In this week's Forward rightly takes to task Haley Barbour, an old-time Republican figure, for chumming up with an allegedly racist and anti-Semitic group. They should have stopped there.
The real point of the article is summed up here:
Barbour's appearance also drew criticism from the press secretary of the Democratic National Committee, Tony Welch. "Barbour is just another in the long line of Republican Party compassionate conservatives who talk compassion but [are] more than willing to cozy up to one of the most bigoted groups in our country," Welch said. "The more we look, the more this looks like the same old divisive Republican Party."
To declare the Republican Party, in its entirety, guilty because of the actions of one is wrong. Did Forward or the DNC condemn the Democratic Party for allegiance to, and support of, Cynthia McKinney or any of the other anti-Semitic people and organizations who support the Democratic Party and its candidates?
The old assumption that Democrats are more in tune with Jewish values than Republicans are, is not easy to defend. Many of us have looked outside the Democratic Party we once supported, because the Party has taken our votes for granted while taking more and more positions that are anti-Jewish and/or anti-Israel. Jews, just like the Democratic Party, have a variety of ideas on the entire spectrum of issues. The days of voting straight-party tickets are gone. Forward should recognize that and stop playing to old fears springing from the old assumptions that Democrats are good for Jews and Republicans are bad. It's not that simple.