The WaPo editorial board typically stays out of state legislative races even in their local readership area. They made an exception in a Virginia House of Delegates race. The answer is as plain as the nose on the flyer’s face.
Dan Helmer is a first term delegate who was narrowly elected. His challenger, Harold Pym, is stooping to conquer the seat with the nauseatingly anti-Semitic flyer at the top of the post. The Virginia Republican Party paid for the flyer and denies that it’s anti-Semitic.
I think the flyer is as anti-Semitic as Alec Guinness’ performance as Fagin in the 1948 film version of Oliver Twist. That’s as bad as it gets. And that movie was at least artfully done as opposed to this ham-fisted flyer.
The mailer, authorized by Harold Pyon, a GOP candidate for the House of Delegates, was paid for by Virginia’s Republican Party. Its target is first-term lawmaker Dan Helmer, an Army veteran who was an armor officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is now a management consultant as well as an instructor at West Point, his alma mater.
Mr. Helmer is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and the only current member of the military in Virginia’s legislature. He is also the descendant of Holocaust survivors. One of them, Edith Shapiro, now 86, his maternal grandmother, spoke movingly at his 2020 swearing-in about having come through trauma as a child in wartime Poland — she and her family were hidden from the Nazis by good Samaritans — to see her grandson elected to public office in the United States.
Remember when Republicans demanded we support the troops and attacked anyone who opposed Team Bush’s wars as unpatriotic? I certainly do.
This subterranean anti-Semitism has become increasingly common since 2016. The same GOP that professes blind support for the Israeli right as personified by their former guy, also traffics in this sort of bigotry. If a flyer containing stacks of gold coins and an augmented nose isn’t anti-Semitic, I’m Turkish, not Greek.
We have each seen the mailer and do not view it as antisemitic. It is a hard-hitting piece that described the truth: Democrats’ policies have increased the cost of living in Northern Virginia, and we need new politicians with new ideas to deal with that heavy burden without increasing taxes and spending. The mailer’s photo of Del. Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) did not alter his features in any way.
Oy, just oy. Notice the separate image above the flyer. They gave him a schnozz worthy of the man Cole Porter called the Great Durante.
Flyspecking mailers for penumbras of antisemitism or racism to declare legitimate arguments out of bounds and smear a good man such as Mr. Pyon is antidemocratic. Particularly when prominent Democrats such as members of the “Squad,” Fairfax County School Board member Abrar Omeish and Del. Ibraheem S. Samirah (Fairfax) pay no price for their overt antisemitism. As Jewish Republicans, we are offended by the double standard, which we believe demonstrates Democrats’ concern over antisemitism is situational, mere cover for bare-knuckle politics. It is shameful to weaponize our religion for such base political purposes.
Oy, just oy. After the Dipshit Insurrection, it’s ludicrous for *any* Republican to call anyone anti-democratic. Schmucks.
The Impeached Insult Comedian and his ilk are guilty of the same sort of Philo-Semitism espoused by Archie Bunker who described his favorite law firm as “seven savage Jews.” Ironically, the name of the law firm was Shapiro, Shapiro, and Shapiro. I’ve heard that name somewhere before…
The next time a Republican disclaims bigotry of any kind, remember the Helmer flyer. Oy, just oy.
The last word goes to Robbie Robertson with the national anthem of Whataboutism: