Babs' Jefferson quote: Anti-semintic?
Jefferson is writing about calls for secession over political disputes with the New England Federalists (he’s against it). But, what is so interesting, and what the liberal bloggers ignored, are the sentences preceding the one quoted. Here they are unexpunged:
“Seeing, therefore, that an association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry, seeing that we must have somebody to quarrel with, I had rather keep our New England associates for that purpose than to see our bickerings transferred to others. They are circumscribed within such narrow limits, and their population so full, that their numbers will ever be the minority, and they are marked, like the Jews, with such a peculiarity of character as to constitute from that circumstance the natural division of our parties. A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt.”
So, paraphrasing, the Federalists are “witches,” but they’re also “Jews” and therefore inherently suspect. This is hardly one of Jefferson’s most insightful moments.