I didn’t really notice Phil Noble’s release earlier about Rick Perry and Ben Bernanke (I’m drowning in email), until it was also forwarded to me by Samuel Tenenbaum today. Here’s the full release, and here’s an excerpt:
Noble Calls on Perry to Apologize for ‘Unacceptable’ Attack on South Carolina Native Son Bernanke
In response to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s continuing suggestions that South Carolina born-and-bred Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke is not acting with America’s best interests at heart, SC New Democrats president Phil Noble is calling on the GOP front-runner to apologize.
“In the last few days,” Noble said, “Rick Perry has called our native son Ben Bernanke ‘treacherous’ and ‘treasonous’ and has questioned what his ‘true goal is for the United States.’ Somebody needs to tell Mr. Perry that we don’t talk that way about central bankers here in the South Carolina, and we certainly don’t talk that way about central bankers who happen to be Jewish.”
Noble continued, “The stereotype of the ‘treacherous” or ‘treasonous’ Jewish banker is one of the most poisonous slurs in all of recent Western history. And whether Rick Perry is exploiting this anti-Semitic stereotype today out of true malice or simple ignorance of that long and tragic history doesn’t really matter. Either way, it’s completely unacceptable, and he needs to apologize to Mr. Bernanke and all the people of our state for this grossly inappropriate attack on one of our most distinguished native sons before his Texas boot heel touches South Carolina soil again.
“Or, to put this in terms that even the Governor should understand: Gov. Perry, don’t mess with South Carolina.”
Samuel offered his own observation, which I’ve heard him make before in different contexts:
Remember Campbell and his political anti-Semitism [a reference to the campaign against Max Heller]? It is the old nod and wink game here. Call it the “nink.” Those who have the correct receptors get his message and those who do not, never would associate anti-Semitism with his statement.
True, as a goy, I did not at first associate what Perry said with Bernanke’s Jewishness. But then, I had not initially heard that one bit of comment from Perry, “… I think there will continue to be questions about their activity and what their true goal is for the United States.” To a Catholic, that sounds familiar. But still…
Samuel and I have a lot of discussions about stuff like this. We went to see “The Passion of Jesus Christ” together, along with Moss Blachman, on Saturday in 2004, and then we all went to lunch and debated it. We did not see it the same. But we agreed about one thing: We didn’t like the movie.
Bottom line, I don’t think Perry is going after Bernanke because he’s Jewish any more than because he’s from South Carolina. I think Perry is going after him because a section of the electorate he’s trying to woo deeply dislikes the Federal Reserve, and Bernanke just happens to be its current chairman. The Fed chair could have been a gentile from Oregon, and for that matter could be pursuing policies completely different from Bernanke’s, and Perry would still be on his case.
That’s what I think.