How could I have missed this story? Thomas Frank, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noted that during her acceptance speech at the Republican National convention, Palin quoted classic American anti-Semite, Westbrook Pegler. This is how Frank described it:
“We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity,” the vice-presidential candidate said, quoting an anonymous “writer,” which is to say, Pegler, who must have penned that mellifluous line when not writing his more controversial stuff. As the New York Times pointed out in its obituary of him in 1969, Pegler once lamented that a would-be assassin “hit the wrong man” when gunning for Franklin Roosevelt.
Ben Smith, writing at Politico, notes that Pegler’s N.Y. Times obituary partially describes his anti-Semitic views:
According to his obituary, he’d advanced the theory that American Jews of Eastern European descent were “instinctively sympathetic to Communism, however outwardly respectable they appeared.”
Wikipedia also notes that he called Jews:
“Geese,” because, “they hiss when they talk, gulp down everything before them, and foul everything in their wake,”
Given that Palin apparently endorsed Pat Buchanan’s presidential candidacy, is it any wonder that perhaps the only online source for the Pegler quotation is featured in Buchanan’s books, Right from the Beginning. Would we be surprised to find out that Palin discovered the quotation in Buchanan’s book, which, by the way, features an admiring portrait of Pegler? Buchanan is another who is often described as anti-Semitic.
I wouldn’t expect, given her obtuseness, that Palin would have a clue why any of this matters or is important. But I hope there are others who understand why quoting Westbrook Pegler in a vice-presidential acceptance speech should present a major problem for the Republican ticket, especially among Jews.
Hat tip to John Averosis, for first making me aware of this story.
“Would we be surprised to find out that Palin discovered the quotation in Buchanan’s book, which, by the way, features an admiring portrait of Pegler? Buchanan is another who is often described as anti-Semitic.”
Then why did you write an article for Pat Buchanan’s American Conservative magazine?
Richard Silverstein says
@amir: That taunt has already been asked and answered long ago here. I’d answer you even here except for the snotty way in which you asked the question. Do some work for a change & look it up yrself.
Richard, I think that was actually a fair question and your refusal to answer it reflects badly on you.
Ever since this wolf-killing broad reared her perky head, I’ve been saying, it is a Palin presidency we are being offered. McCain is done, Put a fork in him.
from: http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/editorblog/121 [excerpts]
Palin is a believer in a renegade theology called “The Third Wave” that believes God has chosen certain people (her) to lead America into preparation for Armageddon, indeed that her ascension to the presidency is a prerequisite for End Times.
Remember that Palin was placed on the ticket, allegedly, because a rather secretive organization of far right evangelicals told the McCain campaign to appoint her V.P. or risk the formidable institutional backing and get out the vote support of the Armageddon crowd. McCain, seeing that he evoked all the enthusiasm of road kill, relented.
This was the same group of radical evangelical “leaders” who anointed George W. Bush in a secret meeting (no media or taping equipment is allowed) in 2000. Remember, they didn’t choose McCain; they chose to back Palin with the hope that she will soon succeed McCain.
Since then, Sarah Palin – in her own language of “Crack Barrel” expressions, scripted campaign slogans, and dropped sentences – has been running not for VP but for president…As Frank Rich implies in another scintillating column on October 5, when the Governor accidentally said recently that she was running on the Palin-McCain ticket, she wasn’t kidding.
Those of you who doubt it should remember the below the radar comment that Palin made in the VP debate, one of the few substantive remarks she uttered. In essence, she said that she would model her role as VP after Cheney.
Expect Palin to assume the presidency right quick.
That’s the plan of the Anti-American extremist evangelical right wing. With Palin as president, it becomes their country, not ours. They are the ultimate terrorists against democracy and the Constitution, but you won’t read a word about it in the corporate press.”
Richard Silverstein says
@Addy: You don’t know the history of Amir here in this blog. He’s my resident right-wing snark. I often answer his questions if he can manage to avoid the nasty tone he often adopts. I didn’t refuse to answer the question as I’ve already answered it in an earlier comment thread. Google is one’s friend & it would take about 12 seconds to find the thread.
And as I said, I would’ve answered if he’d managed to lose the snark.
Here’s a hint though…Pat Buchanan doesn’t own, manage or edit American Conservative Magazine where I have published one book review of which I’m proud.
American Conservative was founded by Buchanan among others and Buchanan is still closely associated with the magazine. According to wikipedia, Buchanan currently holds the title of editor emeritus.
While Palin may have quoted Pegler, she could always plead ignorance and everyone will believe her.
Obama, on the otherhand, took the title of a book he wrote, the Audacity Of Hope, from a sermon delivered by the Rev. Wright.
Richard Silverstein says
That’s a lie. I’ve already explained this in the comment thread which you still haven’t bothered to look up.
The publisher & funder of the magazine is Ron Unz, a wealthy California liberatarian. He has been the publisher for several years. Pat Buchanan has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MAGAZINE and has not for years. Scott McConnell, the current editor, told me this himself. NOw if you choose to call Scott a liar that’s your own lookout. But you’d be a jerk for doing so as Scott is as honest as the day is long.
Even more importantly, I’d challenge you to find a single anti-Semitic article in the Magazine. YOu won’t find one. It’s simply a magazine that is attempting to take back true American conservatism from the neocons.
You are the one who once warned me that Wikipedia is a bogus research source. While I don’t generally agree with you, if the article doesn’t include the information I’ve noted above then it’s not accurate.
You don’t even know what you’ve written in the past.
This is what you wrote August 22, 2007: “No, it’s actually Ron Unz’s American Conservative. He’s the current owner. Though Pat Buchanan founded the magazine, he’s no longer affiliated with it in any way except that his name is on the masthead.” So when you call me a liar for saying Buchanan founded the magazine you are calling yourself a liar. And when you call me a liar for saying Buchanan holds the title editor emeritus you yourself conceded is name on the masthead. And if you google Buchanan editor emeritus you will find several sources confirming this is true. And since emeritus means retired I never said Buchanan was currently editor of the mag.
I never said that Am Cons was anti-semitic and I never said Buchanan was anti-semitic. I enjoy reading articles from both once in a while (enjoy does not mean agree with). You are the one that tried to smear Palin by associating her with Buchanan, which I find quite ironic since you wrote an article for a magazine which is commonly identified with him (“is commonly identified with”, accurate enough for you or is that a lie too).
Unz hasn’t been publisher for years as you claim. He was appointed in 2007.
Everything I said is true. Perhaps saying Buchanan is “identified with” AmCons is more accurate than “associated with”.
Richard Silverstein says
@amir: Glad to see that you found my previous comment on this.
The “lie” was when you claimed “Buchanan is closely associated with the magazine.” If you had said “WAS closely associated” that of course would’ve been correct. But you didn’t. I have no problem with saying he founded it because he did. And again saying he has an emeritus title is not a problem because he does. But in this case “emeritus” is merely an honorific crediting him with his founding role. The title is no reflection on any current role, which he does not have.
I am extremely uncomfortable with Pat Buchanan’s views. If he WAS involved w. the magazine on a day to day basis I would not have contributed to it. That is why I feel comfortable taking Palin to task for supporting Buchanan’s presidential campaign.
It is “commonly identified with” Pat Buchanan by you and Bill Pearlman, ea of whom has attempted to take me to task for publishing a book review there. There are others more informed apparently, who know Buchanan’s true status with the magazine.
Buchanan left the magazine before 2007.
Whether Racist Buchanan is associated with this magagzine or not is not the question. By the way, the author of this article is not running for Vice Presidency of The United States. That is typical Republican behavior: Point fingers when you can’t answer questions. It should be their slogan. Are you saying Palin quoted a man she knew nothin about? Well that makes her stupid as well as dangerous. Ignorance is not a defense, not even in a court of law.