Jeff Ballabon

We venture into the realm of people with actual power in Washington today with a profile of Jeff Ballabon, a little-known, extremely well-connected Jewish Republican who is among the leaders of the movement of Orthodox Jews into the Republican Party.

Peter Beinart’s definitive piece on that trend is here, but Ballabon’s a fascinating character as much for his personal complexities — Yeshiva boy, Yale Law School and, as Spitzer aide Cindy Darrison would have it, neanderthal/feminist.

The profile also gave us an excuse to read an excellent detective novel called Bag Men, one of whose characters, Detective Shecky Bliss, is modeled on Ballabon.

Read the piece for some Ralph Reed fun and a different perspective on John Ashcroft from the one usually heard around here. Jeff Ballabon