From the Mordbidly Interesting "Mondoweiss" Blog

comes a "gem."

I find Anti-Israel Blogger Philip Weiss morbidly interesting, and I occasionally happen upon his blog. Weiss finds his own Jewish background alternatively suffocating and infuriating, and yet can't seem to stop talking about it, and about how he's trying to overcome it. [Recent example: "My experience of Jewish life is that it's elite-oriented. We cared deeply about prestige (yiches, in Yiddish) and excellence in my family, and I came to find those values suffocating.... The contempt for peasants is something I always found concerning in my own cultural background, that I seek to reform in my own Jewish experience.] If a Woody Allen character ever became an anti-Zionist polemicist, he would be a lot like Philip Weiss.

Anyway, Weiss, whose blog seems to attract commenters on vacation from the Vanguard News Network even though he appears to be quite leftist (dislike of Jews making strange bedfellows), believes that U.S. politics is firmly and absolutely under the control of the dreaded "Israel lobby." But he has a problem--Sarah Palin, who is no one's idea of the pro-Israel community's top choice for V.P. He writes:

Strict application of the Israel lobby [controls everything important in American politics] theory would not have predicted Sarah Palin. Romney, Lieberman, anybody but. Palin's an unknown quantity and she likes to buck lobbyists. Culturally she's not tight with Jews; I wonder how many she's even met. I don't think Lieberman's well-heeled friends will be fond of her. So why not throw out the theory?

The answer, of course, is that people don't believe bizarre conspiracy theories for logical reasons, so logic won't have any affect on those theories. Not surprisingly, though Weiss doesn't reach that conclusion. A brief window into a certain mindset.

UPDATE: At about the 7 minute mark, this video shows that Palin has a small Israeli flag in the window of her office. Guess Weiss can relax.

Being a conspiretard means never having to say "Well, that proves I'm wrong."
8.31.2008 10:46pm
We've go to bat 1.000 to stay credible? That's meshugana. We win some, we lose some.
8.31.2008 11:26pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
I don't think the Vice President really matters (in terms of getting votes or influencing policy, unless the President lets them). I think the Israel-Lobby theory is supposed to be about Israel, so it wouldn't necessarily indicate much about VP picks.

That gets to a complication with the Walt/Mearsheimer theory (haven't read any of their stuff, so this is sort of hearsay and Weiss may have better reasons than me). They're famously realists, which means they treat states as the unitary actors of foreign policy which look after their own interests and don't have internal divisions (like how homo economicus should not have the biases that behavioral economists tell us they do). The Israel Lobby theory is that the United States is not following its national interests but is influenced by a number of lobbies both domestic and foreign. This is in accordance with the rational choice or public choice theories of economics and political science, but not the ones they previously espoused. Those theories also happen to be wrong due to pervasive irrationality especially endemic in politics, as explained by Bryan Caplan in Myth of the Rational Voter. Contrast the somewhat rational theory of Walt/Mearsheimer where the Israel Lobby just cares about Israel and can ignore any window-dressing to a more irrational identity-based crudely anti-semitic theory, where a bunch of scheming Jews just hate those red-blooded Amurricans and will smash any approaching the seat of power who haven't secretly been inducted through the ceremonies of the Elders of Zion. That theory would be more likely to put Palin off-limits and it might be the case that Weiss beliefs in something somewhat like it (he's discussed Kevin MacDonald in a not completely unflattering manner before).
9.1.2008 12:17am
Its funny how certain commenters seem to think their opinions about whats an appropriate blog topic should somehow control whats posted here. P3731, I've never seen any of DB's co-bloggers complain about his posts, so why don't you just, ya know, scroll past those posts you don't like?

You really, really should just read a different blog if you don't like what's being posted here and are too lazy to scroll past the posts of those conspirators you dislike.
9.1.2008 12:19am
DavidBernsten (mail):
Thanks Cenrand, but I deleted the comment, which, to say the least, added nothing to the discussion.
9.1.2008 12:29am
McCain's selection of Palin as VP has little do with the influence of the Israel Lobby (as TGGP notes above), but Philip Weiss, and M.J. Rosenberg, and possibly David Bernstein seem to believe that she will not be attractive to Jewish voters. Rosenberg believes that with Biden on the Democratic ticket and Palin on the Republican, the Democrats have a shot at getting 90% of the Jewish vote. Kerry got 78%. That could be decisive in states like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
9.1.2008 12:38am
We've go to bat 1.000 to stay credible? That's meshugana. We win some, we lose some.

9.1.2008 12:40am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I'd have to agree that as VP choices go, Biden will help Obama with Jews and Palin is likely to be a slight negative. But liberal Jews who can't abide Palin are voting Obama anyway. And Jews who are concerned about Obama on national security and Israel-related issues are still going to be concerned about Obama, regardless of his number 2. And McCain is still going to be more moderate than GW Bush, and Obama is still going to be the head of the most liberal Democratic ticket since '72. In short, if MJ wants to be that the McCain does worse than W among Jewish voters, I'll take it!
9.1.2008 12:50am
David M. Nieporent (www):
CVT: Rosenberg's claim is based on the notion that Palin "was a strong Pat Buchanan supporter." (Somehow she's gone from a Buchanan supporter to a "strong" one without ever having said anything pro-Buchanan in her life.)
9.1.2008 2:00am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Liberal elites overestimate how much Jews will flock to Obama/Biden. I say McPalin gets 30% this year. Yeah quote that.
9.1.2008 3:20am
obi juan (mail):
Not saying that an all powerful Israel lobby exists, but how does Palin discount such a thing? The thinking seems to be that if such a thing existed then Lieberman would be VP. But doesn't the fact that he was even in the running mean anything? Here we have a man who is neither a Republican nor a conservative in the running for the VP slot.
9.1.2008 9:40am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Occam's razor: he's also McCain's best friend.
9.1.2008 10:18am
obi juan (mail):
Best friend, or the Jewdi mind trick?
9.1.2008 10:23am
ak47pundit (www):
Ach, he is so wrong he fell for the disinformation campaign.

Her real name is Palinsky and she is well and truly a part of the grand zogishe conspiracy. The all powerful Jewish lobby triumphs yet again!

Me, I'm still waiting for my check....
9.1.2008 10:57am
cubanbob (mail):
Arabs and Muslims must be pretty stupid if with trillions of petro dollars they haven't any influence to counteract the ZOG. Them Jews must have some super massive mojo.
Seriously, just how do Walt/Mearsheimer propose that Arab money in the trillions has no influence but a Jewish dollar does?

Philip Weiss was born too late. He would have loved being a capo at Auschwitz or the team leader of a sondercommando. Of course it would never occur to him that his friends will always keep an oven warm for him.
9.1.2008 7:45pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
The major Arab regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt have come to terms with Israel. They can rely on U.S support in part because they'd be replaced by crazies. Simply having oil doesn't cut it though. Saddam had oil (and remember most Arab regimes opposed our invasion), so do Sudan and Iran. The reason America favors Israel over her neighbors is that Americans find Muslims unpleasant while Jews are like us, Christians who are just a little behind (this impression is due more to the extreme Protestantization of American Jews than real knowledge of Judaism, which is closer to Islam in some important respects).

I would actually like to see some data comparing the amount of money Arab/Muslim regimes funnel into U.S political campaigns vs AIPAC.
9.2.2008 12:40am
EW1(SG) (mail) (www):
Easy enough to explain: All Alaskans know that most of the Eskimaux are descended from the other 47 lost tribes of Israel. A canny AIPAC operative campaigner would know this.

On a more serious note, Israel is popular in Alaska~where its grit and determination strike a chord with the frontier spirit.
9.2.2008 2:50am
EW1(SG) (mail) (www):
Hmm. The "strike" button doesn't work. The humor might be more effective if "AIPAC operative" had been lined out next to "campaigner," but when you have to explain a joke...
9.2.2008 2:52am