Rise of the new McCarthyism

Taking a stroll down Memory Lane for a second to some of the teabagger events held over the past few months, you might recall this photo:

This poor kid is obviously too young to know Communism or McCarthyism from a hole in the ground, and is being used by his brain-damaged, ill-informed parents as another body to spread the delightful message of teabagger hate.

The kid’s T-shirt, with its silkscreened message advocating  McCarthyism, was a little jarring to see amidst all the teabagger rhetoric about “FREEDOM!” since  McCarthyism was about anything but freedom.

But there’s some logic to it:  these are the same people who spread irrational fear of  a “usurping” “communist” “baby-killing” “tyrant” of a President, and who respond to dissent with accusations of treason and moral turpitude.   Now that they’re purging those whose ideological purity is deemed insufficient, it’s not a stretch to imagine them employing the methods of McCarthy to ferret such people out.  As Sinclair Lewis said in his book “It Can’t Happen Here“, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”. Bet on it.

And in that depressing spirit, Right Wing Watch has an article about the increasingly McCarthyist ways of right-wingnuts.

36 Responses to “Rise of the new McCarthyism”


  1. 1 The Arbourist Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    The American Empire, like all empires, must decline. I believe that this is just one of many indicators that the US as overreached itself militarily, economically and socially.

    The US will face the same decision Great Britain did at the end of World War 2, retract voluntarily or be torn apart by the forces acting against the empire internally and externally.

    As Canadians we have a ringside seat, so I’m hoping for the former rather than the latter.

  2. 2 Rob F Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    David Neiwert and Sara Robinson’s blog, Orcinus, frequently covers this sort of thing.

  3. 3 Shade Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    “This poor kid is obviously too young to know Communism or McCarthyism from a hole in the ground”

    To be fair I doubt his parents know Communism or McCarthyism from a hole in the ground.

  4. 4 JJ Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Arbourist

    As Canadians we have a ringside seat, so I’m hoping for the former rather than the latter

    Yes, thus my intense interest in all their bad craziness.

    That it’s the end of an empire is without a doubt. How painful the transition will be remains to be seen.

  5. 5 JJ Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Rob F – Yes, I love Niewert’s writings on this subject. I think he was the first to draw attention to the dangers of eliminationist rhetoric, long before the rightwing nutjobs started killing people. I always think of that Unitarian church in Knoxville as being the first right wing eliminationist murder(s), and I think that happened a couple of years after Niewert sounded the alarm.

  6. 6 JJ Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Shade – Well exactly, his parents are no doubt pretty low-information types — Obama’s a communist? A racist? Where do they get this shit from? (That’s easy, Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh.)

  7. 7 Jasper Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Joe McCarthy was a good man

    “The McCarthy period is the Rosetta stone of all liberal lies. It is the textbook on how they rewrite history — the sound chamber of liberal denunciations, their phony victimhood as they demean and oppress their enemies.

    The true story of Joe McCarthy, told in meticulous, irrefutable detail in Blacklisted by History, is that from 1938 to 1946, the Democratic Party acquiesced in a monstrous conspiracy being run through the State Department, the military establishment, and even the White House to advance the Soviet cause within the U.S. government.”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2007/11/08/mccarthyism_the_rosetta_stone_of_liberal_lies?page=2

  8. 8 JJ Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Oh fer fuck sake… Ann Coulter?!!??

    You can’t expect your ideas to be taken seriously (especially ideas like “Joe McCarthy was a good man”) when all you’ve got for backup is that deranged twat.

    Get serious.

  9. 9 Shade Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Jasper do you even know what the rosetta stone is and what it helped do? Because that statement makes no sense “The rosetta stone of all liberal lies”?

    Oh I see you’re just repeating what Ann Coulter said. Good lord, can you think for your self for once in your life?

    It’s kind of flattering you think Liberals have that much power to be able to rewrite history. Oh my mistake, you don’t think that Ann Coulter does, you just nod and repeat her dribble.

  10. 10 Bruce Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Oh Jasper, get fucked, you need it honey. It’ll do you a world of good, it’s just the kind of thing that will satisfy your need for attention, trust me, it works every time.

    I’ve been thinking for the last year that McCarthyism is the logical outcome of all the hue and cry that’s been going on. I don’t think it’s a serious threat, but it gives you an idea of just how democratically suicidal people can be when their convictions are based on stories rather than knowledge.

  11. 11 balbulican Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Anne Coulter has, indeed, adopted McCarthy as a candidate for rehabilitation, followed shortly after (of course) by our own Coulter wannabee Kathy Shaidle. Among the breathless revelations Coulter provides:
    – There really WERE communists in the US bureaucracy! (duh).
    – Some people have said that Joe didn’t drink nearly as much as other people claimed he did, and that lots of people die of liver of failure without being alcoholics.

  12. 12 balbulican Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 4:20 am

    But you know what? I think the beatification of Joe McCarthy by the new American conservatives is a wonderful thing – like the deification of Sarah Palin. It just speeds up their accelerating drift away from reality.

  13. 13 Reality Bites Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Well Joe McCarthy was a good man.

    At least compared to Jasper.

  14. 14 bleatmop Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 5:18 am

    McCarthy was a monstrously evil person and anyone who thinks he was a good man is likely to be one too. The Jabberwocky has nothing on McCarthy and his new acolytes.

  15. 15 J. A. Baker Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:35 am

    is that from 1938 to 1946, the Democratic Party acquiesced in a monstrous conspiracy being run through the State Department, the military establishment, and even the White House to advance the Soviet cause within the U.S. government.”

    Well, there you go. Anorexic Annie thinks FDR and Harry Truman were part of a conspiracy to fluoridate our water supply in order to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

    That says all your really need to know about the Adam’s Apple Lady.

  16. 16 Cornelius T.Zen Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Jasper: Have you, at last, no sense of decency, sir?
    Good men do not commit evil actions. Good men do not destroy the lives of others with innuendo, ad hominem attacks, unsubstantiated accusations, uncorroborated contentions, baseless rumors, lies, falsehoods, malicious gossip, and appeals to paranoia. Cowards, monsters and psychopaths do those things, but not good men. Joe McCarthy did all those things. And he’s your hero, and the hero of such people as Ann Coulter and Karl Rove, of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly?
    I’ll buy you a case of whatever Joe was drinking, and toast your health– that is, whatever is left of it.
    Good night, and may your God go with you – CTZen

  17. 17 deBeauxOs Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Poor Tranny Anny … won’t someone please think of closeted transexuals like her, regardless of their political stripes?

  18. 18 The Anti-Social Socialist Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 10:37 am

    So. Jasper screams about his love for freedom.

    While worshiping a man whose life’s work was spreading fear, terror and throwing people in prison for completely arbitrary reasons…

    Just like Stalin.

    No, there’s no cognitive dissonance there, not at all. Just a MASSIVE amount of self-delusion.

  19. 19 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Shade – Jasper is just regurgitating, as usual.

    I’m sure Ann Coulter is intelligent enough to know what the Rosetta Stone was, but she’s also astute enough to know that most of her audience would not.

  20. 20 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Bruce

    I’ve been thinking for the last year that McCarthyism is the logical outcome of all the hue and cry that’s been going on.

    For sure — their most recent quest for ideological purity in particular smacks of McCarthyism. Ferret out the liberals and purge them from the ranks of the party — good grief, it might not be McCarthyism (yet) but for sure it’s McCarthyism’s little brother.

  21. 21 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:43 am

    balb – Say it ain’t so. Shaidle? The “Free”speecher? A fan of Joe McCarthy??

    Why is it always the religious crackpots who think evil psychotic assholes like McCarthy are maligned saints? (Except for Coulter, whose whole routine is probably an act.)

    My guess is that it’s because they’ve already embraced brainless authoritarianism in the form of religious dogma.

    It just speeds up their accelerating drift away from reality.

    Absolutely. That, and the purging of moderates from their ranks, will contribute to their marginalization. And that’s a good thing.

  22. 22 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

    RB

    Well Joe McCarthy was a good man.

    At least compared to Jasper.

    😆 😆 Maybe that’s where he gets the idea.

    Seriously, I don’t believe for a minute that Jasper actually believes that McCarthy was a “good man”. You’d have to be completely nuts to think that… hmmm…

  23. 23 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:57 am

    bleatmop

    McCarthy was a monstrously evil person and anyone who thinks he was a good man is likely to be one too.

    I think in this case I’ll give Jasper the benefit of doubt and assume he’s just trying to stir the pot. Nobody could think an evil authoritarian douchebag like McCarthy was a good man.

  24. 24 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    JAB – Don’t you think Coulter’s act is really just that — an act? Some of the things she says are so utterly insane, I’m suspicious that her routine is just a parody of a right wing nutcase.

  25. 25 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    CTZen

    I’ll buy you a case of whatever Joe was drinking, and toast your health– that is, whatever is left of it.

    McCarthy was apparently a Scotch drinker (White Horse) 😯 according to Richard Nixon.

  26. 26 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    deBeauxOs – Is she a tranny? No, really. She has man-hands 😯

  27. 27 J. A. Baker Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    JJ – Sometimes I wonder. But then I’m reminded of the closing line from a profile on her in the UK Independent:

    Surely, I say, hoping she will concede that she sometimes provokes to amuse, she doesn’t believe everything she comes out with. “This is the shocking thing for your readers,” she replies. “I believe everything I say.”

  28. 29 RealityBites Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Act or not, it’s not intended as parody. It’s intended to be believed.

    A snake-oil salesperson doesn’t need to believe in what they’re selling. They just need to convince other people to believe it.

    That’s where idiots like Jasper come in. Being a loathsome hatefilled slug, he’s eager to believe the worst paranoid imaginings of lunatics.

  29. 30 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Antisocial

    While worshiping a man whose life’s work was spreading fear, terror and throwing people in prison for completely arbitrary reasons…

    Just like Stalin.

    McCarthy is a prime example of people who get so obsessed with chasing monsters that they become the monster they are chasing.

  30. 31 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    RB

    Act or not, it’s not intended as parody. It’s intended to be believed.

    Which makes it even more despicable than if she really believed all the shit she spews.

  31. 32 JJ Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    JAB – That’s awesome! Yes, more evidence of teabagger McCarthyism, but also, sure, split the vote. They must not remember how that worked out in NY-23.

  32. 33 J. A. Baker Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    They must not remember how that worked out in NY-23.

    Either that or they must live in a completely different dimension than we do. Remember that some of them (*cough Erick Erikson! *cough*) were declaring the NY-23 loss a victory.

  33. 34 deBeauxOs Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Ann Coulter is a stand-up comic who had trouble making ends meet so she’s taken her schtick to a different venue.

    Everything she says and writes is intended to be savage hyperbole of anything left of centre.

    Most of her attempts to spoof and satirize those who do not share her political views fall flat.

    Think of her as Stephen Colbert in drag, without the wit and the charm.

  34. 35 JJ Friday, December 4, 2009 at 10:52 am

    JAB – Even they must know that an extra congressional seat for the Dems (ie. to vote for health care?) cannot be a good thing. It is stunning that there are enough stupid people out there that actually swallow this spin.

  35. 36 JJ Friday, December 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    deBeauxOs – Without the wit, charm and humour.


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