"We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity," the vice-presidential candidate said, quoting an anonymous "writer," which is to say, Pegler, who must have penned that mellifluous line when not writing his more controversial stuff. As the New York Times pointed out in its obituary of him in 1969, Pegler once lamented that a would-be assassin "hit the wrong man" when gunning for Franklin Roosevelt."
PALIN AND PEGLER.... In her convention speech last week, Sarah Palin quoted "a writer" who extolled the virtues of small-town America. Palin didn't identify the "writer" for a very good reason -- she was quoting the belligerent right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler.
It was an interesting source for Palin to use in such a high-profile setting.
It's an odd source because Pegler, who moved further right as his career went on, ended up very, very far out. Frank (Rich) notes that he talked hopefully of the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt.
He was also known for what Philip Roth described as his "casual distaste for Jews," which had become so evident by the end that he was bounced from the journal of the John Birch Society in 1964 for alleged anti-semitism. According to his obituary, he'd advanced the theory that American Jews of Eastern European descent were "instinctively sympathetic to Communism, however outwardly respectable they appeared."
So, let's see here, the McCain campaign wants to cut off U.S. financial support to Israel, Palin is quoting a notorious anti-Semite at the Republican convention, and Palin's church welcomes the "Jews for Jesus" crowd.
No wonder Ed Koch finds these guys scary.