News reports have it that Joe Lieberman was McCain’s top choice for VP, and that McCain went for Plan B (or was it Plan P?) because of opposition from the Christian right. I should preface what I’m about to say by pointing out that Lieberman is an orthodox Jew. In his branch of the faith, not only are women not allowed to be rabbis, they can’t sit alongside men in prayer, nor do they count when adding up bodies to find out if a minyan is present. To put it mildly, I am troubled by this.
But that is not why he was stricken from the list. No doubt, if you ask the fundamentalists who threatened to walk, they would say it was because of his views on abortion and similar issues. Nevertheless, can you name a single Jewish politician of national prominence in either party who could have passed their test? I’ve tried, and I can’t. Religious Jews have their obsessions, but they are different obsessions. So no matter how you slice it, this is de facto antisemitism. The Republican Party remains in the grip of fanatics who believe this is a Christian nation, and the rest of us are just guests, welcome or otherwise.