Thursday, July 13, 2006

You probably already know about the New York Observer article that argues, on virtually no evidence, that the real reason for liberal anger at Joe Lieberman is anti-Semitism. But it's not the only article published this week to make that claim.

Here's an article from The Forward, the venerable New York Jewish newspaper, that says much the same thing -- and it appears within days of the Observer article.

What are the odds? Gosh, you don't suppose a couple of lazy journalists would let an incumbent's campaign spin doctor spoon-feed them a story like this, do you? Nawww -- modern journalists have way too much self-respect to simply retype spin, right?

The only empirical evidence of anti-Semitic Lieberman criticism in the long Observer article is a quote from that nerve center of liberal thought -- the comments at the Huffington Post. In the Forward there's also only one piece of empirical evidence offered, and it's from -- the comments at the Huffington Post! An astonishing coincidence!

I should note that the Forward story is only partly about anti-Semitism. Its main argument is that if Lieberman is defeated in the primary, Jews all over the country will feel alienated from the Democratic Party and will choose not to vote for Democratic candidates.

This is nuts -- or at least it was until it appeared in print. Now, right-wingers will seize on this notion, repeating it endlessly, running it through the noise machine, until it becomes conventional wisdom. Once that happens, some Jews around the country might actually believe that rejecting their local Democrat is an appropriate response to a (nonexistent) anti-Semitic attack.

If all this really is traceable to a Lieberman campaign spinner, then this person is willfully spreading memes that can damage the Democratic Party, just to save his candidate's hide.

I've been skeptical about the value of the anti-Lieberman campaign at a time when we're desperate to get to 51 in the Senate, but this really pisses me off.


UPDATE: The consultant in question is Lieberman aide Dan Gerstein, as David Sirota explains here.

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