Roger L. Simon

Anti-Semitic jokes, the unconscious and the Obama Administration

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I’m tempted to channel the late Henny Youngman and say, “If you’re going to tell a Jewish joke, at least tell a good one.”

But the weird timing of Obama Administration National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones’ execrable witticism turns the mind immediately to Freud’s classic Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious – a book I would sincerely doubt Jones has read.

The National Security Adviser’s tasteless sense of humor makes him seem like a complete yahoo – and one who is hostile to Jews to a degree he probably doesn’t even realize himself. And all this in the midst of  the Obama Administration’s heavy-handed muscling of Israel in an attempt to reignite Middle East negotiations.  And in front of the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, no less.

Meanwhile, I wonder what Charles Schumer was thinking when he saw this video,  displayed wide for the world to see on Drudge this morning. It was only the other day the Senator spoke out about the Administration and Israel.  Now this.  I may not agree with a lot Schumer says, but he is an intelligent man, surely aware of the workings of the unconscious.  Senator?

This must be another bad day of clean-up for Messrs. Emanuel and Axelrod.  Or maybe they are too reified even to be insulted anymore.  But imagine a similar joke being told about just about any racial and/or religious group by a National Security Adviser.  There would be consternation in the White House.

So what about our President?  He sees fit to bring people together over beer for a minor racial dispute (if there was one) between a cop and college professor. This is a key member of his administration involved in crucial foreign policy.  What will the President’s reaction be?  Or won’t there be any?  Will he be sending General Jones off to Jerusalem to remonstrate with the Israelis about housing developments.  Maybe he could tell Bibi a few good jokes. (“You hear the one about the traveling salesman who got kidnapped by Hamas?”)

Now I’d just like to say as an aside that I support most people’s right to a nasty sense of humor, including mine and including, most of all at this moment, the guys from South Park.  But this is a high government official.  If you’re in a position like that and want to make race jokes, resign.

UPDATE: Jones has apologized.

[Thanks to Yid from Lid for bringing this to our attention.]