Two Republican leaders in South Carolina have raised questions about
the party's racial sensitivity after glowingly comparing Senator Jim
DeMint to Jewish stereotypes. They wrote in an op-ed
for The Times and Democrat, a local newspaper, "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. 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." The GOP leaders were responding to a state Democratic leader who had criticised
DeMint for not adequately serving the state's interests.
- So Much For The Big Tent RealClearPolitics' David Paul Kuhn warns of a greater Republican challenge of inclusiveness. "That news will not be well received by the national Republican
Party. The GOP has long attempted, albeit with little success, to make
inroads into the Jewish vote. Of course, this incident will not help.
And it may not be big enough to hurt that much. But the news comes in
the context of the GOP's macro push to portray itself as a more
inclusive party of late. And every anecdote exemplifying otherwise
undermines that push. That the offensive language was penned in an Op/Ed, rather than made
in an offhand remark, makes it all the more politically foolish (and almost too stupid to believe)."
- Endangering the GOP Local South Carolina newspaper the Palmetto Scoop (Think Progress calls the paper conservative) is unhappy. "Who in mainstream America thinks it's a good idea to write something
like that in a guest editorial? Especially in light of the racially-motivated attention
garnered by South Carolina Republican activists over the past few
months. It's people like Ulmer and Merwin that make many folks fear for
the future of the once Grand Ole Party."
- Why Does GOP Allow This? Conservative legal professor William A. Jacobson rolls his eyes.
"Who would associate with such people? Well, I don't worry about that
much, because people who use stereotypes in a misguided attempt at
praise can be educated, and have no actual malice. I am more worried
about the people who associate with the haters who refer to Jews as
Hymie and Diamond Merchants, who claim that Jews control the country,
or who believe that Jews are satanic."
- Republican Hypocrisy on Anti-Semitism Liberal blogger Jesse Taylor compares this to Republican saber-rattling on behalf of Israel. "When a Republican says something that's racist or ethnically offensive,
it never actually is, so long as it's about black people. (Or, really,
anyone, but mainly black people.) If they're in any way affiliated with
any form of entertainment, it was a joke, he writes. "On the other hand, Republicans are fanatically protective of
Israel, and love bringing out anti-Semitism like an eight year old who
just got a new G.I. Joe with a giant Star of David to hypocritically
shove in Snake Eyes' face."
- The Myth of Republican Jews Democratic blogger Jonathan Singer is sick of hearing about it. "A small band of Jewish conservatives seem to be able to
convince the media every couple of years that Jewish voters are on the
verge of flipping to the Republicans. Yet what they miss, in addition
to serious policy differences between Republicans and the vast majority
of Jewish voters (who voted 87 percent Democratic and 78 percent
percent Democratic in 2008), is the massive cultural void separating
conservative Republicans and American Jews. The rather shocking
statement above is a testament to this divide, which frankly doesn't
appear to be shrinking. At some point, presumably, the Beltway press is
going to get this, no?"
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