idea.

  10. This is a classic example of the politics of projection. As Jonah Goldberg and many others have noted, the biggest reason many people supported the Iraq War was because they really, really hated those dirty, America-hating hippies who opposed it. This has been a central theme in pro-war discourse for years.

    So now they’re accusing their opponents of it – because Clark is against bombing Iran, and because he noted that Group X is pushing for it, that must mean that Clark hates Group X. That’s how they think, so it must be how everyone thinks.

  11. “Clark didn’t say he opposed bombing Iran because of who supported it, but because it’s a bad idea.”

    Then why did he mention the big money Jews in New York’s support of it? Why does that matter any more than it matters that the big money Mexicans support immigration? It doesn’t. It only matters if you think that there something nefarious about big money New York people having influence. It is just code for “the Jews run the government and are going to get us into a war”. There is no difference in what Clark is saying then Pat Buchanan ranting about the Mexicans overruning the country. It is the same principle.

  12. “So now they’re accusing their opponents of it – because Clark is against bombing Iran, and because he noted that Group X is pushing for it, that must mean that Clark hates Group X. That’s how they think, so it must be how everyone thinks.”

    Clark brought it up. Why does it matter who supports action against Iran? It only matter to the nutcases who think Israel runs foreign policy. There is no other reason to mention it.

  13. “As Jonah Goldberg and many others have noted, the biggest reason many people supported the Iraq War was because they really, really hated those dirty, America-hating hippies who opposed it.”

    And how many people are against doing something about Iran because they really really hate those fucking Jews that want to do something? I don’t know how many, but I suspect Clark maybe one of them.

  14. Further, it makes no sense. What big money people? Why would big money people want a war with Iran? A war with Iran would throw the price of oil to $80 a barrell and do God knows how much damage to the economy. That certainly doesn’t sound like something Wall Street would want. Let Bush threaten to bomb Iran and see what happens to the stock market. So who are these “big money people” who seem to want to advocate a policy that would cause them to go broke? I wonder?

  15. “Then why did he mention the big money Jews in New York’s support of it?”

    To explain why it was likely to happen, even though it’s a bad idea. From the article in which the quote appeared, ‘When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”‘

    Looks pretty obvious to me.

  16. “The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”‘

    There you go. What is that saying other than the fact that the evil Jews are going to get us into a war? That is right out of John Birch society. That statement speaks for itself. Go ahead and defend the indefensible if you want.

  17. “Why would big money people want a war with Iran?”

    Are you seriously pretending not to know why Likudniks would want the United States to blunt Iran’s military capacity?

    Go on, you can do it, John. Fill in the blank: People who are military hawks and who are passionately pro-Israel want the United States to degrade Iran’s military capacity because ________________. C’mon, buddy, I know you can do it.

    Is this really something that’s baffling you, or are you playing dumb?

  18. You’re a lunatic, John.

    I think I’ve drawn you out enough to show the mindset behind this slur against Clark.

    Thanks for your help, my work here is done.

  19. “The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”‘

    Think about the assumptions of that statement.

    1. The government and its elected officials will go to war because they were given money by the Jewish lobby and for no other valid reason.

    2. The Jewish lobby and their “big money people in New York” are so powerful that they can purchase America’s foreign policy and the use of it’s military.

    If you honestly believe those two things are true, how can you not hate the Jews? That is just whacked. That statement is right up there with the Communist plot through fluoridation. Bush really does bring out the worst in people.

  20. Anti-anti-semites like Chait are getting really tedious. If a small group of, let’s say, wealthy oil company executives are trying to shape national policy in a way that futhers their aims but may not be in the very best interest of the country at large, it’s perfectly appropriate to take notice of that fact. If a small state, like, say, Delaware, pursues policies to advance itself at the expense of the other 49 states, you’d better believe Chait thinks that is worth analyzing. But if a largely Jewish, pro-Israel lobby does the same sorts of things…Nope! Anti-semitism is the only possible motivation for even mulling over such a sentiment.

  21. “What is that saying other than the fact that the evil Jews are going to get us into a war?”

    that people in new york with money are pushing for this?

  22. Joe,

    I am crazy but you are the one saying the Lukiniks are going to get America into a war. It is just sad it really is. I am sorry you have sold your soul to this kind of thinking.

  23. “If a small state, like, say, Delaware, pursues policies to advance itself at the expense of the other 49 states, you’d better believe Chait thinks that is worth analyzing.”

    Essentially, Clark is accusing the Jews of being a fifth collumn and of having more loyalty to Israel than they do to America. That is a little more serious accusation than accusing a group of trying to suck a little more from the government tit at everyone else’s expense.

  24. Think about what Clark is saying. He is saying that going to war with Iran is a bad idea and against American interests but we are going to do it anyway becuase these big money people are buying off our elected officials to support the interests of this foreign country because the interests of that country, Israel, are more important to them than the interests of the United States.

  25. “I am crazy but you are the one saying the Lukiniks are going to get America into a war.”

    Nope, pushing for a war. I also believe that the big money Texas and Alaska people are pushing for oil subsidies; that the big money Hollywood people are pushing for vigorous enforcement of copyrights; and that the big Massachusetts and California people are pushing for funding for stem cell research.

    So who do I hate now?

  26. “Essentially, Clark is accusing the Jews of being a fifth collumn and of having more loyalty to Israel than they do to America.” – John

    “The Jewish community is divided…” – Gen. Clark

  27. “The Jewish community is divided…” – Gen. Clark”

    Oh so just half of the Jews are a fifth collumn. I stand corrected In Clark’s world there are apparently good Jews and bad Jews and the way to tell is by their support of Israel and whether they are big money or not.

    “Nope, pushing for a war.”

    Pushing for a war because they are more loyal to Israel than they are to the United States. That is straight out of the Weimar Republic.

  28. “Fifth column” doesn’t mean “a group of people in favor of an idea I oppose,” although with your mindset, I can see how you could make that mistake.

    You’ve been accusing people who disagree with you on policy of being traitors for years, John. That’s your own failure, and your own disgrace. Don’t project it onto Wesley Clark.

  29. John, I’m going to take issue with your characterization. A “fifth column” would, in fact, be working to subvert or overthrow the government of the United States. No one but Mel Gibson’s father is arguing chapter and verse from Protocols of the Elders of Zion like that. I _will_ argue that there are individuals and groups in this country that have failed to adequately differentiate between the national interests of the United States and the State of Israel, and that they are advocating policies that are not in the best interests of this country. I also think that, for instance, trade protectionists are advocating policies not in the best interest of this country. But they are not a “fifth column.”

  30. “I _will_ argue that there are individuals and groups in this country that have failed to adequately differentiate between the national interests of the United States and the State of Israel”

    That means they are a fifth collumnist. That is what a fifth collumnist is; someone who cares more about the interests of another country than they do the country where they live. You can sugar coat it all you want, but that is what you are calling supporters of Israel.

    Joe,

    Clark said that Jews are using their money to purchase influence with the government for the purpost of getting the U.S. into a war for the benifit of Israel and against its own interest. If that is not calling them traitors what is it? His statement totally dismisses any merit for taking action against Iran and implies that the only reason anyone would support it is because they let their loyalty to Israel outweigh their loyalty to the U.S. or they are on the payroll of Isreal’s allies.

  31. So, when Rick Barton shows up to argue that our entire foreign policy is predicated around serving Israeli dictates, will that make this conversation clearer or muddier? 😀

  32. 1/2 a bee – c’mon, now. Be fair to Rick’s arguments.

  33. Trying to get the government to pursue bad policies is not being a fifth columnist, it’s being a lobbyist for lousy causes. The fact that this policy is a war instead of subsidies or an embargo does not meaningfully differ the NY money people from various corporate interests and the Cubans in Miami.

    Finally, Israel is a small country with many enemies and few allies. For its supporters to try and help it by influencing the policy of its largest and most steadfast ally, is a pretty standard tactic and not sinister at all, except in the mind of, as Joe said, people who are used to calling everyone who disagrees with them a traitor.

  34. “That is what a fifth collumnist is; someone who cares more about the interests of another country than they do the country where they live.” Bzzt. That’s not what “Fifth Column” means.

    “Clark said that Jews are using their money to purchase influence with the government for the purpost of getting the U.S. into a war for the benifit of Israel and against its own interest.” “…and implies that the only reason anyone would support it is because they let their loyalty to Israel outweigh their loyalty to the U.S. or they are on the payroll of Isreal’s allies.” Bzzt. Clark never accused anyone of working against the interest of the United States. There is nothing anywhere in the quote to suggest that Clark believe the people pushing for this action consider it to be against the interest of the United States. As you demonstrate on a daily basis, lots of neoconservatives believe that “What’s good for Israel is good for America,” and that Israel’s battles are identical to our own fight against terrorism. Wesley Clark does not become an anti-Semite for noticing that there are people who share this belief, or even that some of them are Jewish. He doesn’t even become an anti-semite for disagreeing with them.

  35. “Trying to get the government to pursue bad policies is not being a fifth columnist, it’s being a lobbyist for lousy causes.”

    When you are talking about getting people into wars for other countries you are. How is the implication anything other than those damn Jews care more about Israel than they do the U.S.?

    “Finally, Israel is a small country with many enemies and few allies. For its supporters to try and help it by influencing the policy of its largest and most steadfast ally, is a pretty standard tactic”

    If it is Isrealis that would be one thing. But Clark is saying Americans are doing it. His statement was both bizarre and pretty damn scary. Do I think Clark is an anti-Semite? I doubt it. He has just bought into the nasty language and ignorance surrouding this debate. It was a stupid statement.

  36. “Clark never accused anyone of working against the interest of the United States. There is nothing anywhere in the quote to suggest that Clark believe the people pushing for this action consider it to be against the interest of the United States.”

    If that is the case then why mention it and why use the words that have such a nasty connotation as “big money New York people”? What a ignorant thing to say. If Clark had said, “a lot of people in this country think that it is always in the U.S. best interests to defend Israel” he wouldn’t have gotten so much flack for it.

  37. I think vanya’s post said it all, though the points made by joe and craig do a good job of fleshing it out. I would add jb’s qualifier that, yes, there are these Likudian fanatics that live in the US but advocate a policy on Iran that would not be best for the US, but that this is standard fare for many zealotic factions of ethnic groups throughout our history. Many Cubans push our current Cuba policy fanatically for reasons that do not necessarily mesh with overall US interests (and perhaps US interests is and has always been intertwined with such passions). It seems natural to me. Having said that, the use of anti-Semitism to try to silence anyone who points out that there are some Likudian Jews in the US and Israel who are trying very hard to influence US policy is pathetic and wearing thin, especially to the point that it degrades charges of anti-Semitism that actually have merit and need addressing. Let’s also note that “Likudian Jewish groups” are numerically small and any money they have would not necessarily mean political results (remember Phil Gramm’s presidential run) but they find fertile ground in the fevered imaginations and small brains of the Christian Zionists, of whom there are many. The latter are in my opinion the ‘unnatural’, more dangerous group when it comes to Mid-east policy…

  38. Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a meeting with Syria’s foreign minister, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website said in a report.

    “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives,” the Iranian president was quoted as saying.”

    Clearly only a Jewish fanatic would have any concern about this. It is the people like Clark who are pathetic. They rather than face a real danger and the tough problem of what to do about it, they accuse everyone who is concerned as shills for Israel. Iran is going to have a bomb within a couple of years and they give all intentions of using it. Maybe they are kidding. Maybe not. But accusing everyone who thinks this is a problem of being Israeli fifth collumnist and Christian Zionist is pretty pathetic.

  39. “If Clark had said, “a lot of people in this country think that it is always in the U.S. best interests to defend Israel” he wouldn’t have gotten so much flack for it.”

    No, you would have accused him of antisemitism just the same. We’ve all seen you call peole Jew haters for less.

  40. “Let’s also note that “Likudian Jewish groups” are numerically small and any money they have would not necessarily mean political results (remember Phil Gramm’s presidential run) but they find fertile ground in the fevered imaginations and small brains of the Christian Zionists, of whom there are many.”

    I think you are projecting. They found fertile ground in Clark’s imagination. He is the one who is accussing them of pushing the U.S. to war and using their big money in New York to buy politicians.

  41. Bush’s new emphasis on Iran’s suspected role as a destabilizing force in the region articulates what Middle East experts say is a growing conviction among Washington’s Sunni allies that Iran poses an immediate threat to their regimes’ interests and stability.

    “The administration believes that the Saudis had an epiphany, that Iran is the lens through which they now view all their security concerns,” says Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert and the deputy director of research at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “And that means the Saudis may be prepared to do a variety of things which previously they were not prepared to do.”

    http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0118nj1.htm

    Maybe Clark ought to be talking about the Saudi’s and their big money allies’ influence over Bush? Somehow I don’t think they will get mentioned.

  42. So now John admits that one can believe the US should bomb Iran to save Israel and not be a fifth columnist, because one can believe our interests are the same.

    You know who agrees with you, John? Wesley Clark, for one.

  43. “Maybe Clark ought to be talking about the Saudi’s and their big money allies’ influence over Bush? Somehow I don’t think they will get mentioned.”

    Uh, yeah, no one ever accused Bush of being too close to the Saudis.

  44. John-This works both ways. Those who think military intervention in re Iran is a mistake are not anti-Semites, and if they then go on to add a concern about Likudian factions who are pushing for such action they are still not anti-Semites. Now, we can debate if we should intervene in Iran militarily, but the issue is: was Clark anti-Semitic for suggesting that there is a group of Jews in the US who would like to see us intervene and are organizing and working hard to influence policy in that direction? I certainly don’t think his comments necessarily warrant that charge…As to my comments, I certainly do worry about those groups, because I worry they will influence Christian Zionists who are numerically strong enough to effect policy in that direction, which I think is wrong. This hardly makes my concern anti-Semitic (for one thing, I know, as Clark noted, that a great many Jews strongly disagree with such groups).
    As to the Saudi’s, didn’t Moore point that out? But to tell you the truth, the whole “the Sunni Middle East quietly supports us taking it to Iran” comes up SO much from Bush supporting pundits and SO little from neutral Mid-East experts that I would not bet on it. Remember all the reporting that the Sunni Mid-east “secretly” favored US/Israeli action against Hizbollah last year? If that was true it was some really good secret…

  45. 1/2 a bee – c’mon, now. Be fair to Rick’s arguments.

    I’m being more than fair. He may clarify and/or hedge them elsewhere, but in posts I’ve seen him post here, he goes well beyond anything Clark’s arguing.

    And David, Joe, etc.?

    Please. If one argues honestly that Jewish Americans sympathetic to Israel are lobbying for pro-Israeli policies, that’s fine. But a weasel expressions like “New York money people” when you’re specifically talking about a group of people who non-coincidentally are all pro-Israeli Jews is a codeword. Further, it’s a very unfortunate codeword because it’s (yes, probably very unintentionally) evocative of reams of real anti-Semitic propaganda about wealthy Jewish cabals manipulating the world.

    It’s absolutely possible to criticize Israel and its supporters without being anti-semitic. However, it’s also very possible to couch such criticism in a way that can make honest people suspect that you might be.

  46. Why does that matter any more than it matters that the big money Mexicans support immigration?

    I admit that I haven’t heard much criticism of “big money Mexicans” skewing the immigration debate by channeling their money in favor of lax immigration standards. But I *have* heard criticism of big money employers skewing the debate by channeling money in favor of lax immigration, which favors their private interest in cheap labor but (arguably) not the public interest. The proper response to such criticism is to show how the lax immigration favored by the rich employers *is* in the public interest as well as the private interest of those employers, not to scream “class warfare!” (or whatever the analog to accusations of “anti-Semitism!” is in this context).

  47. Eric,

    “New York money people” was inartful, and handed dishonest pieces of crap a convenient tool for their slurs.

    Decent people don’t engage in those slurs, even if they see an opening.

    And let’s be realistic – if Clark had replaced that phrase with “Likudniks” or “Isreal lobby,” John would have written precisely the same comments.

  48. 1/2 a bee: okay. we have different reads on his posts. I’ve seen posts critical of the Israeli gov’t and the Likud party.

    I’ve seen posts critical of those big government conservatives who share regional policy objectives with Likud. I’m unfamiliar with posts that hedge or state things beyond Clark.

    (instead of both of us putting words into his mouth, maybe he’ll stop on by to explain what he means.)

    I’ll leave this thread to your final comment. Or you can email me! But I’m going to drop this line. It’s not getting us anywhere.

  49. “New York money people” was inartful, and handed dishonest pieces of crap a convenient tool for their slurs.

    Indeed, and it could make honest people with any doubts as to his argument wonder whether there was some bigotry behind them.

    And let’s be realistic – if Clark had replaced that phrase with “Likudniks” or “Isreal lobby,” John would have written precisely the same comments.

    I’m not responding to things said by John. I don’t read things written by John except when people quote him. I am responding to you and Weigel and anyone else dismissing any possible disapproval of the remark as a purely partisan absurdity.

  50. VM: No offense, but we’ve never had a civil exchange of more than three or four comments/posts/emails, so I’m going to leave it at that, to.

  51. “I don’t read things written by John except when people quote him.”

    Wow Eric you are so cool. Can we all be just like you?

  52. Eric,

    I think the situation is comparable to John Kerry’s alleged joke about the intelligence of military personnel: it is not possible to read it as the right wing noise machine desires unless the words are taken out of context, and a campaign to do exactly that has been joined in order to unfairly malign the man.

  53. “The proper response to such criticism is to show how the lax immigration favored by the rich employers *is* in the public interest as well as the private interest of those employers,”

    The proper response is for people to explain why lax immigration policies are bad not scream that it is a corporate plot. You are right it works both ways. It goes back to what I keep saying and no one will listen to, “say why you think the Iran doesn’t warrent any action” don’t just say that it is a nefarious cabal forcing us to action using code words like “big money New Yorkers”. The near God like Eric the .5b stumbled on the right point.

  54. John Kerry’s alleged joke

    Dang, you’re harsher on it than I was; I at least considered it a joke. 😉

    it is not possible to read it as the right wing noise machine desires unless the words are taken out of context

    See, that’s the problem. Now, the “RWNM” might want me to think this is proof the guy’s a raving anti-Semite, but even reading it in context, someone might think there’s something untoward about the way he put it. Even the person who wrote down what he said was uncomfortable enough with the remark to feel the need to remind him that she was writing it down.

    Dismissing any wariness about such a thing as partisan propaganda just plays into the hands of the “noise machine”. “See? You thought that sounded a little…weird. They say anyone who had a problem with that was a crazy right-winger. And here, we’ll quote a few fringe Democrats and a bunch of nutso fruitbats talking about the ‘J-E-W-S’…”

  55. “The proper response is for people to explain why lax immigration policies are bad not scream that it is a corporate plot.”

    From the Prospect story: ‘When we asked him what made him so sure the Bush administration was headed in this direction, he replied: “You just have to read what’s in the Israeli press. The Jewish community is divided but there is so much pressure being channeled from the New York money people to the office seekers.”‘

    The question he answered was not “Do you think starting a war with Iran is a good idea?” The question was, “Why do you think starting a war with Iran is going to happen?”

  56. No, Eric, that was totally an alleged joke.

    BTW, you hear the one about the Massachusetts senator who announced he wasn’t running for president today? Yup.

    Also, I’m not “Dismissing any wariness about such a thing…” I’m dismissing arguments like John’s (also known as “what every right-wing blogger on the internet said at exactly the same time”), which goes quite a bit beyond “wariness” about phrasing.

  57. It’s a pity that people would rather talk about whether Clark, who is half Jewish, has made an anti-semitic comment, then whether we’re about to kill a bunch of people in Iran.

    I thought liberals were supposed to be humanitarians. I thought liberals were supposed to be peace-loving. A man comes out and warns us that politicians are about to get us into a new war, where we’re going to bomb a bunch of people because they may possibly be developing weapons like our own. He says he can’t believe we’re going to do this without ever even talking to them. Without ever trying diplomacy. We’d rather kill people than talk to them.

    And none of us liberals are even interested in discussing this concern. None of us are organizing to make sure that this new war doesn’t happen.

    No, we’d rather whine about words.

  58. 1/2 a bee:

    huh?

    Why should I take offense? We’re agreeing that we have different interpretations, and without the source here, we’ve agreed that we cannot figure out what he means. That’s perfectly reasonable of you. But I dont’ understand the rest of what you’re saying.

  59. John,

    Is it un-PC if the General is entirely correct?

  60. VM, if you’re not Viking Moose, I’m sorry for any confusion. But as you said, I’m letting the subject go.

  61. I’m dismissing arguments like John’s (also known as “what every right-wing blogger on the internet said at exactly the same time”)

    That characterization, I’ll agree with.

  62. The proper response is for people to explain why lax immigration policies are bad not scream that it is a corporate plot. You are right it works both ways.

    Well, if it is a corporate plot (i.e., if corporate money is going to lobbying and campaign contributions aimed at bringing about lax immigration policy), there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with pointing that out. Proponents of open immigration should then either (1) show that there is no corporate plot (i.e., that corporate money isn’t being used that way), or (2) that even if it is being used that way, it’s OK because in this case what’s good for the corporations *is* what’s good for the country. What they can’t legitimately do is shout down any raising of the corporate plot question as out-of-bounds class warfare; that’s because what’s good for General Motors and other employers *isn’t* always good for the country, just as what’s good for Israel isn’t always good for the United States. (And in some cases, what the Likudniks want isn’t even good for Israel, as plenty of Israelis will be happy to tell you.)

  63. 1/2 a bee:

    thanks, man!

    cheers,
    VM

  64. Hypothesis: big money donators from New York cause polititions to push for war.

    Test: the party what gets the most New York money should be in favor of war.

    Results: Total New York money from the top ten zip codes according to David’s link.

    Democrates: About 29 million
    Republicans: About 9 million

    Conclusion, big money from New York isn’t a major cause of hawkish politicians. If it was, the Democrates would be pushing for a war with Iran.

  65. Conclusion, big money from New York isn’t a major cause of hawkish politicians. If it was, the Democrates would be pushing for a war with Iran.

    These things are relative.

    NYC money = Dean implosion

    Do have any idea how much money it must have taken to make the Democrats not an opposition party from 2001 to 2005. Well, the love letters to Daschle probably helped, too. IIRC they said “DEATH TO ISRAEL.”

  66. Rahm Emanuel (D- IL) is head of the Democratic Leadership Council and thus one of the most powerful men in blue-state politics. During the Gulf War conflict he volunteered and served in the Israeli Defence Forces. Am I allowed to point this out? Am I being anti-semitic yet? How about if I throw in a pork-chop reference? Where’s the boundary?

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