Just weeks after Patrick Buchanan, the author and commentator whose career has been plagued by charges of anti-Semitism, accused Mitt Romney of falling prey to hawkish, pro-Israel adviser Dan Senor, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has regurgitated the charge. Dowd’s column immediately drew criticism from some New York media that the 60-year-old columnist was drawing on "classical anti-Semitic images."
In a column published in Sunday’s Times, Dowd accuses Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of being a "foreign affairs neophyte" controlled by "neocon puppet master Dan Senor." The column is titled "Neocons Slither Back."
This is not the first time that extraordinary powers of persuasion have been ascribed to one of the Romney campaign's most prominent Jewish advisers.
In late July, after Gov. Romney traveled abroad with stops in the United Kingdom, Israel, and Poland, Patrick Buchanan penned a column titled "Is Mitt Being Neoconned Into War?" that concluded "so it seemed from the declaration in Jerusalem by his adviser Dan Senor, who all but flashed Israel a green light for war, signaling the Israelis that, if you go, Mitt’s got your back."
Dowd offers much the same charge, though this time it is Ryan, rather than Romney, who is the victim of neoconservative trickery.
The column, on the heels of Ryan’s hawkish speech Friday to the Values Voters Summit, suggests Ryan’s hawkishness is a new phenomenon—the result of Senor’s influence:
"Ryan was moving his mouth, but the voice was the neocon puppet master Dan Senor. The hawkish Romney adviser has been secunded to manage the running mate and graft a Manichaean worldview onto the foreign affairs neophyte."
This is not the first time Dowd has played with anti-Semitic tropes when attacking her ideological foes. Contrary to her claim, informed observers of Ryan’s career have long noted a hawkish bent to his foreign policy views. The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens described a speech Ryan delivered to the Alexander Hamilton Society last summer as a "neocon manifesto."
Ryan has also taken a leading role from his perch as chairman of the House Budget Committee in guarding against cuts to the military championed by the Obama administration as well as some members of his own caucus.
The Romney-Ryan campaign has other hawkish advisers, as well, including non-Jews. There is for example Rich Williamson, who has been widely reported as the driving force behind Romney’s aggressive attacks on President Obama over the last week as U.S. embassies throughout the Middle East have been over run by angry mobs and armed Islamic militants.
Williamson, however, has not caught the attention of Buchanan—or Dowd.