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Tilting at Windmills

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June 3, 2010

REMEMBER FRED MALEK?.... I've long struggled to understand exactly how certain Republicans manage to not only remain part of polite society, but thrive as key GOP insiders.

Take Fred Malek, for example. Malek is now one of "Washington's wealthiest Republican power brokers," despite his role in enforcing "ideological and religious purity" for Nixon, including the disgraced former president's "crusade against Jews."

Nixon was concerned about officials at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which he thought was controlled by a Jewish "cabal." Malek became known as Nixon's "Jew counter," responsible for identifying Jewish BLS employees. Recently published materials add new details to Malek's scandalous role in "reforming" the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The memos suggest that Malek's role lasted at least from February to December 1971. In a February memo to Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, for example, Malek described statistician Harold Goldstein, who he said had mishandled a news briefing, as "a competent civil servant" without partisan bias. But Malek added that "we might be better served if a Republican partisan handled these briefings in the future."

Haldeman responded with a request in March 1971 that "we take on and completely rearrange" the bureau, to which Malek responded that he had "a general plan of attack" to analyze the attitudes of all key people, including their "loyalties." [...]

On July 26, Malek aide Dan Kingsley sent Malek 13 names that included the people's age and length of service; he described them as "key" employees without mentioning the word Jewish. But Haldeman asked Malek that day for more information on the "demographic breakdown" of key bureau personnel. [...]

Three days later, Kingsley wrote a memo to Haldeman -- signed by Malek -- describing the 13 as "ethnics," their euphemism for Jews, and clarifying which of the larger pool of top personnel were "ethnics." The memo includes the following annotation: "It is interesting that of the top 17 positions, 10 are ethnics." It was followed by Malek's typed initials: "FVM."

Many of the Jews identified by Malek later lost their jobs.

And what's Malek up to now? Well, he's on a Virginia budget panel, appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R); he was a campaign finance chair for John McCain's presidential campaign; he's an advisor to former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R); and he's been tapped to head up the American Action Network, a Rove-backed campaign operation to direct right-wing campaign funds into electing Republicans.

In 1988, Malek's scandalous past forced him to resign from the Republican National Committee. Now, apparently, the party is content to make him a major Republican player.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Comments

But what ever you do, don't accuse conservatives of being nativst or tribal in outlook. It's just unfortunate coincidence that all their enemies happen to be of different ethnicities and/or religions (whether in truth or merely suspected).

Posted by: Jon on June 3, 2010 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

A Nixonian antisemite?
Too liberal for the Repugnant Party of today...
Maybe he's gotten crusty enough in his old age...

Posted by: neill on June 3, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Steve-

In the second to last paragraph, I think you mean to say "right-wing campaign funds into electing Republicans." Not "electing Democrats."

Not that I would MIND if Karl Rove steered the money in his slush fund that way ...

-Bokonon

Posted by: Bokonon on June 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

To be a Republican leader today, you pretty much have to be a PROVEN liar and completely ultra-partisan.

He's PERFECT for the party of "no morals, no values, and no integrity".

Posted by: Mark-NC on June 3, 2010 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Malek has made various attempts to get past this, but they don't seem to have worked. Not sure what to make of that.

Posted by: MattF on June 3, 2010 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

And lets not forget, as a teenager, Malek, along with some friends,was arrested for killing and roasting a dog! I don't see why he's not Republican Man of the Year

Posted by: Paul Gottlieb on June 3, 2010 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

From the above brief, I'd have to say it appears that Malek is a one-man career wrecker for repugnant operatives.

Leave him alone. Eventually almost every R pol who goes near him becomes seriously disgraced.

Posted by: cwolf on June 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, have you ever spent any time around current GOP voters? I know you regularly wonder how jackasses such as this Malek dude, Steve King, etc. manage to not only survive, but "flourish" as prominent Republicans. Spend some time around the Good Patriotic Americans who make the loyalist voting base of the GOP; and you'll have your answer soon enough. Hell, as far as these voters are concerned, guys like King, Limbaugh, etc. are pussies who hold back saying what they really think. To the rank-and-file GOP voter, their party leaders aren't openly bigoted ENOUGH.

Posted by: bikelib on June 3, 2010 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

In 2009, I recall liberals making arguments over some nomiees' old papers, theses and writings from 15-20 years ago, that what happened decades ago shouldn't be counted for much since people change.

Or does that only apply to the Dems?????

Posted by: J on June 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

And Republicnas whine when we refer to them and Nazis?

Posted by: Marnie on June 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

J, don't you get it that Fred Malek fingered Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics and helped to get them fired? Haven't you ever heard of anti-discrimination laws? If Malek had come out with a public statement acknowledging what he did and denouncing it, I'd be prepared to forget about it - but he hasn't.

Posted by: Rebecca on June 3, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

As long as he never offered anyone a White House job to get them to quit a Senate campaign, he's an okay guy.

Posted by: Tea Bagger Jones on June 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Pefectly consistent for what is the present day GOP.

Even the John Birch Society seems to be back in favor with "mainstream conservatives."

There are no limits or restraints on what Limbaugh and Beck say because there are no consequences for their behavior. Anything goes.

Posted by: greentaxman on June 3, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Or does that only apply to the Dems?????
Posted by: J

So when has Malek repudiated his earlier work?

Posted by: mudwall jackson on June 3, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

It sounds like he is right where he belongs.

Posted by: qwerty on June 3, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

mudwall & Rebecca:

This site is as partisan as Ace of Spades. And just as hypocritical.

I constantly read excuses for Dems while simultaneously condemning of Repubs over exactly the same things.

Such mental m-sturbation must be exhausting...

Posted by: J on June 3, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Such mental m-sturbation must be exhausting...
Posted by: J

It takes a functioning mind to perform such tasks, dunce. Something you obviously lack. Come back when you have the capacity and fortitude to spell "masturbation."

Posted by: DJ on June 3, 2010 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The interesting thing about this is it's not that anti-Jewish. Granted it was Jews who were investigated but they were investigated for their political stances not their well whatever it means to be Jewish (ethnicity, religion?). Nixon might have been concerned about a shadowy cabal, but it seems that functionally Malek was just looking for liberals to attack so they were actually fired for their political affiliations.

Posted by: mnpundit on June 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

First off, to mention "polite society" and the party that engineered the big lie war is fairly idiotic.

Lest we forget just what caliber of people we're discussing here.

Then recall 1988 was an election year.

And it's not as though the GOP will ever nominate Malek as ambassador to Israel, or appoint him outreach coordinator to Jewish-American republicans. Like Bork a bit later, when Nixon barked Malek clicked his heels and replied, "yes sir". He was just following orders.

Finally, the GOP is the truest ally of the very worst people in Israel. The Likud party certainly doesn't give a rat's ass about Malek (or any of his ilk) within republican ranks. Why on earth should anyone else?


Posted by: JL on June 3, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

"it's not that anti-Jewish . . . functionally Malek was just looking for liberals to attack so they were actually fired for their political affiliations"

Ah, that's the line I'm going to use when I fire all white Southern Baptists from my organization. Nothing anti-white Southern Baptist about it, mind you, it's just that everyone knows they're all conservative right-wing bigots. I'm sure everyone will appreciate the distinction.

Posted by: Jon on June 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

What makes you think this party has changed over the past four decades?

Posted by: dweb on June 3, 2010 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"dunce"? "dunce" is your rebuttal? I'm in the presence of GENIUS! GENIUS, I tell you!! I bow to your godlike rhetorical skills.

Posted by: J on June 3, 2010 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Malek an "ethnic" name?

And J, @13:11:
I remember Dems making a lot of fuss in '09 about a 20-yr old thesis, claiming that it *was* likely have a bearing on candidate's present views. The candidate in question was Bobby McD, currently Virginia's governor, who denied the allegations at the time (saying his views have changed) but who has proved our suspicions to be correct from day one of his "rule". Taliban Bob McDonnell is also the person who recently employed "my views have changed" Malek. Birds of a feather, it seems.

Now, which (presumably Dem) "old papers, theses and writings" did *you* have in mind when you said:
"In 2009, I recall liberals making arguments over some nomiees' old papers, theses and writings from 15-20 years ago, that what happened decades ago shouldn't be counted for much since people change."

Posted by: exlibra on June 3, 2010 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK
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