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Dear Mr. Ford,

It happened again.

We should be used to it by now. The Republicans do it all the time. When we supported Ned Lamont in the primaries last year, Joe Lieberman did it, too. Your friend Bill O'Reilly -- Falafel Boy himself -- and his minions took their shot, even going so far as to call us Nazis and Klansmen. And now it's your turn, Mr. Ford.

In your capacity as the chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, you said this morning on Meet the Press that we're a bunch of Jew haters here.

My response?

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Are some individuals here anti-Semites? Sure. I defy you to find any diverse group of 130,000-plus individuals anywhere in the United States that doesn't have some anti-Semitic members. But calling us a blog of anti-Semites based on a handful of bad apples is like calling all Christians bloodthirsty psychopaths because of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, or calling all white men draft dodgers because of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, or calling all Texans idiots because of George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzales. It's fundamental attribution error of a particularly dangerous sort, especially when promoted by the public face of a prominent political organization.

The evidence to the contrary is quite clear. Whether it's DrSteveB's Demographic Tuesday poll suggesting that a hefty proportion of us are Jewish ourselves; or our identification of such notable figures as Russ Feingold, Barbara Boxer, Ron Wyden, and Bernie Sanders as heroes; our feting of Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel for serving as the architects of the Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress; plf515's highly recommended diary specifying love for Israel but disdain for organizations like AIPAC that merely claim to love Israel while instead serving as fronts for the Republican Party and hurting the cause of peace; or my own recommended diaries about Passover, protecting religious freedom, and helping a dear friend escape our hometown, which I refer to as "Naziville," it is clear that only an ignoramus, a kook, a Republican, or a racist projecting his/her own hatred could possibly view this collective of bloggers as anti-Semitic.

We here know what true anti-Semitism looks like. We recognize it in the people who ran a Jewish family out of town with death threats in Delaware for protesting a public school district's official promotion of Christianity. We recognize it in Republican bloggers, who say that "kike" is a term that ought to be used in politics and everyday discourse. We recognize it in the bigots who walk into Jewish Community Centers and start shooting at anyone they see. We recognize it in the Speaker of the Indiana House, who said that the concerns of Indiana Jews are irrelevant because Indiana Christians outnumber them 40-to-1. I certainly recognize it from the multiple stabbings, assaults, and other attempts on my life when I was growing up in a very anti-Semitic town in rural Wisconsin.

Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Ford, we recognize it in your dear friend, Falafel Boy, who had this to say not so long ago:

Recognize the tactic, Mr. Ford? It's the same one you're using now. But do you remember what Falafel Boy had to say about Jews while ranting about his fictional "War on Christmas"? Let me give you a little reminder:

CALLER: I agree with what you've been saying recently -- you're concerned about the secularization of Christmas and -- I'm concerned about the secularization of Jews and about the -- and Christmas going into schools.

When I was growing up -- I'm Jewish, but I was not in a very Jewish area. There were some Jews there but, I was kind of -- grew up with a resentment because I felt that people were trying to convert me to Christianity --

O'REILLY: Were they?

CALLER: Yeah, when I got to college I found out -- that's true. A lot of people were. I found that millions of dollars were spent trying to convert --

O'REILLY: I mean that you really believe that people were trying to convert -- you personally -- were trying to make you change from being Jewish to Christian?

CALLER: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: How do they do that?

CALLER: Well, for example, there are various organizations in the colleges that go to people -- try to invite you to Bible study groups --

O'REILLY: Yeah, I know, but -- I mean, you don't have to go. I mean they do that to me. They come -- the Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door and invite me places. I mean, I don't care -- I just say no, get outta here.

CALLER: The thing is, is when you have -- for example, Christmas carols or gift exchanges being done in school, that kind of sets the kids up to being converted.

O'REILLY: Yeah, but you give gifts on Hanukkah, don't you?

CALLER: No, there's not really a Jewish tradition of giving gifts on --

O'REILLY: Well, the seven candles [sic], you get a gift for every night, don't you?

CALLER: Actually, the Jews give gifts on --

O'REILLY: All right. Well, what I'm tellin' you, [caller], is I think you're takin' it too seriously. You have a predominantly Christian nation. You have a federal holiday based on the philosopher Jesus. And you don't wanna hear about it? Come on, [caller] -- if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel then. I mean because we live in a country founded on Judeo -- and that's your guys' -- Christian, that's my guys' philosophy. But overwhelmingly, America is Christian. And the holiday is a federal holiday honoring the philosopher Jesus. So, you don't wanna hear about it? Impossible.

And that is an affront to the majority. You know, the majority can be insulted, too. And that's what this anti-Christmas thing is all about.

But somehow, to you, Mr. Ford, we are the anti-Semites?!?

Your embrace of such baseless allegations is disgusting, Mr. Ford. It's slanderous, and it reduces the credibility of those who point out real examples of anti-Semitism. It is because people like you trivialize real anti-Semitism with such ridiculous claims that anti-Semitism can continue to flourish in certain pockets of our country. And that, sir, is unforgivable.

Shame on you, Mr. Ford. You owe us all a huge apology.

Originally posted to וויסקמס on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 09:10 AM PDT.

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