Audio: If you want to toss around bogus McCarthy references …

posted at 2:41 pm on August 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Or perhaps more to the point, when going into a battle of wits, make sure you’re armed. Former Hillary Clinton spokesperson and current MSNBC analyst Karen Finney didn’t prepare herself to be challenged when comparing Ted Cruz to Joe McCarthy on last night’s Hugh Hewitt show, revealing that she doesn’t know much about either.  Hugh started grilling Finney about Communist infiltration in the 1930s and 1940s in response to her non-sequitur about McCarthy just to see if she had any understanding at all about the issue — and Finney hung up rather than continue flailing or concede her ignorance:

Hewitt welcomed Finney with a clip of her on MSNBC comparing Ted Cruz‘s “paranoia” and “fear-stoking” to Joe McCarthy. Hewitt immediately asked Finney about actual communist infiltration of the government. She dismissed the “hysteria” of the time, but Hewitt didn’t let her off easy there. He said, “It’s an easy question! Do you think Alger Hiss was a communist?”

Finney insisted it had nothing to do with her point, telling Hewitt she didn’t want to “go down a rabbit hole” with him. She said, “Hugh, I’m not doing this game with you!”

They got into some heated crosstalk, at which point Finney hangs up on Hewitt. As soon as Hewitt realized what she’s done, he immediately burst into laughter and mocked her for not being able to “handle a little tiny question.”

Glenn Thrush at Politico has a longer part of the transcript.  Basically, Hugh exposed Finney as an intellectual poseur, an “analyst” who tosses around accusations about which she knows next to nothing.  The Left has used “McCarthyism” as an epithet for so long that some just use it to sound smarter than they are.  Hint to Finney: McCarthyism has nothing to do with opposition to domestic health-care policies or to budget fights.

John Fund notes that Finney should have paid some attention to her MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews on the futility of this particular argument:

Back in 1996, the Hiss case forced President Clinton to withdraw his candidate to become the country’s top spymaster at the CIA. Tony Lake, who then directed the National Security Council, told NBC News that the evidence against Alger Hiss was “inconclusive.” His office then refused to make any other comment on the issue.

After a firestorm of protest in which such liberal notables as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said it was clear Hiss had been guilty, Lake’s nomination for CIA director was withdrawn. Even a liberal observer such as Chris Matthews (now with MSNBC) said it was astonishing that anyone would take the view that Hiss, who was convicted on two counts of perjury because the statute of limitation on espionage had expired, could be viewed as anything less than guilty. Matthews points out that John F. Kennedy, then a young congressman, was convinced of Hiss’s guilt. “This is not a case of liberal vs. conservative,” Matthews concluded. “It is a matter of clearing up Tony Lake’s sense of history.”

Apparently, we still have to clear up the historical perspective that some of today’s liberals have about the Cold War and the seeming inability some of them have to acknowledge that there were Communists in government back then — and that that fact is distinct from Joe McCarthy’s endlessly cited excesses.

Exactly. Perhaps they could also learn to be a little more careful with their demagoguery, too.  Because tossing around charges of McCarthyism in the manner Finney did about Cruz looks a lot more like the kind of thing McCarthy did than anything Cruz has done since arriving in Washington.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Election is its own justification.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:39 PM
Adolf Hitler sends his regards.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Funny, I don’t remember Kennan, Roosevelt, or any other USG socialist imposing martial law.

Did I not get the Evening Bulletin that day…?

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:52 PM

2. The real HUAC was founded around 1934 by Sam D1ckstein and John McCormack.

Resist We Much on August 27, 2013 at 8:51 PM

I thought it dated back to WWI…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Who won? The C/communists?

History tells a different story…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The 2008 and 2012 elections tell a different story. Its been a long road, but socialism is kicking ass and taking names.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

Isn’t it odd that the House Committee on Un-American Activities is always linked with Senator Joe McCarthy?

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 8:48 PM

The progenitor committee was named the House Committee Investigating UnAmerican Activities, and founded by my ancestor, Martin Dies.

rrpjr on August 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

“This is not a case of liberal vs. conservative,” Matthews concluded

Sure it is. Kennedy was a right wing extremist compared to today’s Democrats. This is why Oswald killed him. Oswald would be a high ranking Democrat politician today. Maybe even president. He was the most articulate progressive around back then but his politics were a little bit ahead of their time, Democratically speaking.

Buddahpundit on August 27, 2013 at 8:55 PM

Isn’t it odd that the House Committee on Un-American Activities is always linked with Senator Joe McCarthy?

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 8:48 PM

And I don’t think McCarthy ever even served in the House…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Funny, I don’t remember Kennan, Roosevelt, or any other USG socialist imposing martial law.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:52 PM

They tend not to do that until after the guns are banned. No one ever said they were stupid.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Isn’t it odd that the House Committee on Un-American Activities is always linked with Senator Joe McCarthy?

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Only by those they believe they know more than they do.

McCarthy was never a member of the House of Representatives although he was a Democrat until 1944.

McCarthy chose Bobby Kennedy as his staff attorney on the Senate committee.

Resist We Much on August 27, 2013 at 8:58 PM

The 2008 and 2012 elections tell a different story. Its been a long road, but socialism is kicking ass and taking names.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

And once again, socialism =/= communism. Socialism << communism.

And, socialism is not a disqualification to government employment. Never has been…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:59 PM

blink on August 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

and bowed to PC pressures by

PC pressures? In 1958 Washington? Over a matter of alleged membership in the Communist Party?

Once again… seriously? Do you type that with a straight face?

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:00 PM

I can’t find it but I saw a clip of Milton Friedman laughingly saying “Well, Kenny is a communist.” Obviously talking about Gilbraith.

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 9:01 PM

George Kennan did not make any decisions during the Cold War, therefore he didn’t “do more” than Truman, Reagan et al. He did propose a strategy of containment in his “Long Telegram” in the early days of the Cold War, which was adopted (in part) by Truman. He also did important work as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department. Paul Nitze, his successor, did work equal to Kennan with his analysis in the document known as NSC-68.

The Venona decrypts, which are intercepts Soviet embassy communications from the Soviet embassy in the 1930′s and 1940s prove that there were hundreds of Americans in the federal government who were Soviet intelligence assets—either outright agents or fellow travelers who were providing intelligence.

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Right but when people get all wound up about that period they seem to join the two.

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 9:03 PM

I thought it dated back to WWI…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

It did, but they were called the Overman then Fish Committees. IIRC, however, was first assigned or used in conjunction with the McCormack-D1ckstein committee.

Resist We Much on August 27, 2013 at 9:03 PM

They tend not to do that until after the guns are banned. No one ever said they were stupid.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

They didn’t ban guns in 1930′s Germany. Hitler loosened gun laws that were a relic from the Traety of Versailles.

Well, loosened them for non-Jews…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Resist We Much on August 27, 2013 at 8:58 PM

That period was probably probably textbook bi-partisanship and yet McCarthy is the only bad guy. It’s interesting isn’t it?

Cindy Munford on August 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

No, it’s not.

Wow, you really are an idiot.

The American people have made many mistakes. There is no justification for them electing Obama.

blink on August 27, 2013 at 9:04 PM

I’m sure stomping your feet and wailing about the stupidity of the American people helps you cry yourself to sleep at night.

But the man kicked our butts twice. To say he shouldn’t be POTUS is to call into question our Constitution.

And once again, I expect little else from you…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:07 PM

It did, but they were called the Overman then Fish Committees. IIRC, however, was first assigned or used in conjunction with the McCormack-D1ckstein committee.

Resist We Much on August 27, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Overman!! It was on the tip of my tongue…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:08 PM

He did propose a strategy of containment in his “Long Telegram” in the early days of the Cold War, which was adopted (in part) by Truman.

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM

That was already a defacto policy which Churchill made clear with his Iron Curtain speech.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Funny, I don’t remember Kennan, Roosevelt, or any other USG socialist imposing martial law.

Did I not get the Evening Bulletin that day…?

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Ask Japanese Americans about that.

MoreLiberty on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:02 PM

I’ll be the first to admit I have a bit of a history crush on Kennan (although I would dispute Nitze’s importance in the Long Memo).

And while Venona did indicate fairly widespread infiltration by the Sov’s, almost none of them were named by McCarthy, Unlike lots of innocent people, who were…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Are you a socialist?

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

That was already a defacto policy which Churchill made clear with his Iron Curtain speech.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

No, it was not.

It was so controversial, that Kennan at first didn’t want his name attached to it, for fear that it could be the end of his career.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

They didn’t ban guns in 1930′s Germany. Hitler loosened gun laws that were a relic from the Traety of Versailles.

Well, loosened them for non-Jews…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

That’s a distortion of the fact. Hitler banned private gun ownership. But with regards to the treaty, he simply ignored the limitation on certain weapon systems for his MILITARY. Heavy weapons systems, tanks, battleships with certain size gun various artillery pieces, etc. It had nothing to do with private gun ownership.

MoreLiberty on August 27, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Are you a socialist?

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

No.

I just don’t think they should be demagogued or blacklisted. Much like I don’t think the CPUSA should be outlawed. Collectivist ideologies thrive in the shadows. Expose them to the light, they are proven worthless…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:14 PM

More aggressive tactics might have prevented the type of damage that the US is experiencing today.

Please address this.

blink on August 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Cold War’s over dude. Good guys won.

Perhaps you read it in the newspapers…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

A casual gaze at the power structure in DC today would suggest you are mistaken.

Midas on August 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM

… and at the media…

… and at Hollywood…

… and at the green/environmentalist movement…

… and …

Midas on August 27, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Collectivist ideologies thrive in the shadows. Expose them to the light, they are proven worthless…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:14 PM

I must misunderstand what you’re saying, because I see it thriving in every corner of power in this country, frankly.

Midas on August 27, 2013 at 9:18 PM

That was already a defacto policy which Churchill made clear with his Iron Curtain speech.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

No, it was not.

It was so controversial, that Kennan at first didn’t want his name attached to it, for fear that it could be the end of his career.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordon_sanitaire

French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau is credited with the first use of the phrase as a metaphor for ideological containment. In March 1919, he urged the newly independent border states (also called limitrophe states) that had seceded from Russian Empire and Soviet Russia to form a defensive union and thus quarantine the spread of communism to Western Europe; he called such an alliance a cordon sanitaire.

There is nothing new under the sun.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:18 PM

That was already a defacto policy which Churchill made clear with his Iron Curtain speech.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

No, it was not.

It was so controversial, that Kennan at first didn’t want his name attached to it, for fear that it could be the end of his career.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordon_sanitaire

French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau is credited with the first use of the phrase as a metaphor for ideological containment. In March 1919, he urged the newly independent border states (also called limitrophe states) that had seceeded from Russian Empire and Soviet Russia to form a defensive union and thus quarantine the spread of communism to Western Europe; he called such an alliance a cordon sanitaire.

There is nothing new under the sun.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

That was already a defacto policy which Churchill made clear with his Iron Curtain speech.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Churchill had been out of office for 9 months when he made the Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, MI. The speech was an effort to prod the West to take the Soviet threat seriously.

Kennan’s “long telegram” was sent from Moscow a month before in 1946, by Kennan, without the support of the diplomatic mission in Moscow.

His later article in Foreign Affairs, “Sources of Soviet Conduct” was also a prod to the foreign policy elite to take the Soviet threat seriously. The political/bureaucratic struggle to adopt a muscular reaction to Soviet misconduct was still very much ongoing, as Churchill well knew at the time of his Fulton speech.

You just don’t have your chronology right.

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Churchill had been out of office for 9 months when he made the Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, MI.

You just don’t have your chronology right.

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

A speech stating what is already an established fact doesn’t require any particular place in the chronology.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Of course they should be demagogued.

blink on August 27, 2013 at 9:20 PM

So speaks a demagogue…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I want you to continue your defense of Annie Lee Moss.

blink on August 27, 2013 at 9:23 PM

The DoD defended her just fine… after the fall of the dipsomaniac demagogue.

They hired her. In their opinion, not a Communist.

Good enough for me…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:25 PM

A speech stating what is already an established fact doesn’t require any particular place in the chronology.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Are you lacking in brain power or just a sophist?

The struggle to adopt a hard line against the Soviets was very much in doubt in 1946. Churchill’s speech was a call to arms, not an announcement of a settled policy.

Your cutting and pasting regarding Clemenceau and the cordon sanitaire in 1919 is idiotic in the context of 1946.

Do you hold the Howard Zinn chair of revisionism at an online university???

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:27 PM

There is nothing new under the sun.

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

That the US would be committed, if necessary military action, to stop the spread of communism?

It was controversial…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:30 PM

You’re pathetically sophomoric. You lose a debate, so you tossing out stupid comments.

blink on August 27, 2013 at 9:26 PM

I’m pointing out that one who openly calls for the demagoguing of an ideology is, by definition, a demagogue.

Truth hurts, I guess…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Are you lacking in brain power or just a sophist?

GFY

The struggle to adopt a hard line against the Soviets was very much in doubt in 1946. Churchill’s speech was a call to arms, not an announcement of a settled policy.

It was a post war call to arms, yes. It was also a statement of what was already taking place.

Your cutting and pasting regarding Clemenceau and the cordon sanitaire in 1919 is idiotic in the context of 1946.

No, it was a long standing policy that existed with regards to the Soviets for decades. Keenan simply helped make it an official policy of the United States.

Do you hold the Howard Zinn chair of revisionism at an online university???

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:27 PM

GFY

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:38 PM

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Laughable stuff from Professor Oliver Stone.

It was a post war call to arms, yes. It was also a statement of what was already taking place.

This is a non sequitur. It was a call to do what was already supposedly taking place. Infantile reasoning.

No, it was a long standing policy that existed with regards to the Soviets for decades. Keenan (sic) simply helped make it an official policy of the United States.

I guess Roosevelt’s diplomatic recognition of the SU (in 1933) was part of this “long standing policy”. Come on, even Stone has better ammo than this kind of baby talk. By the way, Kennan had no authority to make policy. he was carrying on a effort of internal political and bureaucratic persuasion.

kingsmill on August 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I see Communists… Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re Communists. – Well, that is sort of freaky isn’t it?

rgranger on August 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Let’s try to list off all the contemporary analoguues to the infamous “Red Web” of the “Mc+arthy Era”, shall we?

Rightwatch
MMFA
SPLC’s Intelligence Report
Sourcewatch
…etc.

If the word “McCarthyism” has any meaning, it’s primary practitioners are the leftt.

Google “Dickstienism”.

eh on August 27, 2013 at 10:26 PM

2. The real HUAC was founded around 1934 by Sam D1ckstein and John McCormack.

HUAC!!!!

HUAC!!!!

HUAC!!!

HUAC!!!

YEAH – AND SENATOR JOE McCARTHY – SENATOR – WAS THE ONE THAT STARTED HUAC, THE “HOUSE UNAMERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE”……..I KNOW THIS BECAUSE BILL O’REILLY TOLD ME SO!!!!!!

THAT is not a joke – BILL O’REILLY SAID THAT JOE McCARTHY WAS THE CHAIRMAN OF HUAC!!

williamg on August 27, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Are you a socialist?

sharrukin on August 27, 2013 at 9:12 PM

No.

I just don’t think they should be demagogued or blacklisted.

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 9:14 PM

YOU’RE WRONG!!

They are doing it to EVERYONE who disagrees with them – and THEY hold The Megaphone of POWER in EVERY SECTOR of this Government!!

They are like the Islamofasctis!!!

And there is only ONE WAY to disagree with an Islamofascist!!1\

It is not VOTES, but VIOLENCE that gives their hearts ears!

williamg on August 27, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Venona Intercepts.

allstonian on August 27, 2013 at 11:31 PM

McCarthy created an hysteria because it was needed…commies were all over the government. Go Ted Cruz. We still have enemies of the country in government.

allstonian on August 27, 2013 at 11:34 PM

M. Stanton Evans: Blacklisted By History. We still have to deal with commies.

allstonian on August 27, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Of course the communists infiltrated the government. The Soviets weren’t morons. Had they not infiltrated the government they would have been guilty of malpractice (or whatever you call it when a government acts incredibly stupidly against it’s own interests)
Heck, if I were a Soviet leader back then, I would done my damnedest to infiltrate the U.S. on all levels.
In fact my number one target would have been the Media. Control the media and you control the nation.

Of course you can’t say out loud that the current Media is an intentionally organized propaganda arm of the Left, because the Left has successfully innoculated themselves against that assertion by shrieking “McCarthyism!” or “Right Wing Nut” or some other invective when that issue is raised. In that sense, McCarthy, who was largely correct, was successfully caricatured and twisted by the Left into their Get Out of Jail Free Card.

And that card is good to this day, as amply demonstrated by the attractive imbecile on the line with Mr Hewitt.

justltl on August 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Alger Hiss was just the tip of the iceberg in proving that McCarthy was right, liberals were wrong.

CrustyB on August 28, 2013 at 12:30 AM

If an idiot like Hewitt could make her look this bad, just how badly she would fare going up against someone like Levin.

tballard on August 28, 2013 at 1:36 AM

Re Rep. Samuel Dickstein…don’t forget that the Soviet archives revealed that he was a paid NKVD agent for a couple of years.

purpleslog on August 28, 2013 at 2:57 AM

1. Hollyweird and the Libtard establishment have claimed for decades that McCarthy “destroyed many careers”? Whose exactly? I have yet to see any names of those who had their careers destroyed by McCarthy and his committee. Louis B. Mayer and the other Hollywood moguls destroyed more careers than Senator McCarthy ever could have, coupled with the dollar votes of movie goers at the box office, and poor choices made by various Hollywood actors and movie people.

2. Ever notice how “McCarthyism” has successfully stuck around? This was a manufactured propaganda ideology developed by the same lot that McCarthy sought to expose. I never heard of, I don’t know, “Lincolnism” or “Kennedyism”.

3. Seems that some want to think that all of the spies were Soviet agents planted here. Surely they existed, but the vast majority of the agents of Communism were American citizens.

4. It has come out that the U.S. government was heavily infiltrated by American Communists/Socialists since at least the FDR administration from the Department of Agriculture on up. What, we think that they all just magically went away at some point?

5. The destroyed Hollywood actor/screenwriter myth can be easily refuted by looking at a film like the Manchurian Candidate. It was little more than an attack on Senator McCarthy. An apt quote from Wikipedia: “…Senator John Yerkes Iselin (James Gregory), a McCarthy-like demagogue who is widely dismissed as a fool.” This was several years after McCarthy had been censured and Hollywood was not about to let this go. In fact, the fairly recent film about Edward R. Murrow also attacked McCarthy.

6. FBI records show that Lucille Ball had meetings of Young Communists at her home, but when interviewed she knew nothing about it. Her dad was also a Communist, and she voted for a Socialist candidate, but she said when interviewed that she really didn’t understand politics and didn’t know what she was doing. Didn’t hurt her career one bit.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 28, 2013 at 6:22 AM

How much does MSNBC pay their fools?

racquetballer on August 28, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Even the point she was trying to make (ignoring the McCarthy bs) was invalid. Typical liberal.

TerryW on August 28, 2013 at 8:18 AM

How much does MSNBC pay their fools?

racquetballer on August 28, 2013 at 7:05 AM

.
IF … thet’re underwritten by George Soros, there’s no ‘liability’ in over-paying any of their staff.

listens2glenn on August 28, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Thanks for posting the clip Ed. That pretty much encapsulates the Dems campaign strategy for 2016. They are going after the low information vote hard and fast.

Finney doesn’t have to know jack about McCarthyism. Simply tossing epithet grenades works perfectly fine for Dems. While I always enjoy it when he eviscerates a guest, it’s would take a legion of Hugh Hewitts decades to counter progressive democrat media slander.

RobertE on August 28, 2013 at 9:46 AM

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 27, 2013 at 6:06 PM

So we shouldn’t get too bothered about a little thing like spies in the government?

Sure we should. We just shouldn’t make it up as we go along. Like McCarthy did. Especially when the cameras are rolling.

A substantial number of people he named — even though he was actually fairly resistant to naming names, contrary to your broad assertion — turned out to be suspect. You want to name just the ones that were actually proven to be spies, while ignoring others that had suspect loyalties.

I’m sorry, but you’re just as much a problem as those who want to whitewash everything McCarthy said and pretend there were no Communist sympathizers in the government. You’re taking every opportunity to dismiss everything McCarthy said that was correct, and seize on every mistake to discredit him.

McCarthy was not a prosecutor. If anything, he was playing the role of investigator. Of course some of the evidence was going to prove insufficient to convict. It’s not like those committing treason weren’t motivated to hide it.

But you can’t deny — well, maybe you could — that McCarthy was generally right about the government having a lot of people who were sympathetic to the enemy, many of whom were committing treason right and left.

I’m not saying McCarthy was perfect, but we need to keep things in perspective. The people he was exposing were in many cases traitors.

Nine out of over 150. That’s how many were Soviet spies, of all the people McCarthy referenced. If the FBI had that poor of a batting record, you’d be calling for heads to roll.

Again, you want to quote only the proven cases while ignoring the likely ones. Again, you would hardly expect there would be enough evidence to support a conviction in every case. That doesn’t make the evidence false. It just makes it insufficient.

Now, in a courtroom, “insufficient” is good enough to acquit. But this wasn’t a courtroom, so the same rules don’t really apply.

How serious was it? Well, how did the Soviet Union manage to get the nuclear bomb just a few years after we did? They had help. The people who gave secrets to the Soviet Union are a big part of the reason we had to worry about the potential for all-out nuclear war all through the Cold War.

The Rosenbergs part of McCarthy’s investigations, were they?

You were dismissing the scope of the problem. I refuted that by showing just how big the scale of the problem was.

I didn’t name the Rosenbergs, but it’s interesting that you did. In so doing, you essentially admitted that we had a huge problem with the Soviets getting intelligence from people who were supposed to be loyal to our nation. In effect, you’ve proven that McCarthy had a very good point. There was a very real problem.

The left used McCarthy’s character flaws to dismiss him. Flawed or not, he was right on the money. Conservatives should quit letting progressives make up their own history.

McCarthy’s character flaws were, IMHO, what caused him to be such a reprobate in the first place. And what he allowed the Left to do was take a legitimate activity of the the USG (investigations into Soviet infiltration), and paint it with the brush handed them by someone who had a reckless disregard for the truth, and the damage his lies did to innocent people…

JohnGalt23 on August 27, 2013 at 6:25 PM

His flaws were real, and gave an opening for the kind of character assassination that went on. But a lot of the critics of Joe McCarthy were much worse than he was.

The popular myth is that Joe McCarthy instituted an era of fear and paranoia while inventing lies about a threat that didn’t exist. The truth is there was a very real threat, and the very people who smeared Joe McCarthy should be humbly apologizing.

When you have a very real threat, overreaction is dangerous. But under-reaction could very easily be fatal. And our entire government was under-reacting.

We talk about who “won” the Cold War. But the reason there was a Cold War for so long is that people in our government kept propping up the Communists in one way or another. The Communist system was so bad that it would have collapsed under its own weight decades earlier if we hadn’t kept sending them food and voluntarily disarming ourselves. A great example was Jimmy Carter sending all that wheat to the Soviets.

The reason Reagan deserves the credit for winning the Cold War is that he realized that the Soviet system was going to collapse, and refused to give them more aid. Instead, he strengthened our defense and built our economy. The Soviets finally realized they could never compete.

And for his insight, he was treated as a doddering old fool. But it was only Reagan who declared that the Soviet government was an “evil empire” that would be “left on the trash heap of history.” That position was not intellectually acceptable at the time. But he was right.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

JohnGalt23 is an idiot, and here’s why.

Just thought I’d start off with a bang.

I’ve really enjoyed the back and forth of these comments, and have learned a lot. My thanks to all those who love truth.

I’m really curious about this JohnGalt23 though. His name implies he would be a libertarian, but he employs the same dishonest tactics as the most rabid communist in his attempt to minimize concerns about the most murderous philosophy in human history. And his posts certainly indicate an extensive knowledge of the history of McCarthy and communism. Unfortunately his analysis and conclusions are totally wrong.

He starts the ball rolling by responding to Flange’s statement that “McCarthy was right, plain and simple. Only an idiot would think otherwise”. Proving Flange prescient, John’s response is “McCarthy was a drunken liar.”

Aaaaaand we’re off…

I can’t respond to every stupid, dishonest or obfuscating comment John has posted. I won’t live that long, and I’m in excellent health. But I did want to respond to his distinction-without-a-difference regarding “socialism =/= communism”. Or more specifically, “Socialism << communism". (Cute use of punctuation, by the way. Did you by any chance invent the Smiley?)

This one really sticks in my craw, because it's the classic case of the grey area Marxists love to inhabit. Create a lexicon of words you define, then use them however is in the best interest of the cause.

But if you dig into the deepest levels of Marxist ideology, you find there is no substantive difference. In fact, Engels said in his Preface to The 1890 German Edition of the Communist Manifesto that it "reflects the history of the modern working-class movement since 1848. At present, it is doubtless the most widely circulated, the most international product of all socialist literature".

Get that John? The co-author of the Communist Manifesto identified it as the most widely circulated of all socialist literature. So spare us your commentaries on the internecine spats between the European socialists and the Soviet communists. They are like I-80 and I-65: just two roads to the same Hell.

You'll also have to change the direction of your punctuation. By calling the Manifesto socialist literature, Engels implies in this instance that it would be more accurate to say communism is a more specific manifestation of socialism. Eh…potayto, potahto.

In closing, I'd be interested to hear others analyze John's real motives. Is he a communist posing as a libertarian? Mental
deficient posing as an intellectual? Are they mutually exclusive?

jmad on August 28, 2013 at 11:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3