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.
You do realise that two-thirds of the neo-cons are Jewish though, don't you? So its not like being Jewish has been a serious impediment to wielding power in the US. Frankly I think a more pragmatic reason for chosing a Christian wingnut over a Jewish wingnut could be simply that there happens to be more Christian wingnuts in the US population at large(perhaps that demographic fact is in itself anti-semitic?) = ergo, so perhaps the 'thinking' goes, more votes.
Or perhaps it really is all about some clash of fundamentalists/isms - the christian wingnut blames the Jews for killing Jesus and the Jewish wingnut despises the goy (i.e. everyone that is not Jewish) just for being, well, not 'chosen' - so where each is dominant they will tend not to promote the other? (how many Christians is positions of political power in Israel, btw?).
Could be, but the neocons weren't the ones that nixed Lieberman. I'm sure they would have loved the guy, but they didn't have a chokehold in the place where it counted.
Certainly there are some Christian Right types who are anti-Semitic, but there are also others who are allied with socially conservative Orthodox Jews with hardline foreign policy views. I think the publicity on this one is probably mostly correct: this was the anti-abortion faction of the GOP that is very powerful. After all, Lieberman also disagrees with much of the GOP on many other issues of social and economic policy.
The word is that he was really nixed by the pro-Romney people, while the Liberman people essentially nixed Romney. This left Pawlenty for a surge, although then he got knocked out for being too boring by Palin. Of course, it may be that the Romney people were anti-Semites, but that part of it seems to be more sheer personal rivalry and dislike of each other.
Neoconservatism tends to refer to foreign policy, I think, while the issues with the Christian right tend to revolve around domestic issues. Lieberman does tend to be far more moderate on domestic issues, and people inside the McCain campaign said that was a disqualifier.
By Jewish law, a fetus is something less than a fully-formed person and something more than an undifferentiated clump of cells. Abortion is generally not okay under Jewish law but under some very limited circumstances abortion is required (basically, when the mother's life is in immediate danger).
To the extent that these aspects of Jewish law are used to knock a candidate out of contention, and to the extent that the Christian right wants to make their view of when life begins and the conditions under which abortion is acceptable US law, it does tend to raise the question of antisemitism.
The case for antisemitism here is about as meaningful as the case for Palin having foreign affairs experience on account of Alaska being so close to Russia.
WaPo this morning confirmed that the finalists for GOP VP were Pawlenty and Palin, which fits with the Romney and Lieberman knocking each other out, with McCain's other fave, Ridge, also being taken out by the anti-abortion commissars, even though he is a regular Christian of some sort. While I am not going to say there is no anti-Semitism on the Christian Right or among the GOP delegates or in US society at large, it should also be kept in mind that there is a lot of anti-Mormon prejudice on the Christian Right that has hurt Romney through the whole election year, and has appeared to be more openly expressed and intense as the anti-Semitism that is out there. This year at least, the Republican anti-Semites have pretty much kept their mouths closed publicly, while the anti-Mormons have not held back at all.
Given her earlier flirtation with the Independence Party, Palin's foreign policy experience mainly consists of traveling to Washington to lobby for earmarks.
Of course, with the reports coming out about Sarah Palin's extremely weird church with its exaggerated anti-Semitism, this matter looks somewhat different, although given McCain's poor vetting, it is not clear that he knew what sort of a pig in a poke he was getting with her on various fronts.
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