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Jewish World Review July 24, 2000 / 20 Tamuz, 5760

Don Feder

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Liberals believe they're immune from character questions -- DID FIRST LADY AND SENATE CANDIDATE HILLARY Rodham Clinton call the man who ran her husband's 1974 congressional campaign a "f---ing Jew bastard"? Does it matter?

If I believed the accusation contained in a book published last week, I would not think less of Mrs. Clinton than I do now. That would be impossible.

Hillary is a devious, deceitful, power-lusting vicious piece of work. A random anti-Jewish remark would be no more than a maraschino cherry atop the whipped cream of a poisonous personality.

Jewish author Dennis Prager noted in The Wall Street Journal that Harry Truman and Richard Nixon, both stalwart friends of Israel, were given to offhand comments disparaging Jews. That did not make them anti-Semites. A candidate can't be hung for bigotry if the evidence is an (alleged) remark made in anger over a quarter-century ago.

But the controversy is not devoid of lessons. Take the defense of the first lady by Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. Lowey, who is Jewish, stood with Hillary outside the candidate's home and insisted, "There's no way Hillary could make a statement like that."

Really? The first lady never loses her temper? What about reports of screaming matches between Bill and Hillary and her well-known penchant for verbally eviscerating White House aides? In a clinch, Mrs. Clinton frequently hits below the belt.

Lowey is really saying that Hillary couldn't possibly utter such a slur because of what she is -- a liberal.

Here is a classic example of the left's arrogance: Our ideology makes us immune to human weaknesses. We advocate political compassion. Therefore, we could be nothing but compassionate. Our policies advance the cause of tolerance, so we must be tolerant.

Is the word "hypocrisy" unknown to them?

A deep vein of this vice runs across the political spectrum (witness Newt Gingrich's advocacy of family values coupled with a private life that makes Donald Trump look monogamous). But the hypocrisy of liberals is particularly galling, given their penchant for sneering at those they consider less morally refined (conservatives).

The first family is a case study in the gulf between advocacy and actions.

There's no way Hillary could make a statement like that. Furthermore:

-- There's no way that a couple who decried the 1980s as the "decade of greed" could be among the grubbiest of money-grubbing materialists -- using political clout to pursue personal gain in a shady real-estate deal and reaping suspicious profits from a commodities investment.

-- It's impossible that a crusader for children's welfare -- who served as chairman of the Children's Defense Fund and wrote a book titled "It Takes a Village" -- could have interrupted the filming of an ad featuring underprivileged, pre-school children on the grounds of the Arkansas governor's mansion, growling, "I want to get this s--t over with, and these damn people out of here" (as related to David Brock by Arkansas trooper Roger Perry).

-- It is not to be believed that a member of the Clintons' political family, a vice president renowned for his empathy for the underdog, would allow his dirt-poor tenants to live in a roach palace.

-- It's inconceivable that a president who publicly feels the pain of women would privately cause so much pain to individual women; that a man who signed an expansion of the federal sexual harassment law earlier would have dropped his trousers before a woman he'd just met and asked her to "kiss it;" or that a politician who's publicly committed to women's rights would perjure himself to deny one woman's right to justice.

-- And a lady who's a feminist icon, who knew that her husband was a compulsive fornicator, couldn't possibly have spent the past seven years defending him against accusations of being himself, dismissing his victims as stalkers and attacking his accusers as tools of a vast conspiracy.

Such things are beyond the realm of imagining. Rhetoric trumps reality and advocacy negates actions. By their public pronouncements you shall know them. Their deeds are a needless distraction from the splendor of their agenda.

Ignore the nasty little woman behind the curtain, frantically pulling the levers. She is the great, compassionate and exceedingly tolerant Oz.

JWR contributing columnist Don Feder's latest books are Who is afraid of the Religious Right? ($15.95) and A Jewish conservative looks at pagan America ($9.95). To receive an autographed copy, send a check or money order to: Don Feder, The Boston Herald, 1 Herald Sq., Boston, Mass. 02106. Doing so will help fund JWR, if so noted. To comment on this column click here.


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© 2000, Creators Syndicate