Joe Conason’s Journal

Yesterday's anti-Semitic screed against billionaire George Soros was nauseating -- but it won't be the last coming from the "old" far right.


That old-time “conservatism”
Whoever decided to post a nauseating anti-Semitic screed about George Soros on the GOPUSA Web site has apparently reconsidered, after embarrassing exposure in Eschaton and other blogs. As of this morning, the essay titled “Satan Lives in George Soros” had disappeared. A commercial Republican site that features fourth-rate columnists and flashing ads, GOPUSA’s “issues and action” conference in Washington a few weeks ago attracted the likes of Grover Norquist, Bob Barr, Kellyanne Conway, Reps. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

None of those individuals is responsible for the Soros-bashing essay, of course, but the proprietors of GOPUSA have some explaining to do. The only reasonable assumption is that they endorsed the vile gutter bigotry that suffuses this piece from the first paragraph, in which the liberal philanthropist is described as a “Hungarian-born descendant of Shylock” and “the embodiment of the Merchant from [sic] Venice.” It goes on to quote accusations against Soros by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and other notorious anti-Semites on the Russian far right. (The semiliterate author, identified by Josh Marshall today as James Hall, uses the pen name “Sartre” — perhaps unaware that the French philosopher had much to say about this particular form of mental illness in “Anti-Semite and Jew.”)

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Hall’s essay can still be found on his own site, which offers such interesting clues to his ideological disposition as the links on this page (scroll down) to the works of the late Francis ParkerYockey, an American fascist activist and author.

Although GOPUSA has no official connection with the Republican Party, the occasion for spewing this filth was the recent announcement by Soros that he will commit his financial and intellectual power to defeating George W. Bush. Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, who honed his propaganda skills on behalf of Enron, has commenced a bitter campaign against Soros. Gillespie evidently believes that wealth can only be used legitimately to support Republicans.

More such filth will no doubt emanate from the precincts of the “old” far right. Soros is simply too tempting a target for the paleo-cons — and he obviously isn’t alone among prominent Jews in opposing Bush. But just as black leaders are expected to denounce Louis Farrakhan, will anyone demand that Gillespie publicly reject such anti-Semitic attacks on his new nemesis?
[11 a.m. PST, Nov. 19, 2003]

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