LOS ANGELES, February 1, 2013 — Days after John Forbes Kerry coasted to an easy Senate confirmation, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel faced a blistering hearing. Unlike the State Department, the Defense Department has serious responsibilities. Sipping tea with plutocrats, talking about their shared background at exclusive boarding schools and engaging in feigned mutual respect requires little independent thought or intellectual weight. Running the entire American military establishment is as serious as a job can be.
As expected, Hagel faced heated questions over his various controversial statements about gays and Jews. He referred in the past to the “Israel lobby.” This is usually meant as a smear, a code designed to imply that Jews have divided loyalties, with Israel taking priority over America. This is anti-Semitism. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, among others, expressed outrage over the remarks and other Hagel character issues.
The Senators taking Hagel to task are all Republicans, who are in the minority. The votes that will determine Hagel’s fate belong to Senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Charles Schumer, Bernie Sanders, and Carl Levin. They are all liberal Democrats, Sanders a self-declared Socialist. More importantly, they are all Jewish. Rubber, meet road.
Do they care more about their Judaism or their liberalism? This is a distinction of values, not of national loyalty. Liberal Jews have often been accused of being liberals first and Jews second. In their world, liberal values are Jewish values. The Torah (Old Testament) God Hashem is replaced with Gaea, the Earth goddess. As long as somebody is pro-choice on abortion, pro gay-rights, and worships environmentalism from climate change to cap and trade, Judaism has been displayed.
While the Torah offers zero opinions about twenty-first century political social issues, liberals insist that Judaism requires liberal beliefs. This explains the intolerant demonizing of conservative Republican Jews as heretics. Yet the irony is that Republican Jews are the only ones actually standing up against Chuck Hagel, a man who has made anti-Jewish remarks.
Liberal Jews have to decide if drinking from the same water dish shared by the Obama family dog is worth it. Hagel’s tortured explanation turned into his wishing he had used more artful language. Wrong. The problem is that such beliefs even exist. The regret should be for the bad thoughts or deeds, not getting caught. Hagel has made excuses for Palestinian terrorists and coddled the Iranian government. Neocons prefer the use of force to enact regime change in Iran, but even many liberals will hide behind sanctions. “Sanctions” is a way to look busy while accomplishing nothing, and Hagel will not even take that useless symbolic step.
Hagel may not be an anti-Semite. Only he knows his heart. Yet it should provide no comfort to Jews that one of his only “conservative” defenders is Pat Buchanan.
(Liberal Jew Michael Kinsley defended Buchanan against charges of anti-Semitism while the late conservative intellectual titan William Buckley argued Buchanan was one.)
Liberal Jews need to look in the mirror and ask themselves a very hard question. If Republican President George W. Bush had nominated Hagel, would they still vote for him? Barbara Boxer would fight against Mother Theresa opening a homeless shelter if she were receiving money from Bush’s faith-based initiatives. The only reason five liberal Jewish Senators are supporting Hagel is because their lord is Barack Obama.
The fact that Hagel is a “Republican” allows liberals to claim they are being bipartisan. This ludicrous assertion allows them to vote for a man who shares the liberal vision of gutting the military. Hagel’s military service does not confer absolute moral authority; in spite of his time spent in horrific conditions as a POW in Vietnam, John McCain has been treated as fair game for criticism so heavy that it borders on abuse.
Hagel is a deeply flawed candidate. He is not the right man for the Defense job. He has shown hostility toward two minority groups. Unlike Jews, however, gays have spoken out, even the most liberal ones.
As for the liberal Jews, the tap water in the Obama dog dish is just the right taste.
Those liberal Jews who are Jewish before they are liberal are refreshingly independent. The dearly departed Ed Koch was a “liberal with sanity” and a principled Jew with a moral compass. As for the rest of the liberal Jews, they should take a long, hard look in the mirror before they vote for Hagel.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS.
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