Battle Of The Golds: -berg Crushes -farb

by Jonathan Chait | October 31, 2008

The Washington Post editorial page and Jeffrey Goldberg say most of what needs to be said about the McCain campaign's insinuation's about Rashid Khalidi and Barack Obama. Khalidi is not the kind of person I'd like to see advising Obama on the Middle East, but 1) He isn't advising him, and 2) Disagreeable though his views might be to somebody like me, they're not anti-Semitic.

The McCain campaign (and, in particular, its comically smarmy spokesman Michael Goldfarb) has developed a fairly innovative new combination of political correctness and McCarthyism. Political correctness is a way of stigmatizing opposing beliefs with accusations of bigotry so they don't need to be debated. McCarthyism is the blending of half-truths and guilt by association to create hysteria. The dual insinuations about Khalidi and Obama neatly bring together the two techniques.

Goldberg also takes the time to dissect Joe Klein's ridiculous defense of Khalidi, which is that he can't be anti-Semitic because he's an Arab and therefore a Semite. This isn't the defense Khalidi needs right now. (I mean, there are Arabs who hold anti-Semitic views -- Khalidi just isn't one of them.)

I liked Khalidi's comment to the Post: "I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over." The man knows his Bob Dylan:

Someone's got it in for me, they're planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out but when they will I can only guess. ...

People see me all the time and they just can't remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts
.

--Jonathan Chait

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/battle-the-golds-berg-crushes-farb