Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rent is Too Damn High Party (Update: Now With More Hasidim!)

Edit: fixed malformed link.

Now THIS is how you do "single-issue candidate". Jimmy McMillan of the "Rent is Too Damn High Party" absolutely stole the show at the New York State Gubernatorial debate last night.

Gawker called him "crazy"; HELL no, he isn't crazy. He's cogent, on-message, has a striking appearance that helps get him attention (which you need as an issue candidate) and the sort of emphatic, impassioned delivery that'd make a preacher cry.

I'm sure a ton of people would (will?) happily vote for him; Cuomo would be insane not to leverage this.

Edit: Ah, or perhaps Cuomo should leave well enough alone. McMillan is trending high right now, but already people are noticing that he found a target for his ire back in 2005. That would be, *ahem*, "the Jews". Utter ethical dubiousness aside, I don't think it's a terribly wise position for a gubernatorial candidate in New York, of all places.

It is a rather weird case. His specific complaint was, from what I can gather, that Hasidim (ultra-Orthodox) Jews living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn were systematically refusing to rent to outsiders. Considering that's a common complaint about the so-called "black hats" in Israel, it's plausible that he might not understand the distinction. But, then again, he also blamed "the Jews" for the 2001 WTC attack. That is, uh, a wee bit less plausible.

On the other hand, he claims that he's renounced that stuff:
There have been comments that I have attempted to label me anti-semitic or anti-Jewish. This has been nothing more than "kill the messenger" and "character assignation" politics as usual which was spread by opponents that have nothing better to say. It may sound trite in this matter but even in this campaign I rely on Jewish close friends and advisors.

However, if I have ever made any biased remarks toward anyone or any group I heartfeltly apologize. Further, I apologize to the Jewish community for having to suffer the boorish bias of anyone. Even the reminder that there is still bias in America bias is painful; as a Black-American Man I empathize fully with the Jewish-American community.
Hey, they forgave Bob Byrd.

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