Double Standards Watch

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THE PLANK NOVEMBER 13, 2007

Double Standards Watch

Reading Andrew's last post, which purports to talk about "double standards," I'm trying to imagine the conniption he'd be experiencing were, say, the dreaded Hillary Clinton to associate with the likes of "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie "the gays are 'trying to kill our children" McClurkin. This, of course, is what Barack Obama did, and it merited little reaction from Andrew. But Andrew has a big thesis to push, and this pesky story about Obama could not have emerged at a more inopportune time for a journalist trying to making the case that only Obama can heal the partisan divisions in our country.

Amidst an earlier discussion about Ron Paul taking money from a neo-Nazi, Andrew also alleges, citing no evidence, that "Jamie Kirchick actually supports Giuliani for president." It's true I'm more sympathetic to Giuliani than Ron Paul, but I will be the first to admit that I find Giuliani associating with the likes of Pat Robertson distasteful (whether or not Robertson's endorsement actually speaks to meaningful policy changes on Giuliani's part is a question I'll be addressing in a piece tomorrow). Earlier this year, I took Giuliani to task for his outrageous defense of southern states flying the Confederate Flag, which I consider to be an objective act of treason. The notion that I'm somehow giving a favored candidate a pass is without basis, and frankly ridiculous coming from Andrew.

For nigh on two days now, Andrew has had nothing substantive to say about the outright fascists supporting Ron Paul for president. Normally, this wouldn't matter because Ron Paul has about as much of a chance of becoming president as Mike Gravel. But Andrew has devoted a lot of real estate to him over the past few months and so I believe it's incumbent upon him to recognize the sort of elements Paul is attracting. 

Instead, Andrew is attacking the messengers. He writes that both the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Daniel Sieradski and I are "factually wrong on Ron Paul" because a Paul staffer has spoken with another JTA reporter, making one-half of Sieradski's remark (published here at Jewcy) that "Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t take telephone calls from Jews" inaccurate.  Okay. I don't work in the JTA office. 

But the pertinent part of this story has never been whether or not the Paul campaign is returning Sieradski's phone calls. It's that Paul unrepentantly accepted money from a prominent neo-Nazi, and, implicitly, what this speaks about the man's governing philosophy. It's beyond pedantic for Andrew to make the argument he's making. I'm still waiting for him to comment on Paul's taking money from a Nazi, and also imagining what he'd say were Giuliani to take money from fascists. 

Talk about "double standards."

Update: Daniel Sieradski explains his dealings with the Paul campaign. Key sentence:

I did not intend to willfully misrepresent Congressman Paul, nor his
campaign, but when you take money from Nazis and don’t return
phonecalls to a Jewish news wire for over a month, you might sympathize
as to why I drew the conclusions I did.

The JTA's story on Paul, by the way, was published today, and reveals that the Paul campaign is totally ignoring questions on the support it is receiving from white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups. 

--James Kirchick

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posted in: the plank, business, andrew, ron paul

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