Political Hay

The Emanuel Brothers’ Mel Bonding

Why no Democratic outrage over anti-Semites with real Lethal Weapons?

By 8.3.06

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Thank you, Mel Gibson.

Who would ever think that a drunken, anti-Semitic rage from a gazillionaire movie star would go right to the core of the Democratic Party's problems?

Meet the Brothers Emanuel. Brother Ari is a partner in the Hollywood talent agency Endeavor, a leading liberal light in the film community. Brother Rahm is the former Clinton White House aide turned Democratic congressman from Chicago. As luck would have it, Rahm is also the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

You know Mel.

Among the aftershocks of Mr. Gibson's stunningly outrageous tirade against Jews was this gem from Ari, posted on the Huffington liberal gaggle. "The entertainment industry can't stand idly by and allow Mel Gibson to get away with such tragically inflammatory statements."

Right. Meanwhile, Ari has, according to PoliticalMoneyLine, handed over $25,000 to Rahm's pride and joy, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Enter Mel's Lethal Weapon.

Why is what Mel Gibson said, drunk or stone cold sober, such a bad thing? Yes, it reeks of anti-Semitism. But why is anti-Semitism bad? There isn't room here for all of the "whys" so let's pick just one. For those who've never picked up a history book, there was this, ah, "incident" called World War II in the last century. It featured, among many other horrific things, an anti-Semite named Adolf Hitler. Unlike Mr. Gibson, who was armed only with a bottle of tequila, Herr Hitler was the head of a disparate collection of storm troopers, thugs and, eventually, the German army. Not to mention a fairly spectacular collection of tanks, guns, bombers and, oh yes, gas ovens. Bringing together his anti-Semitism with his ovens, this one man managed to mass murder six million Jews.

Today, most people, possessed with 20-20 hindsight, wish something had been done to stop Hitler before he really got going. Alas, too many people in responsible positions in both government and society had no vision in the 1930s, and tragedy -- real, serious tragedy -- for Jews and non-Jews alike played itself out to its terrifying conclusion.

At some level, Ari Emanuel gets this. The problem here is not that Brother Ari is upset with Mel and wants action now. My personal choice is to have Mel spend time giving guided tours of the Holocaust Museum in Washington. No, the problem with Ari is that $25,000 donation to Brother Rahm's DCCC. A check of the DCCC website instantly finds Brother Rahm using Ari's Hollywood money to tout one Mary Jo Kilroy as the DCCC's "Featured Candidate." Ms. Kilroy is the Democratic candidate for the House in Ohio's 15th Congressional District. A trip to her website finds Ms. Kilroy, featured by Rahm and financed by Ari, busy opposing the Iraq War. She is quite explicit as to the war's cost. For the cost of fighting in Iraq one day, Ms. Kilroy says we are losing the chance to fund -- get this -- emergency readiness. Instead of being in Iraq she would rather use the money from one day of fighting to fund 3.97 million Ohio households with emergency readiness kits. Getting out of Iraq would "close the financing gap for interoperable communications in 41 small cities, 36 mid-sized cities...so that federal state and local first responders can talk to one another in an emergency." And don't forget that if we hadn't gone to Iraq we could "purchase 780 fire trucks for improving local emergency response capabilities."

Well, now. It seems Ms. Kilroy -- and Rahm who featured her and Ari who is paying for her -- are all worked up about some sort of big emergency. What could that possibly be? And how in the world does this connect to ol' Mel?

Might this big "emergency" that Ms. Kilroy is getting ready for have anything to do with what goes on in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East with some particularly vivid anti-Semites? Is it possible that there are anti-Semites in this world who are doing their damnedest to get their hands on nuclear weapons for the purpose of causing an "emergency" right here in the good old USA? For that matter, what was that nice Mr. Hussein, President of Iraq, up to before he was so rudely disturbed? Among many things he was sending $25,000 a pop to the Palestinian families who encouraged their children to strap bombs to themselves and explode both the bomb and themselves in the middle of as many Israelis -- that would be Jews -- as possible. Next door that charming TV news star Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants nuclear bombs to destroy Israel. Let's say those words again. "Destroy Israel." Dropping nukes on Israel might even make Hitler look like a minor leaguer in the "let's kill all the Jews" category. Then, of course, there are the Syrians who, along with their Iranian friend, are funding the Hezbollah, the anti-Jewish terrorists who are determinedly slaughtering Jews as this is written with one rocket after another.

Which brings us back to Mel, the Brothers Emanuel and the Democratic Party. Brother Ari is concerned about anti-Semitism, all right. His answer? Keep Mel Gibson from making movies. But when it comes to doing anything to stop anti-Semites who intend to use -- and who are using right now -- far more lethal weapons, Brother Ari gives money to Brother Rahm to give to a candidate who believes we should all just come home and get under the covers with an emergency readiness kit. In short, if there are anti-Semites in the Middle East who want to kill Jews, well, it's just not Ari or Rahm's or Ms. Kilroy's problem. And if anti-Semites finally get the weapons to attack America? Well, we'll have those "interoperable communications" ready to go!

The idea that there are serious anti-Semites interested in doing far more damage to Jews and the rest of us than simply making tequila-aided "tragically inflammatory statements" is beyond the ken of liberal Democrats.

Mel is not the only fool this summer.

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About the Author
Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.