Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Despite Bibi Adulation, How Anti-Semitic Is The Republican Party Base?


Tom Scheich-- killed by GOP anti-semiticism

Yesterday, his friends and family buried Missouri Auditor-- and Republican gubernatorial contender-- Tom Schweich, who had shot himself February 26. A few weeks earlier he had announced he was running for governor in 2016, triggering a primary battle with former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway. Since his death, it has come out that Hanaway backers, primarily Republican Party state chairman John Hancock and a gaggle of Republican Party power broker who ran this nasty ad last week, had started an anti-semitic whispering campaign against Schweich in the hopes of driving him out of the race.

How ironic that the funeral in Clayton was the same day that the Republican Party was worshipping Bibi Netanyahu as though he were one of Baal's golden calves. The political right has always been, at least partially, defined by it's virulent anti-semitism and the bizarre and ahistorical love affair between the American political right and the Israeli political right can be confusing.

Former Missouri Senator John Danforth (R) was the state's Attorney General from 1969 to 1976, when he was sworn in as a U.S. senator, serving from 1976 until 1995. He is a political moderate and an ordained Episcopal priest. And Tom Schweich was his mentor. Yesterday has wasn't worshipping Bibi Netanyahu. He was commemorating Schweich at the funeral. And the Missouri Republican Party did not want to hear what's its elder statesman had to say.
“Politics has gone so hideously wrong,” Danforth said. “The death of Tom Schweich is the natural consequence of what politics has become.”

Danforth suggested that Schweich might have been ill-suited for the sharp-elbowed world of politics.

“He was a person easily hurt and quickly offended, and I told him I didn’t think he had the temperament for elective politics,” Danforth said. “But Tom didn’t easily accept advice, and he was offended by mine. It was his decision, and he was my friend, and I was for him, whatever he chose to do.”

...Later, Danforth spoke of how he believed the campaign had stung Schweich.

Last month, as Republicans gathered in Kansas City for the Republican Party’s annual conference, a radio ad hit the airwaves attacking Schweich as a weak candidate who could be “easily confused for the deputy sheriff of Mayberry.” Schweich was thin and short.

“Making fun of someone’s physical appearance,” Danforth said, “calling him a ‘little bug,’ there is one word to describe it: ‘bullying.’ And there is one word to describe the person behind it: ‘bully.’ …

“We often hear,” Danforth said, “that words can’t hurt you. But that’s simply not true. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said just the opposite. Words for Jesus could be the moral equivalent of murder. He said if we insult a brother or sister we will be liable. He said if we call someone a fool we will be liable to hell. Well how about anti-Semitic whispers? And how about a radio ad that calls someone a ‘little bug,’ and that is run anonymously over and over again?

“Words do hurt. Words can kill,” Danforth continued. “That has been proven right here in our home state.”

...One of Schweich’s final acts before his death was an attempt to set up an interview with reporters from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Associated Press. The topic was to be his assertion that the newly elected chairman of the Missouri Republican Party had been spreading misinformation about his religion. Schweich was an Episcopalian with a Jewish grandfather. He told reporters that he suspected references were made to his Jewish heritage to damage his standing with Republicans in the primary for governor.

Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock said that he mistakenly believed that Schweich, 54, was Jewish, “but it was simply a part of what I believed to be his biography-- no different than the fact that he was from St. Louis and had graduated from Harvard Law School.”

“While I do not recall doing so, it is possible that I mentioned Tom’s faith in passing during one of the many conversations I have each day,” Hancock wrote. “There was absolutely nothing malicious about my intent, and I certainty was not attempting to ‘inject religion’ into the governor’s race, as some have suggested.”

Danforth’s eulogy tried to challenge that logic.

“The only reason for going around saying that someone is Jewish is to make political profit from religious bigotry,” he said. “Someone said this was no different than saying a person is a Presbyterian. Here’s how to test the credibility of that remark: When was the last time anyone sidled up to you and whispered into your ear that such and such a person is a Presbyterian?”

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At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Sue said...

The phony love of Judaism of the end of days bunch is based on our conversion and/or destruction.

With friends like these...

At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bullies band together. FoX recruits them, and the GOP directs them. It's all about preventing any real challenge to those who pay the GOP and FOX for these services to maintain their dominance over our nation while they wage war against the entire world..


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