The Corner

Paranoia On The Left

If you want to see just how extreme the “anti-imperialist” academic left can get, have a look at this scholar’s attack on H.R. 3077-–the bill that will reform federal subsidies to Middle East (and other area) studies. (In the selections on top, click on the link to the piece by David Brodsky.) I have repeatedly emphasized that H.R. 3077 will silence no viewpoint. This bill is about including many perspectives, not silencing opposition to American foreign policy. The bill itself explicitly prohibits federal control of the college curriculum. But professor Brodsky thinks he’s got proof of the bill’s McCarthyist intentions. Brodsky points out that the hearings on H.R. 3077 were held on the fiftieth anniversary of the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, “scapegoated as ‘traitors,’ framed by the government, and murdered in the McCarthyist terror.” So according to Brodsky, the true, McCarthyist, intentions of the bill were secretly signaled to conservatives by the timing of the hearing. But how many conservatives would know that June 19, 2003 was the fiftieth anniversary of the Rosenbergs’ execution? Brodsky explains: “Right-wing historical memory would have been reminded of this date by Ann Coulter’s recent best-selling pamphlet, Treason, which celebrates the McCarthy period.” Now I testified at that hearing, and have been a key public advocate of this bill. But this coded message is news to me. I haven’t read Treason, and none of the House staffers clued me in on the meaning of the hearing date. So I’m grateful to professor Brodsky for revealing the secret code.