If the charge of anti-Catholicism against opponents of the William Pryor nomination has knocked the Senate Democrats off-balance, it seems to have sent their liberal apologists reeling. How else to explain this mindless piece in today’s Washington Post by William Saletan of Slate.com? Saletan argues that if the Senate Democrats can be charged with anti-Catholicism for opposing Pryor, then the Republicans “have a problem with Jews.” Saletan bases this charge on the fact that (1) neither Reform nor Conservative Judaism holds that life begins with conception or that abortions are immoral under all circumstances, (2) Supreme Court Justices Breyer and Ginsburg are Jewish and oppose laws restricting access to abortions, (3) some Republicans opposed the nomination of these two to the Supreme Court.
Saletan overlooks the fact that Orthodox Jews do not concur with Reform and Conservative views regarding abortion. Thus, there is no single Jewish position on abortion. Saletan also chooses to forget that Breyer and Ginsburg were confirmed easily. He notes that Senator Nickles voted against Ginsburg for reasons related to her views on abortion, while Senator Lott voted against Breyer on the same basis. Apparently, Saletan was unable to come up with a single Republican of note who opposed both of these Jewish nominees. The best example he could find of such an opponent was pundit and third-party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, who probably is anti-Semitic. Comparisons between Buchanan and the Senate Democrats are reaonably apt.
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