There’s been quite a bit of buzz about the hire of Commentary online editor Jennifer Rubin to the Washington Post. I’m not as concerned as some others about implications for “balance” – Ezra Klein is a perfectly good liberal – but that doesn’t change the fact that Jennifer Rubin is positively moonbatty.
In the above link Daniel Luban does an excellent job of highlighting her obsession with Obama straight out of When Prophecy Fails. I myself have noticed a lot of other startling political cult behavior by Rubin and others around Commentary. Anyone who doubts the severity of my judgment need only witness the frank worshipfulness toward Norman Podhoretz.
Jennifer Rubin is a museum-quality specimen of the Jewish self-hate at the core of the neoconservative phenomenon (and also, not incidentally, of classical Zionism). Others have noted this streak in her without grasping its deeper significance – that both Zionism and neoconservatism are ultimately based on the neurotic need of some Jews to refute classical anti-Semitic stereotypes to themselves.
It may be cliche to compare the Commentary cult to the Popular Front in its death throes, but striking similarities abound. Rubin herself has got to be the only person I’ve ever seen suggest that Dick Cheney – and Liz Cheney – are attractive political candidates. Cheney already has much in common with the no-less manifestly unpleasant Henry Wallace, and the appearance of the former Vice President and his daughter at the positively Klanish anti-Muslim outfits of Frank Gaffney bring to mind Wallace’s appearance at an infamous Soviet agitprop conference as late as 1949. And the willingness, indeed eagerness, of the most outwardly Jewish and militant of Zionists to become champions of frank religious bigotry perfectly matches the Communists, equally militant on both scores in their day, in their defense of the anti-Semitic purges.
I’ve long felt that the reason the Washington Post and other pillars of the old establishment have become increasingly neocon since the election of Obama is because they know that they’re all in the same boat as the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan become manifest. So its not surprising that they would bring on a wingnut like Jennifer Rubin. But I will definitely be reading the Commentary blog far less frequently without the morbid entertainment of the Rubin train-wreck, with little to replace it but John Podhoretz’s middlebrow platitudes that would make Max Lerner blush.