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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Anti-Semitic Caricature In Campaign Flyers?



Check out this story:
Senate candidate James H. Webb, President Reagan's former Navy secretary, was criticized by his Jewish opponent Friday over a campaign flier that depicted the opponent with a hooked nose and cash spilling from his pockets.

The flier was intended for distribution among labor groups. It was titled "Miller the Job Killer," referring to Webb's opponent for the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary, businessman Harris Miller.

The flier, drawn in comic-book cartoon style, depicts Miller with a grotesquely hooked nose and cash overflowing from his suit pockets as he orders an underling to find ways to export U.S. jobs overseas. The flier refers to Miller as the "anti-Christ of outsourcing."

Webb claims that there was no anti-Semitic intent in the caricature. At left is the flyer, along with a photograph of Miller. I'm not sure what to think. I do know it's in bad taste, and the money-stuffed pockets and term "anti-Christ" are worrisome...but the drawing does look a heck of a lot like the photo. Then again, the nose is definitely exaggerated, and along with the image of his money-stuffed pockets, the cartoon seems a bit too close for comfort to the way Jews have historically been caricatured in anti-Semitic propaganda. What about you guys? Was there anti-Semitic intent here or just the usual election mudslinging?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if the intention was to be anti-semitic, but if it wasnt as they claim, they are very very stupid and a campaign manager should be canned. To depict a jewish opponent with a large nose (and OM I know you say the comic looks like the photo, which it does, but the nose in the comic is really much bigger) and cash stuffed pockets is a really bad judgement. It definitely looks a little like the old nazi-era caricatures you see in museums etc.

3:12 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I agree with anonymous. Chances are slim they meant CONSCIOUSLY to depict him in an anti-semitic way, just in an "anti-Miller" way, but . . . yeah, it does look a wee bit too much like something out of 1930's Germany.

Sounds to me like someone drew it, and not enough other people looked at it before it went out in the mail. Surely, otherwise, someone would have said "um, maybe this isn't a good idea . . . "?

Just goes to show, some things SHOULD be done through committee.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow was this a boneheaded move.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I don't think there's much to the anti-semitism angle here (although I agree that this was a political blunder of hilarious proportions). The cartoon's nose actually doesn't look that much more "jewish" - big, hooked) than the picture, and certainly nothing like what you would find in any contemporary Arab or Nazi era cartoon. The money in the pocket was part of the portrayal of Miller as a corporate fatcat (note the cigar, not usually part of Jewish caricatures), not as a money grubbing Jew. Lastly, I'm fairly certain the anti-christ quote originated with the AFL-CIO (Not my favorite organization, but not exactly rabid anti-semites), not the Webb campaign.

There is likely no more anti-semitic content here than when Al D'Amato called Chuck Schumer a "Putzhead" during their campaign. Given how that incident turned out, I'd say Miller should be able to get a good amount of political mileage out of this one, anti-semitic or not.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

even if the flier was not explicity anti-semtitic, isn't there something offensive about being branded an anti-christ?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Canonist was all over this, and SHABOT 6000 analyzed it, and believes that no anti-semitism is involved.

Stop being so sensitive!

You guys need to move out of New York!

11:39 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Hey, neighbors. I agree that this is a bone-headed campaign flyer that may harken back to Nazi propaganda, but it is not nearly the same.

First, however, let me say that Webb and Allen and Miller epitomize what is wrong with our flailing, failing democracy. These pols think they are smarter than their constituents, and they repeatedly pander to the baser nature of humankind. In essence, they utilize the Aristotelean proofs of Pathos ("The Republicans want to steal from the mouths of the poor so they can help their fat-cat friends," or "The Democrats are once again aiding and abetting the terrorists with their 'cut-and-run' strategies.") and Ethos ("Joe Lieberman is one of the finest, most devout men I have worked with in the Senate, and you should support him in the primary."), instead of relying upon the proof of Logos -- the appeal to reason.

Back to the flyer -- I have little doubt that Allen would pander to folks' biases -- including those of anti-semites, but the bias he is ultimately trying to tap into here is against foreigners overseas. He is playing into the idea that "we" don't want "them" having "our" jobs because of Miller. Maybe he meant "Miller the Jew," but it isn't entirely clear to me. But to say that Nazi caricatures of Jews were far less subtle than Allen's flyer would be a gross understatement. Just look at this cover to the most infamous issue of Der Stürmer, the 1934 issue accusing Jews of practicing ritual murder to secure the blood of Christians to use in Jewish religious rituals. The headline reads: Jewish Murder Plan against Gentile Humanity Revealed. http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/images/sturmer/dsrm34.jpg The website shows a number of Nazi propaganda cartoons that caricature Jews, and this may be the direction we are headed with gay-baiting, immigrant-bashing, anti-semitic, anti-muslim rhetoric in political discourse, and one only need listen to the likes of Michael Savage (AM radio nut) to hear that it has already arrived on certain bands of the mainstream media spectrum. Savage believes, among other things, that undocumented Latinos are here to carry out a "reconquista," that the Israelis are a bunch of yellow-bellies for not simply "nuking" the Lebanese and every other contiguous country, that the ACLU is as bad, if not worse, than Abu Musab al Zarkawi, etc.

And now Senator Allen has caused an uproar with this statement at a rally in western Virginia ... "This fellow over here with the yellow shirt -- Macaca or whatever his name is -- he's with my opponent," Allen said. "He's following us around everywhere. ... Let's give a welcome to Macaca here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." The fellow in the yellow shirt Senator Allen called "Macaca," which is a rhesus monkey, was a Webb campaign worker following (and filming) Allen on the campaign trail, and he just so happens to be a man of color, apparently Native American.

One last thing about the Webb flyer . . . it really begs the question, "Who is ultimately responsible for the loss of jobs within the US when corporations seek a cheaper, more docile (frightened?), less empowered workforce to exploit in countries where labor protections are de minimus and the concept of a living wage plays no part in the political consciousness of the pols or the people -- is it a greedy corporate Moloch, a mob of greedy stockholders willing to pummel the life out of humanity for profits, or the lot of consumers whose hunger for cheap, hip garb can never be sated, even if the product be dripping in sweat and blood?" But, then, I may be straying from logos and into pathos. You be the judge.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Cerita Panas said...

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8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For folks who already have access to everything they want whenever they want it, fleshlight as it were is as simple as changing the type of seat you want,
and to question the bans' constitutionality. You don't want to
marry the" bad boy" mentality, but most of the patients.

After the files have been added, and you've still got a little help from his friend, Paul McCartney. Regardless, it was upon us right after Halloween, but that effort will soon be calling you back in your head?

6:34 AM  

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