MJ Rosenberg and Shelley Berkley, together at last


I’ve been using the "together at last" formulation incessantly this week, haven’t I? And it’s only Tuesday.

But now I offer it up without irony. Rep. Berkley (D-Nev.) defies not only much of her party, much of the consensus, but the senior Democrat in her state, Sen. Harry Reid, and says she finds unconscionable much of the opposition to the Islamic center planned for within blocks of the site of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks. Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

"Given the fact that my family and people in my religion have suffered so much from religious persecution, I cannot see how I can speak out against other minority religions in this country and their free exercise of their own religion," said Berkley, D-Nev., whose Jewish grandparents emigrated from Europe to escape the Holocaust.

Berkley is one of the Israeli government’s most consistent, if not strident, defenders in the House, and MJ is one of the government’s most consistent, if not strident critics in the blogosphere. (Notice my use of the word "government." They share an affection for the country itself.)

And at TPM Cafe, MJ, noting his own profound disagreements with Berkley over policy, is mensch enough to say her posture here is real, and suggests that it comes from the same place that makes her defend Israel like it was her cub:

For the record, Berkley is probably the most hawkish member of either chamber, in either party, on the subject of Israel. I almost never agree with her, but I have never doubted her sincerity. Unlike so many of her colleagues, Berkley believes what she says about the Middle East and, in my opinion, is influenced neither by lobbies nor donors. Her opinions may be wrong but, as the adage goes, she comes by them honestly.

I tweaked MJ a little yesterday in my Lenny Ben David post — hey, wait a sec — both have moustaches, both worked for AIPAC — have they ever been seen in the same room?

Just kidding. When he writes, the boy can write.

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