LINKS TO ANTI-SEMITISM: THEY'RE OK IF YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN
In today's Washington Post, Richard Cohen prepares us for what will probably be the #1 issue in the general-election campaign if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee: not Iraq or the economy or any issue of actual importance to voters, but Obama's church.
Barack Obama is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan....
As Steve Benen says,
...there's clearly a degrees-of-separation problem. Obama belongs to a Christian church. The church has a pastor. The pastor has a daughter. The daughter helps run the church magazine. The magazine featured some praise for Louis Farrakhan last year.
Cohen sees this and insists, in his nationally-syndicated column, that Obama has a personal "obligation to speak out" -- not because Obama has been connected with Farrakhan or anti-Semitism in any way, but because his church's pastor's daughter's magazine said something complementary about Farrakhan.
This is utterly ridiculous and Cohen ought to be embarrassed for putting his name on such nonsense....
Meanwhile, I don't recall a Cohen column in response to this last spring:
On April 3, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) 2008 presidential campaign announced that it had hired former Nixon staffer Fred Malek as its national finance co-chairman. However, as David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation, noted in an April 3 entry on his Capital Games weblog, the McCain campaign's press release "left out an interesting piece of Malek's history: when he counted Jews for President Richard Nixon." As Corn reported, Nixon suspected that a "cabal" of Jews at the Bureau of Labor Statistics was skewing economic figures to make the administration look bad and assigned Malek to report back on how many Jews were employed at BLS. When former President George H.W. Bush hired Malek as a top official at the Republican National Committee (RNC) in 1988, revelations in the press regarding Malek's work for Nixon reportedly led him to resign....
And, yes, Malek was still out there working for the McCain campaign in New Hampshire earlier this month.
Twenty years ago, Cohen wrote a couple of columns denouncing Malek, around the time he resurfaced in connection with Poppy Bush. But that was then. Now it's much more important to Cohen to preserve the precious Beltway status quo, which means keeping those icky Democrats out of the White House if at all possible.