Guns-Why

Guns-Why

Friday, May 04, 2012

Moving Forward: The Ghost of McCarthyism Is Alive and Well

"Commie" farmers

We've seen it coming since 2008 when the first African American in the history of our nation was elected president of the United States by a whopping ten million popular votes - the largest margin for a non-incumbent since Eisenhower in 1952.

By the time Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of office the following January and ever since that momentous occasion, the Tea Party and like-minded souls, including politicians, have been frothing at the mouth over the audacity of a black man sitting in the "White" House. The religious right has used Bible verses to advocate his assassination and Christian churches have proudly flaunted their hate on their message boards.


Not to be overlooked, of course, is Fox News and right-wing sites such as Newsmax and Red State. Probably just as insidious, but often ignored, are those bogus chain emails which fly from one recipient to another in rapid-fire order.

As despicable, as offensive and as reprehensible as all this is, and yes - as unpatriotic and unchristian as it is - none of this has been as alarming as the specter of another McCarthy era raising its ugly head. But  Rep. Allen West (Florida), Lou Dobbs and right-wing blogs are all marching to the drumbeat of an evil but bygone era and doing their best to resurrect its ghost.

First, let's look at this glorified dandy Allen West, who not only accuses the president of being a "low-level socialist agitator" but warns constituents that at least 81 congressional members of the "Democrat" party are communists. Not only is he stealing a scene from Joe-I-have-a-list-McCarthy, he's echoing the John Birch Society's false claims that the Eisenhower Administration was infiltrated by Communists.

Surely, there are Republicans who are familiar with that unspeakably bleak time in our history and its dire impact on the lives of private citizens as well as government officials. Surely, they remember William F. Buckley's condemnation of Robert Welsh and Edward R. Murrow's extraordinary denouncement of McCarthy on See It Now. Why have they not loudly and forcefully condemned West's contemptible comments? Have they moved so far to the right that they have lost any and all semblance of courage and honor? Or is their sound of silence a sign of tacit approval?

While we no longer have a Buckley or Murrow, we do have Bill Moyers, a journalist with the same high level of integrity, the same grasp of facts , the same historical perspective, and the same kind of grit - but without all the fanfare and cheap theatrics seen by far too many of today's commentators. In a hard-hitting April 26 broadcast, he minces no words as he condemns West and the "contemptible thugs in American politics."


In a no less insidious McCarthy-like tactic - which would be alarming, if it weren't so damn laughable - is the right-wing's attack on Obama's new campaign theme: Forward. Cowardly Lou Dobbs proclaims, "I'm not saying anybody is a communist," but Obama's 2012 slogan "Forward," is tied to communists and fascists. Right.

A Washington Times headline screams: "New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism." Joel Pollak writes, ". . . the slogan borrows not just from left-wing cable network MNSBC's "Lean Forward," but also from decades of communist iconography." William Kristol compares it to Mao China's "Great Leap Forward" 60 years ago.

Because right-wingers, including Dobbs, don't know the difference between communism, socialism and fascism, it is no surprise that one blogger resurrected the ghost of the old Austrian, writing that "Forward" was a "marching song of the Hitler Youth."

Of course, the best way to fight this kind of insanity is to poke fun at these messengers of mythology. Jim over at okijimm's eggroll emporium does just this by providing some delightful satire as only he can write. Besides his collection of tell-tale commie images, I've found a few more.



A "commie" church no doubt.







                                           Or how about this "commie" bank?






"Commie" canners.







Good God!

We're used to laughing at misspelled Tea Party signs insinuating Obama is a communist, or a socialist, or a fascist - or all three at once - but when supposedly responsible elected officials and so-called media personalities deliberately resurrect the ghost of McCarthyism, it is no longer a laughing matter. Whether the implication that our president is a communist is a substitute for the N-word or these hoodlums are deadly serious, it is not the time for freedom loving Americans - including Republican leaders - to remain silent.

22 comments:

  1. The whole Republican party/tea party/right wing groups is reprehensible and frankly, more than embarrassing. What an ignorant country we are becoming.

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  2. I doubt there are any "freedom-loving" Republican leaders left.

    This whole thing is the deal with the Devil they've made. By embracing the frothing bigots and a whole kaleidoscope of nutcases, they've won themselves small but fanatical armies of true believers for the party. But those true believers have now alienated so many moderates with this kind of crap (to say nothing of forced trans-vaginal untrasounds and the like), that the party is now dependent on them -- if it pushes the bigots and loonies out, it won't have much left.

    So they're stuck with West and worse, slowly dragging them down. Voter-suppression laws are probably their last hope of winning anything outside the Bible belt and Utah.

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    1. Exactly. They were so giddy with delight that the Tea Party was on their side and with the 2010 election results that they didn't stop to analyze what would happen as a result. Not very bright of them. Now they have a candidate for president none of them like and according to Public Policy Polling Eric Cantor's approval ratings are way down (somewhere in the mid-twenty percentile range) and is not gender-based.

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  3. LESLIE!!!! What a positively fantastic write!! I am humbled that my small little rant would help inspire this! Absolutely spot on and STUFF! must go cross link!

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    1. Well, to be honest, I was already gathering my forces but when I saw your delightful post I knew I had to include it. You do have a delicious way of making the absurd appear even more absurd.

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  4. Leslie, I have always loved Reverend Bill Moyers... yes, he is an ordained Baptist Pastor, although I am sure many churches would not claim him after all of these years calling for civility and charity from individuals and the government towards the "least of these."

    As our GOP leaders and spokespeople have been fond of saying since 9/11, failure of the moderate leaders of Islam to condemn the viscous acts of terrorism from suicide bombers, signal approval. In their world, moderate Muslims who do not speak up, and possibly risk death, in condemnation of the bombings, are just as guilty as the bombers themselves.

    We have heard this logic time and time again from GOP leaders of all stripes.

    Isn't now fair to assume that lacking any real condemnation of Allan West's comments, there is agreement and approval from the party?

    So here are my questions for any conservative leader, blogger, or opinion maker who feels America should take ther party seriously...

    1. Is Congressman West correct in his assessment that there are between 78 - 81 members of the "Democrat" party who are communists, or members of the communist party?

    2. If you believe he is correct, what evidence are you prepared to show proving this, and why have you not acted sooner in the best interests of the United States?

    3. If the congressman is wrong, and he can only be right, or wrong, what penalty do you propose for a sitting Congressman who purposefully lied to discredit the House of Representatives, her members, the Democratic Party, Congress as a whole, our government, and indeed, America?

    Maybe Sen McConnell of Speaker Boehner would like a shot at these?

    I am disgusted.

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    1. I've always been a devoted follower of Moyers and am thrilled that he's back on PBS. I'm especially thrilled that he has his own website since PBS's search engine was designed with the sole purpose of keeping users from being able to find anything!

      I do know that he is an ordained Baptist minister but doubt seriously if he's a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. ; ) Another Baptist minister I admire is Gaddy out of Louisiana who is also the antithesis of Southern Baptist. Not as well known as Moyers, he often appears on MSNBC.

      I like your questions and share your disgust. Like others, I don't expect we'll be hearing anything from Republicans for the reasons so many have already stated. But it would be nice if some of the MSM had the where-with-all to raise them on the air or in print. Just as unlikely, however, I'm afraid.

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  5. Great questions!!!!

    I am equally disgusted. I'd love to hear what Boehner -- the wart on the great State of Ohio's butt -- would say. He really needs to stop lying -- he's not good at it.

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    1. You know, he actually isn't good at it. You can see it written all over his face. He's not only stupid, he's weak, yet I sometimes think if he didn't have Cantor nipping at his backside he might have risen to the occasion on a couple of "occasions."

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    2. No he isn't. I think you're on to something here. I quit lying (other than the odd "little white lie") because I wasn't good at it decades ago. (Yes, I'm my father's daughter. The tan man is an embarrassment to Ohio and I hope the good folks down on the river kick his asker out when he runs again.

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  6. If you're waiting for Republican leaders to step up and do the right thing about Reps. West, Steve King, Patrick McHenry, Joe Walsh or any of the rest of their mean-spirited thugs, crackpots and demagogs, you are waiting in vain. If they were to run all the yahoos out, they would have to give up control of the House and forget about trying to win complete control of the Senate.

    As for the rank and file, Boehner is scared spitless of the tea partyers breaking away — or going after his job with a tea party replacement.

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    1. Oh, I don't think any of us here have any delusions that the Republicans would ever put country first. They are all about control and nothing but control. Beyond the votes, they don't even care what their constituents think.

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  7. I saw this Bill Moyers' segment and went to his website to share on fb. I was flabberghasted by the comments section (have you seen it?). I posted a few times but gave up as they're clearly whackos. I mean, what sicko attacks Bill Moyers?

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    1. I went back and reread the comments. Pretty appalling but there were still plenty of people agreeing with and supporting Moyers, thank goodness. There are plenty of wackos everywhere but I like to think that while they are noisy as hell they are a minority.

      For those on FB, you can "Like" Moyers' page at
      https://www.facebook.com/moyersandcompany

      His website is at billmoyers.com I have to say he has a lot more patience with Yahoos than I do.

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  8. People like Bill Moyers are my heroes.

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    1. Mine too. And at this point, I think he's by far the best on PBS. NewsHour is becoming so centrist I can hardly stand to watch it anymore. Pablum.

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  9. I've always admired Moyers. Dave has asked some very pointed questions. Do any of us believe the conservatives will disown Allen and the bigots?

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    1. Not really. I don't know whether they're just so stupid or if they're so arrogant because they have even worse plans they're cooking up.

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    2. I'll take 'arrogant for $100m Leslie! :)

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  10. Bill Moyers and Bernie Sanders head my list of admirable men. I always read or listen to what they say because they always speak to truth and call it like it is.

    I think Alan West has a psychological problem. I don't know if he's trying to be white or if he is a pathological liar who is ambitious to rise above his talent. No matter what his motivation, he is disgusting.

    What is really the most unconscionable of all is a Church proclaiming Obama is a Muslim on their marquee and having the shocking words "the blood of Jesus against Obama" where all can read. That is the most despicable act of all and they should have their tax exemption revoked.

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    1. West is most definitely mentally incapacitated and would probably be much more dangerous if more people actually fell for his b.s. Due to redistricting he will probably lose his seat - a blessing for all of us.

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