I am vexed

Back in the day, when I was in high school, an friend of mine was loudly, humorously grousing about a grade a teacher had given him. In the course of his gripe, he complained that she had "jewed" him out of a better grade.

My response, of course, was "She did what?" My friend (who, in the manner of most generally ignorant people who are more bigoted than they're even aware, seemed not to have thought about what he was saying) apologized immediately.

Want to know why this memory sprung to mind?

Whether it was billing the event as a "Super Bowl of Freedom" or challenging conservatives to "scare" members of Congress, it worked. Rep. Michele Bachmann got thousands of protesters to flood the lawn in front of the Capitol building Thursday afternoon, joining her for what was originally described as a "press conference" but turned out to be a full-blown rally against health care reform—a mini-sequel to the 9/12 protest of two months ago.


Their main grievance was health care reform—some periodically broke out into chants of "Kill the bill!"—but many protesters saw reform as a part of a larger problem of government overreach: the stimulus, bailouts, and proposed cap-and-trade legislation. Dolores, a woman from the Dayton area, objected to the lies she saw coming out of the White House. The last time she came to Washington to protest, it was during the bombing of Cambodia in 1970. "They were lying to us then, they're lying to us now," she said. Another woman went on about health care for a good five minutes before she asked whether I was aware that Obama showed "signs of the Antichrist."


That was the main difference between the 9/12 protests and Thursday's rally. While congressional Republicans largely responded to the September event, they spearheaded this one. Boehner stood alongside Jon Voight as he called Obama a liar and propagandist. (There were no calls for a Joe Wilson-style apology.) Cantor stood there while protesters raised signs suggesting that Obama "takes his orders from the Rothschilds," the family that was once central to theories of Jewish world dominance.
I know that plenty of protesters compared Bush to Hitler during his administration. I know that there were plenty of ugly signs and ugly things said and done. The difference? The Democrats in Congress weren't egging them on from up on stage.

What I find particularly galling is that last paragraph. I do not understand how Eric Cantor, no matter how much he may dislike the President (and, frankly, I suspect he doesn't really dislike him personally but only plays at doing so for the cameras, as is par for the course for all politicians) and wish to promote the fortunes of the GOP, could associate with people who dredge up hoary anti-Semitic slanders. I mean, really? The Rothschilds?

Apparently, this has occurred to some anonymous Internet critic, because at this very moment Cantor's Wikipedia page says this about his religion:
a disgrace to us, the Jewish Community

and every child of a Holocaust survivor


  1. 1) I utterly reject the notion that Bush knew about the attacks per se. Anyone who believes that Bush knew that terrorists were planning to fly planes into the Twin Towers is a complete buffoon, lunatic or worse. However...

    2) The question could be understood to mean "believed that Bush had information about terrorist activities, which would have prevented the attacks if properly acted upon." If one takes this view, which is that Bush's incompetence allowed the attacks to occur, then I'm willing to sign up with that 26%.

  2. The question as given on rasmussenreports is less equivocal, but sure, I'll give you that some people undoubtedly interpreted it as you suggest. The wide disparity between Dems and Repubs+Independents still remains.

    And as far as the "egging them on from up on stage," I have two words: Cynthia McKinney. I'd also put Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich up there as well, but Ms. McKinney is the gold standard for nutcase wackjob Member of Congress.

  3. Oh, is this my cue to defend Cynthia McKinney? Because, dude, it's not going to happen.

  4. I would be dissapointed if you did defend Ms. McKinney. I'm not defending Mr. Cantor either. I'm pointing out Ds did egg it on, and they stood around when antisemitic Truthers held up signs. Ds are no better than Rs and quite possibly are worse. We cannot trust either party with power.

    Today, newly elected NY-23 member Owens broke his campaign promise and said he'll vote for a public option. Members feel free to lie to voters in order to be elected. We have the most corrupt, dishonest Congress that money can buy.

  5. I've never heard "jewed" used in the context in which your high school friend used it. Offensive, but I'm glad he apologized.

    I don't agree, however, that this necessarily implies deep-seated bigotry. (Of course, you know this person, and I don't.) For example, for years I never knew that the term "gypped" is actually a slur against gypsies. I have used the term and have absolutely nothing against gypsies.