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Jerry Stahl

Jerry Stahl

Posted: October 30, 2008 12:22 PM

The McCotter Doctrine

What's Your Reaction:

While Obama was wowing the nation with his humanity and chops in his infomercial, another bit of video hit the screen last night, a snippet with far more sweeping implications and darker portent. I'm speaking, for those who missed it, of Senator Thaddeus McCotter's star turn interview on Washingtontimes.com.

As captured by the Huffington Post's Marcus Baram, who spotted this nugget, Republican Michigan Representative McCotter (R- Mich) marched out a Goebbels-adjacent analysis of the Democratic party: "Someone tell me, what is the Democratic party's fundamental principle that unites them? You know what it is? It's the redistribution of wealth. And to a large degree, despite some of The Jewish coalition (italics mine) in the democratic party, who are very hawkish... they generally tend to be globally multi-lateral party minded, very pacifist."

If, like me, you grew up the only Jew in your grade school in Western Pennsylvania, where pranksters repeatedly kicked your ass for killing Jesus, you may be a tad hyper-attuned to a phrase like "Jewish coalition." It sounds too much like cabal. Like something that would show up in John Birch Society pamphlet, circa 1960. In other words, forget Islamofascists - we've circled back to Commies and Jews, Jesus! The Republican Party has dialed back to the unvarnished prejudices of the Mad Men years.

Listen: "With the exception of its Jewish members, who tend to be very hawkish, the Democrats generally tend to be pacifists... Look at their party's progressive caucus. They don't want to be involved with strong military presence. The smaller component" -- those hawk-nosed, sorry hawkish Jews again -- "understand that a strong military presence is important... But that coalition smaller than the one that elected Obama past Hillary Clinton..."

The implication is clear -- Obama is worse than a Jew.

It's genius!

"So," the interviewer says, "there is a religious component...?"

"Where are you getting that?" McCotter snarls, righteously indignant, despite having brought up the "Jewish Question." If bigotry worked like latent homosexuality, the Congressman would be caught in an airport bathroom putting on phylacteries. But, unlike Larry Craig's alleged homosexuality, McCotter's bent is more blatant than latent. He's not afraid to put it right out there. And we have this years Republican presidential campaign to thank for the his ideological comfort. (McCotter, I forgot to mention, is Chairmen of the House Republican Policy Committee.)

In fact, this is the great service McCain has done us this election season. Like the drunk at a costume party, who accidentally yanks off his hostess's mask as he tumbles into the punch, the old Maverick's lurching campaign has revealed the great naked face of the new, unabashedly White Christo-centric Republican party - for whom patriotism is now a matter of making sure we know who's Us and who's Them. Sarah Palin may be painted on the side of the bomber, but the guys who out there dropping the bombs look and sound like Thaddeus McCotter.

It took me a few viewings to nail down exactly what creeped me so deeply about Representative's McCotter's spiel. Until I realized - it wasn't what McCotter said that got me tweaked. Or not just. It was the delivery: the tell before he plays the Jew card. Seriously, rewind and check it out. Watch the way Rep. McCotter licks his lips before he says the word "Jewish," that weirdly lascivious flick of the tongue - like a 14 year-old about to say a dirty word. Which he can do now with impunity, because the adults have all fled.

But keep watching, as the unnamed interviewer pushes the religious angle, asking if the Jew's support of a strong military doesn't parallel the Evangelicals. "There aren't too many Democratic evangelicals," McCotter sneers derisively.

And there it is!

The public flowering of this crypto-David Dukey, born-again Aryan Nation "Real America" contempt will, in the end, stand out as the core of the McCain '08 legacy going into the Obama era. For every action there's a reaction - and the reaction to the up front "liberal" shift embodied by Obama is the brownshirt-friendly ranting and what it portends. The dogs are now off the leash.

Welcome to Obamerica. It's going to be beautiful. And, if the good Congressman from Michigan is any indication, it's going to get ugly, my friends.