Cohen accepts Jesus – as a metaphor


Looks like U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) took the Christ talk to heart. Last month, the Memphis lawmaker trounced an opponent in the Democratic primaries after she failed to convince Cohen’s majority black constituency that he wasn’t “Christian” enough to represent them.

Cohen, among the first Jewish Dems to endorse the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), took aim Tuesday at Republican vice presidential pick Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, who has mocked Obama’s background as a community organizer. Cohen, echoing a trope that arose almost as soon as Palin (and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani) initiated the dig last week, argued that Jesus might have been considered a community organizer – and pointed out that Pontius Pilate was a governor.

That’s already raised hackles among Republicans who are crying religious bias. And considering the hits Cohen took, he should be careful with religious analogies – this is the ad his opponent ran against him.

Republicans should be careful crying bias, though: the legitimate point Palin and Giuliani were making, that Obama lacks executive experience, might have effectively been made picking at any of the many jobs on the candidate’s resume: Law professor (12 years) state legislator (eight years) U.S. Senator (four years) law firm associate (11 years) author (two best-sellers.) Yet Giuliani and Palin somehow picked the one job, community organizer (three years) that screams “African American.”

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