Sunday, November 30, 2008

The McCarthy Gene and Today's GOP?

I remember in 2003, when I debated the Iraq war with many people on campus, I kept hearing the line, "oh, that's just McCarthyism."

This was the response from leftists who refused to acknowledge that Saddam Hussein's regime had played cat and mouse with international weapons inspectors for a decade, a regime that the Clinton administration pledged to topple in the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, and a regime with an opaque nuclear development program that
would not have been been made fully transparent without the U.S. invasion of 2003.

No, it was all McCarthyism, that is, an evil GOP program of demonizing enemies and "supressing" dissent.

Well, with the Democrats returing to power in Washington, Republicans may as well brace themselves for a return of the McCarthy smears. We've already seen it the work of people like
Blue Texan and Dave Neiwert. Now, though, Neal Gabler lays out a model of alleged neo-McCarthyism in today's GOP:

Republicans continue to push the idea that this is a center-right country and that Americans have swooned for GOP anti-government posturing all these years, but the real electoral bait has been anger, recrimination and scapegoating. That's why John McCain kept describing Barack Obama as some sort of alien and why Palin, taking a page right out of the McCarthy playbook, kept pushing Obama's relationship with onetime radical William Ayers.

And that is also why the Republican Party, despite the recent failure of McCarthyism, is likely to keep moving rightward, appeasing its more extreme elements and stoking their grievances for some time to come. There may be assorted intellectuals and ideologues in the party, maybe even a few centrists, but there is no longer an intellectual or even ideological wing. The party belongs to McCarthy and his heirs - Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Palin. It's in the genes.
Notice how the end of the McCarthy line ends with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (never mind that Palin's husband is one-quarter Yup'ik Native American), or that the real racism we've seen all year has been on the Democratic Party side (Jesse Jackson wanted to cut off Obama's ball in a modern day lynching).

That's right: We saw the real fear-mongering and race-baiting throughout the electoral season and beyond on the left (in
John Aravosis, Digby, Josh Marshall, Andrew Sullivan, Gerry Vázquez ... the list goes on).

Webloggin' notes from some time back:
It appears that the left can’t really hide behind the rhetoric because they now have popular websites to remind everyone who the DEMOCRAT PARTY BASE really is.


Norm said...

Neal Gabler is a conceited know-it-all who believes that anyone who disagrees with him is an idiot.
He believes he is too smart to actually listen to the opinions and rationale of other people. So read him and take his opinion cum granis salis.

AmPowerBlog said...

The left will be eating this stuff up, Norm. We have to smack it back down, like a whack-a-mole.

Thanks for visiting!

Norm said...

You can read some very interesting Arab reaction from their newspaper columns at Seems they are getting sick and tired of this too, realizing what a waste it has all been.

Reliapundit said...

mccarthy was of course right about the ussr having infiltrated state and the pentagon.

there were spies and dupes in our govt.

and lefties also like to bundle mccarthy - a senator - into the whole HOUSE un-american activities stuff.

it's part of their not-true but accurate version of history.

like gabler's idiotic piece.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Gabler spends his time on a show that really has no substance posing as someone who does. He never offers anything in the way of concrete information, only his opinion. This article is more of the same. He take a gratuitous shot at other commentators because he has no gravitas of his own. Sit in your chair Gabler and spread your unsubstantiated lies, collect your paycheck and hit the road. You are a poor substitute for informed debate. There are many on your side of the fence who will argue their point of view with some scholarship and intelligence. How about Kirsten Powers?