Republican Jewish Coalition Mocks Concerns About Overheated Rhetoric

January 10, 2011 12:47 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Many conservatives are unhappy with Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who lamented the hostile political climate following the tragedy in Arizona this weekend. "I think it's time as a country that we do a little soul-searching," Dupnik said, commenting on the "vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out."

This morning on Twitter, the Republican Jewish Coalition — whose board of directors includes former Sen. Norm Coleman and Bush officials Ari Fleischer and David Frum — denounced Dupnik's "irresponsible musings." The group also linked approvingly to another post mocking the sheriff's "soul-searching" remark. It reads: "I searched & haven't found a democrat with a soul yet."

The statement is particularly troubling given the fact that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition, is both Jewish and a Democrat. While the RJC purports to represent "the concerns and issues of the Jewish community," the implicit message is that Giffords (and the large majority of Jews who are Democrats) have no soul.   

Notably, the above-mentioned David Frum is taking a very different approach to the shootings. On Saturday, Frum wrote that "as we acknowledge that extremist rhetoric did not incite this crime, it should also be acknowledged that the rhetoric has been extreme, and potentially dangerously so." He also criticized Sarah Palin's response to the shooting. One hopes Frum will also distance himself from the "irresponsible musings" of the RJC.