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 Malek reports in a memo (previously unpublished; thanks, again, to Kenneth J. Hughes) that he has had “several meetings” with Labor Secretary Hodgson “to convince him of the need for fairly drastic moves.”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.