Rep. James Moran (D-Riyadh, well, actually Virginia, I'm ashamed to say), made some comments at an anti-war rally the other day to the effect that Jewish leaders were dragging the country into the war, and could stop it if they wanted to.
Didn't Moran (how does he pronounce his last name?) head up the Democratic House Campaign Committee recently?
All right, two mitigating circumstances. First, he was targeting his answer. The woman asking the question was Jewish, so he was speaking to her. Jews need to take responsibility for the positions of their community leaders, just like blacks need to find someone other than Sharpton and Jackson to speak for them. Secondly, Moran's daughter is converting to Judaism to get married. So the man's not an anti-Semite, although I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the next family dinner at that household.
Still, he didn't preface his remarks with anything conciliatory, like, "look, if you oppose the war, fine, and you need to go to your community and political leaders, your pressure groups and PACs, and get them to make it in issue." He just rattled off, as though he were on a Sunday morning talk show, that Jewish leaders were pushing Bush into this thing.
I think this is easily as irresponsible as whatever Trent Lott said. And the fact that he was even able to formulate this sentence in public is a sign of these ideas becoming common currency in respectable public debate.
It's an indirect result of the Democratic party refusing to purge its ranks of avowed anti-Semites, or, indeed, do anything that might smack of looking past the next election cycle to the actual national interest.
This aside from the fact that an important US Representative was speaking at a meeting whose avowed purpose was the undermining of US foreign policy on the brink of war.