Hennessy's View

Domine, non sum dignus

Missouri Deserves Better

Hancock, who is a political consultant, said he held meetings last fall with prospective donors for a project to register Catholic voters. Hancock said that if he had mentioned that Schweich was Jewish, it would have been in the context that Hanaway was Catholic but that was no indication of how Catholics were likely to vote.

Those circling the wagons around John Hancock: woe betide you. God forgive you. Your days are numbered.

The Lesson

It’s so much easier for cowards like me now that Senator Danforth has said it. Words can kill.

Words can kill.

And they do.

That quote above comes from this article by AP reporter David Lieb. Lieb’s story exposes a sad episode that preceded Auditor Tom Schweich’s death.

Before his death, Schweich contacted Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and David Lieb of the Associated Press. Schweich planned to hold a press conference in the afternoon to expose anti-Semitic fundraising tactics of Missouri Republican Chairman John Hancock.

While Hancock denies being anti-Semitic, he does not deny using Schweich’s Jewish heritage in conversations about getting Catholics to register. Based on the Lieb paragraph above, it’s clear Hancock hoped that Catholics–or potential donors to projects intended to register Catholics to vote–would support the Catholic Hanaway over Schweich. Hancock admits that, at the time, he incorrectly believed Tom Schweich was Jewish.

Hancock insists he is not anti-Semitic. For the record, I believe him. I don’t think John Hancock is an anti-Semite. But John Hancock clearly used other people’s anti-Semitism to raise money for a Catholic candidate. How cynical.

Again for the record, I think it’s a good idea to register Catholics to vote. I also think it’s good and noble to remind Catholics their faith should instruct their votes, and their faith should derive from the teachings of the church. But it’s one thing to say “You should vote because you’re Catholic,” and another thing to say, “You should vote because you’re Catholic and the other guy’s a Jew.”

John Hancock and his defenders have earned our righteous contempt. Hancock’s defender–Danforth’s attackers–deserve the scorn we reserve for the lowest detritus of humanity.

I think we all know that John Hancock believes he used Tom Schweich’s Jewish ancestry as a fundraising point. For that reason I call on John Hancock to resign as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party immediately. I call on KMOX to remove him from the air. And I expect all decent people of Missouri to shun John Hancock until he repents.

I understand that Hancock’s cronies are saying “we can’t give in to the press.“ Well, Hancock’s cronies are wretched, weak, cowardly people who hide behind anonymous organizations and evil, money-grubbing consultants. They lie and smear good people because they can’t win an argument on the merits.

Missouri deserves better. Missouri should listen to Jack Danforth.


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