Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Charen vs. Sully

Mona Charen lays out a few of Ron Paul's shortcomings. Listed in order of appearance, they are: inconsistent support of the rule of law, some splotches of historical amnesia, Quixotic dreams of slashing entire government agencies with the greatest of ease, willfully associating with white nationalists and whackball conspirazoids.

Andrew Sullivan links one sentence, and his response is baffling:

No, Ron Paul is not my candidate. Not for president. He might make a dandy new leader for the Branch Davidians.

The anti-Semitic slur is repeated.

What anti-Semitic slur is he talking about? Apparently, this:

Moreover, Paul seems to be playing a sly game with his conspiracy-minded fans. He does not explicitly endorse the crazier theories out there, but he hints at dark forces in the U.S. government threatening our liberties, he inveighs against the "neo-cons" (shorthand for Jews in some circles) and he gives aid and comfort to the paranoid by appearing on their favorite radio shows.

I disagree with Sullivan's view that the column overall is "weak" - Charen raises vital issues about the candidate - but on this one topic he has a point. It is false to assume that there is anything inherently anti-Semitic in the use of the term "neo-con." David Horowitz - himself a neoconservative (according to dKosopedia) and Jewish - explains:

"Neo-conservatism" is a term almost exclusively used by the enemies of America's liberation of Iraq. There is no "neo-conservative" movement in the United States. When there was one, it was made up of former Democrats who embraced the welfare state but supported Ronald Reagan's Cold War policies against the Soviet bloc. Today "neo-conservatism" identifies those who believe in an aggressive policy against radical Islam and the global terrorists. It is a group identical to conservatives generally. Its opponents -- including most Democrats and all parties to the left -- would appropriately called "appeasers."

Dick Cheney is a neo-con, after all, and he's as Jewish as a ham sandwich.

Charen's column doesn't offer evidence that Paul is an anti-Semite himself, but he does associate with and take money from those sorts. Not a good campaign move.


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