So Howard Dean called the Iraqi prime minister an “anti-Semite” yesterday as a result of his failure to condemn Hezbollah. Somewhat closer to Dean’s jurisdiction as chairman of the Democratic Party, ranking Democratic Congressmen including John Dingell, John Conyers, Nick Rahall, Pete Stark, and Neal Abercrombie voted against House Resolution 921 condemning Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel last week. I don’t recall Dean commenting on their vote against the resolution.
Cynthia McKinney, among others, didn’t vote on the resolution. According to the New York Times, however, Ms. McKinney has made “a series of…incendiary, often racial comments.” As Professor Edward Alexander observed in 2004:
This is The New York Times’ delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic character of McKinney’s 2002 campaign, in which “Jews” were repeatedly blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat. Her behavior did not deter House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, then the Democratic whip, from backing her to the hilt.
Also in 2002, the Alabama Democratic congressional incumbent Earl Hilliard attacked his challenger, Artur Davis, in a flier that read: “Davis and the Jews, No Good for the Black Belt.” (Both men are black.)
Hilliard’s racist rhetoric did not prevent him from receiving support from 24 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, one of the party’s funding agencies.
The antics of McKinney and Hilliard recalled those of a far better-known and more powerful figure in the Democratic Party, Jesse Jackson. His description (in 1984) of New York City as “Hymietown” and his 1979 complaint about being “sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust” proved no impediment to his holding the Democratic conventions of 1984 and 1988 hostage with his political might within the party or to orating from the convention podium in 1992 or to being appointed President Clinton’s special envoy to Nigeria.
Professor Alexander omits from his discussion any mention of McKinney’s past support by Abdurahman Alamoudi, then-president of the American Muslin Council, who has pled guilty to being Muhammar Khadaffy’s bagman in connection with the plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. At the time of his support of McKinney in 2000, Alamoudi was well known as a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Professor Alexander also also omits any mention of the attribution by her father of McKinney’s then-upcoming defeat immediately before the Democratic primary in 2002 to “Jews, J-E-W-S.” That is a statement which McKinney never disavowed or otherwise commented upon.
Will any journalist now trouble himself to ask the chairman of the Democratic Party about the standing of Dingell, Rahall, Stark, Abercrombie, Conyers, McKinney and Jesse Jackson in the eyes of the chairman of the Democratic Party? Or whether the chairman’s judgment extends only to strategic allies of the United States? (Thanks to Hugh Hewitt.)