After eight years of systematically ignoring anti-Semitism Democrats went into high dudgeon over Steve Bannon’s work at Breitbart news. The media organization was founded by a Jew named Andrew Breitbart and the article that was supposedly the most offensive was authored by someone named David Horowitz.
The story was salient because it affirmed the left-wing suspicion that anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry came from the one true enemy: the right wing.
Now, the specter of anti-Semitism has come to haunt the Democratic Party itself. In the wake of its election debacle the party had seemed to be uniting around the candidacy of one Keith Mohammed Ellison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Apparently, the lesson of election 2016 has been lost on Democratic operatives. As Mark Lilla wrote and as I commented on, the biggest loser in the election was identity politics. Dividing the nation into warring factions did not work out as expected. Placing everyone in different groups based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and whatever felt like a systematic attack on white people, an attack that relied on slander and defamation. And, not just on white people. It all felt like an attack on national unity. In the election the nation rose up against the tyranny of political correctness.
And yet, as Bob Dylan famously chanted: “When will they ever learn?” This week the night riders of the thought police have set out against a Texas couple named Chip and Joanna Gaines. The two have a television show on HG TV called Fixer Upper. They have parlayed their show into a budding media empire. No one who has watched the show has any but good feelings for the Gaineses. As it happens, they are a mixed race couple. Not that that matters.
What was their thought crime? In truth, it wasn’t theirs. It was attributed to the pastor of the church they attend. According to Buzzfeed, among others, their pastor Jimmy Seibert holds politically incorrect, and therefore heretical views about marriage.
The Federalist reports:
[According to] Jimmy Seibert, the Gaines’ pastor: “So if someone were to say, ‘Marriage is defined in a different way,’ let me just say: They are wrong. God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.”
You may, of course, want to debate the point. As it happens, until a couple of decades ago, no one doubted this notion. Now, it has been thrown into question. But, that is not all. It has been denounced as a thought crime, as an offense against the faith. Anyone who believes what every human society has believed and practiced until a couple of decades ago is a bigot and does not deserve to have a television show on HG TV.
In fact, it does not really matter what Chip and Joanna Gaines believe or disbelieve. Attending a church where the pastor holds heretical views is, in the minds of the politically correct zealots, disqualifying.
If you were wondering why identity politics went down in flames on November 9, here’s one good reason. Then again, remember when Democrats and the political left happily excused a presidential candidate who attended a church led by a pastor who hated America, white people, Jews and Israel?
In the meantime, the great minds of the Democratic Party, led by their congressional leaders have missed the point of the election. Alan Dershowitz excoriates them for not being too bright:
What should a political party that has just lost its white working-class blue-collar base to a “make America great again” nationalist do to try to regain these voters? Why not appoint as the new head of the party a radical left-wing ideologue who has a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam racist?
Such an appointment will surely bring back rust belt voters who have lost their jobs to globalization and free trade! Is this really the thinking of those Democratic leaders who are pushing for Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee?
One hates to say it, but how can we ignore the fact that the current occupant of the White House himself had a long history of supporting an anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam racist. Hmmm.
To be fair, Rev. Jeremiah Wright was not a Muslim and did not belong to the Nation of Islam. And yet, he worked closely with Louis Farrakhan, even to the point of participating in rallies with him. And, Rev. Wright, happily published Hamas propaganda in his Church bulletin.
Do Democrats see Keith Ellison as the new Barack Obama?
Neither Farrakhan nor Wright nor, for that matter, Ellison, could support a campaign to make American great. Even if they disagree over whether America ever was great—they do not—they can hardly be expected to support anyone’s craving for national unity. After all, Wright preached something that was called black liberation theology… a doctrine that defined blacks as an oppressed class that needed to rise up and overthrow their white oppressors.
Since Ellison had a long history of associating with Farrakhan, it is fair to point out that the Nation of Islam founder has not been very much of a patriot.
Dershowitz made the case:
Ellison’s sordid past associations with Louis Farrakhan — the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam — will hurt him in Middle America, which has little appetite for Farrakhan’s anti-American ravings. Recently, Farrakhan made headlines for visiting Iran on the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution where he berated the U.S., while refusing to criticize Iran’s human rights violations.
Farrakhan also appeared as a special guest speaker of the Iranian president at a rally, which featured the unveiling of a float reenacting Iran’s detention of 10 U.S. Navy sailors in the Persian Gulf. (Jessica Chasmar, "Louis Farrakhan Speaking in Iran, Slams American ‘Dismal’ Human Rights Record," The Washington Times, Feb. 12, 2016.)
In addition to embracing American enemies abroad, Farrakhan has exhibited a penchant for lacing his sermons with anti-Semitic hate speech. Around the time that Ellison was working with the Nation of Islam, for example, Farrakhan was delivering speeches attacking “the synagogue as Satan.” He described Jews as “wicked deceivers of the American people” that have “wrapped [their] tentacles around the U.S. government” and are “deceiving and sending this nation to hell.”
Those who care can also examine the record of Ellison’s anti-Israeli votes in Congress. The record is perfectly clear to anyone who cares to look at it.
Dershowitz outlines it:
Ellison’s voting record also does not support his claim that he has become a “friend” of Israel. He was one of only eight congressmen who voted against funding the Iron Dome program, developed jointly by the U.S. and Israel, which helps protect Israeli civilians from Hamas rockets.
In 2009, Ellison was one of only two dozen congressmen to vote “present” rather than vote for a non-binding resolution “recognizing Israel’s right to defend itself against attacks from, reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
And in 2010, Ellison co-authored a letter to President Obama, calling on him to pressure Israel into opening the border with Gaza. The letter describes the blockade of the Hamas controlled Gaza strip as “de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents.”
And yet, the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party, including New York’s own Jewish senator, Chuck Schumer have supported Ellison. When Ellison ran for Congress in Minnesota Jewish groups decided that he had had a change of heart. They supported him.
When Barack Obama declared that his twenty year association with Rev. Wright did not matter, Jewish groups supported him. How did that work out?
Examine Obama’s contempt for the prime minister of Israel, his efforts to legitimize the Muslim Brotherhood and his efforts to empower the Iranian regime. Then you can ask precisely how much he had really put the Rev. Wright in the past. When Obama sent hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to Tehran, money that would be funneled to Hamas and Hezbollah, the better to support their efforts to kill Jews... who in the American Jewish community stood up against him?
If Obama’s record with Rev. Jeremiah Wright did not matter to the Democratic Party, why should Keith Ellison’s?
Now, the Anti-Defamation League has just discovered that Keith Ellison is too anti-Semitic. So perhaps his quest for legitimacy at the DNC is over? But, then again, why did it take this much time? And when will people understand that the issue is not Keith Ellison, but Barack Obama?