Like clockwork, as we near election time, we will be faced with a spate of Republican operatives claiming that this time American Jews will abandon the Democratic Party. And then, again like clockwork, Jewish voters will vote 75-85% Democratic. If Jews were like most other white people with the same educational and economic background (college-educated, not-poor), we would be overwhelmingly Republican. While there are a lot of reasons why this is not the case, a recent exchange between Republican congressman and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, and Politico reporter Mike Allen about Cantor’s opposition to a Republican primary candidate, Rep. Manzullo, highlights one very important reason (boldface mine):
But the story got a little more fraught when it turned out that Manzullo once said Cantor would not be “saved” because he is Jewish.
Today, Cantor, the only Jewish House Republican, nearly affirmed that this was the reason he fought against Manzullo’s re-election, insinuating that anti-Semitism — and racism — are lingering problems among the House GOP generally. He speaking at a breakfast event organized by Politico.
Calling it the “darker side,” Cantor responded to Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-semitism in Congress by trying to avoid commenting. But eventually he let up: “I think that all of us know that in this country, we’ve not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever. We continue to strive to provide equal treatment to everybody.”
“We’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,” Allen pushed.
Cantor then sat in silence, grimmacing for several seconds…
This is common. I really don’t go out of my way to keep track of this stuff (after all, I’m quite aware that there are assholes and they walk among us), but, on this blog alone, I’ve covered the supposedly ‘moderate’ Tommy Thompson being an idiot, J.D. Hayworth’s staff claiming he was “is a more observant Jew” than his Jewish audience, and some party officials from South Carolina.
It’s not that most Republicans are anti-Semites, but between the theocrats and the flat-out bigots, even if you thought Republicans were correct on this issue, it would be very hard to be allies with those assholes. This is an existential issue.
It almost makes me feel sorry for Cantor. Then I remember there’s a very simple solution to his dilemna: stop being a Republican politician.
Not feeling sorry anymore!
An aside: Cue some wingnut with references to Hymietown in 3…2…1…