New DNC ad doubles down on “McCarthyism”

posted at 10:12 am on October 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

That verdict doesn’t come from me, at least not this time.  David Zurawik, the media critic for the Baltimore Sun and not exactly a man sympathetic to conservatism, blasts the Democratic Party for its accusations against the Chamber of Commerce, and especially for the imagery in its new ad.  The spot shows Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie as the evil twins that are apparently mugging women in parking garages all throughout America in a political campaign he calls “a new low”:

Here is what’s so appalling to me: The ad makes the totally unsubstantiated charge that the Chamber of Commerce is taking money from foreign interests and using it to “steal our democracy.” And worse, President Obama is out on the campaign trail, according to the New York Times, creating an echo chamber by making the same reckless claims just as the ad hits the airwaves. And when CBS newsman Bob Schieffer Sunday asks David Axelrod if there is any proof for the claim, the senior Obama aide says they don’t need proof — it’s up to the Chamber of Commerce to prove it isn’t true.

The Democratic National Commitee [sic] is using the same sort of tactic and logic that Sen. Joe McCarthy used in the 1950s: Level a headline-grabbing and unsubstantiated charge, like the State Department is filled with communists, and then say it is up to the State Department and the employees so charged to prove it is not true.

So much for hope and change; this is the politics of fear, slander and divisiveness on the eve of an election that looks as if it could deliver a damning verdict on the first two years of the Obama administration.

FactCheck doesn’t sound any more impressed with HopeandChange, either, and notes the “guilty until proven innocent” posture of the Democrats:

Democrats, from President Barack Obama on down, are trying to turn an evidence-free allegation into a major campaign theme, claiming that foreign corporations are “stealing our democracy” with secret, illegal contributions funneled through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s a claim with little basis in fact. …

Accusing anybody of violating the law is a serious matter requiring serious evidence to back it up. So far Democrats have produced none.

Zurawik, though, comes closer to the point.  It’s not just “Democrats” who are demanding that the Chamber of Commerce prove itself innocent.  It’s the executive branch of the American government demanding it, including its two top officers, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.  They have publicly accused the Chamber of illegal operations without a shred of evidence, basing their official actions on an unsubstantiated allegation from John Podesta at the Center for American Progress.  That is nothing short of an attempt by this administration to intimidate its political opponents into silence.

That is an unconscionable affront to the rule of law, and it reeks of the McCarthyism that the Left supposedly reviles.  Without a public price paid for this attack on dissent from the highest offices in the government, this will become the norm and we will be less free as a result.

Politically speaking, though, this shows the bankruptcy of the Democratic Party.  They have no answer for the failures of Obamanomics.  They only have fear to peddle, and voters simply aren’t buying it — and neither is the media.

Note: People objected yesterday to the use of the word “McCarthyism” in my post, but I use it for two reasons.  First, it’s a term that the Left throws out with abandon any time people dissent from their orthodoxy and have the temerity to question their motivations.  Second, it is a clear, concise description that immediately conveys the kind of guilty-until-proven-innocent abuse of power from government officials when it occurs.

Some people objected because later information proved Joe McCarthy correct in general about Communist infiltration in the government, but that doesn’t acquit McCarthy of his abuse of power.  He accused people without evidence, many of them the wrong people, and did so as a representative of the government that is supposed to protect the individual presumption of innocence until evidence proves contrary.  McCarthy was a dangerous man, and perhaps even more for the discredit he heaped on the anti-Communist effort when the Soviet Union was at its most aggressive.


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Seriously, do a poll and I guarantee you most people have no clue who the Chamber of Commerce is. They’d probably guess it’s a branch of the government. Which I suppose is why they name Karl Rove in their ads.

Doughboy on October 12, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Lots of people are members of their local Chamber. Chambers host mixers, help small businesses connect with services that they need, raise money for charities, hold golf tournaments. They’re not a group that has a negative connotation.

If I was the Chamber, I’d run ads saying:
a) We do have some foreign members. Their dues are .0001% of our budget, and are strictly separated from the funds available for fundraising. Come look at our books, we have nothing to hide.

b)Let’s take a look at Obama’s 2008 fundraising. We opened our books, it’s only fair.

hawksruleva on October 12, 2010 at 11:54 AM

On related note, Axelrod wears lingerie under his suits. Don’t believe me? Well he hasn’t proven that he doesn’t. That pretty much proves it.

forest on October 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM

On the Fox panel last night, Juan Williams kept saying “but if they are using foreign money, it’s against the law”. CK finally said “if you murder someone it’s against the law, too”. I can’t wait for Juan respond to such a serious allegation.

hawksruleva on October 12, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Glass house, stones – some assembly required.

Vashta.Nerada on October 12, 2010 at 11:58 AM

“So much for hope and change; this is the politics of fear, slander and divisiveness on the eve of an election that looks as if it could deliver a damning verdict on the first two years of the Obama administration.”

..it was ever thus, sport-o.

The War Planner on October 12, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Blow me, Karl.

fossten on October 12, 2010 at 10:19 AM

..that’s a bit harsh, ain’t it?

The War Planner on October 12, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Second, it is a clear, concise description that immediately conveys the kind of guilty-until-proven-innocent abuse of power from government officials when it occurs.

Yes, but it does so by referencing the House of UnAmerican Activities, something that had little to do with McCarthy. He wasn’t perfect, but it’s a shame that more focus has been placed on him than on the people who actually infiltrated our government and successfully guided our policies. If Rove had actually been working with bin Laden, we’d never hear the end of it and rightfully so. As it is, Michael Moore isn’t reviled for trying to make that unsubstantiated argument.

I get why you used the term, but I also get why people object to it.

Esthier on October 12, 2010 at 12:18 PM

What a stupid ad anyway. Even if they believed the lies, what is the apathetic citizen supposed to do with this message? “Tell the Bush crowd and the Chamber to stop stealing our Democracy.”

You need to lay out the message to VOTE and HOW to vote for this ad to affect anything. Otherwise they will just wonder why they don’t hire more parking garage security guards.

TexAz on October 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM

One point that is ignored by some is that many people, misguided, undereducated, ignorant of the facts, without a clue, and without care for consequences of damage done, will, and do support Obama and the Democrats.

Here is what the Democrats have stood for, and do stand for, as a group, and in that group they are comprised of a great number of leftists/fifth columnists/US hating persons and groups.

A short list of what the Democrat party stands for and endorses:

Euthanasia

Slaughter of new human beings during their embryonic stage of development, their fetal stage of development, and even post birth, via elective, induced abortion, including chemical methods, chopping, slicing, puncturing, burning, etc., of the new, tiny, defenseless person, as well as via pharmaceutical methods.

Cap and Trade – taking a vindictive, contentious stance against the US citizens and businesses, making energy extremely expensive to unaffordable, destroying the US economy, and continuance of dependency on foreign sources for energy.

Universal, government mandated and controlled “Health Care Insurance,” which should be found Unconstitutional, and which makes everyone a subject of the state/government, and a potential criminal, as well as raising the cots of Health Care Insurance, treatment, etc., while interfering with a patient and his or her doctor.

Weakness in regards to military readiness and defense.

Animosity toward allies, such as Israel, who are constantly attacked by Palestinian Arab militants, including Hamas, as well as other groups, such as Hizbollah, etc., and currently threatened by Iran.

Porous borders and lack of enforcement of Immigration laws, protection of the USA from illegal invaders-trespassers, or any attempt to maintain US sovereignty, economy, security, and protection of her citizens from such things as communicable diseases which can and are carried through the borders by illegals. Legal immigrants wait more than a decade to be granted US citizenship, while watching illegals jump to the front of the line, flip the finger to US citizens, and steal their resources, then turn their back on the US and her citizens and refuse to cooperate, refuse to become a part of our culture, but choose instead to talk revolution, overthrowing the US, and painting US citizens as racist, bigoted people. They are encouraged to do so by the Democrats and the Democrat leaders, such as Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and many others.

Class envy. The Democrats push animosity toward those who are productive, successful, and earning money, and push an underclass, a preferred set of minorities, who are obsessed with feeling entitled. What you have they want, and, by virtue of the color of their skin, or their racial or ethnic ancestry, they darn well expect the government to take it from you and redistribute it toward them and they do NOT expect to work for it, but to receive it free of charge and free of any responsibility or free of any effort to earn it.

Thanks to Obama, Pelosi, et all, every time we turn around we are hearing about redistribution of wealth and how evil and vile the producers who work hard, sacrifice, and pay the most into society, are.

Racism-bigotry. The Democrat party pushes racism and bigotry 24/7, ad nauseum. This is because they are obsessive racists-bigots who cannot get their bigotry and racism out of their hearts or minds, so they project it onto Conservatives, Republicans, etc. If they weren’t so obsessed with race mongering, hate mongering, and flat out bigotry, they might shut up and the preferred groups, the perpetually outraged, the Victicrats, the people who allow themselves to be held down on the Plantation, who under perform because they are brain washed by leftist-Democrat propaganda and nonsense, might succeed at something on their own merits, and not always be projecting their racist-bigoted hatred upon Caucasians, Asians-Orientals who always outperforms them, Conservatives, Republicans, etc.

Hate mongering. Although this was covered a bit in the paragraphs above, it must be impressed upon everyone. Democrats-leftists MUST foment hatred. They pick a group, such as Homosexuals, blacks, Hispanics, Illegal invaders-immigrants, abortion pushers, etc., and create a straw man to attack. They rile up the hatred and animosity and violent anger and envy, jealousy, etc., in their preferred underclass-Plantation mentality pushing philosophy. They need hatred to control their slaves, their indentured servants, their submissive underclass in order to survive.

Without a group of fractious groups – homosexuals, blacks, Hispanics, man hating, baby slaughtering feminists (who don’t really speak for all women, just mean, violent, hate filled, man hating, big government as sugar daddy women) to control and keep addicted, like heroine addicts, they would not exist and they would have no voting base or even any votes whatsoever. Nevertheless, it is the aforementioned groups who engage in the most horrific, vile, vicious, vindictive, intolerant behavior towards those who disagrees with them.

In point of fact, the lion’s share of violence, lies, fabrications, hatred, racism, bigotry, etc., are manifest from that section of society.

When you see Democrats attacking US citizens as Obama and his ilk have done, and fabricating flat out lies, as Axelrod, Obama, et al have done and do as a matter of course, it is clear that Democrats-leftists are the bane of society and a scourge on the earth and to humanity, compassion, tolerance, and honesty

William2006 on October 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Barack Obama beats his wife!

Or at least he seems to spend a lot of time with her, and he’s never let us see her without clothes on to prove she doesn’t have bruises or presented x-rays to prove she hasn’t suffered any broken bones.

What? You say I should have some kind of evidence BEFORE I make the unsubstantiated allegation? I say the burden of proof is on Obama to prove the allegation false. He needs to immediately release naked pictures and x-rays of his wife. If he doens’t, what is he hiding?

This is how absurd this whole “Chamber receives tiny tiny fraction of dues from members based overseas AND spends some other money supporting political campaigns and issues SO they could possibly, IF they are lying about segregating the tiny amount foreign-based dues, be breaking the law and we’ll just ASSUME that to be the case until they fling all their private financial records wide open to PROVE OTHERWISE” thing is.

willamettevalley on October 12, 2010 at 2:17 PM

The democrats will continue this, and every other possible, absurd attack as long as it keeps the UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OFF the front page!

“It’s the ECONOMY STUPID!” – JC

Freddy on October 12, 2010 at 2:37 PM

You can’t just “stay on track,” you have to bring the discussion BACK on track.

Which is why there SHOULD be a response ad to this, something like:

1) Point out the baselessness of the allegation, and that it is abusive for the administration to do so.

2) Briefly point out that the accusers have REAL problems with foreign donations.

3) Remind people when the spending instanity got really bad – Democrat Congress.

4) Remind people that Obama supported and pushed the spending madness.

5) Connect it all together with the lousy economy.

Some people think that’s too many point for an ad – but the stupid sound-byte mentality is why the “Average Joe” complains that politics doesn’t make sense. Freakin’ explain it, people, it’s not rocket science.

Merovign on October 12, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I don’t think this ad is aimed at effecting the election. I think it’s goal is to lay the groundwork for a post-election narative that allows Obama to point more fingers of blame at Republicans.

As promised he’s certainly changing the tone in Washington… for the worse.

Scrappy on October 12, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Notice the bills are all Mao pics… * * *
So here is the question:
Do the American people want to be represented by the Chamber or the DNC What was the value of Anita Dunn’s contribution to the DNC in U.S. dollars?

right2bright on October 12, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Barnestormer on October 12, 2010 at 3:22 PM

So what scapegoat will they use when the use of the Chamber of Commerce falls flat?

jjrakman on October 12, 2010 at 3:30 PM

William2006 on October 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM

You forgot the eradication of inferior peoples and races.

hawksruleva on October 12, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Not to gin up an old story, but what if we applied the Axelrod standard to questions about place of birth?

hawksruleva on October 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Barry’s political currency is equal to the currency of his birthplace. Kenya dig it?

BHO Jonestown on October 12, 2010 at 5:48 PM

“He accused people without evidence, many of them the wrong people”

I’d really like to be educated on this, because after reading M. Stanton Evans’ book on the subject, that wasn’t the impression or truth I garnered.

Name those names, please. I want to check it out.

ZappaDawg68 on October 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Not to gin up an old story, but what if we applied the Axelrod standard to questions about place of birth?

hawksruleva on October 12, 2010 at 3:47 PM

That train left the station sometime shortly after September 2001.

Honestly – what makes you think the average American is going to bother investigating a political candidate’s birthplace?

Dark-Star on October 12, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Some people objected because later information proved Joe McCarthy correct in general about Communist infiltration in the government, but that doesn’t acquit McCarthy of his abuse of power. He accused people without evidence, many of them the wrong people, and did so as a representative of the government that is supposed to protect the individual presumption of innocence until evidence proves contrary. McCarthy was a dangerous man, and perhaps even more for the discredit he heaped on the anti-Communist effort when the Soviet Union was at its most aggressive.

Suggest we change the name to Obamunism?

dthorny on October 12, 2010 at 8:36 PM

Not that I’m complaining or anything, but what the Dems are doing here, blatantly lying and making completely fact-free allegations of serious criminal wrongdoing against their opponents, is nothing that they haven’t done for many, many years. And until now, the MFM has just smiled and gone along with them, printing the lies over and over again until the damage is done, and then printing the correction at the bottom of Page AA-38 in a four-point font. That they all of a sudden pretend to be outraged by these attacks on the Chamber of Commerce seems more than a tad hypocritical to me. What makes this latest example of Dem McCarthyism so reprehensible to them anyway?

Gator Country on October 12, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Regarding the use of the words, McCarthy, and McCarthyism,

It is time for people to stop repeating the distorted history regarding McCarthy. It is simllar to people on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Obama, Gibbs, Pelosi, and so many others pushing lies and distortions about the Tea Party movement, defaming them as racists, violent, and so forth.

Much of what has been claimed about McCarthy is whisper-down-the-lane style embelishments and fabrications on the facts. Much of the McCarthy mystic has mcCarthy credited with statements or events or actions that he had nothing to do with, but which were perpetrated by others, or disroted in the press, etc.

Now there is a polluted, distorted understanding of McCarthy and what he, himself has and has not done, and the fact that he was correct about Communists, etc., in high positions in government is obscured.

William2006 on October 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM

So let me get this straight – you yahoos are fine with foreign money involved in your election process?

ha

ha

ha

so amazing

Dave Rywall on October 14, 2010 at 11:14 AM

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