Earlier today I called attention to the repugnant idea being floated that Eric Cantor was somehow denied his primary victory in part because he is a Jew. The theme is explored in greater detail in a dumbfounding New York Times story tonight. It has an appropriate headline—“Voters Saw Cantor as Out of Touch, but Not Because of His Jewish Faith, Analysts Say”—but the article itself, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, features a startlingly bizarre passage:
Analysts do say that Mr. Brat — who has a divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and often invokes God in his speeches — appeals to Christian conservatives in a way that Mr. Cantor simply cannot.
“I think he was able to be an attractive candidate to that particular constituency,” said Geoffrey Skelley, a political analyst at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “Cantor doesn’t employ that kind of rhetoric.”
Mr. Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, speaks often about a return to “Judeo-Christian values” and cites his “belief in God.”
Cantor doesn’t use that kind of rhetoric? I’ve heard Cantor use the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” maybe a dozen times in my life. For conservatives like Cantor trying to make a point in moral shorthand, the phrase is akin to a Homeric epithet, pulled out almost at will to fill out a sentence.
But don’t listen to me. A quick Google search of the words “Cantor” and “Judeo-Christian” produces a list of entries, the fifth of which is a denunciation of Cantor from the Washington Monthly in 2009 for daring to use the phrase “Judeo-Christian.” What this proves is that Skelley doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and a reporter for the New York Times doesn’t know how to use Google to make sure the quote she likes passes an elementary factual test.
But hey—who cares so long as there’s a nice opportunity to hint at the possible anti-Semitism of evangelicals?