Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter, Michigan Republican, has no problem dividing the world into twos: globalist and traditionalist Republicans, optimists and Irish Catholics. And when it comes to Democrats, pacifists and hawkish Jews.
“Despite some of the neoconservative Jewish members that they have that are very hawkish,” he said, “they generally tend to be more of a pacifist, multilateral party.”
In a 90-minute interview Wednesday with The Washington Times, Mr. McCotter displayed the kind of bluntness that brought him attention during the recent debate over the Wall Street rescue plan. The chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee criticized the plan as a “$700 billion bag of dung [left] on taxpayers’ doorsteps.”
Yesterday, he said of his fellow Republicans: “What you really have are globalists versus traditionalists. Globalists tend to view America as an economy, not a country. The traditionalists tend to view it as a country: a very delicate microcosm, a collection of individuals with different hopes, dreams, aspirations.”
He depicted himself as a traditionalist.
• Lieberman may still hold key to chamber
• Republican rips Bush for caving on principles
• Democratic wave seen washing over the House
He also said that Irish Catholics like himself did not tend to be upbeat. Discussing the outlook for Republicans on Election Day, he said: “I think we’re going to have a very difficult night. Optimism isn’t necessarily ingrained in the Celtic mind.”
In addition, when discussed the other party, he referred to “the Jewish coalition within the Democratic Party.” That group, he explained, was “the Lantos school of foreign policy, [the] more hawkish” branch.
Rep. Tom Lantos of California, who was Jewish, was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Lantos, who died in February, initially supported the war in Iraq.
Asked whether he meant “pro-Israel” rather than “Jewish,” Mr. McCotter said he did not.
Mr. Lantos, he said, “wasn’t just pro-Israel. … Tom was anti-communist.”
And then he went on.
“Their support for Israel … also tends to make them more hawkish on foreign affairs than the vast majority of their Democratic colleagues,” he said. “A large part of the Jewish Democrats tend to be more hawkish in terms of representing the interests of the United States in dealing with terrorism than do the progressive caucus of the Democratic Party.”
He contrasted his own love of labels with other lawmakers who display an inordinate fear of the word “communist.”
“I sit with people in the United States Congress that have told me to use the phrase ‘communist China’ is offensive and ridiculous and no longer appropriate. I then point out to these people that they call themselves communists.”