Here we go again. In 2012, U.S. Senate candidate Anthony Muse put out a palm card that was, among other things, wildly anti-Semitic.
One of the comments on Maryland Juice’s post about the palm card read as follows:
Wow. Putting aside the blatant lie that Obama supports Muse, which in many respects is par for the course in Maryland and particularly Prince George’s County, the anti-Semitism of that palm card just leaps off the page. Let’s not forget that Ben Cardin is (ahem) Jewish.
I particularly like the “subtle as a sledgehammer” use of “Jewish” alongside white, black, Hispanic and Asian, and the doubly insulting insinuation that Jews are something other than white. You stay classy, Anthony Muse.
The overall thrust of this palm card, again beyond the lie, is Muse’s completely transparent attempt to empower the African-American community by appealing to blatant bias against Jews. “Hey, look, THOSE people are overrepresented. That should be OUR Senate seat.”
That comment was written by me. Just for the record.
Today brings news that last night, a similarly-themed but even more egregiously offensive mail piece (let’s not call it a flyer, it’s much fancier than that, which means someone thought it up, went to a mail firm or printing company, and had it made - it was premeditated, not spontaneous) was distributed at a meeting to discuss County Executive Rushern Baker’s budget proposals.
I heard about it yesterday, but didn’t want to write about it until I had actually seen it. Tonight the Washington Post wrote about it. Both Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen quickly issued statements deploring the piece, and I don’t believe either one had anything to do with its production or dissemination. Within the past hour, I have obtained a photograph of the mail piece.
First point: the piece is illegal. It has no authority line, in violation of Maryland law. Julius Henson went to jail for that offense in Baltimore, and was fined over $1 million.
Second, the piece is insulting to pretty much everyone: whites, Jews, blacks, you name it. And it is insulting to Prince George’s voters. I’m not going to parse it, you can read it through yourself. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Finally, putting aside its offensive nature, it’s stupid for another reason: we’re almost a year out from the election. Sleazy ads like this one only have a chance to work when it’s too late for anyone to respond to them. As a matter of strategy and tactics, this was poorly done, and done entirely too soon.
So now the question: who did this?
I don’t know, and while I’m not a journalist, I don’t play guessing games. I only mention the Anthony Muse palm card because of the similarly stupid mentality behind both pieces. I don’t think he did it. Or had anything to do with it.
But I will say this: I’m going to find out who did. Politics is a full contact sport, and anyone who plays in this sandbox knows it. Israel is fair game for political criticism, and I am no Likudnik. But this piece isn’t just anti-Israel, it’s anti-Semitic - it suggests that blacks are underrepresented in Maryland because Jews stand in their way. What was implied in 2012 is explicit in 2015. And that attitude is not acceptable to me, as a Democrat, as a Jew, and as a person. I’d like to think that I’m not alone in holding this opinion.
Drops microphone. Rant over.