AM I AN ANTI-SEMITE? Possibly. I am, after all, quoted in a New York Observer article hinting that there's more to blogger opposition of Joe Lieberman than meets the eye -- namely, a deep seated revulsion towards Zionism (death to the infidels remix). Not to kvetch over this, but that's a meshugina interpretation of the primary.

When Jason Horowitz called to ask me about anti-Semitism´┐Żs influence in the blogosphere, my first response was similar: Say my name, real slowly, and then ask again. To posit that the land of Glenn Greenwald, Ezra Klein, Matthew Yglesias, Max Sawicky, and Lindsay Beyerstein carries some grudge against Jews is a bit rich. And that doesn't even approach the veneration for Paul Wellstone or the support for Russ Feingold.

What my quote was actually saying, before it got chopped off, was that it's a pleasant fantasy for certain self-righteous elements of the party to recast this battle as a brave war for religious tolerance rather than an ideological and tribal confrontation over one man's repeated abandonment of progressivism. To brush off the stones and arrows flung by the bigots, after all, is both easy and heroic -- it's more of the Great Man myth peddled by the same folks who got us into Iraq because simply chasing down some isolated terrorists wasn't grandly historical enough for them. To face up to a war gone wrong, the inherent hollowness of reflexive "centrism," the psychological oddities of a Democrat who seeks all his praise amongst Republicans, and the simple truth that this blogger insurgency has found a powerful resonance within the Connecticut electorate would require a much more honest and searing reassessment on the part of Lieberman's backers. Better, rather, to pull out the kill card and shut down the conversation through fatuous accusations of anti-Semitism.

--Ezra Klein

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