The move to censure and/or banish Senator Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party is well underway. The latest rhetorical outrage comes from Ken Dixon of the Connecticut Post, who begins his indictment with this:
Joe Lieberman is a politician without a state. The long-time Democrat, now a party of one who is accused of crimes against the Democratic State Central Committee, thinks he transcends state lines. In reality, he’s now the senator from John McCain — and Israel.
Lieberman’s Communications Director Marshall Wittmann writes in response that the bolded comment
was an outrageous anti-Semitic slur unworthy of being published in any honorable newspaper. Disagreeing about policies is part of a healthy democratic debate, but playing the old anti-Semitic canard of dual loyalty and attacking someone because of their Jewish religion is absolutely disgraceful. From the Dreyfus Case in France in the 1890s to purges of Jews in the Soviet Union, the dual loyalty charge has been used by anti-Semitic bigots to try to oppress and intimidate the Jewish Community. It was terrible to see your paper join this ignoble tradition, and for it your newspaper owes an apology to Senator Lieberman, to the Jewish community, and to all fair-minded citizens of Connecticut.
But, as we have come to see, this is increasingly standard fare for blogosphere and for MSM outlets that wade through the swamp of such rhetoric.
This does raise an interesting question. If Barack Obama prevails on Election Day, rejects the “J Street” agenda and employs obvious proponents of a a robust alliance with Israel (e.g. Dennis Ross) to continue essentially the same approach of the second Bush term, what then? (Obama does, after all, have a habit of hanging his frenzied netroot base out to dry –on Iran sanctions, on Georgia’s admission to NATO, etc.) Where will the anger and bile go?