Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Bush Junior and the McCarthy Moment
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – “American Idiot Remix” – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)
Good evening and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.
In every crusade and in every cause, no matter the subject or scope, there comes a time when those in power finally go too far. It’s a moment that every crusade leader promises would NEVER happen, but it inevitably does.
I call this point in time the “McCarthy Moment”, named after one of America’s most blatant abusers of political power.
Senator Joe McCarthy’s claim to fame was that he supposedly “knew” where the communist spies were in America during the Cold War. When his personal crusade began, he claimed to have a list of 205 “known communist agents” in the U.S. State Department. That number would change, though, from 205 to 57 and then to 81. And then the Tydings Committee concluded that McCarthy’s actual number was ZERO.
But as crusaders have demonstrated time and time again, they refuse to let little things as FACTS and TRUTH to stand in the way of their cause! McCarthy continued his crusade, attacking anyone he deemed to be a communist supporter. How he managed to get even a modicum of government power after the Tydings Committee’s report in 1950 is nothing short of a sickening display of Congressional corruption; but it happened nonetheless, and McCarthy used it to usher in America’s Cold War version of the Spanish Inquisition.
McCarthy had a zero-sum zealous perspective to his crusade. If you challenged his accusations, you were a communist. If you questioned his logic, you were a communist. If you objected to his statements, you were a communist. If you spoke out against him, you were a communist. If you tried to mount a defense of anyone he accused of being a communist, you were a communist. There was no room for dissent in McCarthy’s fanatical extremist mind. You were either with him, or you were a communist… period. And McCarthy had the power of GOVERNMENT behind him, which he used with impunity.
But finally there was that point when he went too far… when the public simply had enough of his abuses and enough of his zealotry and enough of his zero-sum fanaticism. And it happened through the eyes of a new electronic medium called TELEVISION. When McCarthy tried to rebut the request made by Joseph Welch that McCarthy should produce his ever-changing list of “known communist agents” by claiming that Welch had a supposed “known communist agent” in his private law firm, the legal representative of the U.S. Army finally had enough and said the following:
“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
THAT, my friends, is the McCarthy Moment! It wasn’t very long after that point when McCarthy lost any kind of respect or dignity, even amongst his fellow members of Congress. He died a couple of years later in a matter befitting evil bastards… he died a miserable drunk, still rambling on about his pet crusade to anyone who would listen and wondering why nobody was.
A rare moment indeed, since most crusaders don’t end up this way. Most usually live long lives, praised to the end by their few remaining supporters.
But since then there have been few such moments. That fat bloated waste of oxygen Jerry Falwell certainly had his McCarthy Moment when he went on Pat Robertson’s show after 9/11 and went down his laundry list of ideological opponents and personally accused them of causing the 9/11 tragedy. I’d like to think that neo-con pit bull Ann Coulter had her McCarthy Moment when she called presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot”, but only time will tell if that is really the last straw for her. Dan Rather certainly had his McCarthy Moment when his story on George W. Bush’s National Guard service started to fall apart. He never accepted my open challenge, but his job was forfeited nonetheless.
And now it could very well be that George W. Bush may have experienced his own “McCarthy Moment”.
For years now, George W. Bush has attacked his critics and accused them of helping terrorists. His State of the Union speech made it quite clear that in his simplistic mind, you were wither with him, or you were with the terrorists.
And conservatives and neo-conservatives were quick to back him up on that. People like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were quick to play Squealer to Bush Junior’s Napoleon, attacking Junior’s critics at every opportunity, questioning their patriotism and accusing them of treason. This has given Junior the leeway of backing away from his own words and saying that he wasn’t REALLY questioning the patriotism of his critics, even though by his own words he most certainly was.
And that has allowed the Bush Imperium to browbeat and intimidate their way into getting whatever they want for the past six years. Unlimited funding for the Iraq War, unlimited power to investigate and incarcerate people, being able to re-write laws on a whim… and if you ask why, then you’re supporting terrorists.
But now the subject has turned to immigration reform, and here our simplistic president has placed his bet on a compromise bill that was reached with the new Democratic majority in Congress. It’s a hard sell, especially to the conservatives, because there IS an amnesty program in there, even if they call anything but.
And how IS our president selling this message to his loyal conservative and neo-conservative followers? Is he reasoning with them? Is he giving them the same devil’s deal that he swallowed?
No, my friends, our president has resorted to his tried-and-true method of salesmanship… by questioning the patriotism of anyone who criticizes this bill! He is going around on speaking engagements and accusing anyone who questions or criticizes the compromise bill of not supporting America!
Mind you, his personal Foxnuze media personality is having to go around claiming that the President didn’t REALLY question the patriotism of his critics, but after all this time even a person without a nose can smell the horsecrap coming from Tony Snow’s office.
And that has the cons and neo-cons in a bind. Poor little Squealers! Who would have thought that their best friend, buddy, idol, icon, and savior would turn on them like that? Sure, question the patriotism of the liberals, but go after the cons and neo-cons in the same way? Say it ain’t so!
Well… I would say that I’m surprised, but I’m really not.
Let’s get brutally honest here… at long last George W. Bush has reached his McCarthy Moment. He has reached that inevitable point when his zealotry has finally turned on the very people who supported his efforts and who had turned a blind eye to his abuses. At long last they get a taste of the very venom that they have been busy spewing on others since 2001, and it turns out that they don’t like it.
Mind you, they’re only getting a FRACTION of the venom their liberal and moderate counterparts have been receiving over the years. They’re not getting the endless calls for their forced deportation out of the country. They’re not getting branded traitors and having their religious and moral beliefs called into question. They’re not getting the endless email jokes about getting physically assaulted or being used to describe some sort of great mechanical failure. That’s because the White House has relied on these same cons and neo-cons to be their personal attack dogs. It’s a little hard to chew your own arm off on command.
I can understand WHY Junior had to turn on his con and neo-con friends over this immigration bill, even if nobody else will say it out loud. This is nothing more than quid pro quo for getting the Democrats to roll on their liberal supporters over the endless Iraq funding compromise. Am I the only one who sees these two horrendous compromise bills and is able to connect the dots between them? Probably not, but you won’t find too many people willing to mention the connection.
And much like Joe McCarthy, Bush Junior really doesn’t know any better when it comes to dealing with people who don’t kiss his ass. McCarthy knew that he wasn’t liked in the Congress, and the only way that he could get anything done was to be abrasive and abusive. That was just his style. Likewise, Junior has spent the past seven years wrapping himself around the American flag and coming off like William Jennings Bryant. It’s a little hard to go back on that just because the people questioning him are on the same side of the outdated two-dimensional political spectrum.
It also explains why you have Republicans coming out of the woodwork now to question past Imperium decisions. Some of them are trying to run for President, while others are simply trying to wash the Imperium stain off their hands before they get voted out in the next election. They know that Bush doesn’t have to worry about what the voters think. He doesn’t have to worry about running for re-election so he has absolutely no reason in the world to change his game.
It’s sad when you think about it. Here’s a guy who ran for the White House under the banner of “compassionate conservativism”, promising that things would not be business-as-usual, and in the six-plus years that he’s had the job, he has become pretty much the same kind of toxic politician that his younger self would have campaigned hard to replace. I guess that was just another “casualty of war”.
(Computer – some stuff, but you probably don’t care about it or else you would have heard it)
(Fade Music In – “Heretic, Hero” by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)
Funny thing about McCarthy Moments… people don’t realize that they’ve reached theirs until afterwards. And by then it’s usually too late to change things; the line has already been crossed and the damage has already been done.
“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” So warned the philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche back in 1886.
Don’t worry about Junior, though. The same political system that he crusaded against in 2000 will also not let him leave anytime earlier than January of 2009. As long as he has even a few supporters, he will continue his remaining months in office doing what he’s always been doing. Curse him or praise him as you wish… at least he’s proven that he is consistent.
Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production; all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!
(Computer – Ending/“End of Recording”)
[End of program]