Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Milbank Misfire

Writing for The Washington Post, Dana Milbank accuses Ted Cruz of meaning "Jewish" when he says "New York values." This is the second time I've seen this allegation, the first time I shrugged it off. Let me tell you why.

As a junior faculty member I spent two years on loan to the Federal Government as what was then called a Federal Faculty Fellow. While in Washington I was teamed with an able New York native who embodied those infamous New York values. An Irish former Roman Catholic priest married to a former nun, he was certainly no Jew.

It's a set of aggressive, chip-on-shoulder, loud, semi-belligerent behaviors which are common in individuals from the region covering southwestern CT, downstate NY, and northern NJ.  My "partner" had it in spades, Donald Trump is a poster boy for it.

I suspect the behavior is ascribed by non-New Yorkers to Jews because many great Jewish comedians have joked about it. That, and the tendency of people to search for examples of "anti-Semitism."