Former Sen. Chuck Hagel may not enjoy wide national support, but he has the strong support of America’s antisemites, if HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher is any indication.
And leading Democrats, like Democratic National Committee vice chair Donna Brazile, are evidently prepared to tolerate the hate.
Maher, debating guest Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller, who appeared alongside Brazile, defended Hagel’s alleged statement that “the State Department was becoming an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.” (Hagel has since denied making the statement.)
Maher said: “Based on every statement I’ve heard out of any Republican in the last two years, the Israelis are controlling our government.”
The audience applauded Maher’s bigoted remark.
The remark drew no response or correction from Brazile, who seemed more concerned about attacking Hagel’s critics: “They keep changing the goalposts,” she said.
Maher, who is an atheist with Jewish roots, invoked the antisemitic stereotype of Jewish control with evident disregard for the offensive nature of the remark. He, and his audience, affirmed a frequent theme among Hagel’s supporters–namely, that they are motivated by opposition to Hagel’s perceived pro-Israel or “neoconservative” critics.
They rarely make a case for Hagel as Secretary of Defense based on his qualifications.
Though Maher’s audience is decidedly left-wing, the use of antisemitic rhetoric on a major cable network suggests such language has entered the mainstream of political discourse.
And the tolerance shown for such antisemitism by Brazile suggests the Democrats may have a problem.