Monday, April 23, 2012

Week of 04/23/2012

No, They Have No Decency
– by David Matthews 2

I have been writing online commentaries for over sixteen years now. And when it comes to the depths of the GOP in terms of their hypocrisy, their narcissism, and their self-serving self-righteousness, it feels like I am sounding like a broken record, pointing out things that most people should have long accepted by now.

The most aggravating part is how the GOP has co-opted every criticism, pretended to be the victims, and then manufacture some alternate history where somehow every sin they committed could be traced to some mythical sin committed by someone else.

For instance, do you remember when Democrats booed and spit on President George W. Bush when he would make his State of the Union speeches? Do you remember when the Dems in both the House and Senate openly called Bush Junior a “traitor” and a “liar”? Go ahead and recall those specific instances.

You can’t, can you?

That’s because they never existed. At all. Period.

Were there protesters in the spectator’s seats making that kind of ruckus? Yes, there were a few that did that. And those people were taken outside immediately by Capitol Hill Police. But those are not sworn members of the House of Representatives or the US Senate.

And yet conservatives and neo-conservatives will swear on a crate full of Bibles that the Democrats did those things and then some on the floor of the Congress. Yes, they will lie to the American people and they will lie to their own deity that these fictional things happened in order to justify their own revulsion of the current President. And their myrmidons will believe it happened and they will recite the fictional times when they saw or heard these things happen simply because they were told that they happened.

Sixty years ago, a despicable human being with an otherwise unremarkable history as a U.S. Senator made a speech in West Virginia where he claimed to have in his possession a list of names in the State Department that he said were members of the Communist Party. At first he claimed that list to have 205 names on it, then it was 51, then it was 57, then 81.

Remember that last number.

That abrasive and abusive despicable human being used fear and hysteria to gain power over his fellow politicians and over the rest of America. He pitted American against American, neighbor against neighbor. He rode a wave of fear-mongering that ruined lives and destroyed careers. He even preyed on the very armed forces that he once served in during World War II.

And he was never held to account for any of it. He was never forced to atone for the careers he’s ruined, the jobs he lost, the families that were broken, and even the lives he drove to suicide. He was given a censure by his peers, which is no different than a slap on the wrist. It’s like catching mass-murderer Ted Bundy after he killed his last victim (which was a child, by the way) and then just slapping him upside the head and letting him go with a “don’t do it again” message.

That despicable human being was one Joseph McCarthy, and even after his censure, his fascistic hatred never stopped. He still claimed to see communists in every corner, in every facet of society. The only thing that truly stopped Joe McCarthy was his own demons when he drank himself to death. But the stain of McCarthyism continues even to this day.

And now it has been resurrected, picking up right where the despicable McCarthy himself left off.

On April 10th, 2012, Congressman Alan West of Florida gave a speech where he claimed that he knew of 78-81 members of Congress that were members of the Communist Party.

Yes, 81. The same “final number” that McCarthy gave almost sixty years ago of people that he “knew” were members of that same party. It should also be noted that those same “78-81” people that he claims to “know” are Communist Party members are all Democrats.

Much like McCarthy, Congressman West is a war veteran. Much like McCarthy, West clearly has no love for civil liberties. In fact it is said that his service record in Iraq is a reflection of that disdain.

And much like McCarthy, when pressed for this “list” on CNN, West simply waffled on naming names and doubled-down on his assertions that they somehow exist.

Well let’s get brutally honest here… with all due respect to the office - and only to the office – Congressman West, much like the late Senator McCarthy, you are despicable. You bring disgrace to your office just as much as you brought disgrace to your uniform in Iraq.

By resurrecting the ghosts of a disreputable and dishonorable Senator, you do more than just resurrect a dead issue. You drag the United States Congress once again over the thousands of Americans who were victims of McCarthyism. Thousands, Congressman.

And they weren’t all “liberal elitists” or Hollywood actors. They were schoolteachers. They were construction workers. They were Middle-class families. They were hard working people, and their friends, and their spouses. Even the children of McCarthyism’s victims were victims themselves. Anyone that an accuser could link to their target became a victim as well.

Worse yet, Congressman, you do this in the name of political extremism! You resurrect the unpunished crimes against the American people for nothing more than ego gratification and to further balkanize the political environment with no regard as to the consequences of your actions. Those are not the characters of a political representative worthy of any measure of respect. Those are the characters of a sociopath.

It was then-former President Harry Truman who said in 1953: “It is now evident that the present Administration has fully embraced, for political advantage, McCarthyism. I am not referring to the Senator from Wisconsin. He is only important in that his name has taken on the dictionary meaning of the word. It is the corruption of truth, the abandonment of the due process law. It is the use of the big lie and the unfounded accusation against any citizen in the name of Americanism or security. It is the rise to power of the demagogue who lives on untruth; it is the spreading of fear and the destruction of faith in every level of society.”

This is what you are championing with your words, Congressman. The worst kind of politician; the disgraceful, dishonorable, disrespectful kind. And unlike Joseph Welsh, I don’t have to ask if you have any sense of decency, because your party has long since proven it has none.

I can only hope that the vast majority of the American people have learned what you apparently have not. That they remember those dark days of American history in their proper perspective; that they recognize the lives that were ruined six decades ago in the name of political partisanship and some fascistic sense of loyalty masquerading as patriotism, and that they give a resounding “No” to bringing those days back.

And if that is too much to ask for, then people like myself will fight to make sure that, unlike McCarthy, you are actually held to account for your actions. Because I am tired of sounding like a broken record when it comes to the political molestation of the United States.

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