In Which Dan Baum Annoys Every Jew He Knows

Any mass email with the subject line "Jews" is going to be trouble. That is an ironclad rule. So Dan Baum, the famously former New Yorker writer, should've maybe rethought this one.

Baum sent an email to every single Jew on his contacts list asking them to write letters to Senator Joe Lieberman asking him to support health care reform. This is funny and stupid in many ways. Like: Lieberman represents American Jews, as a whole? (No, he represents Connecticut insurance companies. And right-wing Jews.)

From: Dan Baum
Subject: Jews

I'm the last guy in the world to try to organize people by religion, but we Jews may be the only people to whom Senator Joseph Lieberman might listen. He is threatening to filibuster the health-care bill to remove the public option. He has been an obvious problem for years, but this time he can do genuine damage, and it's possible a deluge of calls and emails from Jews nationwide will give him pause. Please take a minute and either call his office — (fair warning, the mailbox was full) or (860) 549-8463, or send him an email... This is the text of the message I used, but you could compose your own:

"As a fellow Jew, I am appalled by your threat to filibuster the health care bill now working its way through the Senate. I appeal to your conscience. Do not block access to affordable health care for millions of Americans. Please support the bill." This will take only a minute to do. Once you've sent a message to Sen. Lieberman, please forward this email to all the Jews you know. We could make something happen.

Various poor wording choices and mistakes in tone—the sorts of things that are huge deals to Old East Coast Jews Who Work In Media, i.e. everyone the list he sent this to—displeased the recipients of this honestly well-intentioned missive. Like you are not supposed to say "as a Jew" because that means you are an annoying Jew, and you are not supposed to assume that other Jews think the same way as you do, even though as a whole America's Jews are almost uniformly liberal on matters of domestic policy, and have been since forever. Still: unacceptable! Which is why Jeffrey Goldberg, in order to embarrass and shame Baum, published his email along with a mocking response from another Jew who is not named!

And the second email, with its terrible strained Borscht Belt humor, is so much worse. So, Jews on Dan Baum's email list: please out this farbissener!