So Much Wrongness in Just One Matthew Dowd Tweet

ABC News Chief Political Analyst Matthew Dowd's Tweet on Trump and antisemitism provides a case study in bad Twitter analysis

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

On August 15th, President Trump tweeted: "It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds."

ABC News political director Matthew Dowd, apparently in response, tweeted this:

I'm not sure I've seen two sentences as replete with error, non sequitur, and faulty analysis.

Let's start with outright error. Netanyahu's favorability/unfavorability rating among Jewish Americans: 45 percent favorable/38 percent unfavorable. This isn't even the same universe as "eighty percent opposed."

As for Trump, his disapproval rating among American Jews has hovered consistently around 70%, though Gallup showed a 36% average approval rating in 2018. 70% is at least in the same universe as 80%, but it's still at best an exaggerated statistic. Moreover, there is a difference between "disapprove" and "oppose." I know many people, Jews and otherwise, who "disapprove" of Trump, but who are considering voting for him for reelection; most of those definitely will if the Democrats nominate Sanders or Warren. Do they count as "opposed?" In any event, you would think the chief political analyst for a major news network could do better than simply make up statistics, and Dowd's statistics for American Jewish "opposition" to Trump and Netanyahu were simply made up.

Let's go to non sequitur. Whatever the level of Jewish disapproval or opposition to Trump [much less Netanyahu], how is that responsive to Trump's claim that Omar and Tlaib hate Israel and "all Jewish people?" Putting Trumpian exaggeration aside, one can easily find Jewish people–again, I know many  of them–who strongly dislike, indeed, "oppose" Trump–who also (a) acknowledge the obvious, that Omar and Tlaib hate Israel–given that both oppose Israel's very existence, this is rather hard to deny; and (b) believe that Omar and Tlaib have engaged in antisemitic rhetoric, and that Omar, in particular, is very likely personally antisemitic. In fact, judging by my social media feed the relative lack of mainstream Democratic reaction to/sanction of Omar and Tlaib's hatefest on Israel and its supporters, often with antisemitic overtones, has really distressed many Jews, especially those who are moderate Democrats and therefore don't have any ideological interest in defending these radical Democrats. The backlash has been muted only because they find Trump so distasteful, and he  has entered the fray on the other side.

Here's another non sequitur: what do the white evangelicals, whose support for Trump Dowd leads with, have to do with anything? Are they supposed to be somehow the "opposite" of Jews, as if they are all antisemites? All the survey data I've seen suggest that conservative white evangelicals are no more likely to be antisemitic than Americans as a whole (no less a liberal than Abe Foxman said the same thing based on ADL data), and there is a strong streak of philo-semitism in the evangelical world, reflected in groups such as Christians for Israel and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Let's go on to faulty analysis. Dowd suggests that if 80% of Jews are opposed to Trump, it must be because Trump traffics in antisemitism. A review of the debate over whether Trump has contributed to antisemitism (as many Jews and others believe) or is a generally philosemitic president (as others believe) or both (!) is beyond the scope of this blog post. But here is a key point that ABC's chief political analyst should know: surveys consistently show about 70 percent of Jews are or lean Democratic; another 25 to 30 percent are or lean Republican. About 70 percent of American Jews disapprove of Trump. About 30 per cent approve of him. In short, one could predict the level of support Trump has among Jewish Americans with a great degree of accuracy simply from the partisan breakdown of American Jews. This means in turn, that there is no statistical basis for Dowd's suggestion that American Jews "oppose" Trump because of antisemitism. Rather, at most, it seems that Jews who are inclined to support Democrats interpret Trump's actions and remarks regarding Jews unfavorably, while Republican-leaning Jews do the opposite–on the assumption that few Jews who be favorably inclined toward someone they believed was trafficking in antisemitism.

Finally, even if one were inclined to (mistakenly) attribute American Jewish disapproval of Trump to American Jews' "better read" on antisemitism, what would one make of the fact that Trump is extremely popular among Jewish Israelis, with approval hovering around 70 percent? For that matter, what would one make of the fact that 88 percent of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) American Jews, who because they wear visibly Jewish garb are most vulnerable to antisemitic assault, approve of Trump? Or that more generally, the more religiously observant an American Jew is, the more likely he is to approve of Trump? Does Dowd think that Reform and secular American Jews have a better handle on antisemitism than do Israeli Jews and than do American Haredi, Mordern Orthodox, and Conservative Jews?

Dowd's tweet (with over 50K likes!) tells me two things: first, Twitter is a terrible place to go for reasonable, accurate political analysis; and, second, when the chief political analyst for a Big 3 news network unabashedly peddles such garbage, mistrust of the "MSM," especially on the right, is far from baseless.

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  1. Shouldn’t conflate anti-Israel with anti-Jew. I suppose anti-Jew necessarily includes anti-Israel, but not the opposite.

    Some try to disguise their anti-semitism as anti-Israelism by saying Israeli Jews should leave the Mideast to the Palestinians, but they don’t say where and don’t even fool themselves.

    1. Actually many Zionists were antisemites and probably that is still to some extent true. Chesterton, for example, supported the right of Jews to return to Palestine, but that’s only because he wanted them out of England.

      1. I shoulda known there’d be exceptions 🙂

        1. After WWII, there was a bit of an international crisis. Many of the European Jews were… uncomfortable… returning to their previous homes. The Allied powers were victorious but didn’t want to choose either A) making them go back, or B) allowing them to resettle, en masse, within the Allies themselves. So they decided to “give” them a nation of their own, displacing people who were already there. Amazingly, this led to some resentment, if you can believe it. And many of the Allies STILL don’t want any refugees from this simmering geopolitical mess.

          1. Not a great deal of displacing, actually; The population density in Israel at the time was very low, and a considerable fraction of the population were already Jewish.

            Most of the “displacing” came when the neighboring Arab states decided that they were going to destroy the new country, and urged non-Jews in Israel to evacuate. Then after the war went Israel’s way, Israel was, understandably, reluctant to allow those people back.

            The non-Jews who’d already lived there, and didn’t leave, got to stay.

            1. Sorry, Brett, time for fairy tales is long gone. Close to one million Arabs were driven out of Palestine in 1947-49 as a consequence of the “War for Independence”/”Catastrophe”, depending on whose side you’re on. A great many Israelis and American Jews now recognize that the founding of Israel was a lot messier than the version you’re peddling.

              1. No, close to one million Arabs left, not were “driven out”.

              2. Oh, it was messy. Car bombs which injured hundreds of Jews, the Arab blockade of the entire Jewish community in Jerusalem (100,000 civilians), and the killing of the hundreds of Jewish people who dared to try supply the Jewish citizens in Jerusalem. And that just kicked off the war at the beginning. Meanwhile former German SS officers were “volunteering” for the Palestinians.

                In the wake of all the violence, the well off rich and middle class Palestinians decided to leave, while the Arab liberation army foreign units started to come in.

                1. Now, the battle of Jerusalem continued, as rationing kicked in in Jewish Jerusalem, and the Arab forces continue to attack any forces that tried to supply them. One of the waystops was the Jewish village of Kfar Etzion. Later (1948) Kfar Etzio was attackede attacked by the Arab forces, and fell. Over a hundred Jews, many civilians, died…some after they surrendered.

                  But back to the Siege of Jerusalem. There were a few Arab villages on the route. These were attacked and destroyed. It was viewed as necessary, in order to ensure the survival of the 100,000 Jews being starved out in Jerusalem.

          2. You assume that history started during WWII and forget all about the Palestine Mandate after WWI whereby the land was to be for the Jewish people. Unfortunately 4/5ths was given to Palestinian Arabs to become the Heshemite Kingdom of Jordan. After WWII, the remaining 1/5th was once again divided between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews. Only the Jews accepted the deal which became the country of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs refused which led to occupation of the area by Jordan, the area of Gaze occupied by Egypt, and the Golan Heights occupied by Syria.

            1. “You assume that history started during WWII and forget all about the Palestine Mandate after WWI”

              You assume a lot about what I assume. Obviously, it was after WWI that the Allies felt guilty about what they’d let the Nazis get up to.

              1. Are you a politician? You didn’t address a single point he made.

                1. “You didn’t address a single point he made.”

                  In the sense that I pointed out that his fundamental assumption was unsound, I addressed all of them.

    2. “Shouldn’t conflate anti-Israel with anti-Jew.”

      Nor anti-Israel-government-policy with anti-Israel, either.

  2. Would really prefer that Matthew Dowd, President Trump, Curt Schilling, and pretty much all the other gentiles stop lecturing Jewish people on what Jewish people do/don’t should/shouldn’t support. I feel like the cleavages within the community are worse than they’ve been and having Jews used as a political football isn’t helping.

    1. I infer from your lecturing gentiles that you too are a gentile.

    2. My interest in cleavages within the Jewish community largely centers around Scarlett Johansson.

      1. And as far as I can tell, that’s just as good as it ever was.

  3. reaction to/sanction of Omar and Tlaib’s hatefest on Israel and its supporters, often with antisemitic overtones, has really distressed many Jews

    Most (if not all) Jews I know are mature adults who don’t go on a unhinged ~888 word rants on blogs whenever someone kicks out a single tweet. And they aren’t distressed by what one or two people out of a 535 member body may of or may not have said or think about one nation’s policies.

    Twitter is a terrible place to go for reasonable, accurate political analysis; and, second, when the chief political analyst for a Big 3 news network unabashedly peddles such garbage, mistrust of the “MSM,” especially on the right, is far from baseless.

    Nothing in your ~888 word “blog post” is reasonable or an accurate political analysis. And one wonders why Volokh Conspiracy still allows you to peddle this bias “garbage” here.

    1. The US Congress is, by far, the most powerful group of people in the world. With a just couple of votes, they can, literally, act to destroy any country or organization in the world.

      With that in mind, paying attention to what just “one or two people” say and do sounds pretty rational, doesn’t it?

      Of course, most rational people also don’t go around counting the number of words in other people’s posts, as if it has some sort of special meaning.

      1. I was trying to understand that. Is it some hybrid of 666 and 88? Emacs says 910 words, and that’s close enough once you allow for varying definitions of “word”. Could one try different counters to see which one he is using? Or is it possible his count was close enough to 888 to make the lie impossible to pass up?

        1. If I could upvote here, I’d upvote you just for using emacs.

          1. A real man would have used Edlin.

      2. “With a just couple of votes”? Or “with just a couple of votes”? Reminds me of the play on the Nike slogan: “Do it just.”

      3. For the record, I cut’n’paste the text of the article (no title, byline, etc., just the text), and got this:
        countwrd count.txt
        Counting words in count.txt
        Words: 851 over 1 chars; Total Words: 889

    2. “Most (if not all) Jews I know are mature adults who don’t go on a unhinged ~888 word rants on blogs whenever someone kicks out a single tweet. ”

      The number of blog rants by people when Trump kicks out a single tweet….

      ” And they aren’t distressed by what one or two people out of a 535 member body may of or may not have said or think about one nation’s policies.”

      Canary in the coal mine. When 1 or 2 people in a caucus are saying such things, and aren’t immediately being censured by their leadership, you can bet the number of people who privately think such things is closer to 20-40. From Obama’s actions and his past associations, you can bet he was influenced towards those aspects.

      1. What happens when 20-40 people in Congress vote for something, and the rest don’t?

        1. In 1928, the Nazis got just 12 seats in the Reichstag. By 1930, they got 107 seats, representing “just” 18.3% of the votes. In 1932 the Nazis picked up 230 (of 608) seats. With that, in 1933, the Nazis managed to ban all other political parties.

          Canaries in the coal mine….

          1. The lesson there, is to stay here and NOT travel to 1920’s Germany.

            1. Yes, that’s the lesson…..

              1. Of course, if you had your heart set on traveling to 1920’s Germany, there’s a little job we might ask you to take care of.,,

                1. Buying Hitler’s paintings so he doesn’t seek a new line of work?

                2. You want some Weinersnitchel?

                  Of maybe perhaps you’re suggesting “removing” Hitler from the picture, so that when the Nazis take power, they have someone competent in charge, and then they can win WWII…

                  1. British Special Operations Executive canceled Operation Foxley to assassinate Hitler because almost anyone who would have took his place would have been more effective. Hitler was all presentation, form over substance, and made serious strategic blunders.

      2. When 1 or 2 people in a caucus are saying such things, and aren’t immediately being censured by their leadership, you can bet the number of people who privately think such things is closer to 20-40.

        Have you forgotten that their comments, in fact, were censured? There was quite a fuss over it, actually. The final resolution watered down the language a bit, but its import and motivation were clear.

        Meanwhile, Trump has said a number of things that were as “anti-Semitic” as anything Omar said, and yet…

        1. The resolution changed from explicitly censuring the couple of anti-Semite congresswomen to a joint generic resolution against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The new resolution did not mention the congresswomen, nor their words and deeds.
          Instead, it has some fluff language mixed in with concrete examples that, curiously (after the Democrats writing it were through) were all things that the Democrats blame on the Right – even when it’s actually Democrats doing the crimes.

          And, of course, it ends with a paragraph taken almost straight from the 2018 Democrat party platform, chock-full of SJW buzzwords to inspire their base.

          So, yeah, the motivation was clear: Protect the Democrats (including their anti-Semites) and attack the Republicans.

    3. “Most (if not all) Jews I know are mature adults who don’t go on a nhinged ~888 word rants on blogs whenever someone kicks out a single tweet. ”

      The author does no such thing.

      No ranting about Pres. Trump’s tweet, for example.

      1. “We don’t go on unhinged rants over single tweets OH NO TRUMP OH NO COVINGTON OH NO OFF-CENTER TWEETS THAT VIOLATE RECEIVED SJW WORLDVIEWS!!”

        What were we talking about again?

    4. “Most (if not all) Jews I know are mature adults who don’t go on a unhinged ~888 word rants on blogs whenever someone kicks out a single tweet. And they aren’t distressed by what one or two people out of a 535 member body may of or may not have said or think about one nation’s policies. ”

      Just out of curiosity, what were your opinions on the Covington Catholic fiasco? Surely you didn’t think that the baseball cap worn by a 16-year-old boy was of national import; however, the only commentary on such I can find from you is mocking the “wingnut talking points” of another reader.

      The tweets of members of U.S. Congress and large news networks are fair game for commentary. These are not obscure people, devoid of power and influence; their mere tweets make news. Moreover, it’s always important to discuss bad analysis: we can’t get anywhere as a nation if we do not know how to debate and interpret data.

      1. “…however, the only commentary on such I can find from you is mocking the “wingnut talking points” of another reader….”

        theo,
        How did you track down the past posts of the earlier commentator? I thought that, with the new site, we lost the ability to see past posts for ourselves, as well as for other posters? Can you give a step-by-step explanation of how you accomplished your search?

        1. I would think a Google site search with the search term the name of the commenter you’re interested in should achieve your ends.

          1. What is a Google site search (ie, what is special about it as opposed to a regular Google search?)?

            1. it limits the results to a particular site. You can do “xyz site:reason.com” to limit the results to reason.

              1. 12,
                Thanks for the tip. Did not work, unfortunately. I did a search for my own username. (Inside the brackets) [santamonica811 site:reason.com]

                Did not work. I mean, it did bring up a long list of Volokh threads–and I’m sure those are the ones I posted in. But at the older sites, of course, it was a simple matter to click on my name, or your name, etc, and easily see all of that person’s posts. It is marginally helpful (if, for example, I wanted to see all your past posts) to be able to see all the threads you contributed to. But that still would leave me with hours of opening each link/thread, and then scrolling down, manually checking to see if you posted once, or 30 times.

                Dreadful new system…IMO the biggest weakness of a really user-unfriendly website. (Well, up there with the lack of an edit button, I guess.)

                1. That’s true, that search doesn’t bring you to the exact location in the thread where your user name occurs, you have to use “find” (CTRL-F) to do that. But, yeah, tedious.

                  However, I’d say that Reason is, in fact, user friendly, in the sense that they don’t mess with the users. They’re just not user-convenient.

                  1. Heh. Okay, fair enough. But after seeing the VC on various sites where such a search was easy-peasy . . . this is a real step backwards. IMO, it makes the site much less desirable and as a result, I visit it much less frequently than I did in the past. (I suspect that many others have had a similar reaction, and I suspect that this equally touches all the demographics of the VC viewership.)

                  2. Brett,
                    Much thanks for your Ctr-F tip. I was unaware of that, and using that makes it pretty reasonable to do a search quickly. (if you select “highlight all” then you can scroll down super-quick and still not miss that person’s posts)

                    Maybe the VC viewership is pretty computer savvy and everyone already knew this shortcut. But I didn’t . . . very much appreciated!!!

  4. White evangelicals are first in line with all the other historically dominant bigotries. The only reason they aren’t specifically anti Semitic is because Jews are useful to their Second Coming theology. And even then they respect them only insofar as they expect them to convert to Jesus when the time comes.

    1. No; that’s false. The people you describe are only a small percentage of evangelicals.

    2. “White evangelicals are first in line with all the other historically dominant bigotries.”

      Yeah, white evangelicals are so bigoted. I mean, I know a couple good ones, but most are terrible.

      1. Sarc or not sarc?

        1. 100% sarc, I’d guess. 12 is reasonably far to the right on most issues, and I think that includes re religion.

    3. Check your own bigotry, fuckwit.

  5. It seems to me that the central question of this dispute is whom you consider to be “real Jews.” Most Democratic Jews are “culturally Jewish” but not religiously Jewish. Religious Jews support Israel.

    1. Man, you hang out with *wildly* different religious Jews than I do. (But I’ll grant the point that, overall, very-religious Jews are less likely to vote Democrat than are secular or “mildly” religious ones.)

      1. Some percentage of the Jews living in Israel oppose their current government, too. By the common logic offered here (and elsewhere), that makes those Israeli Jews “anti-semitic”.

        1. Some day there will be a Palestinian state. I assume people will jump for joy as another kleptocracy dicatorship is created.

    2. Religious Jews support Israel

      So the Satmar aren’t religious?

  6. Why should anyone who isn’t Donald Trump care about his opinion of what Israel should do, and why should anyone who isn’t Donald Trump care about Mr. Dowd’s criticism of Mr. Trump?

    1. Yeah, that’s my usual attitude when the President expresses an opinion on something: “You and what army?”

      Oh, wait, he does have an army.

      On the latter point, true.

      1. If you take President Trump seriously when he says anything, that’s your own fault.

  7. “For that matter, what would one make of the fact that 88 percent of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) American Jews, who because they wear visibly Jewish garb are most vulnerable to antisemitic assault, approve of Trump?”

    The obvious inference is that the Haredi are remarkably credulous, very lousy people.

    1. Or the obvious inferenece is that you are a bigoted piece of filth, who has an inferiority complex and has the need to continuously and repeately claim that you are one of our “betters,” which is apparently based on nothing more than your own assessment of what is right and wrong.

      1. The betters are the people on the right side of the important divide(s).

        Education vs. ignorance.

        Tolerance vs. bigotry.

        Reason vs. superstition.

        Modernity vs. backwardness.

        Inclusivity vs. insularity.

        Science vs. dogma.

        Freedom vs. authoritarianism.

        Strong liberal-libertarian schools vs. backwater religious schools and homeschooling.

        Modern, successful communities vs. can’t-keep-up backwaters.

        Progress vs. pining for illusory good old days.

        1. Rev,

          Just wondering: would you categorize your maligning of all Haredi Jews under your virtue of “tolerance” or “inclusivity”? And which definition of “bigotry” excludes your sentiment?

          Thanks.

          1. He’s simply refusing to tolerate intolerance. You’d realize this if you weren’t such a bitter clinger.

            1. Wondering if Kirkland realized that he put those he hates on the “right side” of his “divide”,” but then he already holds the “Conspiracy” record for pot / kettle posts so I guess not.

            2. And when you get to describe who is intolerant and who isn’t in your own views, you can not “tolerate” anyone.

          2. JL,
            One assumes that, at worst, the good Rev is maligning 88% of Haredi Jews, right? 🙂

            1. The ones who appease or embrace bigotry by supporting Trump are lousy people. The others are credulous but not deplorable.

          3. Don’t feed the trolls, Kleppe. You’re only wasting your limited time on Earth.

        2. Too bad you’re on the wrong side of all of those, cretin.

          Education? A majority of high school dropouts are Democrats.

          Tolerance? Leftists swim in their own intolerance of any other thought.

          Reason? You couldn’t reason your way out of a wet paper bag.

          Et cetera. Leftists are the most insular, dogmatic, authoritarian, ignorant fuckwits on the planet, and you’re a perfect example.

          1. ” Leftists are the most insular, dogmatic, authoritarian, ignorant fuckwits on the planet, and you’re a perfect example.”

            Partisans are the most insular, dogmatic, authoritarian, ignorant fuckwits on the planet, and you’re ALSO a perfect example.

  8. I’m an American, and not even vaguely Jewish (or any other kind of Middle-Eastern descent, either).

    I’ve never been clear on why I am required to pick a side and then support that side, right-or-wrong. As a result, I can say that there’s plenty of blame for bad stuff to go around, and everybody can have some, and I don’t necessarily support… or oppose… “either” of the 87-or-so different sides of that particular conflict.

    1. It is hard to pick a side for right or wrong when there really is no clear boundary line with anything going on in the Middle East. I saw just let them duke it out and the victor takes all the spoils. It is bound to happen sooner or later.

      1. Let us finish pumping all the oil out, first.

      2. “I saw just let them duke it out”
        Been happening since 1948 – – – – – –

    2. From my perspective, it’s a Nash equilibrium. Both sides arming and rising up and pushing down on the other so that they can fight less effectively. Neither willing to back down.

      It would be best for both sides if everyone stopped shooting, took down the checkpoints, and started working together. However, the first side who does this is most likely to get hurt.

      What to do about it is another issue entirely. One that has stumped our best and brightest for the past half-century.

      1. No worries. Jared is on it.

  9. Another flaw in Dowd’s post is that it assumes that American Jews are knowledgeable about the facts. They are in many ways abysmally ignorant, aided by the fact that in the main they rely on the media for their facts.

    For example, how many know that the organization which sponsored Omar’s and Tlaib’s trip to “Palestine” disseminated out and out anti–semitism of the most vicious kind. Not anti-Zionism, but blood libel. Literally.

    “Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’..?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals?!’”

    “Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”

    That is who is in Congress now — two Democrats sponsored by an organzation that promotes the idea that Jews use (or used) Christian blood to make matzoh for Passover.

    The notion that Jews should not be concerened about that, or that Trump’s childish rantings on Twitter are more concerning, is absurd.

    But, of course, that was completely ignored by almost all of the media, and I would wager that a large majority of American Jews to this day are ignorant of it.

      1. Which very few Jews read.

        Now while we are on the subject, let’s hypothesize that Rep. Stephen King decided to travel to Germany and meet with a group of Neo-Nazis on a “fact finding” mission, and listed the “Future Fourth Reich” as his destination on his itinerary. Do you think that might have been reported more widely than the post you linked to?

        1. Point taken, but did you mean to refer to Rep. *Peter* King?

          1. Presumably.
            If it were actually Rep Stephen King, one assumes he would whip out at least 3-4 bestselling thrillers on the lengthy flights there/back.

            1. Someone might actually enjoy reading the position papers of the hypothetical Rep. Stephen King (I-Maine).

          2. It’s Steve King of Iowa. Peter King is from new York.

            1. Got it. That’s the one I was referring to.

        2. “Which very few Jews read. ”

          I thought it was the second volume they tended to ignore.

    1. They are in many ways abysmally ignorant, aided by the fact that in the main they rely on the media for their facts.

      Bored Lawyer, do you suggest that when people do not rely on media to learn about facts, that somehow that makes them better informed?

    2. For example, how many know that the organization which sponsored Omar’s and Tlaib’s trip to “Palestine” disseminated out and out anti–semitism of the most vicious kind.

      It’s interesting to me that you ask this question and then proceed to be so misleading about it.

      How many know, for instance, that the organization you’ve referred to without naming is called Miftah; that the language you imputed to them came in fact from an article they posted written by an independent author; that the article they posted was later retracted, accompanied by an apology that read, in part:

      It has become clear to us after investigating this incident that the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member. The said staffer has been reprimanded and all our staff has been informed as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, as founder, has nothing to do with the day to day management at Miftah and was no way involved in this incident,

      You bemoan ignorance, but you seem to delight in contributing to it.

  10. If Israel is smart for keeping “the squad” out then what does that say about us allowing them to continue living in this country? Perhaps it is time we start talking about establishing a constitutional process to banish people like this from our shores. Worked well for many years during colonial times and the whole way back to the ancient Greeks. Time to try it again!

    1. Completely agree. It would be great to be able to banish Donald Trump (his unAmerican and racist comments about American judges are, themselves, sufficient). Banish Mitch McConnell, for his refusal to allow up/down votes on justices and legislation. Banish ex-prez Clinton, for adultery in the Oval Office. Banish Hannity for whoring his integrity and covering for Trump’s many (many many many many) transgressions. Banish Hillary for her email fiasco. Banish the Red Sox and Astros for defeating my beloved Dodgers.

      I like the way you’re thinking. Of course, this will make America a hellscape in terms of being an actual democracy. And being stuck overseas will make it difficult for Trump to be an effective president. But, hey: omelets, break a few eggs, etc., right?

      1. ” Banish the Red Sox and Astros for defeating my beloved Dodgers.”

        The Astros can go. They’re just flipfloppers who can’t even stick with which league they want to be in.

      2. ” being stuck overseas will make it difficult for Trump to be an effective president.”

        You’re assuming that he didn’t put in a few backdoors when he built that wall, aren’t you?

      3. Na we will just get rid of all the liberals and America will be great again.

        1. Good luck peddling your “America isn’t great” platform.

          1. Leftist idiots like you tear America down.

            1. Partisan twits like you are easily ignored.

  11. Twitter delenda est.

    Stop using it. Stop linking it. Stop reading it.

    If something really important happens there while you’re ignoring it, you’ll probably read about it in near-real-time elsewhere. But since the medium doesn’t even pretend to care about anything but eyeballs and clicks, don’t waste breath or column inches feeding it.

    Twitter delenda est.

    1. I agree 100%. I don’t subscribe nor read Twitter. The medium infantilizes discussion of anything beyond the trivial.

      1. Is it the medium, or is it the intellects it combines?

        1. I suspect it’s synergistic. A combination of a medium singularly ill suited to the transmission of complex concepts, with the sort of people who would be attracted to such a medium.

          1. It’s bumper stickers that don’t leave that nasty mess on your car when you change your mind.

  12. Wondering if Kirkland realized that he put those he hates on the “right side” of his “divide”,” but then he already holds the “Conspiracy” record for pot / kettle posts so I guess not.

    1. I believe most people understand the relevant line and which side they choose. I doubt there is much confusion about whether I favor the modernity-science-reason-tolerance side or the backwardness-ignorance-bigotry-superstition side.

      1. Wow – another pot kettle post!

  13. I am tired of the apologias presented by left and right to protect their own. And, I am tired of the “no, you are” exchanges.
    Sure, when pressed, both sides will say “Ok, ok, I condemn already” and go on to explain why it doesn’t really matter, how their side is not responsible and besides the other side is the true danger. In my view, they are both half-right.

    1. Speaking as a nonpartisan, there are times when the big whup-tee-do the other side is all keyed up about really is a big nothing thrown together out of spare outrage… for both sides (hell, often times, each side whales on the other for something they do themselves.)

      I’d prefer it if all the elected leadership would work together to try to solve problems, but too many of my fellow citizens prefer their brand of partisans to refuse to work with any other brand of partisans, and both sides have had opportunities to not even bother to try to do anything useful, just monkeywrench the other guys who were trying to run things… the D’s in Congress trying to get us out of the second Persian Gulf War, but unwilling to actually cut funding for military operations. The R’s just a couple of years later. And, surprise! Now the D’s get another turn. Dr. Seuss wrote a story about this… it’s called “The Zax” and that guy looks smarter and smarter the more you pay attention to what he actually had to say.

      1. “I’d prefer it if all the elected leadership would work together to try to solve problems”

        That would require agreeing on what the “problems” are. That’s the fundamental problem here: We can’t agree on means when we don’t agree on ends.

        1. “That would require agreeing on what the ‘problems’ are”

          No, it doesn’t. The rep from Colorado doesn’t have to agree that rising sea levels are a problem, and the rep from Florida doesn’t have to agree that avalanches are a problem, for them to work together.

          1. What the heck are they going to “work together” on, if they don’t agree on what needs to be worked on?

            “Working together” implies at least some minimal overlap between what two people consider to be problems needing work. More than that, it also requires a willingness to defer action on the items where there isn’t agreement, in order to get something done on the items where there IS agreement.

            Let’s say that the reps from Colorado and Florida agree on the need for better measles prevention. Nothing is going to happen on measles prevention if the rep from Colorado keeps inserting avalanche related amendments into health bills, or the rep from Florida insists that they have to deal with sea levels ahead of measles.

            And that’s without getting into issues like gun control, where one person’s urgent action item is destroying another person’s cherished civil liberty. Where ends aren’t just disjoint, they’re opposed.

          2. Yeah, except that you leftists want to destroy the West so that you can rule over the pieces that are left. I don’t know how or why we’re supposed to “work” with you on that.

            1. If I’m too “leftist” for you, one shudders to think what would happen if you encountered an actual Democrat. You’d probably faint straightaway, overcome by vapors.

              1. I encounter them every day. I just ensure that I have nose plugs in so I don’t have to smell their lack of bathing.

                1. How would you detect that over eau de u?

                    1. Srsly?

  14. “Putting Trumpian exaggeration aside…” is doing a lot of work in this post.

  15. “In any event, you would think the chief political analyst for a major news network could do better than simply make up statistics, and Dowd’s statistics for American Jewish “opposition” to Trump and Netanyahu were simply made up.”

    95% of all cited statistics are made up.

  16. Really? Another entire article about a twit?
    Could those who publish for Reason please accept the name of the site as at least a suggestion?
    No more articles about any social media posts. If you can’t find enough going on the the real world, maybe you are in the wrong line of work.
    Twitter is not a reliable source
    Facebook is not a reliable source
    Instagram is not a reliable source
    NYT is not a reliable source
    WaPo is not a reliable source
    And I have doubts about Reason

    1. Yep, if the Trump walked across the Potomac, the Wash. Post headline would be “Trump’s shoes damp.” Almost all news, having any political ramification, is twisted by the progressive propaganda pumps.

  17. David – serious question – who are you writing for?

    This whole tweet-exchange happened more than two weeks ago. This is not a timely subject; most of the world has moved on.

    Not content to let sleeping dogs lie, however, you’ve chosen to describe Dowd’s tweet as “replete with error, non sequitur, and faulty analysis.” Yet what follows is a whole progression of errors, red herrings, non sequiturs, strawmen – overall just a very “faulty analysis,” indeed, unlikely to persuade anyone willing to spend just a moment to look into any of the arguments you’re making here.

    Even the first point! You accuse Dowd of misstating and exaggerating statistics relating to Jewish support for Trump, but you omit similar ways in which he’s misstated white evangelical support for Trump (also exaggerated). You intimate, without being precisely clear (what does “oppose” mean?, etc.), that Dowd has drawn some faulty conclusion from available evidence, while citing in contrast only your own anecdotes and glossing over your own elision (between voting for or against a candidate and “supporting” or “opposing” him or her). It seems clear that Dowd has overstated his case vis-a-vis Netanyahu, but when you begin with such misdirection and bad faith… it does not bode well for what follows.

    And indeed, those looking for disappointment are not disappointed, as you treat as perfectly “obvious” that Omar and Tlaib “hate Israel.” This, of course, is not perfectly “obvious.” It requires, rather, an inference from the fact that they support the BDS movement, one that also takes for granted that BDS is primarily or even meaningfully concerned with “destroying Israel.” That is something you and other commentators have claimed, but the argument to that effect is itself highly tenuous, relying as it does on the genetic fallacy and some rather, shall we say, self-serving assumptions about what a modern Israel must look like and how the BDS movement plays into that.

    It is simply too exhausting to go through and point out every error that you make, David, leading me to conclude that you either aren’t able to understand the deficiencies of this post, or don’t care. So I have to ask, who is your audience? Do you expect anyone who’s inclined to disagree with you to be convinced by this post?

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