It’s getting a little ugly in the NJ-09 primary. To refresh people’s memory: the recent redistricting in New Jersey (which lost one seat) ended up with producing a situation where eight term Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell is challenging eight term Democratic Congressman Steve Rothman for the NJ-09 seat. Or perhaps it’s the other way around: the new district draws on both old districts pretty heavily. Anyway, the race is becoming… ugly.
How ugly? Ugly enough that people like local activist Dr. Aref Assaf are writing op-eds with titles like “Rothman is Israel’s man in District 9” (H/T: Powerline). This is causing some consternation in New Jersey Democratic circles; while people reading this post may be by now more or less used – or resigned – to the idea that the activist Left feels increasingly comfortable with at least implying that pro-Israel politicians have divided loyalties*, it’s not necessarily as obvious to rank-and-file Democrats that things have gotten worse along these particular lines. And it’s all being complicated by Pascrell’s disinclination to actually condemn the original article – something that has people wondering why.
Come, I will conceal nothing from you: the Ninth District is not precisely fertile ground for a Republican pickup. Somehow the redistricting process resulted in a scenario where the Democrats actually signed off on combining two Democratic districts and a Republican one into a Democratic and Republican district – and while this may be a challenge to everybody’s cynicism, it did result in a situation where the primary election is the main one and the general election will probably be an afterthought. So it’s not exactly the case that the GOP can profit further from this dissension in the ranks.
But. Man. Remember the good old days, when the Israel-haters on the Democratic side were as desperate to keep hidden as were the ones on the Republican side? And when Democratic legislators were as reliably scrupulous as Republican legislators were at not pandering to those kinds of people? – Because I miss those days, myself.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Fairness compels me to note that the title is what makes this article particularly objectionable; and that Dr. Assaf did not necessarily choose it. Fairness also compels me to note that Assaf did not disavow the title when he updated to complain about the “Pro Israel Lobby.” And not only fairness but a certain moral disapproval darn well requires me to note that Assaf also is the sort of person who puts the word ‘extremist’ in scare quotes when referring to Hamas.