Dueling Loyalties


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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55 Responses

  1. Avatar Dand says:

    We’ve already seen this happen with Catholics.Report

  2. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    There’s that. But it isn’t even necessarily about “loyalty” at all. Plenty of Israeli Jews, who I’m sure are as loyal as anyone, disagree with Netanyahu, and the right-wing in general, over how to deal with the Palestinians.

    Is King sorta admitting to being disloyal to the U.S. by disagreeing with Obama?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Road Scholar says:

      “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrals”

      There seem to be plenty of people on the American right who equate being Democratic with being a traitor to America. I would not be surprised if the Israeli right felt the same way about the Israeli left.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Often, it’s the first.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Patriotism is not the LAST refuge of the scoundrel.

        Try “piety.”Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        As I’ve said, after stealing it from somebody else online, a decent chunk of the voting populace (I’d say 20-30%), considers any Democratic victory illegitimate, for a variety of reasons (ie. free stuff, the “race card”, voter fraud, etc.), and has done so since probably FDR.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Aside from the fact that you probably just took that at face value because it made you feel good, do you really need to be reminded about “President-Select Bush,” “voter suppression,” or claims that American democracy is irreparably broken because of inequality, Citizens United, and/or the Koch Brothers?Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Yes, actual close elections with actual shady things happening in them – cause for concern. I mean, unless you’re 100% sure who actually won Florida. Or ya’ know, actual instances of voter suppression that have happened, even after John Roberts declared that racism was over and there was no real need for large bits of the VRA anymore.

        But, ya’ know, I know of zero Democrats, even though maybe there are some small pockets out there, who think, for example, Mitch McConnell or Paul LePage’s victories were illegitimate. Unfortunate. and perhaps, with public funding or such, maybe a different result would’ve happened, but I don’t see anybody they didn’t get enough votes of “real American’s” so they aren’t a real Senator or President like I’ve seen in various comment boards.

        Yes, we’ll get pissed over losses, and maybe some of us think the whole concept of the Senate is horribly reactionary and undemocratic, but I don’t think Ted Cruz is a illegitimate Senator because of that fact.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “The last refuge of the scoundrel is actually a no-tell motel.”

        – Joe QuimbyReport

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        No doubt. I am reminded of the 25 percent of the electorate is nuts theory from Balloon Juice.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        John Rogers pegs the crazification factor at 27 percent.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:


        I was within the margin of error!Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        The israeli right has reason, though. If you think that the Israeli left actually still believes in the two state solution, which I mind is still a question.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    1. To be slightly fair, I’ve seen plenty of Jewish Republicans who have made similar statements. I am going to start challenging them on whether they remember Tikkun Olam or their Maimonides.

    2. Yeah. Chait might be right. Israel might soon be a partisan issue and people like King aren’t helping. Of course, he probably want it to be a partisan wedge issue.Report

    • I am going to start challenging them on whether they remember Tikkun Olam or their Maimonides.

      Are those something like dogma or central doctrine? I had thought Judaism was different from, say, the Catholic Church in that respect.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Gabriel Conroy says:

        Note: Maimonides is from the Middle Ages. It’s quite traditional learning, and quite towards the level of “cherished elder”… but not quite dogma, because Judaism doesn’t do dogma. Judaism sees you at the level of deeds first and foremost. You don’t need to believe in god to be Jewish — but you’re well advised to keep that thought to yourself. And you still need to behave as if you were a believer.

        THAT said, the decline of the ages doctrine is still in force among the traditionalists. And in that way, Saul has something here to hang ’em by.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      If Israel becomes a partisan issue that will be a crushing disaster for Israel.Report

  4. Isn’t there a saying about how a philo-semite is just an anti-Semite who likes Jews?Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. King doesn’t hold any hatred for Jews in particular, he just hates and fears everyone who thinks differently than he does.Report

      • I didn’t say he hates Jews. Quite the opposite. He just decided that anti-Semitic tropes are true, but admirable. He’s still trafficking in the same stereotypes, though.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        Kind of. He’s citing “Jews love Israel and want it to be safe”, which, as stereotypes go, isn’t particularly damaging and has a lot of truth in it. But that’s in service of his real point, that Obama-worshipping liberals abandon all of their other values.

        That opposing Netanyahu can come from loving Israel would, of course, never enter his hermitically sealed mind.Report

  5. Avatar j r says:

    Why would you take Steve King seriously?Report

  6. Avatar Kolohe says:

    This probably doesn’t make the list of the top 5 offensive and/or stupid things Rep King has said. Maybe in the top ten.Report

  7. Avatar DRS says:

    For a growing number of American politicians, Israel is not a country – it’s a totem, a kind of idol that exists on an existential plane and which might disappear if anyone is less than obeisant towards it.

    What exactly does America get out of this alliance with Israel? It’s a puzzler for residents of countries that are real American allies.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to DRS says:

      It’s important to remember that during the Cold War, the Middle East was one of the major flash points, with its resources coveted by both sides. Israel was a major piece in the Super Power chess game, as were Egypt, the Saudis, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Iraq, and so on. Israel and Egypt in particular were able to capitalize on their Cold War client status in the form of a great deal of aid. After the fall of the Soviet Union, it remained politically, and perhaps ethically infeasible to reduce, to say nothing of eliminating, aid to Israel, while Egypt remained a major player now without a patron. And it wasn’t long after the end of the Cold War that terrorism associated with Islamic extremism became a truly global phenomenon (the first World Trade Center bombing was in February ’93, barely a year after the dissolution of the USSR), which meant Israel’s status as a U.S. ally would remain important indefinitely, even if it was that status (along with our military presence in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) that made us such an important symbolic target for extremists.

      People like to say that Israel is important because it’s the only state resembling a Western liberal democracy in the region, but the truth is, our loyalty to Saudi Arabia and other despotic Middle Eastern states shows that it wouldn’t really matter what sort of government Israel had. As long as they are an ally in a region where we have national defense concerns, they’re going to be important to us.

      People also like to point out that Americans and Europeans, on both sides of the issue, pay much closer attention to this conflict than they do to the dozens of other often significantly bloodier conflicts across the globe. This is sometimes used as evidence of anti-Semitism or of anti-Islamism, which ignores the impact that conflict, above pretty much every other post-WWII conflict (except Vietnam and Afghanistan), has had on the world, and the U.S., and it ignores the importance that Israel and some of the other countries involved have played in international dramas within which the U.S. has played a central role.Report

      • Avatar DRS in reply to Chris says:

        Yeah, okay, so that’s what Israel got from the US. But I ask again: what benefits has the US derived from being an ally of Israel? You’re basically saying that Israel is an ally because Israel is an ally. And you might not have some of those “security concerns” in the Middle East if you jettisoned Israel. Also: Jonathan Pollard anyone?

        Saudi Arabia is another thread but a lot of that extremist Islamism was funded by Saudi money. So another “ally” who doesn’t seem to care that it’s acting against America’s interests.Report

  8. Avatar Will H. says:

    Shorter history of Judaism:
    With friends like these . . .Report