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Guest Post: Keith Pavlischek on the Andrew Sullivan anti-Semite slur against McCain campaign

From Keith Pavlischek:

In a blog post titled, The Education of David Brooks Andrew Sullivan comments on Brooks’ editorial piece in last Friday’s New York Times: “As David concedes, the reason we don't have Lieberman is because David's party is a religious organization that would not accept a pro-choice Jew on the ticket. So the first reason we have Palin is the Christianist veto...."

I’ve read and re-read the Brooks piece, but the closest I could come to finding evidence for such anti-Semitism was this comment by Brooks: "Before the convention, some McCain aides wanted to sunder the links to the past in one bold stroke: Name Joe Lieberman as the vice presidential nominee, promise to serve only one term, vow to take a hiatus from partisanship and work by compromise to get things done. That proved to be a leap too far. So McCain was pulled back."

Maybe Sullivan meant to say that the Republican Party would not accept a pro-choice Protestant, Catholic, Jew or Atheist or Hockey mom on the ticket. But that wouldn’t have the same slanderous rhetorical effect, would it?

This counts for civil discourse over at The Atlantic these days.

Comments (7)

David Brooks doesn't even claim that it's because Lieberman is pro-choice. The only thing one can glean from Brooks is that it would have been a "leap too far" for the Republicans to nominate a Democrat.

Sullivan seems to be (badly) misreading Brooks in an unfair way, but as I'm inclined to read the portion of Sullivan's piece under discussion, he's not being anti-Semitic. He seems to be accusing Republicans of being anti-Semitic. At least as I read him (but isn't the natural way?), Sullivan is claiming that among the reasons Lieberman wasn't chosen are that he's pro-choice and he's Jewish, and therefore wouldn't fly in the Republican party. (He was subject to the "Christianist veto.") I don't see how that makes Sullivan anti-Semitic. He may be wrong in judging why Lieberman wasn't chosen, he may be too quick with insinuations that others are anti-Semitic (though there seems to be plenty of that going around here!), and he definitely seems to be over-reading Brooks -- who, in context, seems just to be saying that choosing Lieberman would be going too far *in the direction of non-partisanship*. Overall, a pretty lame post by Sullivan. But anti-Semitic? What am I missing?

Keith DeRose, as I read it the post title "Anti-semite slur" means "slurring with accusations of anti-semitism."

Also, I'm not sure there's good reason to tar the whole Atlantic Monthly because of Sullivan's unedited and unhinged comments. Are any other Atlantic bloggers acting half as bad as he is?

I'm sorry: I think I see it now. Sullivan isn't being accused of anti-semitism, but of saying the Republicans are anti-Semitic, and of baselessly implicating Brooks in making the same slur? If so, yes, that seems right. Sorry, Frank, Keith P. My bad.

I read the title the same way, Kevin.

The only thing one can glean from Brooks is that it would have been a "leap too far" for the Republicans to nominate a Democrat.

Yes, but that means they wouldn't nominate a Democrat Jew, woman, gay guy, or black person, which implies that they are a bunch of Christianist, sexist, homophobic racists.

You have to learn Sullivan logic to make sense of Sullivan posts.

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