“It’s Time to Thank the Man Instead”

Of course the conservative response to comparing Ted Cruz and Joe McCarthy is to embrace McCarthy.

79 comments on this post.
  1. el donaldo:

    To the kind of people that support Cruz, if your baseless and harmful allegations can be dusted off and used in a new context, then you’ve been completely vindicated.

  2. MAJeff:

    Didn’t Coulter start this schtick a few years ago?

  3. actor212:

    I wish they’d just go whole hog and embrace Father Coughlin and be done with it, so we can move on. The suspense is killing me.

  4. TT:

    Coulter didn’t “start this shtick a few years ago” because it never went away in the first place. Conservatives have always loved McCarthy, both the man and his tactics. In fact, conservatives haven’t changed at all–the way they’re acting under Obama is pretty much the way they’ve been acting for decades and decades.

  5. c u n d gulag:

    Nah, she just gussied it up some, and put it in a slinky little black cocktail dress.

  6. swearyanthony:

    She’s always been ahead of the zeitgeist when it comes to grifting.

  7. Origami Isopod:

    Pretty much. Conservatism is a reservoir of all sorts of ideological infections.

  8. Charlie Sweatpants:

    If you get out of the boat you can see the cover of this month’s Town Hall magazine, the feature article of which is, in very large font, “The Real War on Women”, subtitled “Their oppression in the Middle East must come to an end.” The accompanying photo is of a white lady with blonde hair and blue eyes.

  9. Matt:

    They’re way past Coughlin now – just waiting for a wingnut to start embracing George Lincoln Rockwell…

  10. Halloween Jack:

    Yep. I happened to be in Appleton, Wisconsin several years back, and took some, ah, irreverent pictures at McCarthy’s gravesite. My conservative hosts were not amused.

  11. joe from Lowell:

    You someone is really patriotic, and really concerned with American security, when they embrace someone who set out to destroy George Marshall.

  12. Jeremy:

    Y’know, to be honest I didn’t know much about Coughlin, aside from that he was a vile person with a radio show back in the day, so I looked him up on Wikipedia. The first paragraph actually makes him look like a decent guy — a lot of those positions I’d support nowadays. Then we hit the second paragraph, which starts, “After hinting at attacks on Jewish bankers, Coughlin began to use his radio program to issue antisemitic commentary, and later to support at least some of the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.”

    Oh, well then.

    Actually, I don’t think the modern right will ever embrace him, simply because his group was called “Social Justice”, which must be anathema to them.

  13. Origami Isopod:

    How much beer did you drink beforehand?

  14. witless chum:

    Missing from her article is, of course, specific instances of McCarthy accomplishing anything other than getting himself in the newsreels.

    Even if you’re the kind of shithead who doesn’t think the First Amendment applied to communists and that ferreting them out was a good thing, McCarthy was just a grandstanding fantasist who sabotaged his alleged cause.

  15. KBNC:

    “Communism is awful because it is an authoritarian ideology that snuffs out and punishes all dissent. The only way we can stop its march is to snuff out and punish all dissent.”

    Seems legit.

  16. joe from Lowell:

    Exactly. J. Edgar Hoover was actually trying to get communist agents, even if he was overly-broad in his conception of who they were, and in his methods. Joe McCarthy’s primary purpose, right from the beginning, was to go after his Democratic opponents.

    That the modern right celebrates McCarthy as their commie-hunter tells you what they’re really about.

  17. John:

    Indeed. A lot of serious anti-communist witch-hunting types hated McCarthy because he was counterproductive to the cause of Communist witch-hunting. He’s probably the most indefensible American political figure of the 20th century.

  18. Bruce Vail:

    Gussied it up some, but not much.

    I remember spending about 15 minutes at the bookstore (some years ago) debating with myself whether to buy her book defending McCarthy. Her book is a thin little polemic that doesn’t appear to add anything to the historical debate. I’m sure she would have received a poor grade in Prof. Loomis’ class.

  19. Shakezula:

    Of course.
    1. She represents the Virgin Mary who was a blonde and oppressed in the M.E.
    2. A picture of a woman who is (ahem) more representative of the locals would trigger heart attacks and angry letters.

  20. Shakezula:

    This is pretty mild, given that the neo-cons will defend Nazism when Obama says something mean about it.

    Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.

    If these people were puppies, they would be beyond the help of the most skilled of veterinarians.

  21. Shakezula:

    The American flag lapel pin turns slavery into freedom!

  22. Manju:

    Conservatives have always loved McCarthy, both the man and his tactics. In fact, conservatives haven’t changed at all–the way they’re acting under Obama is pretty much the way they’ve been acting for decades and decades

    Then its settled. Dixiecrats weren’t conservatives.

    Below, the vote to censor Joey (not Biden) restricted to the 22 Senators from the 11 Confederate States:

    AL Aye [D] John Sparkman
    AL Aye [D] Joseph Hill
    AR Aye [D] James Fulbright
    AR Aye [D] John McClellan
    FL Aye [D] Spessard Holland
    FL
    GA Aye [D] Richard Russell
    GA Aye [D] Walter George
    LA Aye [D] Allen Ellender
    LA Aye [D] Russell Long
    MS Aye [D] James Eastland
    MS Aye [D] John Stennis
    NC Aye [D] Samuel Ervin
    NC Aye [D] William Scott
    SC Aye [D] Charles Daniel
    SC Aye [D] Olin Johnston
    TN
    TN Aye [D] Carey Kefauver
    TX Aye [D] Lyndon Johnson
    TX Aye [D] Marion Daniel
    VA Aye [D] Absalom Robertson
    VA Aye [D] Harry Byrd

    (feels like ages since I’ve done this…I was getting itchy)

  23. dl:

    Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, dude…

  24. Davs:

    It looks like the vote was along party lines.

  25. Davs:

    I seem to remember Lord Buckley defending McCarthy long ago.

  26. Keaaukane:

    Is it just rose glasses, or senility coming on, but does this list of names seems to be better, smarter people than the current Senate crop? What happened to the place?

  27. Bruce Vail:

    Factoid of the day:

    Virginia Sen. Absalom Robertson listed above was the father of Pat Robertson, the wealthy televangelist and famous senile loon.

  28. actor212:

    So “Compassionate Conservatism”…?

  29. tt:

    The difference is that many conservatives genuinely do defend McCarthy, whereas claiming that they defend Nazism requires intentional misreading of their words.

  30. Bruce Vail:

    Correct.

    It is amusing to hear some conservatives praiser Buckley for his courageous, principled stand against the John Bircher nuts in his own party, never mentioning that Buckley stood by McCarthy until his dying day.

  31. Manju:

    Well, every “Nay” was R, but not every R was “Nay”. Below, all the R votes for censoring Joey M:

    AZ Nay [R] Barry Goldwater
    CA Nay [R] Thomas Kuchel
    CA Nay [R] William Knowland
    CO Nay [R] Eugene Millikin
    CT Aye [R] Prescott Bush
    CT Nay [R] William Purtell
    DE Aye [R] John Williams
    IA Nay [R] Bourke Hickenlooper
    ID Nay [R] Henry Dworshak
    ID Nay [R] Herman Welker
    IL Nay [R] Everett Dirksen
    IN Nay [R] William Jenner
    KS Nay [R] Andrew Schoeppel
    KS Aye [R] Frank Carlson
    KY Aye [R] John Cooper
    MA Aye [R] Leverett Saltonstall
    MD Aye [R] James Beall
    MD Nay [R] John Butler
    ME Aye [R] Frederick Payne
    ME Aye [R] Margaret Smith
    MI Aye [R] Charles Potter
    MI Aye [R] Homer Ferguson
    MN Aye [R] Edward Thye
    ND Nay [R] Milton Young
    ND Nay [R] William Langer
    NE Nay [R] Hazel Abel
    NE Aye [R] Roman Hruska
    NH Nay [R] Henry Bridges
    NH Aye [R] Norris Cotton
    NJ Aye [R] Howard Smith
    NJ Aye [R] Robert Hendrickson
    NV Nay [R] Ernest Brown
    NV Nay [R] George Malone
    NY Aye [R] Irving Ives
    OR Nay [R] Guy Cordon
    PA Nay [R] Edward Martin
    PA Aye [R] James Duff
    SD Aye [R] Francis Case
    SD Nay [R] Karl Mundt
    UT Aye [R] Arthur Watkins
    UT Aye [R] Wallace Bennett
    VT Aye [R] George Aiken
    VT Aye [R] Ralph Flanders
    WI Present [R] Alexander Wiley
    WI Present [R] Joseph McCarthy
    WY Nay [R] Frank Barrett

  32. DrDick:

    Exactly. Many Republicans, including all the far right loons that now control the party, have always endorsed McCarthy and most of those who did not only disagreed about the methods, not the message.

  33. DrDick:

    Once again proving that you do not know WTF you are talking about and have no comprehension of quantitative methods.

  34. DrDick:

    I think many of them already have.

  35. Murc:

    J. Edgar Hoover was actually trying to get communist agents, even if he was overly-broad in his conception of who they were, and in his methods.

    This is too kind by half. At best, it makes Hoover look like a coward and complete incompetent if he genuinely thought many of the people he was going after were actual agents of foreign powers. And it elides the fact that he was, himself, a criminal.

  36. Andrew:

    Dirty commie William Bennett:

    The cause of anti-communism, which united millions of Americans and which gained the support of Democrats, Republicans and independents, was undermined by Sen. Joe McCarthy … McCarthy addressed a real problem: disloyal elements within the U.S. government. But his approach to this real problem was to cause untold grief to the country he claimed to love … Worst of all, McCarthy besmirched the honorable cause of anti-communism. He discredited legitimate efforts to counter Soviet subversion of American institutions.

  37. Manju:

    Is it just rose glasses, or senility coming on, but does this list of names seems to be better, smarter people than the current Senate crop? What happened to the place?

    What happened is that the South moved right after the fall of Jim Crow, on almost all issues except Civil Rights…where it improved.

    Thats why the most sophisticated Political Scientists view civil rights as detached from the left-right ideological spectrum. The (20-22) psychopathic maggots listed above were actually moderates who leaned left.

    You can’t understand the current polarization of politics without a 2-dimensional view of American politics (left-right = one dimension/ civil rights for Af-ams = second one)

  38. Shakezula:

    Of course it does.

  39. Malaclypse:

    Thats why the most sophisticated Political Scientists view civil rights as detached from the left-right ideological spectrum.

    And that is why the idea that voting is a right is completely unassailed on either the left or the right. Same with marriage equality, and women’s rights.

    Wait, what?

  40. Major Kong:

    I’m waiting for Obama to come out strongly against drinking bleach.

    Cut to Glenn Beck chugging a gallon of Chlorox while yelling “You can’t stop me!”

  41. Kurzleg:

    Clearly, McCarthy was running a false flag operation.

  42. Malaclypse:

    McCarthy addressed a real problem: disloyal elements within the U.S. government.

    Of course he did.

  43. Gus:

    Probably not as much as McCarthy used to drink with breakfast.

  44. Manju:

    Same with marriage equality, and women’s rights.

    Thats why I specified “for af-ams”. Civil Rights for homosexuals aligns to the left-right ideological axis.

  45. sibusisodan:

    You can’t understand the current polarization of politics without a 2-dimensional view of American politics (left-right = one dimension/ civil rights for Af-ams = second one)

    Of the many, many questions which your post leaves begging, the most pressing one is: huh? really?

    I mean, I could just about buy that one left-right position did not map fully or completely onto one’s position vis-a-vis the Civil Rights Act in the 60s. I’m struggling to think of any position on civil rights currently which doesn’t just map straight onto the current L-R divisions.

    If you could name some current Ds who you would view as being on the unexpected end of the civil rights axis given their D-ness, or the same for some Rs, I’d be much obliged.

  46. Malaclypse:

    Wonder why you are not mentioning the Voting Rights Act. Actually, I’m not wondering that at all.

    But hey, you have data from 40 years ago! Go you!

  47. JKTHs:

    Better yet we could get Steve Stockman and Ted Cruz in one fell swoop.

  48. Manju:

    1. There is only one-dimension now. Historically, there were 2.

    2. The civil rights issues in the 2nd dimension were only for Af-ams. Civil rights for women, homosexuals etc does indeed map onto the left-right ideological paradigm.

  49. TribalistMeathead:

    And why was it a real problem?

    Because McCarthy addressed it, that’s why.

  50. firefall:

    not Nathan Bedford Forrest?

  51. Manju:

    Wonder why you are not mentioning the Voting Rights Act.

    I’ll address it. You could argue that civil rights is returning as a issue, and is now aligned with the left-right axis.

    But its very early in the game and you guys have the timing all wrong. I mean, Newt may be the scum of the earth but he did in fact defeat a segregationist dem when he entered congress. The dominant strom/helms often hides the truth that many of the gains r’s made in the south knocked off opponents to civil rights.

    As far as the Political Scientists I allude to, I haven’t heard them address current republican efforts at disenfranchisement yet. Its very early in the game as i mentioned and you have to be careful not to cherrypick. After all, Hillary Clinton tried to disenfranchise af-ams too, but that alone is not enough to transform the Dems into the anti-civil rights.

  52. Incontinentia Buttocks:

    There’s actually a book / pamphlet published in 1954 entitled Joe McCarthy: Apostle of Communism that argues that he was, in fact, a conscious Communist agent whose task it was to undermine the cause of anticommunism. Anticommunist paranoia could really dream up just about any conspiracy imaginable.

  53. Kurzleg:

    Doesn’t surprise me. The only explanation there’s ever been for conservative ineptitude is liberal conspiracy.

  54. joe from Lowell:

    Your verb tense is wrong.

    Civil rights for African-Americans lines up very neatly along a left-right axis today.

    For a brief period in the mid-20th century, that wasn’t as entirely true as it is today, owing to the unusual nature of the New Deal coalition.

  55. CJColucci:

    I lost my old recording of Lord Buckley’s greatest hits, but I don’t remember anything about McCarthy on it. “The Nazz” was pretty hep, though.

  56. EliHawk:

    In so many words, that’s the plot behind The Manchurian Candidate, which is why the original is so much better than the remake’s Corporate Brainwashing angle.

  57. joe from Lowell:

    it makes Hoover look like a coward and complete incompetent if he genuinely thought many of the people he was going after were actual agents of foreign powers.

    It seems to be pretty-well established that he actually did think that. He thought MLK was a Moscow-directed, Bolshevik subversive.

    And it elides the fact that he was, himself, a criminal.

    And short, and had a bad sense of humor. The list of things my comment wasn’t about is nearly endless.

  58. joe from Lowell:

    Tell you what: I denounce Stalin, the broccoli mandate, and J. Edgar Hoover. Better?

  59. CJColucci:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say there are spies for foreign powers infiltrating our government as we speak — or type, or whatever. Just as there have been since, oh, maybe 1790. Do I actually know of any specific spies, or have any insight into where they might be or how to find them? No. But they’re there, all right. You’re welcome, America.
    Tailgunner Joe never found a single spy, and never did anything that was likely to find one. Nixon, odious as he was, actually investigated and found one.

  60. sibusisodan:

    1. There is only one-dimension now. Historically, there were 2.

    That’s nice, and true and all, but different from what you said above about _current_ polarisation in US politics.

    The current polarisation (which I’m assuming is, say, the last decade or so) has very little to do with the switch of the Southern Democrats to the Republican party in the 1960s, and everything to do with the usual L-R axis.

  61. Murc:

    Well, I would argue that your phrasing made it appear as though you were attempting to soft-pedal Hoover.

    Example. This:

    “J. Edgar Hoover was actually trying to get communist agents, even if he was overly-broad in his conception of who they were, and in his methods.”

    is something that could be said by somehow who is pretty sympathetic to Hoover. It’s ambiguous. It makes it sound like you might be about to defend the man, he lived in difficult times, etc etc.

    Whereas something like this:

    “J. Edgar Hoover at least genuinely believed, in his fevered imaginings, that he was trying to get actual existing communist agents.”

    Makes the point more clear.

    I dunno, this could just be me being overly sensitive. The obvious counterpoint, of course, would be “Well, Murc, you know me. Do I seem like the kind of guy who would soft-pedal Hoover?” And of course you do not, but sometimes people surprise you.

  62. Anonymous:

    Hey, it was perfectly reasonable to suggest that Dean Acheson and George Marshall were Communist agents. Well, that is if your mind is completely addled by drink.
    What’s Bennett’s excuse?

  63. rm:

    Why, his excuse is that “disloyal” is a synonym for “not in complete agreement with me,” naturally.

  64. Scott S.:

    I think you mean “intentionally quoting what they actually wrote fairly recently in the National Review.”

    I know, I know, dirty pool…

  65. tucker:

    Probably not. Hacking is cheaper, easier and safer.

  66. burritoboy:

    Red baiting started long before McCarthy. It was a well-recognized strategy as early as the late nineteenth century.

    McCarthy was just one of any number of red baiters during it’s upswing after Mao took over China. He was the one who got the most press, but it’s clear it was a strategy endorsed by Taft, the most powerful of the conservative Republicans from the 1930s to the 1950s.

  67. herr doktor bimler:

    Another dynasty of theocrats?

  68. herr doktor bimler:

    It would make for more entertaining posts (sorry, EL!) if she were to attend SEK’s classes.

  69. tt:

    I don’t see how you can read the article for the purpose of comprehension and come away thinking it’s a defense of Nazism. The author also makes the point that the Benghazi attacks were not senseless; do you think he’s defending those? The point is that neither Benghazi nor Nazism are “senseless,” literally, but come from an actual ideology, thought up by non-insane people. Look, it’s a stupid response to what Obama said, in a stupid and evil publication. But it’s not a defense of Nazism.

  70. herr doktor bimler:

    Umm, look up the “Miracle Mineral Supplement” widely embraced in right-wing alt-med anti-fluoridation circles.
    Beck himself does not seem to have endorsed MMS, but a number of his fans are already chugging bleach.

  71. commie atheist:

    Even if you grant that McCarthy was a swell guy who was right about everything and was martyred by the damn liberals, how do you get from there to supporting a guy who claims that, while he was a student there from 1992-95, the vast majority of Harvard law professors were advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government? Seriously?

  72. Shakezula:

    Not this year, at any rate.

  73. Shakezula:

    Then you did not read the article.

    But, your explanation is as convoluted as the author’s attempt to find fault with Obama’s description of Nazism, so congrats on that.

  74. Shakezula:

    Who knew the Dead Milkmen were referring to an actual practice?

    according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, chronic exposure to small doses of chlorine dioxide could cause reproductive and neurodevelopmental damage.

    Skreeee! Gubbermint interference in my freedumbs! Buy a tanker of the stuff before they take it away!

  75. joe from Lowell:

    No, he’s right. The author compared the people who carried out the attacks on Benghazi with the Nazis. That’s supposed to be a defense of the Nazis?

    I won’t accuse you of not reading the article. Just not understanding it.

    tt’s restatement of the author’s idiotic thesis is spot on.

  76. The Dark Avenger:

    Yes, saying that all the Dixiecrats in the first list weren’t conservative is highly delusional, the Dixiecrats were all over the map except for the issue of civil rights depending on what Southern state they came from.

  77. Manju:

    sibusisodan,

    Re: “You can’t understand the current polarization of politics without a 2-dimensional view of American politics (left-right = one dimension/ civil rights for Af-ams = second one)”

    If you view Southern Dem politicians of the Jim Crow era to be RWingers full stop, you cannot understand the current polarization in Congress. Why? Because then nothing would’ve among that group as a whole, except their views on Civil Rights.

    They were extreme RWingers then, and they are now. Why all of a sudden the polarization?

  78. Manju:

    That should be:

    Because then nothing would’ve [changed] among that group as a whole, except their views on Civil Rights.

  79. sibusisodan:

    If you view Southern Dem politicians of the Jim Crow era to be RWingers full stop, you cannot understand the current polarization in Congress. Why? Because then nothing would’ve among that group as a whole, except their views on Civil Rights.

    Two issues here:

    Who says any of us are in fact doing that? Especially the part where we assume that Southern Dem politicians wouldn’t have budged on any issues one iota in fifty years (this isn’t true of either party)? The original claim is that there’s an abiding element in the conservative mindset which favours McCarthy and his methods. Nothing you’ve written disproves that, at all.

    Second, How big of a group are Southern Dem politicians nowadays? It’s a bit of an empty set.

    Once again, the current polarisation in Congress has bug-all to do with a notional second axis of alignment regarding civil rights for African-Americans in the 60s, because as you’ve noted yourself, the current battle-lines over civil rights tussles are precisely along party lines.

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