Friday, March 18, 2016

What's the Gaelic Equivalent of "A Shanda Fur Die Goyim"?

I can't seem to let go of the St Patrick's Day season, even though I figure I've got to return to more general blogging topics now that the day has passed. Glancing at Roy's Place, I decided that I had the kernel of a blog post...

Reading that Ted Cruz' campaign has taken on both Frank Gaffney and Andrew C. McCarthy as advisers has me reaching for the bottle of Brioschi. Both of these men are Irish-Americans, and there are few things more abhorrent to me than a fascist of Irish descent.

Frank Gaffney's main claim to fame infamy is the web of Islamophobic conspiracy theories that he has spun, including such howlers as President Obama being an agent of violent jihad and conservative money man Grover Norquist being an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. Reading Gaffney's bio, it's interesting to note that his grandfather was targeted by nativists who were convinced that he was an agent of a Vatican plot to undermine a WASP-dominated America. Being an adherent to a minority religious group that had long been held in suspicion by the American mainstream did nothing to teach tolerance to Gaffney, he's as big a bigot as the individuals who targeted his own ancestor.

Then we have Andrew C. McCarthy, a big proponent of 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. Again, we have an individual who condones torture, even though he belongs to an ethnoreligious group that has been connected to terrorist campaigns to achieve its political ends, and has produced its share of imprisoned martyrs. McCarthy failed to learn the lesson about cruel and unusual punishment, that it doesn't achieve a positive goal, and that its victims achieve a moral status denied to its perpetrators. Ignoring the lessons of history tends to doom the ignorant to repeating the mistakes made by predecessors.

There is a certain wisdom that should result from a history of adversity, an empathy for the underdog, an unwillingness to leave the narrative of the powerful unchallenged. Throughout Irish and Irish-American history, there has been a thread of revolutionary and liberation activity, from the Irish independence movement itself to opposition to American imperialist wars against peasant populations to involvement in Latin American independence movements to protection of the rights of their own LGBTQ citizens... why, even that Boner guy has devoted time and energy to poverty relief in Africa. At their best, the people of the Irish diaspora have stood for humanitarian causes (at their worst, though, they've committed appalling crimes). Authoritarianism and intolerance have always been a disaster for the Irish people, and to see two prominent Irish-Americans (not to mention such blueshirts as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity) promulgating them is the equivalent of a shanda fur die goyim.

Oy, gevalt! Saints preserve us!


Smut Clyde said...

What's the Gaelic Equivalent of "A Shanda Fur Die Goyim"?
"Póg mo thóin!" works for me.

Being an adherent to a minority religious group that had long been held in suspicion by the American mainstream did nothing to teach tolerance to Gaffney

"My forefathers were the victims of injustice and prejudice... but did we complain? NO, we picked ourselves up and found some other group to target for injustice and prejudice."

Smut Clyde said...

Also too, what about Peter King, as a prominent US proponent of (a) IRA terrorism and (b) islamophobia?
Imagine my amusement when Gerry Adams was barred from entering the White House on account of, well, being a terrorist. I can only hope that it made Peter King cry.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I have no use for King, but he's not nearly as odious as these two, and he's not in the news much these days. That's the only reason I went easy on him. He too can KMRIA, IWKWIMAITTYD.

As a New Yorker, he's a source of embarrassment to be sure.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

maybe jimmy carter was right that trump is preferable to cruz

why didn't you mention pat buchanan here -too old? not irish enough?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Buchanan's a blueshirt, to be sure. I also left out Bill Donohue, though he's pretty much disappeared since Ireland legalized same-sex marriage by a huge margin.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Tough to pick out the worst of these jackholes.