The Corner

Cal Pundit

Has some thoughtful criticisms of my column. But I think he’s missing the central point. He writes, “It’s not McCarthyism to accuse a communist of being a communist. It is McCarthyism to accuse someone of being a communist who has only a vague association with communist friends, groups, or ideas.”

Fair enough. And as I said the column and in the Corner, I am no defender of false-accusations and I think McCarthy’s tactics set back the cause of anti-Communism. But the Hollywood Ten, for example, were not victims of “McCarthyism” since there was nothing vague about their membership — not “association”– with the Communist Party. Moreover, McCarthy had little to nothing to do with Hollywood communists. When Lilian Hellman said that anti-Communists picked communism as a cause with as much cynicism as Hitler picked anti-Semitism, she meant that there was no substance to the search for Communists. But there was. They did help Stalin get the atomic bomb, you know. That’s hardly a strategically trivial point. Every effort to find, expose and punish spies and vassals for an enemy power — which, again was really quite evil — was ridiculed as McCarthyism. That’s why the opponents of the Bush administration use the word so much. They want to suggest there is no point to looking for terrorists in our midst because they don’t exist and anyone who claims otherwise is a bigot of some kind.

As for Calpundit’s assertion that I spend 1,000 words defending McCarthy the “man,” I’m not sure what he’s talking about. It seems to me I defended the cause of anti-Communism which liberals routinely label “McCarthyism.” As for the man, how many times do I have to call him a “lout” and a “jerk” before Calpundit will see that I’m not defending the man?


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