On An Ethnic Slur


When it comes to cluelessness, a characteristic demonstrated repeatedly in rightwing politics, the world record always seems to be harder to reach, always seems to be harder to match.  The goal posts just seem to move further and further away. And now we have two South Carolina GOP County Chairman entering the South Carolina division of the clueless sweeps to defend Jim DeMint (R-SC) by invoking an antisemitic stereotype in print, in an guest editorial.

How’s that for stepping up to the competition?  A breathtaking feat.

Writing a guest editorial for the South Carolina Times and Democrat, Edwin O. Merwin Jr., Chairman, Bamberg County Republican Party, and James S. Ulmer Jr., Chairman, Orangeburg County Republican Party, give us these pithy bon mots:

There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.

Nice.  Real nice.  No, they are not saying Jim DeMint is a Jew.  That’s not their point.

And I don’t know who might be taking credit for being the source of this “saying,” or who might have said it when he wasn’t wearing white sheets and a pointed hood and standing before a flaming cross.

But you do have to admit that this writing shows a remarkable degree of cluelessness.  These guys actually wrote this down, and then they had it printed in a newspaper with their names on it.  

Predictably, this flourish of profound cluelessness was lambasted in the editorial of the conservative Palmetto Scoop:

Umm… who in mainstream America thinks it’s a good idea to write something like that in a guest editorial? Especially in light of the racially-motivated attention garnered by South Carolina Republican activists over the past few months.

It’s people like Ulmer and Merwin that make many folks fear for the future of the once Grand Ole Party.

Lest you forgot, the “racially-motivated attention,” referred to, had to do with the remarks of one Rusty Depass that an escaped gorilla was an ancestor of Michele Obama.

That, I thought, had set the previous South Carolina mark for cluelessness.  And I expected that remark to keep the title for decades.  What an error on my part.  Evidently Ulmer and Merwin want to contest the record.

Can we expect the powers that be in the GOP to condemn this remark?  More when I stop laughing.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles


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  1. they didn’t say I had a big nose.  Not yet.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. … trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.”

    (“Nursery rhyme” common when I was a kid.)

    Hateful populist sentiment is often not only anti-Semitic but also anti-Sinitic.

    • RiaD on October 21, 2009 at 01:17


    A Jewish state senator Monday said he is incensed by the reference.

    “The words of these key Republican leaders are disgusting, unconscionable and represent prejudice in its purest form,” wrote State Sen. Joel Lourie in a prepared statement late Monday.

    Lourie, a Richland County Democrat and one of two Jewish members of the S.C. Legislature, called on both U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and S.C. GOP chairwoman Karen Floyd to denounce the comments and remove the two men from their posts.

    Floyd denounced the comments but refused to remove Ulmer and Merwin. DeMint has yet to comment on the matter.

    “It was an offensive and inappropriate comment that Jim and Edwin have rightly apologized for. These kinds of stereotypes are absolutely unacceptable” Floyd said in a statement Tuesday morning. “It goes without saying that some people will continue trying to exploit this mistake for political gain, but as far as we’re concerned, their apology ends the matter.”

    demint responds


    Responding to the comments by Ulmer and Merwin, Sen. Jim DeMint told CNN:

    “I just read the op-ed last night and the comments were thoughtless and hurtful. The chairmen have apologized as they should have.”

    too little, too late, imo.

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