No, this isn’t the start of a funny joke, it’s the start of a really bad, not-at-all-amusing thing that actually happened earlier today.
First off, though, I’ve gotta ask why a racist, xenophobe, neo-Confederate and ally of white supremacists would be invited to speak at a synagogue (Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church) at all? Personally, I think that’s taking tolerance a bit far. But be that as it may…
Anyway, a synagogue is exactly where Corey Stewart found himself earlier Sunday evening in front of several hundred people, mostly being greeted politely (my guess is the vast majority of the audience had little idea who this guy is and the types of heinous things he’s said/done over the years), although there was scattered/incredulous laughter when Stewart claimed that most anti-Semitic bigotry is “coming from the left.” After the mocking laughter at that comment, Stewart went on a rant about former Rep. Jim Moran, who Stewart claims was anti-Semitic (“do you support the attacks on the Jewish community that Congressman Moran made?). Stewart added: “What about Keith Ellison from Minnesota? And what about Charlottesville City Councilman Wes Bellamy, who has said some of the most – as a Democrat – some of the most despicable things about white women, and I will not repeat them…”
Stewart also did his usual anti-immigrant spiel, slightly toned down for the overwhelmingly Democratic audience, and there was basically silence. Again, not booing or hissing, as was well deserved, but silence. A bit too subtle for my tastes…
In response to a question on separation of church and state, Stewart bizarrely claimed that he’s “taken a lot of heat because I feel that regardless of a person’s religion they must be treated the same by the local government.” Uh, does anyone know what Stewart’s talking about? Nobody in the audience – myself included – appeared to have the slightest idea.
On a woman’s right to choose, Stewart didn’t tone down his hard-core, absolutist, “life begins at conception,” anti-woman’s-right-to-choose line. Note that Stewart ignored a woman’s question from the audience, “What about the mom’s life?” Good for that woman for speaking up, at least; even if Stewart didn’t respond to her, he heard her – as did everyone else – no doubt.
On gun ownership, Stewart said this is an “absolute right,” while vowing to make “constitutional carry the law of the land, which would mean…that you shouldn’t have to go to the government to exercise your second amendment right.” Note uncomfortable murmuring in the audience. Now imagine if a gun violence prevention group leader went before a right-wing group, what kind of reaction would they get? Almost guaranteed it wouldn’t be quiet murmuring, it would be full-scale booing, hissing, jeering, whatever. Why is that?