Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spectator's 'hit job' on Obama?

James Fallows calls it "disgusting":
[T]he Hillary Clinton campaign is circulating a hit job from the American Spectator, this is simply disgusting. (Marc has just confirmed to me that indeed the article came in an on-the-record email from Phil Singer, the Clinton campaign spokesman.)
That the Clinton family would dignify the American Spectator, of all publications, is astonishing to anyone who was alive in the 1990s.
That they would bless this attempt to paint [Obama adviser] Merrill McPeak as an anti-Semite is grotesque.
Whoa, hold on there, Mr. Fallows! Let's take a look at what is actually in the AmSpec column by Robert Goldberg:
The interviewer asked McPeak: "So where's the problem? State? White House?"
McPeak replied: "New York City. Miami. We have a large vote -- vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it."
Translation (as if it's needed): Jews -- who put Israel over every American interest -- control America's policy on the Middle East. . . .
McPeak also claims that a combination of Jews and Christian Zionists are manipulating U.S. policy in Iraq in dangerous and radical ways: "Let's say that one of your abiding concerns is the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest, then it would make sense to build a dozen or so bases in Iraq.
"Let's say you are a born-again Christian and you think that Armageddon and the
rapture are about to happen any minute and what you want to do is retrace steps
you think are laid out in Revelations, then it makes sense. So there are a number of scenarios here that could lead you in this direction. This is radical...."
Radical, indeed -- but the radicalism is in McPeak's conspiratorial worldview. You almost expect him to start jabbering about the Trilateral Commission and the Bavarian Illuminati.

Whatever there is that's legitimate in McPeak's analysis of U.S. Middle East policy is undercut by his rhetoric, which sounds too much like the crackpot stuff you'd find in the arguments of any Hamas apologist. I was particularly offended by McPeak's suggestion that all pro-Israel Christians are premilliential dispensationalists who derive their geopolitics from old Hal Lindsey novels.

Thus, Goldberg's Spectator column can hardly be called a "hit job," and there's no reason why the Clinton campaign shouldn't be circulating the column. Fallows histrionic reaction is not justified.

By the way, I have to say that I was disturbed when I saw the Memeorandum entry linking the words "disgusting," "Clinton" and "American Spectator." For a moment, I was worried they were talking about my article.

No comments:

Post a Comment