Rich follows a formula as rigidly as any Hollywood "buddy"
picture. The New York primary was coming up. So out came
his old "anti-Semitism" standby. In a recent column,
he claimed that Bush operatives were "targeting [Warren]
Rudman." Why? Because he is "the most visible
Jew in the McCain campaign."
no question in my mind that its anti-Semitism,
[Rudman] says. The way they pronounced my name in
phone calls! Theyre unhappy its not Finkelstein.
Nor did he think the Bush campaign was clueless about what
was going on." Of course it wasnt. How do you
win elections in Frank Richs America? You target the
Jews. However, the hatred allegedly directed at Rudman is
nothing compared to the hatred he directs at others. A nauseatingly
obsequious profile published the same day in The New
York Times has him describing the religious right as
being made up of "anti-abortion zealots, would-be censors,
Rudman is a wealthy man whos been a senator and an
attorney general. Today, he is a partner in one of the worlds
leading corporate law firmsPaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton
& Garrison. The people he fulminates against are not
wealthy. They did not attend Ivy League colleges. They hold
no prestigious jobs. In fact, they do not get much of anything
in America. Rudman has nothing but disdain for them. His
view is one widely shared by Americas elite. The Christian
right has no business being part of the public debate at
all. Its concerns must be resolutely ignored. Politicians
can pander shamelessly before any voting blocblacks,
soccer moms, gays, Latinos, Jews. But let George W. Bush
visit Bob Jones University and its as if he has been
caught hobnobbing with Hitler.
is something hilarious about The New York Times
horror that Bob Jones University "promotes anti-Catholic
views." What on Earth does the Times do? From
abortion to the ordination of women to priestly celibacy
to Corpus Christi to homosexuality to "Sensation"
to papal infallibility, the Times always takes the
anti-Catholic position. At least Bob Jones objection
to Catholicism is about theological doctrineabout
something more than just sex. As for its prohibition of
interracial dating, Bob Jones justifies this by opposition
to the "one-world system
.one world, one church,
one economy, one military, one race, and unisex. God made
racial differences as He made gender differences. Each race
and each sex should be proud to be what God made it."
It is hard to see how this view differs from that of Alan
Dershowitz, who devoted his book, The Vanishing American
Jew, to agonizing over Jewish intermarriage. "I
do not want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to
break our link with Judaism," he cries there, "I
do not want them to become the first non-Jews in our family
history. I do not want them to assimilate, to melt into
someone elses pot, to join a different religion, or
to become part of another tradition or heritage. I do not
want their Jewishness
to disappear in the next generation
I want them to stay Jewish
because Jewish is what we
have been for thousands of years."
elite is a very ungrateful lot. It should consider itself
extraordinarily lucky that Americas middle class is
so preoccupied with religion. Every year people are working
longer hours and making less money. So it is really very
nice of the denizens of the heartlandwho derive so
few benefits from American-style capitalismto believe
fervently that the free market rewards the meritorious and
punishes the vicious. It is very nice of them to believe
that there is nothing about the economy that needs fixing,
that the only problem in America has to do with our souls.
It is very nice of them to leave the day-to-day running
of the country in the hands of people who have such contempt
for them. Yet the Warren Rudmans of this world will not
even allow them to discuss their few issues.