Normally, I try to avoid commentary on the American political scene, largely because this website has a fairly sizeable foreign readership, but also because there's not much to say about a political culture in which every race between Republithugs and Dummycrooks can be boiled down to a race between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. It's about as exciting as watching the paint dry or the grass grow. But this one caught my eye, and I have to talk about it, for the simple reason that something here is not quite right. On Feb 27, RT reported that one of the Republican party's key gubernatorial candidates in the U.S. state of Missouri, the state auditor Tom Schweich, was dead of an apparent suicide:
What intrigued me here were the beginnings of the "cover story" that surrounded this, as is evident from these remarks in the RT article:
"Just seven minutes before a 911 call was made from his home, Schweich had left a message with the Post-Dispatch requesting an interview. The interview was set to focus on what Schweich believed were attempts by the state’s Republican Party chairman, John Hancock, to spread misinformation about his Jewish heritage.
"Schweich was an Episcopalian, though he did have a Jewish grandfather and said he was proud of his heritage. He was reportedly set to claim that Hancock was telling potential donors that he was Jewish in an effort undermine his campaign effort. Hancock denies the allegation."
Now, beyond the allegations of racial and religious prejudice lying in the background, note that Schweich apparently scheduled a press interview less than ten minutes from the time the 911 call was made from his home after his apparent suicide. So, does a man planning to give a press interview suddenly change his mind and commit suicide seven minutes later? Maybe, but I think not.
Then came this analysis from Mother Jones:
Now, as a perusal of the Mother Jones article makes clear, the "hidden reasons" run to racial and religious prejudice, and hear is where, to my mind, things start becoming incomprehensible, if not ridiculous. THe story is that Schweich was fearful of his Jewish heritage perhaps being used as a political smear against him by his opponents, capitalizing on some inbred "rural Missouri prejudice" against Jews or people with some Jewish ancestry. Maybe that is, or is not true, but having been through most of the rural areas of Missouri at one time or another throughout most of my life, I can't recall any impression that the whole state - outside of Kansis City, St. Louis, and Springfield - were bastions or cesspools of virulent anti-Jewishness. Would such elements exist in some backwaters in that state? Sure, probably. Just as they would in any place in the country. But as a matter of such concern that a political candidate would fear for this reason? Schweich may have told the reporters this was his concern, but I'm not buying. Maybe he told them that as a cover story, to obtain the interview, when the real story that he wanted to talk about was something he couldn't talk about on the always-watched emails and always-listened-to phone lines.
Nor am I buying the "fear of evangelical Christian backlash" against him if it should be an issue. Granted, some evangelicals would make it an issue, but to the extent of being a major issue by all evangelicals? Again, I think not. If anything, evangelicals would be more skeptical of Mr. Schweich's membership in the quasi-Catholic looking and theologically liberal Episcopal church, than they would be inclined to make an issue of his grandfather's Jewishness; and besides, becuase of their "Israel" fixation, many evangelicals know that Jewishness is traced, not through fathers, but through mothers.
In short, this whole attention to the religion/race thing seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot, a much-ado-about nothing whatsoever, and an attempt to cloak and distract attention from whatever might really be going on in the Schweich "suicide." I have no evidence to support this view nor my suspicions and intuitions, other than my difficulties with the race-religion theories noted above, and to point out one rather obvious and overlooked possibility of where the real reasons why Mr Schweich was suicided really lie: he was the state auditor: he oversaw the state's account books. And in a culture where certain central banks are refusing to give various countries their gold reserves, where banks are too big to fail and their banksters are too big to jail, where there have been curious bearer bonds scandals that are quickly hushed up, where there are bailout schemes with banksters nervously insisting that they cannot have any governmental oversite... in a culture like that, the murder-by-suicide of a state auditor who happens to be a candidate for governor, is likely not to be about race or religion.
See you on the flip side...