Thursday, June 05, 2003

My apologies for the light updating (although not so light as Digby... what's he up to?) but it's been largely due to low access to computers from which I can properly update.

(Either multiple windows aren't allowable, which means that linking is a severe hassle, or the computer simply doesn't run Blogger properly. Or it uses Netscape 4.7, which is by far the worst problem of the three. Yecch.)

Still, I did want to address one comment that was made over at Talking Points Memo, which is this idea that some have made that attacks on neo-conservatism are actually Anti-Semitic. In a word, this is ludicrous, no matter how you define the word "Semitic". If you're referring to the genetically related ethnic group, then it's a complete non-starter, as political beliefs have squat to do with race/ethnicity. If you're talking about adherents of the Jewish religion, then that doesn't make sense either, because there's no reason why anyone Jewish would adhere to a particular political creed any more than anyone else. If you're talking about some sort of cultural nexus of the two, then that doesn't make sense either, because there's no connection I can possibly see between Strauss-influenced conservatism and Jewish beliefs, culture, and doctrine.

(Indeed, Straussian neo-conservatism might be considered as threatening to Jewish minorities, as it is through liberal concepts of minority protection and individual (and collective) rights that minorities are protected within modern liberal democracies. I'm no expert on Strauss, though, so I may be off on that.)

The only reason one can possibly bring forward for this is that because many neo-conservatives are Jewish, those who are criticizing one are criticizing the other. It fails, however, both for the reasons mentioned above and the simple problem that it would be uselessly ineffectual as criticism. As I've said earlier, although the set "Jewish" and the set "Neo-Conservative" overlap, you'd be wasting enormous time and energy attacking the "Neo-Conservative" set in order to attack the "Jewish" set. You'd be ticking off conservatives and leaving everybody else somewhat befuddled as to the point of the attacks. Why bother, when one could simply attack Jewish people? As many, many far right wing people do, something ignored too often nowadays?

Heck, what was that quote about Dubya saying that the first thing he's going to say to Jewish supporters is that they're all going to hell? Taking potshots at Wolfowitz's policy is pretty pale compared to that.

These sorts of transparent attempts to turn political critique into racism have not been accepted when aimed at the right by the left. Why on earth they think they can get away with it in reverse is beyond me.

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