Cherry picking nutroots comments sections and finding antisemitism – not a neat trick. Finding the same antisemitic meme in comments across six top nutroots blogs – still not a particularly neat trick because what do you expect from Daily Kos, Wonkette, HuffPo, ThinkProgress, FiveThirtyEight, and DU? But closer!
What would be really interesting is if blogs like HuffPo had been randomly filtering Lieberman’s health care calculations through an Israel prism for weeks. Then their commenters’ anti-Jewish dual loyalty canards would go from being mere seething bigotry to something more like institutionalized habits of thoughts that lends themselves to symptomatic outbursts.
HuffPo contributor M.S. Bellows, “Fate of Healthcare Reform Is in Joe Lieberman’s Hands”, October 9, 2009:
But if Lieberman intends to become a Republican next year, he will lose that chairmanship anyway. And, with Democrats holding both the White House and solid majorities in both houses, Lieberman has no realistic chance of advancing his hawkish, pro-Israel foreign policy agenda despite being chair. Lieberman has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, from jettisoning his chairmanship now and becoming a hero to the Right by singlehandedly stopping Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative in its tracks.
His duly incited audience responded with charming observations like “Joe is not an American supporter other than our military and welfare money to the theocratic state of Israel” and “If the fate of health care reform is in Lieberman’s hands, it’s doomed. Lieberman doesn’t vote for anything that isn’t Pro-MIC and Pro-Israel.”
Fast forward to today’s half bluff / half bombshell. Why would Lieberman do it? Tough to say. It could be because he’s an experienced political hand who knows he has enormous leverage to insert specific health care reforms he’s been pursuing for years. Or it could be, per this self-styled analyst at FiveThirtyEight, that he wants Obama to give Israel the green light to expand settlements and start a war across West and Central Asia:
Liebermann is playing political games for Israel. He wants this administration to let them do what they want, ie, expand settlements to their hearts content, use Iraqi air space for an attack, etc. He knows he can get concessions on Israel on his HC vote.
Of course there’s room for nuance here. This DKos strategist doesn’t think Lieberman wants Israel to bomb Iran. Apparently the Senator’s actual plan is to install a warmongering GOP President who will have America do the bombing, albeit 4 years from now when it would no longer matter (?):
He wants Obama to fail so he can get another repub in the whitehouse that will invade Iran. It’s all about Israel with Lieberman. A true patriot.
If you’re looking for a tie-breaker, the DU bottom-feeders are siding with the DKos “American attack” theory. Money line: “Basically he has told Obama to kill Muslims or he’ll kill us.” So there you go. Andin any case, other commenters at HuffPo and ThinkProgress want you to know that “traitor Joe(I-Israel)” is a TRAITOR TRAITOR TRAITOR… plotting to KILL more Americans than all the terrorists combined.
Potential ideas for overcoming Lieberman’s opposition, courtesy of Wonkette commenters, also seem fixated on Israel: “how about we eliminate that Washington-entitlement program of aid to Israel? That’ll save some billions every year!” and/or “tie the public option to aid to Israel, and strip Joe of his committee assignments, chairs, and epidermis.”
Presumably these legislative sticks will be persuasive because, as another Wonkette denizen explained, “there’s nothing about israel in any of the health bills and that’s the only thing he cares about or has allegience to.”
Consider all of this teaser 1 of 2 for tomorrow’s Omri Ceren Show interview with Norman Podhoretz, where he tries to untangle how American Jews could possibly align with contemporary liberalism. And on that note, one last comment from ThinkProgress, explaining why the few “but isn’t this all very antisemitic” comments were being buried down and hidden (as opposed to DKos, where they were simply overwhelmed):
fat of the beef thinks that when you specifically use the word Israel that they can turn you into an anti-semite. Are they just dumb or has no one told them the difference between being Jewish and being the Isreali government? I guess it’s willful ignorance. they seem to lean that way.
Indeed. Hard to see how anyone could find antisemitism in the left’s legitimate criticism of Israel’s blood-soaked cabalistic broadside against a US health care utopia.
* Fate of Healthcare Reform Is in Joe Lieberman’s Hands [HuffPo]
* Analyzing Lieberman’s Threat [Political Wire]
* Lieberman: I’ll block vote on Reid plan [Politico]
* Lieberman Flirting with Political Suicide [FiveThirtyEight]
* FLASHBACK: Lieberman pledged support for health reform [DKos]
* Joe Lieberman Blackmailing Obama on Health Care to get Iran Strike & Afghanistan Surge? [DU]
* Lieberman Says He’ll Filibuster Health Care Reform If Public Option Remains [ThinkProgres]
* Joe Lieberman Considers Killing Health Care Reform, Obama’s Entire First Term Agenda, Dem Majorities In Both Chambers, Etc. [Wonkette]
* Norman Podhoretz – Why Jews Are Liberals [The Omri Ceren Show]