Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Jewish Question

Tim Russert and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for trying to make Obama responsible for the anti-Semitic remarks of Louis Farrakhan. That was unconscionable and inexcusable.

Likewise, attempting to make Obama responsible for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's praise of Farrakhan was inappropriate and the sort of thing I would expect of Sean Hannity, rather than the host of Meet the Press.

When Hillary interjected, I honestly thought she would come to his defense on that score - would argue that he should not be held responsible for the comments of somebody who has endorsed him, but whom Obama is already on record denouncing. How foolish of me.

Instead, she threw him under the bus and implied that his failure to use the word "reject" instead of "denounce" means he somehow endorses Farrakhan's anti-Semitic remarks. This is textbook propaganda - guilt by association - a classical fallacy that you learn about in Logic 101.

Hillary could have acted like a human being in that moment, but chose instead to exploit the opportunity for a cheap and illegitimate political point.

She could have chosen to act presidential. Instead she acted like a thug.

I say again - Clinton and Russert should be ashamed of themselves.


I'm not the only one who feels this way.

From his liveblog of the debate, Josh Marshall writes:

10:10 PM ... I guess it's good in some way that this sludge gets thrown around now in advance of the general. But Russert is well beyond the normal bounds of disgusting on this front. As a separate matter, the covert campaign to smear Obama with the Jewish community is a topic of great importance that I've been meaning to hit on and haven't done enough on it yet. At least we know now that Russert's enlisted with the cause.

10:13 PM ... I thought for a moment there that Hillary was going to say something classy. Guess I was wrong.
Well beyond the normal bounds of disgusting.

Well said.