Monday, October 19, 2009

S.C. GOP chairmen: Sen. DeMint like a ‘Jew’ who is ‘watching our nation’s pennies’

Two South Carolina Republican county chairmen allied with Sen. Jim DeMint have published an overtly anti-Semitic letter in a popular South Carolina newspaper. The anti-Semitism of the letter may have been intended to smear U.S. Product Safety Commission chairman Inez Tenenbaum, who is attacked in a digression at the end of the letter. Tenenbaum lost to DeMint in the 2004 senatorial election. If their intention was to attack Tenenbaum, it appears that the attack has backfired.


from Raw Story: S.C. GOP chairmen: Sen. DeMint like a ‘Jew’ who is ‘watching our nation’s pennies’

Two South Carolina GOP chairmen declared in a letter to a local newspaper that criticism of Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is unfair because he is like a "Jew" who is "watching our nation's pennies."

The letter, published by South Carolina newspaper The Times and Democrat, was authored by James S. Ulmer Jr., who chairs the Orangeburg County GOP, and Edwin O. Merwin Jr., who chairs the Bamberg County GOP.

"There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves," the wrote. "By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed."

...and...

The Palmetto Scoop, a conservative e-zine in South Carolina, reacted to the letter with disgust.

"Umm… who in mainstream America thinks it’s a good idea to write something like that in a guest editorial?" the publication asked in a no-byline piece. "Especially in light of the racially-motivated attention garnered by South Carolina Republican activists over the past few months."

The Scoop concluded: "It’s people like Ulmer and Merwin that make many folks fear for the future of the once Grand Ole Party."

In the words of a comment posted on the Times and Democrat website:

"Wow. Adult Republican leaders actually wrote this without realizing how insanely racist this is? They're trying to pass off a racial stereotype as proverbial words of wisdom and don't see the difference? Just, wow."


Why'd they do it?


In their letter, Ulmer and Merwin criticize federally mandated requirements that items for use by children be tested for toxicity before sale. Ulmer and Merwin portray this as an attack on working people and portray DeMint as a defender of the right of poor people to buy lower priced goods without federal interference. Tenenbaum is portrayed as an elitist siding with do-gooder consumer advocates against average working Americans. Here's what they wrote (read here):


"(O)n Feb. 5, DeMint announced the introduction of a bill to protect small businesses, charities and families by reforming the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This new law will demand onerous testing for anything geared toward children age 12 and under. The mandate falls on books, toys, clothing, hair bands, board games, sporting equipment, backpacks and even special learning equipment made for children with disabilities. Alas his bill did not pass.

"Perhaps Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum could help families mitigate this problem as times are tough and likely to get tougher; and they may need to buy items at flea markets, thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales in order to save money. Perhaps families on a tight budget know a thing or two about making do on less ...
"Now one might ask, just who is watching out for whom?"

It looks like Ulmer and Merwin intended to portray their friend Sen. DeMint as defending average working people against elitist, carpet-bagging Jews. Nice.


2 comments:

Gene said...

It looks like Ulmer and Merwin intended to portray their friend Sen. DeMint as defending average working people against elitist, carpet-bagging Jews. Nice.

Adam, I think you're misinterpreting what they said. They actually think they are complimenting DeMint by comparing him to a stereotyped "penny-pinching Jew."

Adam Holland said...

Could be, but I don't take what they say literally. I found it more than a coincidence that the letter gratuitously invoked a shocking, archaic stereotype concerning Jews and then condemned an apparently Jewish adversary of DeMint who now works in the Obama administration. It could be a coincidence, but I think it unlikely.

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