But it is not possible to view David Horowitz’s hit piece against Weekly Standard publisher William Kristol published yesterday by Breibart.com under the headline of “Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew,” as anything but an utter disgrace that sullies the name of the founder of that once estimable site and helps further discredit the pro-Trump camp for which Breitbart.com now serves as a mouthpiece. It also shows once again that, when it comes to the author of this piece, you can take the boy out of the Bolsheviks but you can’t take the Bolshevik out of the boy.
Kristol is the public face of those working to come up with a third party alternative. Count me among those that think those efforts are futile even if I understand why he, and others who support the idea, long to have someone to vote for in November other than Clinton and Trump. Moreover, the notion that anyone associated with this effort thought Mark Cuban, another bad boy billionaire reality television star, was a palatable alternative to Trump, strikes me as mad. But none of that could possibly justify an article that reads like a Stalinist denunciation of a Trotskyite dissident, including the use of a headline that seems to accuse Kristol of being a traitor to the Jewish people and/or Israel.
…..That Horowitz might be attracted to Trump doesn’t surprise me because he has been an exponent of applying the vicious tactics of the left that he grew up with on behalf of the right. Like many who like Trump because he is gutter fighter with no scruples when it comes to fighting dirty, the man who helped launched the “slap Hillary” game on the Internet not only on the side of the billionaire but is ready, like the candidate, to say just about anything to discredit an opponent.
That is the only way to understand why Horowitz would write and Breitbart.com would publish the “Renegade Jew” smear of Kristol.
Horowitz’s defense of Trump shouldn’t detain us long. We know that many Trump supporters like the candidate precisely because he is a vulgar braggart who can defy political correctness with impunity, even if many of them know that a lot of what he says is self-contradictory nonsense. Many other Republicans are now getting behind him because they view American politics as a binary choice in which the person running under the Republican label is always preferable to any Democrat. But Horowitz goes further and claims than either of those positions and proclaims Kristol’s critique of Trump’s bad character to be at fault. In doing so, he actually defends former boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson. The notion that Tyson is a symbol of repentance, or “an icon to an important segment of the voting population” is risible and so foolish as to not even be worth the space it would take to fully debunk it.
…..According to Horowitz, lies like that are okay because they are merely “dirty tricks” intended “to throw a rival off balance and gain an advantage.” Which is to say that it is okay to lie, and to even spread a conspiracy theory. If such a stance seems incompatible with any notion of the requirements of a citizen in a constitutional republic or of conservative ethics and values, so much the worse for ethics and values. For old Marxists, the ends always justify the means even if it requires you to justify gobsmackingly stupid canards or threats against an opponent’s wife.
But the real offense here is not Horowitz’s laughable defense of Trump’s behavior or his vapid policy positions. It’s his attempt to wrap him in the Star of David and to somehow brand his opponents as traitors to the pro-Israel cause that should trouble everyone including those that believe Trump is the lesser of two evils in 2016.
In the last two decades, Horowitz’s publishing and activist projects have prioritized support for Israel, which is why his confession in the last paragraph of his piece that he has never visited the Jewish state is puzzling. But even if his concern for Israel should be considered both sincere and heartfelt that doesn’t justify his use of Stalinist dialectical tactics to smear Kristol.
Neither Horowitz nor Breitbart.com have the right to assume the pose of a Jewish pope with the right to excommunicate all those who cannot stomach Trump as heretics. Indeed, his invocation of “America First” and the use of a term like “renegade Jew” in the headline (though not in the text of the article) seems to echo the smears of the pro-Trump alt right racists who have attacked conservative critics of the candidate with an avalanche of anti-Semitic invective. Such tactics may be standard operating procedure on the far-left, but they have no place in the conservative movement even in the Donald Trump era. While Horowitz has exhibited the sort of blind partisan loyalty required by Trumpites, with this article he has discredited himself — and Breitbart.com — in the pro-Israel community and among fair-minded conservatives.
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