In the final few days before the 2016 election, everyone is making their closing arguments in the presidential race. In the case of Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall, that means crafting a final pitch to convince wavering voters that Donald Trump is an antisemite. For “proof” he summons up the two minute advertisement which Trump has launched in an attempt to close the deal in this race. Before going any further, take a look at it if you haven’t already watched it.
The script for this ad is nothing new for anyone who has caught even a few minutes of any of Trump’s stump speeches. In fact, it seems to have largely been recorded at one of his rallies, with an eclectic group of images from news footage spliced in to drive the message home. But out of all of this, Marshall pulls a few seconds from the opening and declares in ominous tones that it’s not just antisemitic… it’s “really anti-Semitic.” And what is offered for proof to support this accusation? There are famous people who are Jewish in the ad, and if you criticize them you must hate Jews. (We’ll have an embarrassing revelation about Josh Marshall’s own obviously antisemitic ways coming up shortly.)
The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO).
The Trump narration immediately preceding Soros and Yellin proceeds as follows: “The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington [start Soros] and for the global [start Yellen] special interests [stop Yellen]. They partner with these people [start Clinton] who don’t have your good in mind.”
For Blankfein: “It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the [start Blankein] pockets of a handful of large corporations [stop Blankfein] and political entities.”
It’s a shame that Josh works in a strictly print format because this bushel of desperate invective could only be improved if the music from the dramatic hamster video was playing on a loop in the background. And if you’re waiting for more… nope. That’s it. The entire argument is based on the fact that three people whose pictures were superimposed over the same talking points that Trump delivers at every speech happen to be Jewish. (For the record, I had no idea that Yellin and Blankein were Jewish until I read this diatribe.)
So why were these people selected? Trump’s opening and closing message have been the same. He’s attacking the political and business establishments which have controlled Washington for as long as most of us can remember. If you want to attack billionaire liberals who finance the Democratic Party, be honest and tell us the first name that comes to mind. There’s no real competition for that honor to challenge Soros. I suppose you might make an argument for Bloomberg for all of his gun grabbing efforts, but since he’s worn a Republican tag in the past when it was convenient to do so that makes him problematic when crafting a red hot polemic. (I’m adding this during proofreading, but I just looked it up and Bloomberg is also Jewish. Learn something new every day.)
Conservatives also rail against the Fed, what with it being in need of an audit, distorting the global balance of currency and engaging in questionable interest control practices which benefit the banking industry and discourage passbook savings by workers. Trump has regularly picked up on that theme over the course of the campaign. So who would you depict when talking about the Fed’s relation to “global special interests?” Gee… do you suppose it might be the chairwoman? Go figure.
And finally we come to Lloyd Blankfein and the repeated theme of not only Trump’s campaign, but that of Bernie Sanders and all of the disaffected liberals out there. She’s in the pocket of Wall Street and the fat cats who put all of that money in the pockets of a handful of large corporations. And particularly since the collapse of 2007, what name does the entire country associate with the various perceived evils of Wall Street? You didn’t need Google to know that the first and only name on the lips of most of these folks is Goldman Sachs. So whose picture might you associate with that part of the speech? Golly jeepers, Marge… it just might be their CEO, huh?
This is the same artificial ploy used by liberals during every election when they want to attack conservatives, but taken to a new level. If you criticize Hillary Clinton’s positions on gun control, taxes or foreign policy it’s because you hate women. If you point out a quote from Barack Obama about how if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, it’s not because you said from the beginning that Obamacare would be a disaster. It’s because you’re a racist. And it’s all a steaming pile of hot garbage. This is the same as saying that if you oppose Sheldon Adelson for all the money he injects into conservative politics and the newspapers he owns then you must be antisemitic since Adelson is a Jew.
Hey… wait a minute here. Josh Marshall has been attacking Adelson for years, including accusations about him owning a couple of newspapers.
You probably heard sometime over the last couple weeks that there was a mystery brewing about the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The paper had been sold and for an oddly high price given the brutal economics of contemporary newspapering. The mystery was that no on knew who bought it. Indeed, even the people who run the paper were kept in the dark. Eventually, to no one’s great surprise, Sheldon Adelson was revealed, via a Connecticut cutout, as the buyer. Plutocrats have been buying papers since there were papers. And Adelson, in addition to being one of America’s top plutocrats, also makes his home in Las Vegas. So on various fronts, no terribly big surprise. But since vanity and influence are the usual reasons oligarchs buy newspapers, remaining anonymous is a bit hard to understand.
We hear ya, Josh my boy. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Say no more. The Jews control the media, right buddy?
Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that Trump’s daughter Ivanka married a Jew and converted to the faith herself. Let’s also ignore the scores of Jewish executives in his financial empire. Marshall airily brushes these inconvenient facts aside by noting that antisemites are, “happy to distinguish between good Jews and bad Jews.” (Wait a minute… if you’re actually an antisemite, how can there be any good Jews?) This argument, pitched in the final hours as Trump appears to be closing the polls to a tight race, is simple desperation and a wild set of darts flung at the wall in hopes of hitting something. It makes about as much sense as claiming that a star shaped graphic on a Trump flyer which has the same six points that are found in star creation tools in most common graphics programs must mean he’s an antisemite.
I almost finished by saying, “nice try, Josh,” but it really wasn’t. Not by a country mile.