5:01 p.m. August 24, 2012

Anti-Semitic Politician Reveals: I'm Jewish

All around us, our leaders seem to be losing their way. Four years ago, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign dared an American electorate to believe in government again. Now as his first term draws to a close, many of his campaign’s idealistic talking points sound hollow.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party appears on the political landscape as a thin specter of the tenets of classic conservatism it so loudly proclaims. The best candidate this supposed bastion of firebrand mavericks could muster for the 2012 presidential election has the charisma of a Styrofoam cup.

But this sorry tale isn’t being told just in America. Last week a player in Hungary's ultra-right wing and unabashedly Jew-hating Jobbik Party, one Csanad Szegedi, suffered the political misfortune, and the spiritual boon, of himself being outed as Jewish.

In June, Szegedi admitted to the members of his fascist cohort that his maternal grandparents were not only Jews, but Holocaust survivors. Not that he came by the confession through any kind of personal revelation as to the wrongs of anti-Semitism. No, as is usually the case with public officials, he was forced into doing the right thing.

A 2010 video, in which Szegedi is said to offer a convicted felon a sum of money to keep quiet about his Jewish heritage, had circulated among Jobbik Party leadership, stoking the rumors before he finally fessed up. After confirming his background, Szegedi was ousted from the Jobbik, as well as from his seat on the European Parliament. The Jobbik ostensibly kicked out Szegedi, not for being Jewish, but because he tried to bribe someone to keep quiet about it. Right, sure they did. (You can’t see me right now, Hungarian fascists, but I’m looking askance at you. Witheringly so.)

Since then, Szegedi has reportedly apologized to the Hungarian Jewish community and has even planned a pilgrimage to Auschwitz to reconnect with his roots.

Of course, it’s a good thing that world government has been rid of one more anti-Semite, even if Szegedi’s “apology” seems less contrite than PR expedient. And yet it’s hard not to wonder what our world is coming to, when one can’t even count on the nutjobs to hold fast to their crazy promises? When even insane leaders, whose entire platforms are based on strident race hate, are straying from their core values?

If you can't trust the fact that Hungarian anti-Semites aren't Jewish, exactly what can you trust? Up is down, black is white, White Power advocates secretly belong to the races they supposedly vilify. It's anarchy...

Then again, maybe even anarchism isn't safe. Maybe the anarchists are totally fine with the hierarchical form of government now. It's just so hard to believe in anything anymore.

That’s why, when Rep. Todd Akin recently shared his ignorant, hateful opinions about “legitimate rape” with the world, my first reaction was to be horrified, sure. But then, after the initial shock wore off, I was also sort of, and please excuse me, relieved.

There now, I thought. That’s better. A good ol’ crazyhead to keep the homefires burning. (By “homefires,” I mean the constant threat of rage-induced aneurism…) What a comfort that there’s still a place in government for someone who apparently doesn’t even have the mental capacity to run a convenience store. How precious that a person unable to absorb even the simplest facts on a subject he should have attained refined knowledge about hasn’t been prevented him from reaching the inner circle of the federal government.

Everything seems right again, I thought. I was so happy I could cry.