Israel Haters Rally to Charles Barron

Yes, fine — it’s not really fair to attack New York congressional candidate Charles Barron directly for this, because as far as we know, he didn’t solicit David Duke’s endorsement. But it’s still worth mentioning because of a) The PR disaster this is going to unleash all over the closely watched Barron campaign, and the impact it has on the race; and b) The confounding mystery about how a former KKK Grand Wizard and vocal southern white supremacist could ever bring himself to endorse a pro-Black Panther, pro-reparations black man from New York City (Spoiler alert: it involves the Jews).

Former KKK Grand Wizard and member of the Louisiana Legislature David Duke released a video yesterday endorsing Charles Barron in his race for Brooklyn’s 8th congressional district against Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. Mr. Barron, a member of the City Council and former member of the Black Panther Party who, over the years, has made a series of controversial statements against Israel and in support of African dictator Muammar Qaddafi. He would seem to be an odd choice for a self-described “white nationalist” like Mr. Duke, but in the video, Mr. Duke explains that he thinks Mr. Jeffries has “sold his soul to the international Zio-bankers” while Mr. Barron’s strong past criticisms of Israel outweigh their other differences.

As unhinged as David Duke is, you would think he’d still realize that his endorsements do the exact opposite of what endorsements are typically intended to do. Hakeem Jeffries, Barron’s opponent, is already out front denouncing Duke’s cartoonish rant about Zionist treason, Jewish-controlled media, etc.

Notably, Barron has not repudiated Duke’s comments, probably because of the awkward fact that he’s been captured on film saying a lot of similar things. And Barron’s problems don’t end with Duke. He appears to be winning over other hatemongers, including fringe anti-Israel author Norman Finkelstein, who published an approving blog post about him recently.

This is hardly surprising, considering Barron’s history of support for a string of reprehensible figures, from Qaddafi to Mugabe to Malik Zulu Shabazz. The New York Observer, which has covered Barron’s antics as a city council member for years, published a scathing editorial yesterday warning New Yorkers about what they’re going to face if he makes it to Capitol Hill:

The prospect of Charles Barron on Capitol Hill ought to send a shiver down the spine of every decent New Yorker. The man is a hater and a bigot whose only redeeming quality is his candor: The man makes no attempt to hide his loathing of white people, Israel, his colleagues and anybody else who doesn’t share his demented views. …

If Mr. Barron wins, he will have a national forum for his hate-filled rants. To be sure, he will be incapable of turning his views into legislation, but still—he will have greater access to the media and a bigger audience for his insulting rhetoric. And here’s the worst part: He’ll be identified as a Democrat from New York.

Is that what Democrats want? Is that what New York deserves?

The real loser of this is the Democratic Party, which will have to face many more of these embarrassments if Barron actually pulls off a victory. It makes you wonder why President Obama — who seems to have significant clout in the district — still hasn’t intervened to try to forestall this debacle.