House Majority Leader Agrees Anti-Semitism Is A Problem In GOP Caucus

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor appears to acknowledge that the House Republican caucus has a problem with anti-Semitism in the exchange in the above video. In his response he also seems to recognize their problem with racism. Of course when talking about Republicans, there’s also the problems of xenophobia, homophobia, and, of course, their war on women.

The problem is that these aren’t just problems which can be corrected. Use of fear and hatred is an integral part of what the Republican Party is. When their policies are only beneficial for one-percent of the population, they have no choice but to find ways to scare others into voting for them.

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Racist, Ant-Semitic, Homophobic Commentator Pat Buchanan Dumped By MSNBC

Pat Buchanan thinks he was forced out of MSNBC by the Jews, Gays, and other conspirators working in the dark. Let him think that. I find a little justice in knowing that Pat Buchanan will spend the rest of his life thinking that the Jews got him. That’s what he gets for spending so many years defending Nazi war criminals, and Hitler himself. Buchanan’s racism and anti-Semitism are well known. He doesn’t even seem to understand why people might object when he goes on the radio and claims homosexual acts are “unnatural and immoral.”He doesn’t seem to believe that he is homophobic, as he doesn’t understand that the views he has expressed for years are racist and anti-Semitic.

Hunter of Daily Kos sums up Buchanan’s column:

Pat then goes on to blame loudmouthed Obama supporters, homosexuals, Jews, and I don’t know, maybe werewolves. Yeah, let’s say werewolves.

Buchanan’s recent book may have been MSNBC’s excuse for finally taking him off the air for good, but it seems mostly to be a “final straw” sort of thing. Buchanan has been mourning the downfall of white America for a considerable time now, so this latest book was hardly new ground for him. He has been accused of anti-Semitism even by such conservative stalwarts as William F. Buckley, and got in hot water a few years ago for a bizarre column proposing that Hitler was misunderstood. No, his pissy statement sells himself rather short on the number of ridiculously bigoted things that would regularly come from his mouth. No matter what he said on air or off, though, the network would always prop him up in front of the television cameras.

 

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MSNBC Considering Dumping Pat Buchanan For Racist and Ant-Semitic Views In New Book

Patrick Buchanan is a racist, anti-Semite, and homophobe. In the past the best defense of him, which is hardly exonerating, has been that he personally does not hate all these people but  used the buzz words of those who do in order to attract conservative voters during his political career. His latest book, The Suicide of a Superpower reportedly expresses racist and anti-Semitic  views which are making it harder for NBC to justify keeping him on the air. Media Decoder reports that Buchanan’s future with MSNBC is now murky:

The days of Patrick J. Buchanan as a commentator on the news channel MSNBC may be over.

Phil Griffin, the president of the network, said in an interview here on Saturday that Mr. Buchanan might not be allowed to return to the channel because of the arguments in his most recent book, “Suicide of a Superpower,” which have been criticized by some civil rights organizations as racist and anti-Semitic.

Mr. Griffin said that Mr. Buchanan, who has not appeared on the network since he began a book tour in October, was still employed by MSNBC, but that his future with the channel was unresolved.

“Pat and I are going to meet soon and discuss it,” Mr. Griffin said. But he cited some of the arguments Mr. Buchanan made in the book as reason the commentator had not come back, even after his book tour ended.

“During the period of the book tour I asked him not to be on,” Mr. Griffin said. “Since then the issue has become the nature of some of the statements in the book.”

Mr. Buchanan argues in “Suicide of a Superpower” — which has the subtitle “Will America Survive to 2025?” — that the “European and Christian core of our country is shrinking,” which is damaging the nation “ethnically, culturally, morally, politically.” The book also contains a chapter titled “The End of White America.”

Mr. Griffin said, “The ideas he put forth aren’t really appropriate for national dialogue, much less the dialogue on MSNBC.” The network has set out to brand itself as a network designed to appeal to progressive and liberal viewers.

On his Web site, Mr. Buchanan reprints part of an essay from Chronicles magazine titled “The Mob vs. the Statesman” that defends the book: “For all the hue and cry over Buchanan’s supposed ‘hate,’ the emotion that runs through ‘Suicide of a Superpower’ is not hate, but love. Buchanan sees the country he grew up in and loved passing away, and he wants to raise his voice in its defense.”

Mr. Buchanan’s comments have led to protests from civil rights groups and the Anti-Defamation League. The A.D.L. sent Mr. Griffin a letter urging that MSNBC drop Mr. Buchanan.

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Why Evangelical Christians Do Not Receive Much Respect

Timothy Stanley, a right wing writer at The Telegraph, argues that America’s evangelical Christians deserve respect despite being wrong about the Rapture. While I would  not form an opinion of all evangelical Christians based solely upon the Apocalyptic views of one Christian cult, I cannot accept Stanley’s argument. He concluded:

Across the United States, atheists are gathering at Rapture parties to celebrate another day of life on this corrupted Earth. Their joy as Camping’s error is plain mean. While they knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs, thousands of evangelicals will be providing care and love to prisoners, homeless people, drug addicts and the poor. It is a noble calling worthy of a little tolerance.

There are evangelicals and non-evangelicals of a wide variety of views who do charitable work. Non-evangelicals actually do more than “knock back cheap imported beer and make-out in hot-tubs.” You cannot judge a religious or philosophical viewpoint by highlighting the charitable work of one segment of the believers in one viewpoint and mischaracterizing the behavior of others. The real way to judge the group is by the beliefs held by the whole group.

It is hardly worthwhile to devote any time to analyzing the validity of fundamentalist Christian belief as most people have already made up their opinions here and it will not be altered by a blog post. I will just make two points here: 1) those who have a low opinion of evangelical Christians do so based upon reasons having nothing to do with their charitable work and 2) my primary objection is not with their beliefs as much as with their actions to impose their beliefs upon others.

Stanley, incidental, is working on a biography of Pat Buchanan. If he misses why people with integrity are opposed to the Anti-Semitism and homophobia of this Nazi-sympathizer, it is not hard to see why he would miss the all the harm caused in the United States by the religious right.

Update: Camping Says End of the World Is Still On For October. Majority of Evangelical Christians believe Rapture will occur by 2050.

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Further Questions of Anti-Semitic Motives In Gifford Shooting

Yesterday I questioned whether anti-Semitism was a possible motive in the shooting of Gabrielle Gifford. From what we know so far, the shooter had far right wing ties and there is now a possible tie to an anti-Semitic group:

An internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo quoted by FOX News Channel revealed the gunman – named by the media as Jared Loughner, 22 – is “possibly linked” to American Renaissance.

The group subscribes to an ideology that is “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti -ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic,” according to the DHS memo.

Giffords “is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” the note said.

Update: More at Politico.

Update II: Correction: Reports of Jared Loughner’s Ties To White Supremacist Group Appear False

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Glenn Beck Receiving Criticism For His Anti-Semitic Attacks

Glenn Beck often repeats conspiracy theories from the Birchers and other far right wing groups. That made it inevitable that he would wander into repeating anti-Semitic memes which have historically been common on the far right. In return, Beck is now receiving criticism for spreading anti-Semitism and fabricating false attacks on George Soros from a number of sources, including Michelle Goldberg at the Daily Beast and The Anti-Defamation League,  James Besser at The Jewish Week, and Media Matters for America.

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David Weigel Leaves Washington Post Following Leaks Of Criticism Of Right Wing

David Weigel provides a demonstration of how nothing on the web is really private–even on closed lists where such privacy is assumed. Weigel is a left libertarian whose views of the right wing seem to be similar to my own. It is not so much their views which repel myself and I believe Weigel, but that their actual policy positions turn out to be quite different from their limited government rhetoric. On top of that, there is the anti-intellectualism, adherence to conspiracy theories and revisionist history, xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism which, while not true of everyone on the right, is far too common for comfort.

Weigel was hired to cover the right wing for The Washington Post to some degree  I did question a major newspaper hiring him for such a position, suspecting from the start that his views might give conservatives more fuel for their attacks on the imaginary “liberal media.”

If this was the outcome, it wasn’t because of  any unfair bias being displayed in Weigel’s work. Even some conservatives were supportive of Weigel, such as at The American Spectator:

To start with, it’s important to note that all of the comments at the center of the recent uproar were made on a private email list that was supposed to be off the record. Just for a moment, think of the things that you’d say if you were joking or venting anger among friends, and imagine if they became public with context removed. If everything we said privately were public, I wonder how many of us would be able to maintain jobs or friendships. Weigel is being attacked for writing that the world would be better if Matt Drudge could “set himself on fire.” But people make off hand remarks like that all the time without literally wishing bodily harm upon other humans.

This and other private comments by Weigel have contributed to the charge that he’s hostile toward conservatives and a standard issue liberal, but I don’t think that’s accurate. I could just as easily report on private conversations in which he’s revealed a fondness for Ronald Reagan, a willingness to vote for Bobby Jindal as president, and agreed that Van Jones should have been fired for his 9/11 trutherism. Plus, it should be noted that in the past, he’s even contributed to the American Spectator.

It should also be noted that he went on Keith Olbermann’s show and shot down a story about Sarah Palin committing perjury that had been lighting up the liberal blogs and defended Cato’s Michael Cannon against a “dishonest and unfair hit” by the Center for American Progress.

I’ve disagreed with Weigel on a number of occasions, and have called him out when I’ve felt he’s placed an inordinate amount of focus on fringe characters or extreme statements made by conservatives. But I also know that he isn’t some “drive by” journalist. He knows his subject matter well, reads constantly, goes to lots of conservative events, maintains friendships with conservatives, and talks to a lot of conservatives for his articles and quotes them accurately.

Weigel’s resignation came not as a result of any signs of bias in his work but because of comments written on Journolist, a private email list, which were leaked. Unfortunately Weigel probably saw his comments as being the equivalent of private conservation when in reality any comments made on line can wind up being as public as anything posted on a blog.

It is unfortunate that Weigel is no longer at The Washington Post, but I am confident that he will find other sources to write for. I certainly hope so as we certainly need voices like his to help counter all the ignorance, hatred, and misinformation being spread by the authoritarian right.

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John Kerry Addresses U.S.-Islamic World Forum

John Kerry, currently Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the man who might have become president in 2004 if only there were more voting machines available in some urban areas of Ohio, gave an excellent speech before the U.S.-Islamic World Forum. Spencer Ackerman writes, “This is the speech that should have been given to the Muslim world by President John Kerry in 2005.”

Kerry noted how the world is changing:

For a decade, our relationship was framed by trauma and terrorism, by two ongoing wars and political conflict—and the fallout only polarized us further. Many Muslims perceived the United States as an aggressor – projecting its power solely to protect its own security and economic interests, usually at the expense of Muslim countries. Too many in western societies implicitly, and at times explicitly, blamed an entire religion for the unholy violence of a few. This left many Muslims angry and alienated and complicated the task for leaders in the region.

At the same time, suicide bombers and extremists dominated the daily news. While credible and respected Muslim voices did publicly condemn the fanaticism and violence, their actions received little attention from the media and policymakers. Too often, the extremists defined an “us versus them” discourse, and all of us suffered for it.

Since President Obama took office, we have witnessed a dramatic shift. While expectations were perhaps too high that the world would change overnight, we know that his words and our subsequent actions were just the beginning of a long road.

Kerry also discussed what must be done in the future along with how conditions are changing:

First, America is striving to think and talk differently about Islam. We reject—publicly and categorically—the demonization of a religion and recognize our need for deeper understanding. Our values and our history remind us constantly that religious bigotry – whether it is anti-Semitism or Islamophobia – has no place in our public life. America was founded by those seeking freedom of religion, and all Western countries need to recognize that banning burqas or minarets is contrary to our shared values. It builds unnecessary walls between Muslims and the rest of society. It’s insulting, and it only exacerbates tensions.

Second, we must acknowledge that a serious debate is now underway within Muslim communities over how best to address extremism and combat prejudice. This is an important development because ultimately, it is those communities that are best positioned to find solutions that resonate. I want to commend His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his signature work in promoting Muslim-Christian dialogue through “A Common Word” initiative, which attracts more signatories every day. I want to also recognize His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia for promoting interreligious dialogue. And of course, the Qataris deserve great credit for hosting forums like this one.

Third, the United States is reaching out to the next generation and cultivating people-to-people relationships. President Obama has created new science envoys and exchange programs. Our space program, NASA, is welcoming Muslim students from around the world and financing a research program in the Gulf. And Secretary of State Clinton has appointed a Special Representative to Muslim Communities who is focused on people-to-people engagement, Farah Pandith, who is here with us today. All of these initiatives add up to a different attitude and a different approach.

Kerry pointed out how there must be changes in the treatment of women:

But for societies to harness their full potential, we also need to address the aspirations of women. Countries cannot expect to be competitive if half the workforce is economically marginalized or denied rights and opportunities. While this effort sometimes runs hard up against cultures and traditions, as we in America learned with the election of our first African-American president, once a barrier has been broken, we wonder how it could ever have stood for so long.

Kerry concluded with a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and conditions in Gaza. He pointed out that achieving peace alone will not solve all of the problems:

I know that everyone here understands the urgent need for peace. But peace alone will not solve all the region’s problems. Ask yourselves: If peace were delivered tomorrow, would it meet the job needs of the entire region? How many more children would it send to school? Who really believes that Iran would suddenly abandon its nuclear ambitions? So we know that Israel/Palestine is central but we must develop a much more practical partnership that extends well beyond regional conflicts.

The full text is under the fold:

(more…)

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Elie Wiesel Condemned Anti-Semitic Messages At Right Wing Protests

I’ve often laughed at the idea that Republicans have any chance at being successful at picking up the Jewish vote. Here’s another example of why this will not happen:

Renowned author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel condemned several signs containing Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic messages at yesterday’s “House Call” protests.

One sign at the rally contained images of dead Holocaust victims at the Dachau concentration camp under the banner “National Socialist Health Care.” Another sign said that President Barack Obama “takes his orders” from the Rothschilds, a family of Jewish bankers.

Wiesel commented through his eponymous foundation’s Twitter account:

Elie Wiesel on the GOP Tea Party’s anti-Semitism and Holocaust comparisons: “This kind of political hatred is indecent and disgusting”

The signs also raised the ire of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), which yesterday slammed the signs and called on House Republican leaders who attended the event to condemn them.

The time has come for [John] Boehner, [Eric] Cantor, [Mike] Pence and other GOP leaders — especially those who were present today — to condemn these disgusting comparisons and anti-Semitism,” said NJDC President David Harris in a statement. “They must tell their base once and for all to cut out this despicable pattern of Holocaust imagery and rhetoric.”

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South Carolina Republicans Resort To Anti-Semitic Sterotypes

We’ve been so busy laughing at all the conservative denials over the amount of racism on the right that the anti-Semitism on the right has been ignored lately. Rachel Weiner points out an example.

Two South Carolina County Republican Party chairmen stepped up to rebut criticism of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) in a newspaper editorial Sunday. But their defense of the senator might be overshadowed by their use of an anti-Semitic stereotype to praise him.

After a Democratic state senator wrote in The State that DeMint didn’t bring enough money back home, Bamberg County GOP Chairman Edwin Merwin and Orangeburg County GOP Chairman James Ulmer responded that he was just looking after the nation’s pennies — like a Jew would.

“There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves,” Ulmer and Merwin wrote in a joint letter published by The Times and Democrat. “By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

And the Republican Party wonders why their optimistic predictions of picking the Jewish vote aren’t working out. The Republican Party has become primarily the party of southern white men–complete with all the baggage that carries.

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