Saturday, September 21, 2019

What is Up With Minnesota Republicans and Antisemitism?

I know we all prefer to talk about she-who-must-constantly-be-named, but real talk: what is up with Minnesota Republicans and antisemitism?

First, there was 1st District Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who said Joe Lieberman's Iraq War boiled down to "Jew or Arab?" and accused his Democratic opponent of being "owned" by George Soros.

Then NRCC Rep. Tom Emmer, who holds down Minnesota's 6th District, sent out a fundraising letter accusing a triumverate of wealthy Jews (Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and Tom Steyer) of having "BOUGHT control of Congress" (when Minnesota Jews communicated their concerns that this echoed antisemitic verbiage, the response of the NRCC was essentially to tell them to get bent).

Now we have recordings of ex-Rep. Jason Lewis, until late of the 2nd District (and front-runner for the GOP nomination to take on Senator Tina Smith) claiming that Republicans (yes, Republicans) have "dual loyalties" to Israel and insisting that the "Jewish lobby" controls the Republican Party. He also raised concerns about persons who hold dual American and Israeli citizenship, falsely grouping John Bolton -- who's not Jewish -- into that category (gosh, I wonder what caused him to make that mistake?).

It almost makes you pine for the days of Michele Bachmann and her "chootz-pah" -- all she did was accuse American Jews of "selling out" Israel (and call for all Jews to convert to Christianity, though she did eventually apologize for that one).

For what it's worth, I haven't found any antisemitism in the record of the 8th District's Pete Stauber -- the only other Republican (alongside Emmer and Hagedorn) currently holding federal or state-wide elected office in Minnesota. So good on him, I guess (or maybe it's only a matter of time?).

UPDATE: It just. Keeps. Coming. Rep. Hagedorn is now under fire for calling Elizabeth Warren a "national socialist" (aka, a Nazi).

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