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One Advantage of the Republican Party, 1982:

Why, it "is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America." The Democratic Party, on the other hand, "must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates." And Israel, of course, "has become very much like adolf Hitler's Germany." That's Rep. Pete McCloskey, in an interview with Spotlight magazine (published by the Liberty Lobby), Oct. 11, 1982, at 14:

The Republican Party is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America as the Democratic Party must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates. If you look at "Scoop" Jackson, and Alan Cranston, and Teddy Kennedy -- any Democratic candidate for national office has more or less go to look to Jewish money, Republicans don't -- they are more business-oriented....

The battle [over Reagan's peace plan for the Mideast] will be for public opinion in the United States, whether the Congress will be willing to back Reagan and stand up to the Jewish lobby in this country. Congress has invariably knuckled under to the Israeli lobby in the past, and for Reagan's plan to succeed, Congress is going to have to be willing to cut off aid to the Israelis if they continue the West Bank settlements....

That's the same man who has referred to the "so-called Holocaust," in a speech before the Holocaust revisionists at the Institute for Historical Review. That's the same man who called Yasser Arafat a "man of peace" in the same exchange in which he harshly condemned Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, and Yitzhok Shamir.

It's also the same man who's running in the Republican primary for a House of Representatives seat, and who has been endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. The Times tells us he's "the best thing that could happen for the district, the state, the nation and possibly the Republican Party."

There's no doubt that Jews, like others, participate in the political process, and promote causes that they care about -- which sometimes include Israel. It's quite legitimate to discuss that. It's quite legitimate to criticize Israel; for all I know (not being particularly knowledgeable on the subject), Rep. McCloskey's substantive criticisms of Israel were quite sound, though the claim that Israel was "very much like Adolf Hitler's Germany" makes me skeptical of his other views.

But when someone suggests that the Democratic Party is "in the hands of the Jews," because it is beholden to "Jewish money" (the money of 2% of the U.S. population, a group that's somewhat but not vastly more prosperous per capita than the average person), that suggests a pretty serious lack of perspective. And when coupled with the more recent talk of the "so-called Holocaust" and the shocking double standard in evaluating Arafat and the Israeli leaders, it makes one wonder whether Mr. McCloskey is indeed quite as good as the Times and the Chronicle suggest.

Gary Imhoff (mail) (www):
I would caution against blindly trusting Spotlight as a source for accurate quotes. Does the Spotlight article cite another publication as the source for its quotations, and can that source be checked, or is Spotlight the only authority? If it is the sole source, I'd reserve judgment until the accuracy of the quotes is confirmed.
5.31.2006 3:03pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
The Spotlight article purports to be an interview with McCloskey himself.
5.31.2006 3:07pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I think it was Mark Twain who said that when God made the US, he tilted up one side, and everything that was loose rolled down to California (present company excepted, of course!)
5.31.2006 3:36pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
I guess his opinion much have changed given his endorsement of John Kerry in 2004.
5.31.2006 3:42pm
Robert West (mail) (www):
I believe that the bay area newspapers are endorsing McCloskey simply becuase they can't stand Pombo and view McCloskey as the best way to make him go away,
5.31.2006 3:58pm
HeScreams:
In addition to Kerry, in the 2004 race for the *same* Congressional seat (11th District CA), McCloskey endorsed Jerry McNerney, the Democratic candidate. McNerney is running again, in the Democratic primary. It would be funny if McCloskey faced McNerney, but that's unlikely.
5.31.2006 3:59pm
Ship Erect (mail) (www):
How is it that that someone who finds the Bushisms' lack of context unfair or misleading is selectively quoting newspapers' endorsements to make it seem that the election of a supposed Holocaust denier and bigot is, in their view, "the best thing that could happen"--without a single mention of McCloskey's opponent? I only discovered this because of comments in your other posts about this subject.

You'd think that simple fairness would require a fuller explanation of why these newspapers endorsed him, rather than leading readers to the bizarre conclusion that newspapers in the most liberal state in the country are endorsing someone because he hates Jews and denies that the Holocaust occurred.
5.31.2006 4:06pm
Guesting Guest:
Quote:

That's Rep. Pete McCloskey, in an interview with Spotlight magazine (published by the Liberty Lobby), Oct. 11, 1982, at 14:

I don't get the 'at 14'. Pete McCloskey was born in 1927.
5.31.2006 4:10pm
Kim Scarborough (mail) (www):
Well, Ship Erect, why don't you fill us in? I'd be very intrigued to see this blank filled in: "Yes, McClosky is a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite, but he should be supported anyway because ____".
5.31.2006 4:12pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Who said the papers endorsed him because of those whacko views? All I've seen in the post is the statement that the papers endorsed him. Anyway, back when David Duke was making news in my own home state, nobody much cared about his current claims because they were entirely overshadowed by his despicable past. The papers said this guy should be the Republican nominee. They've got to take the bad with the good. It's up to the paper to explain why they think he's the best choice despite his very questionable and possibly anti-Semitic beliefs.
5.31.2006 4:14pm
frankcross (mail):
We need to be careful about press reports.

McCloskey says the IHR report of "so called Holocaust" was a lie and has called the IHR a "bunch of nuts." Maybe he's lying, but it's probably worth noting his response.
5.31.2006 4:18pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
While I agree with the main point of Professor Volokh's posting here, I will quibble with one sentence:


But when someone suggests that the Democratic Party is "in the hands of the Jews," because it is beholden to "Jewish money" (the money of 2% of the U.S. population, a group that's somewhat but not vastly more prosperous per capita than the average person), that suggests a pretty serious lack of perspective.
Some years ago, Thomas Sowell's pointed out that Jews had much higher average incomes than the national average (if I recall correctly, something like 173%), and much of the reason was because Jews were much older than the national average. (The same was true, to a less extent, for Polish-Americans.) Older people (until they retire), tend to have higher incomes because they are more advanced in their careers, so this is not too startling.

However, being older, and having relatively small numbers of children also means more disposable income. It is certainly possible for 2% of the population to have far more than a 2% influence on a political party through contributions, if:

1. They have higher than average incomes.

2. More of that income is discretionary, because the major expenses associated with being young and raising children are not an issue.

3. Their level of commitment to a cause leads them to spend more heavily on political campaigns than Gentiles.

4. In addition, because Jews are still largely Democrats (and until quite recently, overwhelmingly Democrats), Jewish influence on the Democratic Party is perhaps more accurately measured by what percentage of Democrats are Jews, not what percentage of Americans are Jews.

There's no question that Jews have historically played a major part in why U.S. foreign policy is pro-Israel. In the last twenty years, as fundamentalist Christians have emerged from their political coma, they have also played a part in tilting U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israel. But you know, even without Jews or fundamentalist Christians, U.S. foreign policy would likely lean towards Israel anyway, because:

1. Israel is a functioning democracy that while not perfect in matters of human rights, does better than just about any Arab country has ever done.

2. In the entire time that I have been growing up, there have been airliner hijackings, attacks on U.S. military installations, bombings of American buildings here and abroad--and shockingly enough, the terrorists involved in these attacks are overwhelmingly Arabs--NOT Jews.

3. Blame #2 on U.S. pro-Israel policy if you wish--and there's no question that there's an element to truth to this--but throughout the world, there are wars going on right now. In just about every case, no matter who is one side, the other side is some Muslim extremist organization. I'm beginning to see a pattern here--and it is hard to claim that Russia, India, and black Sudanese tribesmen, are being attacked because of their pro-Israel policies.
5.31.2006 4:28pm
Shelby (mail):
Guesting:

Not sure, but at a guess "at 14" refers to the page of the paper.
5.31.2006 4:29pm
Michael Benson (mail) (www):
Your earlier post struck me as interesting and serious, but not quite enough for total condemnation. If these quotes pan out, I'd say you nailed this guy and the Chronicle.
5.31.2006 4:34pm
Anti-McCloskey:
Any linkable source for the McCloskey Spotlight quote? I'd love to share it with CA GOP friends of mine.
5.31.2006 4:37pm
LawyerJ:
Kim Scarborough writes:
Well, Ship Erect, why don't you fill us in? I'd be very intrigued to see this blank filled in: "Yes, McClosky is a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite, but he should be supported anyway because ____".


Allow me:

Because (1) Pombo has been so bad -- for his party, for his district, for the State of California, and therefore, for the nation -- that almost anyone else will do; (2) as this is a very conservative district, no Democrat has a chance to unseat Pombo; (3) and finally, McCloskey's anti-semitism, while vile, has little chance of harming anyone or influencig policy in any way.

I've read the SF Chronicle endorsement, which Eugene linked to, and I think my reasons (1) and (2) are the stated and thinly veiled rationales, respectively, that underlie it.

It's a fair question whether the Chronicle deliberately elided the issue of McCloskey's anti-Semitism or were unaware of it (either possibility being a notable and credibility-sapping flaw of the editorial board).

Finally, before the papers are judged too harshly, let's see whom they endorse in November, should McCloskey triumph in the primary. If I were a bettin' man, I'd put all my money, and some borrowed funds to boot, on the democratic candidate.
5.31.2006 4:46pm
JasonJason (mail):
The papers are endorsing him because they will take ANYONE over Richard Pombo, who has dared to challenge the Endangered Species Act and other environmental controls as the Chairman of the House Resources Committee. This shows the lengths they will go to defeat him. Sad, actually.
5.31.2006 5:09pm
Redman:
Seems to me that the LAT is endorsing McCloskey so they can tar and feather the GOP with a broad brush come November.

Remember David Duke?
5.31.2006 5:11pm
Robert West (mail) (www):
Redman -- I suspect that JasonJason is closer to the truth. Very few people in the Bay Area like Pombo's positions on environmental issues, and our local press will push McCloskey as hard as they can in the hopes of defeating Pombo (since the district is more or less impossible for a Democrat to carry).
5.31.2006 5:14pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
"At 14" indeed refers to page 14. It's standard legal citation form, but the comments suggest that it may be unfamiliar to lay readers -- in the future, I'll try to use "p." or some such.

Frank Cross: The "so-called Holocaust" quote comes from an item on the IHR Web site, but it's an item that purports to be a copy of McCloskey's speech. It might still be wrong, and deliberately so, but I don't recalling hearing McCloskey's claims that it is indeed a lie -- can you point me to them, please?
5.31.2006 5:14pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I guess his opinion much have changed given his endorsement of John Kerry in 2004.

Or perhaps he felt that felt that Kerry was a little less in the pocket of The Worldwide Zionist Conspiracy (a Delaware not for profit corporation).
5.31.2006 5:36pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Because (1) Pombo has been so bad -- for his party, for his district, for the State of California, and therefore, for the nation -- that almost anyone else will do; (2) as this is a very conservative district, no Democrat has a chance to unseat Pombo; (3) and finally, McCloskey's anti-semitism, while vile, has little chance of harming anyone or influencig policy in any way.


But Pombo's views on the Endangered Species Act also have no chance of harming anyone. Except maybe the people he'd like to protect.

I read the proposed legislation in some detail, from the standpoint of ten years of doing ESA work on a daily basis. If I had any hair left, I would have pulled it out. I'd stake money that, if enacted, the main effect would be to (a) double or treble the number of lawsuits under the ESA and (b) stop a lot of projects that pass muster today. Whoever wrote it had, at the very best, a superficial (of oil slick dimensions) understanding of how ESA really works.
5.31.2006 5:39pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Where does the quote come from where he allegedly said that Israel "has become very much like adolf Hitler's Germany"? I googled the phrase and got a blank.

The statement about a "so-called Holocaust" doesn't strike me as a fair attack. At best, we have no idea of the context. At worst, he didn't even say it. He seems to have explicitly agreed all along that Jews were systematically targeted and murdered; doesn't that render somewhat dubious the idea that he would have referenced a "so-called Holocaust" to suggest that it didn't really happen? That's clearly what you're implying, but it doesn't add up. It doesn't fit even his worst possible claim, that the Holocaust was of a smaller scope than reported. In short, it's a completely vague and implausible allegation that doesn't even make sense.

As to his letter, that's also entirely unfair. Several years ago I wrote a letter to Fred Phelps, the pastor who came up with the whole "God Hates Fags" thing. I wrote him a courteous letter asking him if he didn't think the whole "fags" thing was hurting his cause. I suggested to him that his methods were probably turning more people away than they were helping. If somebody found this letter now, I guess they could say it's proof that I'm Fred Phelps-lite. But I'm not; I happen to think he's about the worst person in the world. I was just trying to speak to him in his own language to see if I could get through. I guess I didn't. Simply put, though, the letter proves nothing.

So we're left, then, with the claims about Jewish money and the Democratic party. I have to say, I don't think the statement that Jews are only slightly better off is very candid. Of course, when you're talking about political power, it's not the median wealth that matters. What matters is the super-wealthy Democratic donors. Do you really think, Prof. Volokh, that Jews are only slightly overrepresented in that group? Like maybe 3% of that money, as opposed to 2% in the general population? According to Arthur Hu (I don't know, but he doesn't seem to be anti-semitic), at least one figure says that Jews represented 23% of the Forbes 500 richest Americans in 1982. So figuring that the large majority of Jews are Democrats... I don't know, what exactly is the basis for saying he's wrong? Seems to me like he has a pretty strong basis for making the claim.

Does the guy feel there is a Jewish lobby adversely affecting American politics? That seems pretty clear. Does that make him an anti-semite and unsuitable for office? I don't think you've made your case. I have to say that your standards of fairness here seem to have been somewhat lowered.
5.31.2006 5:50pm
frankcross (mail):

I googled and found the denial, but now can't find it. However, at this site is a letter from a journalist who says he watched a videotape of the speech and that McCloskey didn't say it.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060501/letter

And the transcript is from IHR itself, which I'm not sure I'd consider to be a reliable source
5.31.2006 6:05pm
A.S.:
I'd be very intrigued to see this blank filled in: "Yes, McClosky is a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite, but he should be supported anyway because ____".

I think the correct answer for the blank, for most liberals, is "being against the Endangered Species Act is worse than being a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite".
5.31.2006 6:10pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
LawyerJ writes:


[F]inally, McCloskey's anti-semitism, while vile, has little chance of harming anyone or influencig policy in any way.
Yes, once this troublesome brawler Hitler has taken care of the Communists....

Never, ever, support someone for office that you consider dangerous because of cynical political calculation--your calculations may turn out to be terribly wrong. I did that once, when I voted for Gray Davis, who seemed like a colorless guy unlikely to win the general election, but who clearly didn't have the money to spend of his fellow Democrats who were trying to get the nomination for governor. Boy, was I wrong!
5.31.2006 6:15pm
B.M.:
A.S.,

How about this one:

"Yes, anti-semitism is a very serious accusation, not to be tossed around lightly, except when __________"


I think the correct answer for the blank, for most conservatives, is "when you can use it to make ill-founded and scurrilious remarks about liberals.

As to McCloskey's remarks, they at least deserve a lot of scrutiny. I would like to see the context that the "so-called" remark was made in, but my bias is to say that it constitutes Holocaust denial, which should be a bar to electability in my view.
5.31.2006 6:20pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Marcus1 makes a fair point about context. IMO though McCloskey is unacceptable as a candidate because (a) he’s a RINO, (b) he’s already served 16 years in the House (I refuse to vote to reelect a candidate once they’ve already served 12), (c) what I know of him indicates that he’s wrong on most issues, and (d) he’s nearly 80 years old. Given the legitimate reasons for opposing his candidacy, I’d prefer to stick with the ones that don’t require a parsing of “what did he mean when he said X twenty years ago.”
5.31.2006 6:21pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
The evidence that he's a holocaust-denier is extremely weak. By these kinds of standards of evidence, anybody could simply make the charge against someone who wasn't entirely pro-Israel, and there would be no way of refuting it. He allegedly said "so-called holocaust." that's the best they can come up with? Not even an actual statement saying it didn't happen, but just that kind of a classic out-of-context meaningless phrase?

Perhaps he said "There have been many holocausts in history. Muslims have been massacred in this and this and this place. Stalin killed all these people. In fact, the so-called 'holocaust' wasn't even the worst one. And yet this was then used as a justification for confiscating and giving the Jews Muslim land, when Muslims weren't even involved." Would that make him a holocaust denier?

When the best thing they can come up with is that he referred to a "so-called" Holocaust, I have to assume that, at worst, he said something like the above example. If he ad really said something like "The so-called Holocaust didn't even happen," then I have to assume that that's the quote we would have gotten.
5.31.2006 6:36pm
gab (mail):
Maybe Pombo's links to Abramoff are what caused the Comical to endorse McCloskey. Better an anti-Semite than a slimeball...
5.31.2006 6:42pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Maybe Pombo's links to Abramoff are what caused the Comical to endorse McCloskey. Better an anti-Semite than a slimeball...
Ah yes, the purity of ideology wins over corruption. Two things come to mind:

1. When David Duke was running for governor against a Democrat who was widely recognized as corrupt. There were bumper stickers that said, "Vote for the crook. It's important."

2. The scene in Cabaret where the young blond man in the Nazi uniform sings, "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" in contrast to the depraved culture of Weimar Republic Berlin. The Weimar Republic's urban culture of licentious really was disgusting--but consider the alternative.
5.31.2006 6:53pm
poster child (mail):
It's always fun to watch the closet anti-semites come out to parse words in defense of their brethren.

Many here can't seem to get the original point, to wit, that two major daily newspapers in California have announced that McCloskey is the best man for the job. The point is not whether he's a full-blown neo-Nazi or just a lil' bit anti-semitic, but whether this clown deserves to be elected to the United States Congress! (though now that I mention it, maybe that's the best place for him...) Geez, the guy gives speeches to Holocaust-deniers--aside from any question of whether that's tantamount to an endorsement of their views, doesn't that at least call his judgment into question?
5.31.2006 7:01pm
SJK (mail):
The issue isn't whether he's a good candidate, it's whether he's fit for office. Given his views of the holocaust and Jews I would not be comfortable electing him unless he had fully explained his position and views on the issue of the holocaust and Israel. The fact that the "journalists" have endorsed him against an incumbent while ignoring the whole issue brings the newpapers' intent into suspicion.
5.31.2006 7:20pm
The Outlander (www):
Once more the double standard the news media so readily wields is at hand: If this were a Republican reportedly making such remarks the news media would repeat it hourly. But it is a Democrat, so. . . never mind. And we--the news media--won't go to the bother of confirming or denying it, either.

Thank you for your time.
5.31.2006 7:44pm
Mike G (mail):
One of these quotes could be wrong. But I don't believe anybody gets accidentally quoted saying the Holocaust didn't happen AND that the Jews control everything, some years apart, in different publications. Trying to make excuses for multiple occurrences is just digging the hole deeper.

The guy keeps nutty, fringe anti-semitic company (remember, he did something with Illinois' homegrown jewish conspiracymonger, Paul Findley, too). That's enough for me.
5.31.2006 7:47pm
agog:
marcus1) The context for the remark appears here.
As you'll note, it's not nearly as exculpatory as you had imagined, but neither is it (to me) obviously damning of the man as an Antisemite.

"Earlier here today I listened to speeches about the courage of men in France, Britain, Germany, and New Zealand who have spoken out against the commonly accepted concept of what occurred during the Second World War in the so-called Holocaust. And I wanted to tell you a story that every American ought to know, because we do have free speech in this country, and a judicial system with the right to jury trial. Whatever you may think of the ability of given judges, or the ability of given members of the press, the independent judiciary and press have saved us from the kind of things that have been described here today in Germany or Britain or Canada." [Emphasis mine]

Your point that the IHR is a dubious source is valid, and the Nation journalist does contradict the quotation. However, his response to the commentor ignores another of her quotations that does appear in the IHR version. I'd be interested to see the video.

others) After scanning the speech to IHR linked above, it seems that McCloskey's main point was 'i may not agree with everything you say, but i'll defend to the death your right to say it'. The context in which this point rests--a discussion of the ADL and of other countries' laws, in a speech at a conference sponsored by a Holocaust-denying organization--is distracting, but shouldn't be all-consuming. Clearly, McCloskey feels America's ties with Israel are too strong, that these ties are partially traceable to a strong Jewish-American lobby, and that some other demands (regarding speech) of this lobby are also undesirable. At one point, he chose to engage, and even praise, the efforts of IHR to provide a different view of Israeli history than the ADL; that this group also works to 'de-bunk' the Holocaust is a fact he acknowledges but appears not to endorse. I realize that these are sensitive issues, but for Volokh, and some of the rest of you, to consider McCloskey Antisemitic instead of anti-Isreal based on these few remarks does too great a service to the real Antisemites.

In a recent paper, Volokh wrote:
"Social norms that condemn thoughtful and polite criticism of race-based affirmative action, American foreign policy, or various religions are counterproductive—because they stifle potentially enlightening debate—and unfair."
A social norm of condemning those who speak out against Israel as Antisemites--or one that finds those who speak to those (obvious Antisemites) who deny the Holocaust somehow guilty by association--is similarly unfair.
As other commentors point out, there are many more concrete reasons to object to McCloskey without fabricating charges of racism.
5.31.2006 7:48pm
Jaime non-Lawyer:
Outlander,

while I agree that there is a media double standard, I don't think that this is such a case. McCloskey is a Republican running in the primary. If the Chronicle was even aware of this issue, I think they are willing to overlook it in order to get rid of Pombo.

Now if McCloskey wins the primary, I expect that this will become an issue in the general election, and the Chronicle will endorse the Democrat.
5.31.2006 8:25pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Marcus1: The description of Israel as having "become very much like Adolf Hitler's Germany" is from the Spotlight interview. Here's the paragraph:
It seems to me that until Americans wake up and stop treating Israel as if were the 51st state and couldd do no wrong, that we are in danger of getting led into a nuclear war by this highly belligerent, aggressive, imperialistic nation, which has become very much like Adolf Hitler's Germany. What Begin, Sharon and Shamir did in west Beirut, a Jewish newspaper editor in my home-town of Palo Alto, California said was similar to what Hilter had done in Warsaw and Rotterdam in World War II. We have unleashed the new Hitler on the world.


Yes, a new Hitler. If Hitler had recurring elections, in which Jewish parties routinely got seats in the Reichstag (as Arab parties do in the Knesset). If Hitler had invaded Poland only after the Poles really did routinely allow rocket attacks from their territory onto German territory (as was the case with regard to the invasion of Lebanon). If Hitler hadn't actually tried to kill six million Jews and a wide range of others. If Hitler hadn't tried to overrun all of Europe. Other than that, and a thousand other things, just like Hitler.
5.31.2006 8:40pm
Jaime non-Lawyer:
Having the Chronicle make endorsements for the Republican primary is like having the Yankees' fan club recommend roster moves to the Red Sox.

I'd be surprised if many Republican primary voters will follow the Chronicle's endorsement. However, since California has an open primary system, I wonder what the effect will be.
5.31.2006 8:48pm
Confused:
The curious thing is that I suspect that many of those claiming that McCloskey did not deny the Holocaust and does not hate Jews in fact have a fondness for him precisely because he did. It's like the bizarre position of neo-Nazis who say they love Hitler because he stood up to the Jews but simultaneously insist that he never did anything to the Jews.

I'm not sure which is more the amusing to me of the two current strands of anti-semitism denial: the claim that it's merely "anti-Zionist" or the claim that it's not anti-semitic because the speaker is himself, or has a fondness for, Arabs who are semites, too.
5.31.2006 9:40pm
Joanne Jacobs (mail) (www):
I'm troubled by the fact that Pete McCloskey gave an interview to Spotlight, the newspaper of the Liberty Lobby, a white supremacist and racist group. Here's the Wikipedia entry:


Liberty Lobby was a right-wing political advocacy organization which existed in the United States between 1955 and 2001. It was founded by Willis Carto.

Liberty Lobby was the subject of much criticism from all quarters of the political spectrum. While Liberty Lobby was founded as a conservative political organization, Willis Carto was known to hold strongly anti-Semitic views, and to be a devotee of the writings of Francis Parker Yockey, who was one of a handful of esoteric post-WWII writers who revered Adolf Hitler. Yockey, writing under the pseudonym of Ulick Varange, wrote a book entitled Imperium, which Willis Carto adopted as his own guiding ideology.

Many critics, including disgruntled former Carto associates as well as the Anti-Defamation League, have noted that Willis Carto, more than anybody else, was responsible for keeping organized anti-Semitism alive as a viable political movement during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, when it was otherwise completely discredited.

Liberty Lobby attempted to promote a public image of being a conservative anti-Communist group, along the lines of the John Birch Society, but while the John Birch Society rejected white supremacy and anti-Semitism, Liberty Lobby promoted them. Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium was republished by Willis Carto's Noontide Press, which also published a number of other books and pamphlets promoting a racialist and white supremacist world view, and Liberty Lobby in turn sold and promoted these books. While Liberty Lobby was intended to occupy the niche of a conservative anti-Communist group, Willis Carto was meanwhile building other organizations which would take a much more explicit neo-Nazi orientation. Among these were the National Youth Alliance, a Willis Carto-founded organization that eventually became the National Alliance when Carto lost control of it and it fell into the hands of William Pierce. The National Alliance is considered to be the most notorious neo-Nazi group currently operating in the United States. Also founded by Carto was the Institute for Historical Review, a group known for publishing Holocaust denial books and articles. As with the National Youth Alliance and Noontide Press, the Institute for Historical Review also fell out of Carto's hands in a hostile internal struggle.
If Spotlight had misquoted McCloskey, he would have protested at the time. I can find no evidence online that he did so.

-- Joanne Jacobs
5.31.2006 9:49pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I think it fair to characterize McCloskey as anti-Israel, perhaps (depends on your definition of being "for" or "against" Israel), and certainly "anti-Likud," but I don't see him as anti-semitic. Too bad so many can't see the difference. He fought for jewish civil rights as an attorney. How can you square that with his being anti-semitic? Did David Duke stand up for the rights of black people, ever?
5.31.2006 9:53pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I guess I am troubled by the combination of McCloskey's willingness to grant an audience to groups like the Liberty Lobby and the IHR and the content of what these groups claim he said to them.

If he had spoken to the IHR, and told them essentially to stop lying about the Holocaust, of course, that wouldn't be troubling to me. And, likewise, if he told Liberty Lobby something similar, no problem. But, for him to speak of the "jewish" lobby and the "so-called Holocaust" to anti-semitic nut jobs like these groups makes me wonder about him.

I do think the analogy to speaking to Bob Jones is entirely apt. One can assume that any student who enrolls at that institution knows of its anti-race mingling views, and at least does not object to these views too much (they could go somewhere else if they did). So, if I were Trent Lott, and I addressed that group and then talked about the good old Dixiecrat candidacy of Strom Thurmond, people might fairly charge me with racism, or at least, fairly assume I held racist views.
5.31.2006 11:06pm
from a reputable source:
Eugene,

I am not here to defend McCloskey (I think you have recently made a good case that he is indefensible), but I would quibble with your claim that Jewish donors do not make up a large chunk of Democratic money. I recall a recent Washington Post article saying it was at least 50% of the DNC's funds (I don't have the time to lexis search this). Doing a quick google search, I ran into this from the Hill (which I think is equally reputable). http://www.thehill.com/news/033004/jewish.aspx

Note the quote "In the era of soft money, an estimated 50 to 70 percent of large contributions to the Democratic Party and allied political units came from Jewish donors."

I do not think this is a bad thing but instead the natural consequence of the (1) overall preference for the Democrats among many American Jews and (2) the fact that Jews are more politically active than other groups (percentage who vote in an election and donate to candidates/causes).

You should attack "Jewish lobby" canards not by denying the disproportionate funding of the DNC, but by noting the double standard that no one would say the RNC is beholden to the "Christian lobby" or "white male lobby."
5.31.2006 11:54pm
Wintermute (mail) (www):
Awww, Gino, we can take this stuff in stride. But look: if you want to cite percentages, run the % of Jews in Congress next to the % of US population. Overrepresented? Statistically, I think so. Statistically, I would give Jews an advantage in a few other areas: family strength, wealth per capita, and even intelligence (vis a vis the US average, but look out for the Asians). Where I draw the line is getting my country drawn into war to protect a crappy strip of land in the Middle East because of the Balfour business, when the real Promised Land for the Jewish people is the United States of America. I've come to like you, EV, long distance; just don't think you have to take all this on your shoulders to be a good Jew. You've got a lot of friends here.

Cramer, may I say about your #2 in comment 3:28, the USS Liberty, Pollard, and the still-pending Franklin/AIPAC investigation?
6.1.2006 1:06am
Gary Rosen:
"marcus1":
"The evidence that he's a holocaust-denier is extremely weak."

Only that he gave a major address to the leading organization of Holocaust denial; and an interview to the Spotlight, the journal of the notoriously antisemitic Liberty Lobby while he was running for US Senate.
6.1.2006 1:48am
Gary Rosen:
Wintermute:

"don't think you have to take all this on your shoulders to be a good Jew"

Yeah, you know all about being a "good Jew", don't you? Is that like being a "good n*gg*r"?
6.1.2006 1:50am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Wintermute does have a point - esp. in the Senate, it appears that there are currently eleven Jewish Senators (Coleman, Specter, Feingold, Feinstein, Kohl, Lieberman, Schumer, Wyden, Boxer, Lautenberg, and Levin - this list could be off by one or two, but looks pretty accurate to me). That is 11% for what is apparently approximately 2% percentage of the U.S. population. Compare this to the Hispanics (2) or African-Americans (1) in the Senate, and the number is striking.

That said, I am not the least bit upset about there being a "Jewish Lobby" for Israel. My view is that someone has to control those holy sites, and the Jews have the oldest claim. Jerusalem is significant to both Christianity and Islam precisely because of their Jewish roots or connections. Besides, I see the Israelis as being significantly more responsible these days in that regard than I think we could expect to see from the Palestinians.
6.1.2006 1:55am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Let me add to my last point about trusting Palestinians. You should check the picture out in this article in israelnationalnews.com titled "PA Cartoon: Child Urinating on Lady Liberty".
6.1.2006 2:02am
Joey Tranchina (mail):
“It is useless to reason someone out of a position
that they have not been reasoned into.”
<<< Jonathan Swift

I have known Pete McCloskey since the early 1970s, when I followed him around for a couple of weeks, as a photographer, while he was running for congress in my district. Pete is a prototypical jarhead, a hot-head who can be an opinionated jackass. But to claim he is an antisemite, because he got pissed off at the ADL for spying on him and sued them, is a stretch of the imagination. To claim he is a Holocaust denier with an arsenal of innuendo and misquotations debases the tenor of this dialogue.

Pete McCloskey is not my buddy; he's not my friend; I wouldn't invite him to my son's Bar Mitzva, but to so accuse a man --- especially one who has publicly demonstrated decades of integrity and outspoken courage of a sort that is remarkably absent in our pathetic generation of milk-toast politicians --- is a public disservice and a private outrage.

As someone who has spent a good deal of his life living, as a Jew, in Russia, in Poland and in France... (as well as in Hip, Liberal &Tolerant America), I know what antisemitism is... firsthand. Pete McCloskey is an opinionated, hard-headed jerk. That does not make him a bigot. That is the opinion I formed over three decades of interaction with a man and nothing that has been documented in this string of bank-shots and whispers enlightens me to think otherwise.

Shalom, Joey Tranchina

P.S. The last time I spoke with Pete McCloskey was in Washington D.C. at a Drug Policy Foundation Conference, If you really want to get him in political hot-water by innuendo, you can assert the false claim that he's a "drug legalizer." Guild-by-association is a marvelous thing,
6.1.2006 2:41am
Fub:
Eugene Volokh wrote:
Other than that, and a thousand other things, just like Hitler.
I'll agree that McCloskey's comparison was maladroit at best. But I think it is quite unfair not to note that he was quoting a Jewish constituent on the matter, at least in part:
What Begin, Sharon and Shamir did in west Beirut, a Jewish newspaper editor in my home-town of Palo Alto, California said was similar to what Hilter had done in Warsaw and Rotterdam in World War II. We have unleashed the new Hitler on the world.
In the context, it is certainly a sensible reading to say that he was also quoting the newspaper editor in the last line as well.

I am highly skeptical of claims that Pete McCloskey is or ever was antisemitic. I have some experience of his public persona as a voter in his congressional district thirty years ago. He always spoke bluntly and honestly. Sometimes he shot from the hip. He was not shy about articulating his opinion on any issue, and he didn't much care who his opinions angered. I'm not claiming that he isn't Irish.[1] But he harbored absolutely no animus or prejudice against any race or religion that I ever noticed.

If Pete McCloskey was antisemitic then, he certainly fooled a lot of Jewish voters, including some of my professional colleagues (in an entirely nonpolitical technical field) with whom I had plenty of "water cooler" political discussions. One of his most politically active supporters I knew at the time was a Democrat activist as well as Jewish (both religiously and culturally). He also was bluntly outspoken and would have ripped Pete McCloskey's head off had he perceived even a hint of antisemitism.

This festival of nit-picking McCloskey's every comment as reported by organizations that he agreed to address despite the fact he likely found their racial and religious views loathsome reminds me of the loopy leftist picayune parsing for politically incorrect meaning that most here find so risible or reprehensible.

Pete McCloskey was on radio in the SF area today, interviewed and fielding call-in questions with another candidate in the 11th district primary. The audio link is some kind of Javascript widget that I can't reproduce here. But the link to audio is currently on this page. Scroll down to the entry for "11th District Congressional Race" The interview might shed some light on what he is really about.


[1] So sue me for anti-Erinism.
6.1.2006 3:36am
Bill Woolsey (mail):
I am surprised that no one here has mentioned that McCloskey was _the_ Republican voice of opposition to
the Vietnam War--back in the day. He challenged
Nixon in the Republican primary in 1972 as an anti-war
candidate.

Also, don't assume that everyone knows the Spotlight
or IHR just because you do. Most people have never heard of these things.

During a campaign, a politician gives an interview?
Gee, they do it all the time. They are supposed to check out each publication?

While giving a presentation to a group in district would be much the same in the context of a campaign, travel to give a talk at IHR would be somewhat different. Still, I would find it easy to excuse one such visit. You get the invitation, don't check them out--what can it hurt? Then you find out how they are a bunch of crazies.

So far, all the evidence cited about McCloskey's views on the Holocaust, Jewish influence in the Democratic Party, and Israel's policies in Lebanon and the occupied territories come from the crazies. Are they credible?

Still, I think it is likely that McCloskey did strongly oppose Israel's invasion of Lebanon. He probably opposes settlement in the occupied territories. He probably has been very critical of Likud. And probably has proposed that the U.S. cut (or end) its diplomatic and financial support of Israel over these matters. He probably does believe that the reason why the U.S. hasn't done more to pressure Israel is that Democrat politicians feel beholden to major financial donors who are both pro-Israel and Jewish.

(I think there is truth to this. That is, many Democrats believe that they need Jewish money to compete with Republicans, and that Jewish money requires that they be a strong friend of Israel. How much of this is in their imaginations, versus how much is based upon being told that they are getting money because they are such a good friend of Israel--I don't know. But the key factors are that rich Jews have often remained Democrats while rich Italians and Irishmen switched to the Republican Party. There is evidence that many Democrat politicians believe that Jewish money is important to their party. Gee, Democrats think in terms of ethnicity? Could they be so bigoted?)

Anyway, it would be those sorts of views that would make Spotlight and IHR interested in McCloskey. But that doesn't imply that he endorses all of their views.

My opinion is that McCloskey is probably not a "friend of Israel." Or especially not a friend of the Likuniks. And rather than just say that, there is an effort to smear him as an anti-semite.
6.1.2006 3:40am
David in DC:
Bill Woolsey,

My opinion is that McCloskey is probably not a "friend of Israel." Or especially not a friend of the Likuniks. And rather than just say that, there is an effort to smear him as an anti-semite.

The guy got up in front of one of the leading Holocaust denial groups and railed against Jewish money, Jewish influence, and exaggeration of the "so-called Holocaust".

Are you trying to imply that the people here don't think he is an anti-Semite but are trying to "smear" him as one anyway?

Also, don't assume that everyone knows the Spotlight
or IHR just because you do. Most people have never heard of these things.


Perhaps you didn't read all of EV's entries about this. McCloskey wrote a letter to IHR in an effort to help them out with their strategy, noting that they would find more mainstream support if they only minimized the Holocaust (e.g., tried to argue that Jews were exaggerating the number, as McCloskey himself explained he was trying to do) rather than deny it outright. Given that, I think it is a pretty safe assumption that he knew who he was talking to. (Barring that, I actually think the reference to the "so-called Holocaust" is a pretty big clue. This isn't something you would drop in a speech at your local Lion's Club.)
6.1.2006 8:56am
SLS 1L:
I'm not willing to do any research, but if the quotes haven't been misrepresented in some really egregious way, this should disqualify him for political office in this country.
6.1.2006 9:25am
hey (mail):
A large number of people rightfully tarred and feather Trent Lott for idiotic statements about Strom, which were exacerbated by his dealings with the Council of Conservative Citizens , an organization with white supremacist views. He too could argue the details of his statements, intent, etc.

It was all BS, he was deposed (though not quickly enough) and is no longer a serious national politician (he is chair of the rules committee, but everyone knows he's a lame duck with limited power who will never advance).

Pete McCloskey is a fossil. He's also said things that are over the line, and to several neo-nazi/holocaust denial groups. David Duke was widely reviled and the corrupt (now imprisoned) Dem candidate got widespread, bipartisan, national support. The bumper sticker was right:vote for the crook, it's important!. At our most machiavellian, conservatives like myself will encourage support for horendously bad Dem candidates (Howard Dean, come on down), but not someone who has such atrocious views on race, religion, ethnicity, etc.

Conservatives and Libertarians know all about unjustified claims of prejudice. Questioning welfare or affirmative action gets your called a racist, saying that Title IX is overapplied and that where there is less demand for Women's college sports than for Men's you should be allowed to fund more Men's sports gets you called a womyn hater, mention that groups like Hezbollah, Hizb ul-Tahir, Jemaat Islamyia, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, and Islamic Jihad are Islamic Terrorist groups and you are labelled an Islamophobe. I know from smears. I also know who smears *cough* liberals and leftists *cough*.

If you want to question the number of Jews killed in the holocaust, you should be very careful about who you associate with. If you want to question or attack Israel's policies or actions, be mindful of the rest of the region and the odious, repressive tyrannies that surround it. Christopher Hitchens is a great example of someone who opposes much of Israel's policies without being an anti-semite. I don't agree with him on Israel (or Mother Theresa!) but he argues his points and is very fair. He doesn't try to excuse the actions of anyone else because of how mean the jews are. Instead he says that Israel's actions in x cases are unacceptable. He also says that the actions of surrounding people are also unacceptable in y cases. He isn't solely fixated on the ZOG or the hidden jewish conspiracy, but rather on illiberal and illegitimate activity as he sees it. McCloskey (and lots of the commenters here) only care about the evils of Israel and the Jews, waving away the actions and statements of the Arabs. If you say questionably anti-semitic things and only hold Israel to a civilized liberal standard of behaviour, then you are an anti-semite. Now go quibble away, but we have seen the truth of the LAT and the SFChron. Environmentalism, as they see it, is more important than Nazism. Good to know.
6.1.2006 10:44am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Well, first off, I don't know anything about these groups, and I doubt that most people do. In his post, though, Eugene didn't seem so focus on the audience-granting, but on the specific comments. Having looked at the specific comments, I find the case based on them extremely weak.

Agog linked to the context for the "so-called Holocaust" comment here. I find the piece entirely exculpatory. Contrary to David in NY's comment, he was not at all "railing" against Jewish this or that, but doing the exact opposite, going on at length about unfair discriminations that Jews have faced. How does one square that with an anti-semite? Incidentally, Eugene thinks the newspapers should have mentioned McCloskey's alleged anti-semitism. Should Euguene not then also have mentioned his extensive pro-semitic comments (if that's a word)?

I would suggest reading the piece, because it also calls into question these alleged comments to Spotlight. "We have unleashed the next Hitler"? It strikes me as completely out of character. What does that even mean? Was this a continued quote of the Jewish newspaper he was citing? I don't know. If he really did make those comments in the way that is shown there, I would say "Wow, that's an offensive statement." Based on his other comments, though, it doesn't strike me as a plausible transcription. Clearly some greater context would be necessary for evaluating his comments, and that context is not available. To me, it would seem worth looking at before lighting the stake.

Basically, the idea that we can declare somebody unfit for office based on little alleged snippets from here and there strikes me as incredibly unjustified and unfair. The idea, moreover, that the specifics of any one allegation isn't important, because we have THREE allegations, is even worse. How hard is it really to come up with three statements that make somebody look bad?

As far as granting audiences, again I don't know these organizations. At some point, that would indeed become damning. Nevertheless, I simply disagree with the idea that a person cannot speak to an organization with racist views. People speak at Bob Jones. People speak at Liberty University. These schools aren't just racist, but rabidly anti-homosexual. Now, most people are willing to forgive rabidly anti-homosexual views. They think that's fine, you can still talk to them, sure. But not to a group that expresses anti-semitism? Why?

I'm far from an expert in these fields, but it strikes me as witch-hunting. I do know that within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is much hostility against Arabs and Jews on both sides. I know there is racism on both sides. Should this disqualify all of these people who have expressed racist views from discourse? A few months ago I heard Jay Leno go on day after day about how it's completely ridiculous that we should give our ports to the Arabs, when the Arabs haven't shown that they can do anything right. Is that kind of racism ok? Or do we now have to cut off speeches to Leno? In my mind, one only has to look to America itself to see that racism is extremely pervasive, but also that the views of racists are capable of being changed. I'm sure that's considered a politically tone-deaf thing to say, but if you look at our country's history, I don't see how you can deny it. Go to Mississippi 50 years ago and tell me who wasn't a racist. Does this mean we should have refused to talk to these people? In any case, I simply reject the idea that you can't talk to a group because it has a particular reprehensible view. Apparently McCloskey does too. If it doesn't disqualify John McCain from office, it shouldn't disqualify McCloskey either.

Again, though, the idea that he supported their views without explicitly endorsing them is an entirely inaccurate representation of his comments, at least to the extent I've seen them. He went out of his way to discuss the extensive and unjustified discriminations that Jews have faced. To declare it unforgivable, even so, is simply unjustified.

Basically, if you're an evangelical Christian (nothing wrong with that), the fact that your buddy happens to be rabidly anti-gay is probably going to be forgivable, and you're probably still going to talk to him. Probably, you'll even go out of your way to say, "Well, his problem isn't really with gays, but with the lifestyle, and with ignoring the Bible." Likewise, if you strongly oppose Israel's policies and find them extremely oppresive to Palestinians (nothing wrong with that, right?), then you're probably going to forgive your buddy who has a thing against Jews. You'll probably even say "His problem isn't actually with Jews as a race, but with the state of Israel, and those who selfishly support it despite its oppressive policies." It's not something people like to talk about, but in my mind, that's how an awful lot of people think. To disqualify not only the guy who has a thing against Jews, but also anybody who is willing to talk to him on the premise that they must also, just doesn't work.

Hey, as far as I know, McCloskey could be the biggest anti-semite in the world. From what I'm seeing, though, he appears to me just to be somebody who refuses to walk the PC line. Naturally, this opens him up to a lot of charges. That's the consequence of not being PC. Being anti-PC, though, isn't the same as being anti-semitic.
6.1.2006 11:47am
Fub:
Marcus1 wrote:
Basically, the idea that we can declare somebody unfit for office based on little alleged snippets from here and there strikes me as incredibly unjustified and unfair. The idea, moreover, that the specifics of any one allegation isn't important, because we have THREE allegations, is even worse. How hard is it really to come up with three statements that make somebody look bad?
"Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre."

Armand Jean Du Plessis, Cardinal et Duc de Richelieu
6.1.2006 12:21pm
Gary Rosen:
Bill Woolsey:

"Anyway, it would be those sorts of views [anti-Israel] that would make Spotlight and IHR interested in McCloskey."

Hey, I thought anti-Zionism had nothing to do with antisemitism! You coulda knocked me over with a feather.
6.1.2006 12:50pm
Confused:
The context of the "so-called Holocaust" line is:

Earlier here today I listened to speeches about the courage of men in France, Britain, Germany, and New Zealand who have spoken out against the commonly accepted concept of what occurred during the Second World War in the so-called Holocaust.

Now, maybe I'm missing something, but how or why is it exculpatory that he was praising the courage of Holocaust-deniers? Surely you'll agree that the IHR -- which is where he was listening to those speeches earlier that day -- is an anti-semitic organization? (Or is nothing antisemitic short of hanging a Jew from a tree?) We don't know the speeches that were given earlier that day, but it's fairly safe to say that they were Holocaust-denying speeches. For example, other speakers that day were David Irving, who decried Jews' efforts to extract "their pound of flesh" from him, and many others who questioned the operation of gas chambers, who claimed Jews had engaged in comparable mass slaughters against Germans, etc., etc. Read the list of speakers here: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n3p-2_Conf.html

Here's from the blurb about Arthur Butz's speech, for example:

In trying to understand "our adversaries," said Butz, a "complication is that we think of religion as universal and other worldly." But "Judaism, by contrast, is a tribal religion of this world, in which contention with gentiles is a major ingredient, both in practice and in myth."

How about this fine fellow, John Bennett:

Bennett made comments and offered suggestions based on his years of experience. For one thing, he said, he would welcome more humorous treatment of Holocaust claims . . . .


Now, I recognize that a lot of people enjoy this kind of anti-"Zionist" sentiment, and so they'll insist that it's perfectly, dare I say it, Kosher. But surely someone who praises the "courage" of such speakers has called his bona fides into question?
6.1.2006 1:48pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Confused,

>Now, maybe I'm missing something, but how or why is it exculpatory that he was praising the courage of Holocaust-deniers?<

Well, that's not what he said; he praised the courage of nameless individuals who have challenged common conceptions regarding the Holocaust. Look again; that wasn't praise of the previous speakers. Dangerous ground to tread on, sure, but praising holocaust-deniers, not really. He explicitly acknowledges that the Nazis systematically exterminated Jews. That's the part that I consider exculpatory.

Unfortunately, I think the reasons for why all this kind of rhetoric arises is extremely complicated and can't really be explained here. Largely, though, I think there is an undeniable double-standard between what one can say about Jews or Judaism and what one can say about Arabs or Muslims or other groups. Some people, I have little doubt, respond to this double-standard by saying outrageous things about Jews, in the same way that outrageous things are said about Muslims or other groups.

Can this behavior be called anti-semitic? Probably in many instances. In my view, though, there is a big disconnect here, and it isn't all explained by anti-semitism. Personally, I think anti-semitism is ridiculous and absurd. But I also disagree with the politics of inferred thought-crimes. Ultimately, that's why I choose to parse words in McCloskey's defense. Very possibly, I think he's not anti-semitic at all, and I think it would be a shame if all it took were the charge and nobody were willing to defend him.
6.1.2006 2:58pm
Confused:
Reviewing the organizations own summary of the event, the only "persecution" mentioned in Britain was the "persecution" of David Irving.

As for your "double-standard," I suppose that's true, since Jews are routinely accused of genocides, warmongering, fifth columny, and so forth in the mainstream media, whereas it's always "Islam is a religion of peace" on the other side. Or did you mean that the double standard went the other way?
6.1.2006 3:07pm
David in DC:
Contrary to David in NY's comment, he was not at all "railing" against Jewish this or that, but doing the exact opposite...

I think Marcus was referring to me, David in DC, not NYC, and I think it is pretty apparent that he either did not read the entire speech or is drawing selectively from it.

By "exact opposite" he is describing a short paragraph which is entitled "Reactive Repression". McCloskey was leading into his thesis that the Jewish community represses as a reaction to what they were subjected to. The rest of the lengthy diatribe is anecdotes about how Jews wronged him, our country, his family and friends, etc. through various machinations and manipulations.

Just do a search on "Jewish community" to see what McCloskey attributes to the Jewish community. It is exactly what I described. You'll also note that he tends to identify people as Jewish even if their religion has nothing to do with his story, which is generally a sign that someone has an unhealthy fixation.

It is troubling that there are some otherwise reasonable people who want to bend over backwards to accomodate what is obviously very questionable behavior. Sometimes it seems that you actually need to be calling for death to Jews (and sometimes not even then, because we are told they are talking about "Zionists" and simply using the wrong term, you see) to be considered an anti-Semite by some.

Regarding your double standard...

Largely, though, I think there is an undeniable double-standard between what one can say about Jews or Judaism and what one can say about Arabs or Muslims or other groups.

It is certainly deniable. I deny it. If you want to generalize and say that the Muslim community is a bunch of terrorists or slavers or whatever slurs are being used against them you will see the same reaction from them, and rightfully so. Or describe African-Americans in a way evocative of slavery, and we have seen this involving pro athletes, and people lose their jobs over it as we have seen.

Bigotry is not acceptable in any form, and it is very unfortunate that some want to accomodate certain forms of it.
6.1.2006 4:09pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
David in DC,

>McCloskey was leading into his thesis that the Jewish community represses as a reaction to what they were subjected to. The rest of the lengthy diatribe is anecdotes about how Jews wronged him, our country, his family and friends, etc. through various machinations and manipulations.<

Sorry, but that's completely dishonest. Yes, he criticizes the behavior of the ADL and the state of Israel, and uses the phrase "Jewish community." Is there a less offensive term you would have him use instead? They are not in any way, however, anecdotes about how Jews wronged this and that. I think you're deliberately distorting his words into anti-semitic buzz words. In fact, he went out of his way to speak fondly of Jews that he and his father have known, as well as to recount the many discriminations that they faced and continued to face.

In any case, I just read through the article more carefully, and found some interesting things. For instance, this quote:


I was asked what I thought of Begin. And I said that he's the same guy who, back in 1947, had hanged British soldiers. He was terrorist. Even most Jews thought of him as a terrorist. Some called him a Jewish Hitler, I believe.


Is this, perhaps, where the comment of "unleashing the new Hitler" came from? His quote of what was said in Jewish newspapers? Wow, that would be a real shame if a comment like that were attributed as original McCloskey when he was actually referencing the hyperbole of another source, wouldn't it?

Another quote:


I've talked to a lot of Poles over the years, and I've known some who didn't like Jews and I've found some that helped Jews. In occupied Poland during the Second World War the Poles who helped Jews were shot by the Nazis if they were caught.


This, from a Holocaust denier?

And of course the many other comments going out of his way to discuss discrimination against Jews. Like this:


There were no blacks in San Marino, and there were no Jews. They kept Jews out of San Marino by asking, "What's the maiden name of your mother?" The real estate people had a conspiracy. As with blacks, Jews in your neighborhood were supposed to make property values drop.

My father was a member of a law firm called Horwitz &McCloskey, which was on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles when that was the city's legal center. I remember once when I was a boy, he said, "Son, we Irish need the Jews. We have half of the good traits of mankind and half of the bad ones, and the Jews are exactly the opposite. They've got the good traits where we're weak, and they have the weak traits where we're strong." I've always remembered that.


or this:


Well, after he had given his speech at the convention, we took Herman Selvin out for a beer, and we complimented him, as young lawyers will an elderly sage. He told us that anti-Semitism was alive and well. A friend of his, he went on, had invited him to the posh Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, but when they got to the door, there was a man in a tuxedo who looked down a list and then said: "Selvin. We don't take Jews here." Now that was in 1963! In my own lifetime, this state has had a long record of anti-Semitism.


Many here seem to have simply concluded that this guy is a Holocaust denier and an anti-semite, pure and simple. So much so that they'll even suggest it's anti-semitic to disagree or suggest otherwise. Again, I only know about McCloskey what I've learned in the last couple days, but the more I read, the more this accusatory approach strikes me as wrong-headed.
6.1.2006 5:45pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
I heard McCloskey praise Arafat once, and it was clear that he was just underinformed and out of his depth on the history and politics of the Middle East. He certainly was no friend of Israel, but it's a long stretch from there to Holocaust-denier.

His primary opponent, Rep. Pombo, is a disaster from our Bay Area perspective, and I am sure that's what motivated the endorsements. McCloskey is a huge longshot anyway. I do think that it's possible that Pombo gets swept away in a November Democratic landslide, though.
6.1.2006 6:09pm
Confused:
Surely the half-and-half comment says nothing about whether or not he's antisemitic. Would it exonerate an antebellum southerner of the charge of racism if he said, "Whites need blacks and blacks need whites. Whites have intelligence, moral sensibility, and wisdom, but we lack the brute strength, fecundity, and docility of blacks. They need us to guide them, and we need them to do our labor."? I assume not.

It's quite possible that he assigned legitimately good traits to Jews, but it's equally possible Jews were picking up "cunning" and "money managing" and "organization" while Irishmen pitched in charity, hard work, and so forth. (Indeed, the formulation that later follows is "great brains" and "great hearts.")
6.1.2006 6:38pm
David in DC:
Sorry, but that's completely dishonest.

No, Marcus, it is a wholly accurate description of what he did in his speech. Which you would have realized if you read the entire speech and didn't have your mind made up even before you read it.

In any event, my post was to correct your public mischaracterization of the speech, not to get into another long winded debate with someone whose mind is already made up.

If people care, I suggest reading the entire speech in full context. You will see what I said was entirely accurate. If you need some excerpts to parse ad nauseum, Marcus, I suggest you start with McCloskey's generalizations about the "Jewish community". You will find a number of them, as you already know.

Sorry for being overly blunt, but I just don't have the time to waste right now and so am a little less patient with your tolerance for intolerance.

And need I really break this down:

In fact, he went out of his way to speak fondly of Jews that he and his father have known...

'I can't be an anti-Semite, I have very fond feelings for some Jews....meanwhile, let me tell you about how "the Jewish community has the power to suppress, either by advertising or control of the media, news reports that are hostile to Israel, and they have the ability to discredit anyone who speaks out. And that's their purpose."'

Emphasis mine. Revisiting your previous comment:


...he was not at all "railing" against Jewish this or that, but doing the exact opposite...


Could have fooled me.
6.1.2006 6:47pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
David in DC,

You're saying my mind is made up and yours isn't? I read the paper, and I don't think he's an anti-semite. What do you want from me?

No, he didn't generalize about the Jewish community. If you really think that, you completely missed his point. It's one thing to say that the Jewish community has done bad things. It's a completely different thing to say that Jews tend to do bad things. You keep equating the former with the latter. They're not the same.

Take Christians, for instance. I wouldn't hesitate to say that Christians have done a lot of bad things. I might even say that the Christian community has done a lot of bad things. As a matter of fact, in my mind, the Christian community has done extraordinarily more bad things than the Jewish community. Haven't they? Hasn't the Christian community done bad things? Ever?

But is this making generalizations about Christians? Of course not. It's ridiculous. For the record, I don't think Christians are disproportionately bad people. In saying that the Christian community has done bad things, that is obviously not what I mean. Talking about the Jewish community is no more a generalization about Jews. It's just not.

These are exactly the kinds of non sequitors that drive me into these longwinded debates. Anti-semitism is a bad thing, but it's just too simple to pick out these witches to burn at the stake. If you want witches, I think you have to stick to the David Duke types, or the ones who actually deny that the Holocaust happened. Those are legitimate witches to burn. Someone who simply disagrees with certain actions of the Jewish community isn't.

The statement about "their purpose" is, I think, clearly in reference to the topic of the paper: the ADL, or perhaps its organizational allies. The purpose of these groups is to squelch criticism of Israel, he says. I'm sure you disagree, but again, does that make him anti-semitic? So much so that it should disqualify him from public office? I guess me and the California newspapers say no.
6.1.2006 8:28pm
Gary Rosen:
marcus1:

"The statement about "their purpose" is, I think, clearly in reference to the topic of the paper: the ADL, or perhaps its organizational allies."

No, he repeatedly refers to "the Jews". As he did in his whining after his loss in the 1982 Republican primary for the Senate, didn't even blame the "Israeli lobby" but the "Jewish lobby". I guess for some people these days it's worse to call someone antisemitic than to actually be antisemitic.
6.2.2006 2:37am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I've never been to the Jewish lobby. Is it a good place to hang out?

Where is it located. In a hotel some where?
6.2.2006 4:16am
David in DC:
Gary hit the nail on the head, that it seems like it is worse to call someone anti-Semitic than to actually be anti-Semitic.

McCloskey to a room full of Holocaust deniers:


I don't know whether you're right or wrong about the Holocaust...


Marcus,

No, he didn't generalize about the Jewish community. If you really think that, you completely missed his point. It's one thing to say that the Jewish community has done bad things. It's a completely different thing to say that Jews tend to do bad things. You keep equating the former with the latter. They're not the same.

Yes, he did generalize about the Jewish community. It's just that when he did, you explained to us that he wasn't really talking about the Jewish community.

It is also generalizing when you say the Jewish community has done X, when in reality it wasn't the Jewish community but rather specific groups or individuals.

Look, if you really want to get down to brass tacks, even denying the Holocaust isn't anti-Semitic per se. It's not directly saying anything against Jews to pose a question and draw a conclusion about a historical event. But the fact is, it is now accepted that this is anti-Semitic, because we are drawing conclusions about the motives of these Holocaust deniers, who are taking a position that is really not much more absurd than 'the Earth is flat'.

And you can pose these types of questions and give the benefit of the doubt to basically anything but the most blatant and vicious anti-Semitism. And a smart guy like you, if he was an anti-Semite, could easily toe the line, whether it was hiding behind "anti-Zionism" or being careful to only attack everything Jewish invidually, but not as a whole, etc., etc. And a smart guy like you, who is you, despite being well-intentioned, could easily give these guys the cover they are looking for, and do.

When it comes to McCloskey, I don't really care what is in his heart. I don't care why he said what he did. I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is completely unacceptable, and that is what matters.

Generally you will see a pattern of behavior, which we do see with McCloskey. It's not just that he misspoke once and used the term Jewish community when he perhaps should have used something else. If his beef is solely with the ADL, then he is going about things the wrong way and is and will continue to be called on it.

Look, maybe David Irving lives next door to a nice Jewish family and is fond of them and has nice things to say about them. So what? Maybe he actually peppers his speeches with stories like that in an attempt to deflect charges of anti-Semitism. Again, so what?

Anti-Semitism doesn't have to only be the slobbering, uncontrollable hatred of every single Jewish person and all things Jewish. Racism can exist in many different shades, and obviously can also exist unconsiously in otherwise well intentioned people (I am not referring to McCloskey here). So can anti-Semitism.
6.2.2006 9:20am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Gary,

I guess a person has to read his comments to decide what his deal is. I do think Prof. Volokh's snippets are misrepresentative, though.

As far as what is worse than what, I guess my view is that leveling unsubstantiated charges of racism is worse than being someone who has an unsubstantiated charge of racism leveled at them. Not as pithy, I admit.

As to the rest, I think we have some disagreements about various things, many of which are too hard to address. Mainly, I think one should only call someone a racist if one is absolutely and completely sure. And, yes, I think that any individual should get the benefit of the doubt. This isn't to say that I don't take racism seriously; I take murder seriously, and I have the same philosophy in regard to it. I simply don't buy into the dichotomy that hasty judgment is only a problem in the courtroom.

I think you can take racism extremely seriously, and be an extremely harsh critic of racism, without ever resorting to such personal attacks. I don't think they're necessary, and I think they do more harm than good. So I guess David is right that I could defend probably just about anyone. Doesn't everybody deserve a defense? Tempting as it may be, I think one should be extremely hesitant to equate the argument that a particular comment was not racist with a defense of racism itself.

I guess I would also say that racism, to me, is mainly a societal problem. I disagree with the attempt to turn it into this thing of picking out the 1 in 10 or 3 or 5 in 10 evil racist people in our midsts. So quickly, that turns into this politics of inferred thought-crimes. In my view, we're much better off targeting particular policies as racist, unless there is some very specific reason for trying to divine what's in somebody's heart.
6.2.2006 11:59am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Largely because I think we're really bad at it.
6.2.2006 12:02pm
Fub:
M. Simon wrote:
I've never been to the Jewish lobby. Is it a good place to hang out?
Most excellent and well appointed. No chintz. Just enough kitsch.
Where is it located. In a hotel some where?
We're in it right now. Great band,, no cover. Pull up a chair. Here, have a cool one.
6.2.2006 12:05pm
David in DC:
Marcus,

Your points are well taken. Just to expound a bit:

So quickly, that turns into this politics of inferred thought-crimes. In my view, we're much better off targeting particular policies as racist, unless there is some very specific reason for trying to divine what's in somebody's heart.

This is what I was trying to get at also. You are (and correct me if I am wrong) trying to defend McCloskey the person as not being a racist because he doen't hold hateful thoughts. Yet to do this you are making a presumption about his thoughts.

My point is that I don't care what his thoughts are, I am judging him based on his actions and words. I don't need to be a mind-reader to see he questions (precisely, leaves open the question) whether the Holocaust happened and makes derogatory statements about the Jewish community to a group of Holocaust deniers. A group to whom he subsequently offers the strategic advice to lie about their position to better advance their agenda.

Doesn't everybody deserve a defense?

In a court of law, certainly. However, in a court of law you have people being defended by attorneys who know they are guilty. That is their job and obligation.

However, this isn't a court of law. If we know someone is guilty, there is no obligation or even reason to defend them. I think there is a greater social obligation to point out and censure the racism, not defend it.

On a societal level we do see laws which are effectively discriminatory. This is racist in that it is discriminatory. But of course racism exists at the individual level. It is always there and will always be there. We don't see it manifested as much these days precisely because we the people have made it socially unacceptable and continue to do so.

This story I heard on NPR the other day reinforces what I am saying here somewhat. If we show tolerance towards racism, there is no reason we are any different than the Poles. (Given our history, one of the more pervasive forms of racism the U.S. struggles with is towards African-Americans, not Jews like in Poland. In reality, IMO, America and its attitudes towards Jews today obviates the need for Israel. I would not say the same about Europe, BTW. The problem is, there is no iron-clad guarantee that this will continue into the future, and it is naive to suppose that 'It can't happen here' and that this millenia old hatred has been magically eradicated.)

NPR story
6.2.2006 2:05pm
Howard257 (mail):
Jaime non-lawyer:

California no longer has an open primary. Although in their "wisdom", the voters in 1996 went a step even further by adopting the Washington state-style "blanket" primary, both the Dems and GOP got court rulings overturning this move on the grounds that it jeopardized the integrity of their respective candidate selection processes (rightfully so, in my opinion).

As for McCloskey, as a Jewish Republican myself who supported his quixotic presidential bid back when I was young and stupid and growing up in NYC and by 1982 knew better as one of his constituents in Mountain View CA than to vote for him for US Senate, I can't help but wonder what he thinks of the direction of tainted Jewish money to the GOP these days under the leadership of our new national party chairman Ken Mehlman.
6.2.2006 9:10pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
No, he repeatedly refers to "the Jews". As he did in his whining after his loss in the 1982 Republican primary for the Senate, didn't even blame the "Israeli lobby" but the "Jewish lobby". I guess for some people these days it's worse to call someone antisemitic than to actually be antisemitic.
Gary, in addition to the other points people have raised above, this ("Jewish lobby" rather than "Israel lobby") struck me also when I read the transcript. That is the sort of thing which, in isolation, doesn't prove anything. But contra Marcus, it's the sort of thing which, when combined with all the other points derided as "snippets," is telling.

Marcus:
So I guess David is right that I could defend probably just about anyone. Doesn't everybody deserve a defense?
Everyone deserves to be allowed to present evidence in his behalf, if it exists, and to have trained assistance in doing so. But everyone obviously doesn't deserve a substantive defense. If the fingerprints are on the gun, he doesn't "deserve" to deny that they are.

But what you ignore is that he isn't on trial. He's running for office. We can't decide to ignore bigotry on the grounds that "society" is bigoted.
6.3.2006 4:39am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
No question, it's your guys' right to call him a bigot if that's what you take him for. As I've explained, though, I'd just urge more caution. For one thing, he's absolutely not a holocaust-denier. You can say he flirts with holocaust deniers if you like, but he made absolutely clear that he doesn't deny the existence of the holocaust, and in fact has repeatedly stated personal certainty that it occurred. The references to him as a holocaust-denier, thus, are simply false, as a matter of fact. As far as other latent anti-semitism, that's obviously a much more nebulous question, but personally I don't see it. I see a guy who opposes Israel's policies, opposes the tactics of groups like the ADL, and who recognizes that there is a religious and ethnic element here. In this way, maybe he's like the conservatives who insist on saying "Islamo-fascist" and not just "fascist." I don't think, however, that this is inherently racist. It doesn't mean that Jews or Muslims are bad. It simply means that ignoring the religious component lets PCness obscure the reality of the situation. It's really like talking about Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell without using the word "Christian." It could probably be done, but it would be awfully confusing.

As far as courtrooms, like I said, I think that dichotomy is overplayed. The charge of racism can be pretty damaging whether in a courtroom or not. In my view, the standards of fairness should be pretty similar. And I simply disagree with the notion that racism is such a serious charge that we can't afford to presume innocence. Sure, we're not talking about putting him in jail, and nobody has a right to be elected to office, but in the amazingly dirty world of politics, I still think that some presumption of innocence makes a lot of sense.

(D. Nieporent: I wasn't offering a substantive defense, to the effect that anti-semitism is ok. I'm suggesting that he may well not be anti-semitic at all. I'm also conceding that he could be. I just don't think we know, and that we don't have enough to presume it.)

To me, for these charges to have relevance beyond an unfair smear (not that EV meant to do this), thet'd probably have to be tied to some specific policy that allegedly results from his racism. If you believe that he's going to take a position against Israel because of his dislike for Jews, then this stuff would be relevant to be brought into the debate. Is that really what you think, though? Does he really have a dislike for Jews that's going to lead him to try to harm them politically? To me, the case for that seems pretty weak. And if that's not the argument, then the whole thing does strike me as unnecessary. That is, unless he were just totally obviously a bigot, but again, I haven't seen the evidence that he is, a few poor word-choices over a career notwithstanding.

What you also have to recognize, I think, are the perils of his position. This too is a huge part of what is being missed here. It's kind of like a guy who makes a career out of opposing affirmative action. Even for the purest of heart, such a person would have to be an extremely controlled and adept rhetorician to avoid saying something that sounded really bad at some point. An ordinary person simply couldn't do it. They couldn't even come close. An ordinary person couldn't write two pages before they said something that to reasonable eyes was indisputably racist. Even despite the fact that they had perfectly defensible reasons for their opinion.

I think opposing Israel is the same thing. There are so many pitfalls, you have to be virtually super-human not to fall into one of them. That is, unless you're arguing from the pro-Israeli position. Then you can say pretty much anything you want and be fine. Accidentally make a racist comment regarding Arabs? Hardly a big deal.

I think most people would recognize this in the abstract, but then when they see the unfortunate things that people say, they still don't really appreciate it. McCloskey using the phrase "so-called Holocaust"? Clearly an idiotic thing to say. So much so that he must have intended to call into question the existence of the Holocaust, though? No, I don't think so. In context, I think it's just the kind of stupid thing that a normal person might say at some point in their life. Basically, McCloskey strikes me as a bit too normal for his own good.
6.3.2006 6:20pm
David in DC:
There are so many pitfalls, you have to be virtually super-human not to fall into one of them.

I going to go out on a limb and say that you don't have to be super-human to avoid the pitfall of telling a group of Holocaust deniers that you aren't sure whether they are right or not, and subsequently offering them strategic advice to lie about their position to better advance their agenda.

This isn't some small gaffe. What you are saying makes sense, but you are really minimizing what McCloskey actually said while making guesses about what he feels.

I'm going to make another observation, this one related back to a statement of yours. I am going to make it from the perspective of racism and society. I am taking you out of the loop Marcus (I don't think you have any particular bad feelings towards Jews or anyone, and I want to be crystal clear about that) and assuming that you represent a typical viewpoint.


Largely, though, I think there is an undeniable double-standard between what one can say about Jews or Judaism and what one can say about Arabs or Muslims or other groups.


I was thinking about this. First of all, I think that not only is this not undeniable, with just a bit of thought you realize the opposite is true.**

If so, the question becomes - What forces are working in society such that it becomes conventional wisdom that the Jews, of all people, are granted some special boon (for whatever reason) when they really aren't? And haven't we seen this movie before?

I have more thoughts but I'll leave it off there. If anyone has any opinions about it I would be interested if EV allows this off topic discussion to go on.

**I realize that some might debate the premise, but before you do think about sportscasters who have gotten fired, politicians who have been punished (by their peers), the active advocates (Jackson and Sharpton, the NAACP, etc.), the almost uniform position taken by the newspapers/editorials and academia, the uproar you get when something like The Bell Curve comes out, etc.
6.3.2006 9:48pm