By now you may have heard about the verbal self-immolation being undertaken by Arkansas state senator Kim Hendren, the sole announced 2010 Republican opponent for U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln. First off, he went on a rant in front of a GOP audience in Little Rock against U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, referring to the senior senator from New York as “that Jew.” Allowing as how he shouldn’t have done that, he explained that what he really wanted to convey was his distaste for people (presumably of all faiths) who didn’t share the values he learned from watching the Andy Griffith Show back in the day (an admittedly goyish show).
Now we learn from veteran Arkansas reporter John Brummett that Hendren (whose nickname should become “Digger”) called him up to explain further, and reflected on his feelings about Jews:
He said he remembered saying “the Jew” or “that Jew,” and didn’t know why in the world it came out, but that he did go on seconds later to say there was a Jewish person he did admire, and that would be Jesus. And then he told me that, for that matter, he rather liked Joe Lieberman.
Well, it’s nice that Kendren can think of an admirable Jew every couple thousand years or so, but it’s a pretty odd couple when you think about it, unless you are of the fixed opinion that Jesus was in John McCain’s corner in 2008 (a disturbing thought for believers in both the divinity of Jesus and divine omnipotence). It reminds me of an anecdote from Lieberman’s ill-fated 2004 presidential campaign, when he attended an African-American church in South Carolina one Sunday. The choir was rocking, and the choir leader was working the congregation pretty well, coming up to various worshipers, thrusting a microphone into their faces, and asking: “Do you love Jesus!” Then finally, he got to the candidate, and asked: “Senator Lieberman! Do you love Jesus?” Lieberman just smiled.
In any event, it’s a good example of how Democrats like Blanche Lincoln can survive in the Deep South.