You know all the racist things Republicans are always saying, as seen by Democrats? It's like that.
"Maureen may not know this, but she is peddling an old stereotype, that gentile leaders are dolts unable to resist the machinations and manipulations of clever and snake-like Jews," Jeffrey Goldberg, the Atlantic columnist and leading journalist on Israeli issues, wrote.Snake-like... because the title of the article is "Neocons Slither Back." Dowd may not write the headline, and though she does use the word "slither" in her text, she's quoting Paul Wolfowitz, and he was saying that Obama shouldn't be allowed to "slither through" without having to take — Dowd's words here — "a clear position on liberals."
Dowd proceeds to say "Republicans are bananas on this one." Of course, if a Republican said Obama was bananas, that Republican would probably be accused of racism, because bananas remind us of monkeys, and the monkey is an animal that is associated with some racist iconography, and it's assumed that anything you say about the President is said while thinking about his race — which makes it conveniently/absurdly dangerous to criticize the President.
You can see why those who support Romney are tempted to scare his critics the same way. I'd recommend resisting this temptation. At some point, there really is anti-Semitism even where the text never says "Jewish." (I still think the Michael Moore movie "Capitalism: A Love Story" was trading in anti-Semitism.) Call it when you really see it, but be careful. You want to preserve your credibility — if not for its own sake — at least for the purpose of calling out your opponents when they cry racism (or some other unaccepted ism) and you think it's not there. The other option is to say "racism," "anti-Semism," etc. so often that no one cares about any analysis in that category anymore.
And by the way, if we're going to look at Dowd's imagery, we should look at all of it. She says "[Dan] Senor got out over his skis before Romney’s speech in Jerusalem..." I had to check Wikipedia to be sure that Senor is Jewish. He is. But skiing? Isn't the stereotype about Jews that they don't ski? I did my Google research on this. (Google is a wonderful way to check for the existence of a stereotype. Go ahead and try it to see what's been said about Jews and snakes or black people and monkeys.) Weeding out the articles about Jewish names ending in -ski, I found many references to the stereotype that Jews don't ski. The Ski Channel has an item titled "Yes, Jews Do Ski, Thank You":
I’m continuing my desire to rid the world of skiing stereotypes. Growing up, I always asked my parents why we didn’t take more ski trips. My mother always had a few excuses, but there’s one that stuck with me. “Well, honey, skiing isn’t a very Jewish sport.”.Hmm? I’m sorry? What is a Jewish sport? Bobbing for Matzoh balls?And here's a Buddy Hackett routine on the Jews-don't-ski theme. ("I told her, 'Jews don't ski. Jews play pinochle and say, 'Helen, bring fruit.'") You know a stereotype is in place, when it's used as a basis for jokes like that.
Some things aren't funny at all, and some comedy is used to mask pain and anger, but let's calm down, be discerning, and keep some humor as we try to slither through the complicated problems strewn in our path by some obvious enemies who can't even think of laughing off that inept "Innocence of the Muslims" YouTube video.