I just lost a LOT of respect for Philip Klein. Here’s his Twitter stream from about an hour ago:
“Ugh, somehow I missed this video of Newt kissing up to the vile Jew hater Al Sharpton. bit.ly/nOGpiV
I despise Al Sharpton. He should be as toxic as David Duke, and yet even allegedly conservative Newt kisses his ass.
Newt may love Al Sharpton, but some of us will never forget the Jewish blood that’s on his hands.
One of the things I’ve always loved about Rudy was that he saw Sharpton for who he was. Refused to meet with him.”
I don’t claim to know much of anything about the Crown Heights riots, or Al Sharpton’s position on Jews, or prominent Jews’ positions on Sharpton. Moreover, I don’t care. Unless there is some sort of country-wide mass amnesia about a murder Sharpton committed, there is no excuse for the phrase “Jewish blood on his hands.”
- Saying “blood on his hands” is tantamount to accusing the target of being responsible for someone’s (in this case violent) death. As such, to do so without solid proof is vile, repugnant, and slanderous. To do so as part of a random spurt of political whining about an irrelevant candidate is even more so.
- If someone does have blood on his hands, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference whether that blood is Jewish–or black, or, for that matter, Oompa-Loompa. Klein’s phrasing both accuses Sharpton of deliberately targeting Jews, and suggests that without such targeting, being responsible for someone’s death would be somehow more acceptable. The first is, once again, a serious allegation and, without evidence*, completely indefensible. The second is patently absurd.
Poor form, sir. I expect better.
*Unfortunately, it will not be taken as obvious that Sharpton’s purported anti-Semitic statements do not constitute evidence that he targeted Jews for violence. There is a vast chasm between any of Sharpton’s statements I can find and inciting violence on ethnic or religious grounds.