Posts Tagged ‘anti-Semitism’

The Heart of the GOP: It’s Not Pretty

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

By Bob Gaydos

Rep. Liz Cheney ... says she doesn’t recognize today’s Republicans.

Rep. Liz Cheney … says she doesn’t recognize today’s Republicans.

  While sitting around waiting for the Super Bowl to begin, I stumbled upon this interesting tidbit of news: Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said in a TV interview, “We are the party of Lincoln, we are not the party of QAnon or anti-Semitism or Holocaust-deniers, or white supremacy or conspiracy theories. That’s not who we are.”

     To which I immediately said to myself, “Umm, yes you are. In fact, that’s precisely who you are.”

     Then I wondered how someone with such an impeccable Republican pedigree could have become so out of touch with her colleagues. After all, her father, Dick, was also a congressman and served key roles in Republican administrations. As George W  Bush‘s vice president, he was a key member of the cast that lied the United States into a war with Iraq. Remember? And, staunch Second Amendment man that he is, her dad also managed to shoot a hunting partner accidentally. Plus they’re from Wyoming. Republican through and through, for Pete’s sake.

       So what has Ms. Cheney been doing the last four, eight, 12, 16, 20 years that she did not notice the GOP morph into the QOP? Methinks, what the rest of her Republican colleagues have been doing — closing their eyes, covering their ears, holding their noses and crossing their fingers as all those people she says aren’t Republicans joined the party in such numbers that, when lumped into one, united, bigoted bunch, they represent a major voting bloc. In fact, a career-threatening voting bloc for those who dare to cross it, as Republican office-holders, including Cheney, are now finding out. Did she really think Tea Party members held traditional, conservative Republican views?

         Desperate to achieve and maintain power, if not necessarily govern, the Republican Party needs numbers because there are more Democrats in this country than Republicans. That should be a message. But instead of trying to adapt their party to represent the changing face of America, Republican leaders took what they must have thought was the easier way out — welcome all the fringy groups who can’t stand those libtard, multi-cultural Democrats.

         Welcome heck, have them run for office as Republicans. Put big money behind them. Re-draw election districts to help them get elected.Tell them to criticize budget deficits and promise tax cuts. And to say that Democrats will take away your guns. Say that a lot. Also, God bless America.

         It kind of worked, but America kept changing. And even elected a black president. All those people Cheney talked about in her TV interview had no one to speak for them politically. So the GOP reconfigured its big tent and said, “Come on in. Turn on Fox News and turn off the rest of the world. Vote for Republicans and we will save you from those  book-reading, God-hating, science-believing, socialist  Democrats. And we’ll let you keep your guns.”

         Cheney is one of the few Republicans in Congress who had the guts to speak the truth, finally, about Trump — that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol and deserved to be impeached. She backed up her words with her vote, being one of only 10 House Republicans to do so. For that, Republicans in her home state voted to censure her and called for her to resign.

        Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, an example of what you get when you let anyone into your house, asked her to tone down the truth-telling. She refused, but still managed to hold onto her third-in-line leadership post among the House GOP. McCarthy also had a talk with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, the Trump-loving Quanon conspiracy queen, who has denied the Parkland school shooting, supported executing Democrats, defended the Capitol attack and said California wildfires were started by a Jewish family with lasers. (Hey! Who let her in?)

       She “apologized” for a whole raft of hateful nonsense she’s been spewing, said she was allowed to believe lies spread by the media and was allowed by McCarthy to keep her committee assignments, until Democrats, who control this House, took them away. (Cheney said McCarthy should have taken Greene’s committee posts from her.)

        Yes, this is definitely where the Republican Party is today: Stuck between members who still believe in a former president who was super-cozy with Russia, robbed Americans blind, lied constantly and tried to stay in power with a coup and a bunch of self-seeking, gutless members of Congress who knew what was going on, but let it happen. See anything Lincolnesque in there?

        When Cheney says of Republicans, it’s “not who we are,” she is really pleading for others to finally show some courage and admit they have been complicit, either through greed or cowardice, in allowing Trump’s transformation of the party into an organization that seeks power above all else and will do whatever is necessary to obtain and keep it.

         To do that, he only needed to tap in to the fears, ignorance and biases of all those anti-Semites, Holocaust-deniers, white supremacists and conspiracy theorists who somehow snuck into the GOP when Cheney and the rest apparently weren’t looking.

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at



PB Diversity Rallies Lacking in Diversity

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

By Michael Kaufman

I have some advice for those Pine Bush residents who are organizing the rallies designed to highlight their community’s commitment to diversity:  Get a few people in front of the camera who don’t have white skin, maybe a gay couple or two (preferably with their kids in tow), and (for icing on the cake) some Orthodox Jews. It would be ideal if they were Hasidic but that is probably too much to ask, considering all the fuss over that darned housing development they’re trying to erect in Bloomingburg.  Why, they’re even seeking approval to build a “discriminatory school” to go along with the housing: a private religious school for girls that will drain funds from the public schools because the Pine Bush school district (which includes Bloomingburg) will have to provide services for their children, including those with special needs.

I see your point there. I’ve seen it ever since the Reagan years when the education laws were changed so as to allow certain funds intended for public school use to be diverted to private and parochial schools. (The Warwick school district, for example, provides nursing service to St. Stephen’s.) Far be it for me to suggest there may be a smidgen of anti-Semitism involved in the current outcry from the denizens of Pine Bush and Bloomingburg.  But why am I talking about this when you keep telling me the Pine Bush thing has nothing to do with the Bloomingburg development? (Hint: Maybe it’s because you’ve been saying it so much it has forced me to think about it a lot more than I would have otherwise.)

In any event, just to recap: Your efforts to highlight your devotion to the cause of diversity are in response to negative publicity generated by an article that appeared in The New York Times on Nov. 6. The article reported on a lawsuit filed against the Pine Bush Central School District by three Jewish families who allege that their children (and others) were victims of cruel harassment in school and that the district knew about it and did little or nothing to stop it. The children gave testimony describing incidents that included the drawing of a  swastika on a seventh-grade girl’s face as she was held down by two boys; middle school students being called “Christ killer,” “stupid Jew,” “disgusting Jew,” and being subjected to jokes about the Holocaust; and students having coins thrown at them. The article led to widespread criticism of Pine Bush by some heavy hitters (Gov. Cuomo, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Anti-Defamation League, to name a few).

But at least you have the support of Stuart Feuer, a Jewish dentist who practices in Pine Bush, where he has lived with his family for 25 years. He wrote a letter published Nov. 9 in the Times saying that no one in his family ever experienced any anti-Semitism. “I am very saddened,” he concluded, “that this negative attention is being brought to our beautiful, peaceful hamlet, which is filled with good-hearted, hard-working people.” He reportedly got upset later because someone unknown to him from New Jersey wrote a letter describing him as a “self-hating Jew.”

I have met Feuer and I doubt he is a self-hating Jew. He may, however, be a self-serving dentist. As one of the few Jewish residents of Pine Bush his practice is dependent on the goodwill and patronage of his non-Jewish neighbors. John Barker, a mechanic who lives in Pine Bush, must go to another dentist. Barker is quoted in the Times article as saying of Jewish families, “We don’t want them in our town.”

Anna Merlan, a blogger for the Village Voice, checked out comments from Pine Bush residents on social media after the Times article was published and found that “reactions were divided between people who said they, too, had experienced or witnessed prejudice, and those who were shocked, shocked to hear that such a thing might be taking place in their town.” The most revealing responses, she noted in her Nov. 11 post, came from Pine Bush teenagers and young adults. Some took to Twitter and Facebook to say they were “embarrassed” or “ashamed.” But others made no attempt to conceal their bigotry:

“This is pine bush, and if you don’t like pine bush you can geeeeeeet out,” Tweeted Charlie

“I think this is all coming up because the Jews want to take over Bloomingburg and the people aren’t letting that happen,” chirped I Am McGlory.

“(Bleep) all ya why cause more drama then there already is in this town. The jews just needa go back to kj where they belong,” cursed the uncharitable Christian.

“Don’t believe things people say just to get money from the school district,” opined Joey.

And after a hearty “lol” in homage to Joey, Amanda proclaimed, “…that article is retarded. No one threw coins at the (bleepin) jews.”

Maybe you “good hearted, hard-working people” in Pine Bush don’t know what these young people have been saying.  Surely Feuer never saw those comments. Like Feuer, author Michelle Zink lives in Pine Bush and is raising her children there. Unlike Feuer, she does not depend on the goodwill of her neighbors for her livelihood. Three days after Feuer’s letter was published in the Times, Zink posted a blog on her website titled Anti-Semitism Is Alive and Well in My Home Town. I suggest you read it before your next diversity rally.

Michael can be reached at