Selective outrage

If you’ve read the Daily Dish or Matt Yglesias or Glenn Greenwald or Daniel Larison today, you are painfully aware of Leon Wieseltier’s attack on Andrew Sullivan for supposedly being anti-Semitic. I can’t make much sense of it because I don’t understand the Trinity either and I don’t see what any of this has to do with Niebuhr. But it amuses me that while TNR is unleashing a 800 word diatribe against its former editor for making some smart alecky comment about the Trinity and pointing out that Michael Goldbfarb and Charles Krauthammer are Jewish, hardly anyone (other than Matt Yglesias) seems concerned that “the single Washington establishment figure that Palin turns to” is former Nixon Jew counter Fred Malek:

It was the last recorded act of official anti-Semitism by the United States government. Boy, was it ever recorded! On Sept. 24, the presidential recordings program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs released transcripts of Nixon White House tapes concerning the unauthorized publication in the New York Times and the Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers. Some of these conversations were previously transcribed by the nonprofit National Security Archive, but many were not. Among the previously untranscribed conversations is President Nixon’s historic inquiry into a topic unrelated to Daniel Ellsberg’s leak: How many Jews were employed at the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

[….]

….(Malek’s method of identifying who was Jewish and who wasn’t was to scrutinize surnames, rendering his estimate as unreliable as it was abhorrent.)

Six weeks pass, and it is Sept. 8, 1971. Malek reports in a memo (previously unpublished; thanks, again, to Kenneth J. Hughes) that he has had “several meetings” with Labor Secretary Hodgson “to convince him of the need for fairly drastic moves.” Six out of nine offices will be combined into an Office of Data Analysis. This will be headed by a “politically sensitive, loyal Republican economist,” presumably one who does not have a mezuzah nailed to his front door. The move will strip the BLS’ deputy commissioner, the unfortunately surnamed Ben Burdetsky, from authority “over the most critical areas.”

Now, look, maybe anti-Semitism is such a grave threat that it’s necessary for TNR contributors to wade through all of Andrew Sullivan’s ruminations about religion, masturbation, and obesity in search of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Or maybe it’s such a non-issue that it’s fine for presidential candidates to surround themselves with former Jew-counters. But it can’t be both.

63 replies
  1. 1
    gwangung says:

    Now, look, maybe anti-Semitism is such a grave threat that it’s necessary for TNR contributors to wade through all of Andrew Sullivan’s ruminations about religion, masturbation, and obesity in search of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Or maybe it’s such a non-issue that it’s fine for presidential candidates to surround themselves with former Jew-counters. But it can’t be both.

    Sure it can. IOKIYAR.

  2. 2
    Cat Lady says:

    But it can’t be both.

    Yes it can. Andrew Sullivan is gay and Sarah Palin is Republican. You know, IOKIYAR, Exhibit Eleventy Billion.

  3. 3
    NobodySpecial says:

    You’re a Jew, I’m a Jew, come on, let’s make a deal!

  4. 4
    Comrade Jake says:

    Now, look, maybe anti-Semitism is such a grave threat that it’s necessary for TNR contributors to wade through all of Andrew Sullivan’s ruminations about religion, masturbation, and obesity in search of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

    Don’t forget the “view from your window” book he put together, wherein Sully was clearly reminding Jews of all the windows they weren’t able to look out of at Auschwitz.

    Honestly, nowhere besides the blogosphere will you find so much attention devoted to so few people who are so completely fucking insane.

  5. 5
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    This is good news for Obama!!

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Honestly, nowhere besides the blogosphere will you find so much attention devoted to so few people who are so completely fucking insane.

    I take it you don’t own a television.

  7. 7
    valdivia says:

    but Palin hangs out with Goldfarb and wears an Israel flag and wants the in gathering of exiles to happen in Israel so the battle of gog and magog can take place and all those jews can die for the rapture.

  8. 8
    Lev says:

    IOKIYAR fits here. After all, the Republicans used to be so darn angry about divorce, so much so that they went ahead and nominated the first divorced man ever to run for president.

  9. 9
    Mike Kay says:

    My sense is they NOW hate Sully cuz he NOW rejects torture and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

  10. 10
    williamc says:

    Come on DougJ, someone’s got to keep track of them, she can’t fit all the Jews on a list on her hand fergawdsakes!

  11. 11
    max hats says:

    TNR is basically the Weekly Standard on full, eternal concern troll mode. There hasn’t been a bomb dropped by U.S. planes in the past 30 years they haven’t chearleaded, nor has there been a meaningful liberal reform they haven’t fought. There’s no question the writers are largely liberal, but really, you can say the same thing about the Wall Street Journal.

  12. 12
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Greenwald’s first words:

    Even by that magazine’s lowly standards,

    pretty much sum it up.

    I consider TNR about the same as I do Camille Paglia. For somewhat different reasons, but both are famous for the “even … agrees with us” gem setting used so often by the right in quoting them to show how “liberals” actually secretly see things the same as Rush Limbaugh.

  13. 13
    williamc says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Nah, I think they hate Sully cause he’s queer, AND he talks with that highfalutin accent that makes him sound elitist, which was fine when he was on their side, but now he’s got a crush on that black fella Muslim that’s usurping the WH from Lady Starbursts.

  14. 14
    srv says:

    @Mike Kay:

    rejects torture and the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

    Maybe if we painted all our bombs a brighter green, Sully would get on board and they could call it even.

  15. 15

    You know who else was an anti-semite? … (just getting the Godwin out of the way)

  16. 16
    Max says:

    “jew counter”

    Is that (a) a jew who is good at math (b) a non-jew that likes to tally up the choosen people

    I thought we were counting muslims and gays now?

    Is anti-semitism back en vogue? I’ve forgotten all those jokes. Wait a minute, I think I remember something about a rabbi and a priest walking into a bar.

    It’s very hard to keep up.

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    Whatever else he may be, Andrew Sullivan is not an anti-Semite, while I am all but certain that Palin is a white supremacist who uses the same type rhetoric that has been used by anti-Semites for at least the past century.

    Other than this observation, I will say that this whole dustup among the TNR crowd reminds me of the academic bickering usually seen over at Crooked Timber.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Max:
    A priest, a rabbi, a hooker and a used car salesman walk into a bar, each one with a parrot on their shoulders and a ruler in one hand. Bartender looks up and says, “What is this? Some kind of joke?”

    Having skimmed a couple of meta-posts on this meta-issue, it seems to me that (per TNR) Sullivan is an anti-semite because he criticized Israel, but it’s okay that Palin (at the very least) hangs with a lot of people who don’t like Jews, because she’ll always stick up for Israel, do I have that right?

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    IOKIYAR. Sully can’t be a Republican because he wants teh gheys to get married. Ergo, he can’t say those things. Also, he doesn’t like Lady Starbursts, also, too.

  20. 20
    Martin says:

    @beltane: Don’t know about white supremacist exactly, she’s definitely a Christian supremacist of the highest order.

  21. 21
    Max says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thank you for that. It made me laugh so hard I was crying.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    Or maybe it’s such a non-issue that it’s fine for presidential candidates to surround themselves with former Jew-counters.

    No longer (thankfully) a growth industry. Although maybe this is part of SarahSparkle’s ‘back to the future’ program.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    it’s okay that Palin (at the very least) hangs with a lot of people who don’t like Jews, because she’ll always stick up for Israel, do I have that right?

    She also wears an Israeli flag on her lapel! She hearts Israel! Nevermind who she hangs out with and what she says. Flag lapel pin!

  24. 24
    meh says:

    my boss is on a number of right wing mailing lists – he sort of tracks them – and the overriding theme (when they speak about sully is that he is gay – or a fag – or a gay fag – or a gay c**ksucking fag) – these are neo-con mailing lists – predominately jewish neocon mailing lists.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Martin: We have as much evidence that Palin greeted the news of Hillary’s concession speech by saying “So Sambo beat the Bitch?” as we do that Rahm uses “retards” to belittle people he disagreed with politically.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    I think that Sullivan should intensify his crusade against circumcision. That would have the virtue of confusing anybody who’s still paying attention. Which would not be me.

  27. 27
    Cat Lady says:

    @p.a.:

    Although maybe this is part of SarahSparkle’s ‘back to the future’ program pogrom.

    fix’t.

  28. 28
    Mark S. says:

    This is the first I’ve seen of TNR piece, and man it is terrible:

    As far as I can tell, Krauthammer’s position on torture is owed to a deep and sometimes frantic concern for American security, . . . Whatever the merits of his views, I do not see that his motives are despicable.

    Well, I do, because 1) I don’t think that’s Krauthammer’s main motivation and 2) the ends don’t always justify the means, especially when we are talking about crimes against humanity.

    Sullivan might have a look at the domestic pressures–in lobbies and other forms–upon American diplomacy toward China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Cuba, and give a thought or two to the elaborate and sometimes exasperating nature of foreign-policy-making in a democracy

    I eagerly await TNR’s upcoming expose on the unrelenting pressure of the Turkish lobby in this country.

    His assumption, in his outburst about “the Goldfarb-Krauthammer wing,” that every thought that a Jew thinks is a Jewish thought is an anti-Semitic assumption, and a rather classical one. Bigotry has always made representatives of individuals, and discerned the voice of the group in the voice of every one of its members.

    This is pure gibberish, and the opposite of what Sullivan is saying.

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Alaska Independence Party, which Sarah and Todd Palin were certainly affiliated with, does have extensive ties to well known white supremacist/neo Nazi groups. A lot of attention was given to this in the blogosphere during the presidential campaign, but not so much now. It is a disgrace that the media treats this woman like a celebrity instead of a pariah.

  30. 30
    williamc says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t believe Lady Starbursts called Obama Sambo.

    I don’t believe Lady Starbursts knows what Sambo means.

    Though, I think she know’s what a bitch is, since she’s prolly heard, “what a stupid bitch” at some point every day of her life…

  31. 31
    beltane says:

    What does David Brooks think about all of this? And has there ever been an Oakeshott/Berlin cage match?

  32. 32

    To be fair, I’m pretty sure Chait has written about the Palin-Malek connection before.

  33. 33
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I haven’t read Sully in a while. I am still working on his 400,000,000,000 word essay on the hermeneutics of Palin’s third trimester ultrasound.

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also, too, don’t forget that according to her own father, Sarah left the U. of Hawai’i because all those Asians made her uncomfortable.

  35. 35
    Zach says:

    It’s easy to recognize how ridiculous and inconsistent with history this attack is, but it’s hard to be sympathetic when the attacks’ target made similar baseless ad hominem attacks against people who supported the war (some of which Weiseltier points to without apparently recognizing the irony of doing so). He’s offered half-hearted apologies for this… somehow pretending that the overwhelming passion sparked by 9/11 justified hyperbole in the spring of 2003. I don’t know how baseless accusations of antisemitism compare to baseless accusations of treason in the grand scheme of absurdity, however.

    And, if Sullivan’s going to be honest, he has to recognize that he’s basically done the same thing to Flynt and Hillary Man Leverett on his blog every time they write an Op-Ed tweaking the common wisdom regarding what’s going on in Iran. He’s called them apologists for the mullahs and approvingly quoted Jeffrey Goldberg saying that the Leveretts harbor a “desire to buttress an Iranian regime that rapes and murders its own citizens.”

    Live by caricature, die by caricature.

  36. 36
    Mike Kay says:

    a href=”#comment-1579415″>meh:

    my boss is on a number of right wing mailing lists – he sort of tracks them – and the overriding theme (when they speak about sully is that he is gay – or a fag – or a gay fag – or a gay c**ksucking fag) – these are neo-con mailing lists – predominately jewish neocon mailing lists.

    So I was right, it is ALL about PNAC.

    Just look at the PNAC staff:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P....._directors

    And you see Palin’s top two advisors are PNACers, Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    Andrew Sullivan’s ruminations about religion, masturbation, and obesity in search of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

    Just nobody get him started on circumcision!

  38. 38
    bayville says:

    This is little more than the Anti-Arab/Muslim bigots at TNR – Peretz, Chait, Kirchick, Wieseltier et al – being mad because Sully isn’t as anti-Arab as he was back in his halcyon days. And he’s probably pissed a lot of them off since, for not supporting bombing Gaza Lebanon Syria Iran Afghanistan enthusiastically enough.

    We can expect an Abe Foxman press release any minute backing up the TNR zionists.

  39. 39
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Two Jews walk into a bar. Then they bought it.

    Ba-dum-dum.

  40. 40
    Mike Kay says:

    @beltane:

    It is a disgrace that the media treats this woman like a celebrity instead of a pariah.

    Not really. They focus on her because the know the public loves a trainwreck. Jeff Greenfield just did a segment on CBS Sunday Morning on why reality shows work, and the experts all stated viewers love to watch dysfunction.

    And to be sure, the palm-reader never fails to deliver.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    Tempest, meet Pisspot.

    .

  42. 42
    Comrade Luke says:

    As long as we have thread that’s ostensibly tied to bigotry, I’d like to nominate Leonard Pitts as today’s winner of the internets for this quote from his article on DADT:

    Indeed, Republican Sen. John McCain, more politically agile now that he has jettisoned the weight of integrity

  43. 43
    williamc says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    This comment wins the thread!

    Bravo!

    …not enough good Jew jokes around anymore, I tell you what…though I hope they don’t write up a 2 page screed on you or on this blog in TNR for being anti-semitic…

  44. 44
    Svensker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Having skimmed a couple of meta-posts on this meta-issue, it seems to me that (per TNR) Sullivan is an anti-semite because he criticized Israel, but it’s okay that Palin (at the very least) hangs with a lot of people who don’t like Jews, because she’ll always stick up for Israel, do I have that right?

    You have hit the nail on the nose, as my SIL would say.

  45. 45
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Max:

    “jew counter”
    Is that (a) a jew who is good at math (b) a non-jew that likes to tally up the choosen people

    Neither. A Jew Counter(R) is a device you can buy at The Sharper Image and Brookstone’s. Usually it’s located in the same section with the Gaydar(R).

  46. 46
    New Yorker says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    Christopher Hitchens brought it up as well. Considering how much Hitch despises Lady Starbursts, I’m disappointed he hasn’t really torn her apart the way he has people like Mel Gibson, Jerry Falwell, Michael Moore, the Clintons, etc. Maybe he thinks her beneath his contempt?

  47. 47
    Blue Raven says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    A Jew Counter® is a device you can buy at The Sharper Image and Brookstone’s. Usually it’s located in the same section with the Gaydar®.

    You have to be very careful which item you get, too. I thought my Gaydar worked, but it started telling me metrosexual Jewish men were gay. Turned out I’d bought a cheap Chinese knockoff Goydar that had been programmed to report its results in reverse.

  48. 48
    Ana Gama says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    but it’s okay that Palin (at the very least) hangs with a lot of people who don’t like Jews, because she’ll always stick up for Israel, do I have that right?

    Of course, because obviously when they say nasties about Israel, it’s satire.

  49. 49
    The Populist says:

    @Ana Gama:

    Oh they hate jews. They just stick up for israel because a) they hate muslims more and b) the fairy tales they quote so much tells them that the promised land must be kept for the jews so Jesus can return on his white horse and smite the enemy into rivers of blood.

  50. 50
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I don’t understand the Trinity either

    What, are you fu**ing re****ed? God is Himself, He’s also His Son, He’s also the Holy Ghost, yet they are distinct entities. What’s not to understand?

  51. 51
    MNPundit says:

    You know, you really need to shut the fuck up about Niebuhr.

  52. 52
    Ana Gama says:

    @The Populist: No doubt they hate the Jews. But if they are friends of Princess Starburst, she’d find a way to dismiss concerns….a la Rush was using “satire” when he referred to the dems as retards.

    Satire: the new explanation to bridge differences among allies.

  53. 53
    penpen says:

    Somehow Wieseltier’s polemic keeps bringing Monsieur Pantload to mind. I keep imagine him saying “This is a serious thoughtful argument. Never before has the case for Andrew Sullivan’s anti-semitism been made in such detail or with such care.”

  54. 54
    DonkeyKong says:

    Palin only counts Jews to go to sleep at night.

    Her mother would sing her to sleep counting Jews when she was a little girl all tucked into bet with a belly full of apple pie.

    The apple pie would keep the Jews from using her blood in their matzo bread because Jews hate apple pie.

    Totally harmless.

    It’s not the same thing as Sullivan being gay, which in itself is anti-semitic.

  55. 55
    Cerberus says:

    So wait, let me get this straight. They wanted to hang Andrew Sullivan on a charge of being a bigot, so they decided to trump up a bunch of bullshit and try and float a weakass case for anti-semitism?

    What the fuck is wrong with these people? I mean, ok, they’re hacks, fair enough, they do character assassinations, all in a day’s work for the scum of the earth, but god damn himself people, have a fucking work ethic.

    I mean, labeling Andrew Sullivan as unserious because of bigotry would be one of the easiest actions in the world. Man’s got a nice juicy history of nice big fat sloppy kisses to some horrendously racist and sexist shit over the years. Want to hang the man as a bigot? It’s as simple as googling his name and “The Bell Curve”.

    I mean, even if they wanted something in the period after he “left the party” so it could somehow be blamed on the filthy liberals being the true bigots, they could just wait for him to write a wonderful essay on the inner city, the real reason in his mind prop 8 was defeated, anything on abortion or women’s health care in general, or most of his economic stuff.

    Anti-semitism, pah, not more than any other catholic is. Grow a fucking work ethic you hacks and do your dirty work with at least some tiny bit of goddamned there there, especially when your target has painted a target as wide as Sully has.

    It’d be like if you wanted to criticize Jeffery Dahmer for murder and decided to spread a story about how he swats flies without remorse. Just swing the fucking bat.

  56. 56
    Cerberus says:

    And on the real topic, yeah, Palin is a white supremacist. I mean, did you see how many dog whistles she uses and she’s not just rapturist fundie whose main leaders have some fucked up views of the jews (hence why the wingers use liberal as code in front of every old jewish conspiracies (why the “liberals” control the media, Hollywood, and the banks)).

    She’s straight up John Birch Society who were out and out anti-semites back in the day (and still are today). Like wrote The Protocols of the Elders of Zion level anti-semites. I’m not surprised she “pals around with” the infamous Jew Counter.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she hired the fictional Jew Hunter character from Inglorious Basterds. But hey, IOKIYAR.

  57. 57
    Liberty60 says:

    I sidestepped the entire bitchfight, but felt that Greenwald had a good point when he commented that by being so careless with the word antisemitic, they cheapened it to where pretty soon anyone outside of Commentary will be one, thus giving cover to the real thing.

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    @Cerberus:

    Want to hang the man as a bigot? It’s as simple as googling his name and “The Bell Curve”.

    Peretz and co. don’t give a shit about that; they only care about flinging poo at anyone who disagrees at all with the Likud party.

  59. 59
    angulimala says:

    I think Christians have the hardest time understanding the Trinity.

  60. 60
    tomvox1 says:

    Jeebus H Christmas that was a long and incoherent screed by some guy I never heard of against a guy I barely give a shit about. And, oh the word count it will generate in the all mighty blogosphere!

    What truly fantastic times we are living in. I hope a tweet war breaks out…

  61. 61
    The Populist says:

    Does Sarah even know where Israel is?

  62. 62
    hamletta says:

    @angulimala: Ain’t that the truth! Any time anyone gets into trinitarian theology, I have to lie down in a dark room. It turns me into the crazy son in Ordet. Except I don’t think I’m Jesus, I’m just crazy.

    Kierkegaard, trinitarian theology: Run away, run away!

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    @MNPundit:

    No, I don’t understand what he has do with Sully being an anti-Semite yet he appear prominently in that TNR piece.

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