Yesterday, Dana Milbank’s column in the Washington Post began as follows:
The Israeli tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth came out on Wednesday with a shocking report: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann would join Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) at Glenn Beck’s rally in Israel in August.
It turned out that much of the report was wrong. The three candidates quickly said they had no such plans – a sensible decision. Beck’s hateful shtick encouraged even Fox News to end his show later this month. But, incredibly, another piece of the report was true. “I’d love to participate,” Lieberman confirmed when The Post’s Felicia Sonmez found him in a Capitol hallway. “It’s just going to be a rally to support Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
Never mind that Beck, a Christian Zionist, supports Israel because the return of Jews to that ancient land is a necessary condition of the Rapture, during which Jews who refuse to accept Jesus and convert will be consumed by fire–a biblical prophecy with which Lieberman might be presumed to differ.
Milbank noted that Lieberman’s willingness to make common cause with Beck made him “plotz” (a word that very roughly translates into “‘become agitated.” The full meaning of “plotz” is probably appreciated only by those of us with Jewish mothers and grandmothers).
Milbank was astonished that Lieberman, who wears his religion on his sleeve, would embrace Beck, one of the country’s most prominent anti-Semites. He failed to understand that what Lieberman and Beck share is far more than unwavering, uncritical political support for Israel. Both men lack any hint of self-awareness. Both are supremely confident that they own the Truth and have a duty to lecture everyone else about that Truth. Both engage in smarmy self-righteousness. Both are narcissists. Both, in a word, are zealots–blinded to any worldview beyond their own and utterly convinced of their own moral superiority.
As the character of Yenta in Fiddler on the Roof might have put it, “It’s a perfect match!”