Farah starts off by rambling on about Dick Durbin, who has offended the mighty Joe by saying that going after Obama by targetting his wife was a low blow. The actual quote:
The hottest ring in hell is reserved for those in politics who attack their opponents' families.
Farah was so irked by this he devoted a whole column to it last week.
Farah does have a point here in that you can't make yourself a political figure (by semi-proxy) and then be mad when people go after you. Of course, he then undercuts this by acting like a dick.
When Michelle Obama goes out on the campaign trail and makes statements deeply offensive to many Americans, she needs to expect criticism. It's just that simple.
If politicians want to insulate their "families" from criticism, they would be well-advised not to ask them to do their political dirty work.
Why do people like Durbin and Obama think they are above criticism?
Why are they offended when people question what they say?
How can you be so involved in politics for so long without understanding the nature of the game?
The answer is quite simple.
The game has been rigged in their favor for so long, they just can't stand the idea that ordinary people now have a voice, too.
...Michelle Obama is entitled to her opinions just like anyone else. But she is also fair game for criticism just like anyone else. She is not above it all. Her position as wife of a political candidate doesn't provide her with some rarefied status in our society. If she can't stand the heat, she should, as Harry Truman put it, get out of the kitchen – or, in her case, maybe she should try spending some time in one.
Ok, so Farah trashed Durbin and the Obamas on Tuesday. But wait, he wasn't done yet- on Friday he decided to yell about it some more.
When I first wrote about Sen. Dick Durbin's threat against anyone who dares to criticize what Michelle Obama says and does in campaigning for her husband, I focused on the absurdity of his damnation curse – in which he reserved "the hottest ring in hell" for offenders.
What I neglected to notice was the anti-Semitic nature of his comment.
...The phrases "hottest ring in hell" and "the deepest ring of hell" and "the fourth circle of the ninth ring of hell" were 14th century literary inventions by Dante, author of "The Inferno" and "The Divine Comedy."
In the latter work, Dante reserves that deepest ring of hell for Judecca or la Giudecca – or, in plain English, the Jews.
In Dante's native Italian, the name was "Judecca" or "la Giudecca," the common name for the Jewish quarter of European cities from which they were forbidden to leave. Even the word "ghetto" is believed to be a derivation of this word for Jewish quarter.
Did Dick Durbin know this?
Has he used this phrase in the past?
Is it part of his lexicon?
Is Dick Durbin conducting a subtle form of Jew-baiting here?
Now, probably you're thinking: "Well, how do we know Durbin is even aware of the roots of that phrase? Maybe he just heard it somewhere and doesn't realize the significance of it."
That, of course, is entirely possible.
As is the possibility that you are a complete moron grasping at straws on a slow news day. Let's start here, for starters. It gets even better if you substitute "ring" for circle. ConWebWatch notes (complete with citations) that
Whoops. Well, Joe never really could bothered with reading. Not when it was easier to just pull things out of his ass.
In fact, the ninth circle of hell is reserved for traitors, and scholars... have interpreted "Judecca," the fourth section of the ninth circle as derivative of Judas, not Jews -- other sections are named after Cain, Antenor and Ptolemy -- and is for those who betray their lords and benefactors.
And there's more.
But, you have to admit, this phrase is a pretty unusual one. It doesn't necessarily come up in everyday jargon. And, I might add, it is a very strong form of condemnation.
It's not exactly the kind of thing you say lightly. How often have you condemned people to "the hottest ring of hell" for things they say or because of differences of opinion?
Not much, but then again, I'm not an Evangelical. I seem to recall Falwell, Hagee and Robertson have never been above threatening damnation and/or Godly wrath to their opponents.
From here Farah wheels out the time Durbin (foolishly) compared Guantanamo to concentration camps, Gulags and Killing Fields. The comparison was stupid, and I thought so at the time. It certainly deserved a "Godwin Watch," or at the very least a good smack across the face.
On the other hand, Farah's false hand-wringing about Durbin possibly having antisemitic intent in his "ring of hell" remark (these guys, too?) or, on the other hand, him needing a sensitivity course also makes me think he could use a good thwack.
What the hell, I've been saving up. Free bitch-slaps all around.