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Is Palin the New McCarthy?

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ABQCOWBOY, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/18/palins_ism_factor_97932.html

    Palin's 'Ism' Factor

    By Richard Cohen
    August 18, 2009

    Try this on for size: Palinism. What is it? It is an updated version of McCarthyism, which takes it name from the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin liar, demagogue and drunk, and means, according to Wikipedia, "reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries." As far as we know, Sarah Palin is not a drunk.

    But she certainly shares McCarthy's other attributes -- and this one as well: the ability to drive the debate. In McCarthy's day, it was anti-communism coupled with national security, and it hardly mattered that he frequently did not have his facts straight. He got huge amounts of attention anyway.

    With Palin, the subject is health care, which in many ways is the Red Menace of our day and lends itself to a kind of political pornography. For sheer disregard of the facts, her statement about President Obama's "death panel" has to rank with McCarthy's announcement that "I have here in my hand a list of 205" (or 57 or 72 or whatever) names of communists in the State Department. They were both false -- McCarthy's by commission, Palin's probably by omission. She rarely knows her facts.

    What was most depressing about McCarthy's career was not just the excesses of the man himself, but the refusal of others -- mainly his fellow Republicans -- to either rein him in or defend his victims. Now we are seeing something similar with Palin. Say what you will about any of the health care proposals, not one of them suggests a "death panel" empowered to withhold medical services from the aged or the disabled. To suggest that one exists is reprehensible. To state it outright is either boldly demagogic or just plain loopy.

    Yet, you can beat the bushes to a fine powder and find only two Republicans of note -- Sens. Johnny Isakson and Lisa Murkowski -- who had the courage or the decency to tell Palin that she doesn't know what she's talking about. Certainly, this was not the case with Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, who in fact virtually seconded Palin's charge. This is not just because Gingrich himself can be casual with the facts, but because his urge to be politically expedient often overwhelms his convictions.

    Something similar could be said about Sen. Charles Grassley, a key Senate Republican on health care. He mouthed a limp echo of Palin's lie and then, boldly, looked the other way. Sadly, the list of the meek includes Palin's Geppetto, John McCain, who fashioned her out of political desperation and has yet to whittle her down to size. In an update of the folk tale, I'd like to think that whenever he praises Palin, his own nose grows.

    As with McCarthyism, Palinism is a product of its times. McCarthy exploited the public's fear of communism and communists. Not only were they abroad, but they were here in America -- spies, fellow travelers, pinkos, apologists, intellectuals and short, bespectacled minorities. It was their very ubiquity and invisibility that made them so dangerous.

    Health care reform provides Palin with the same opportunity. The klutziness of Obama's effort -- people think they know what they can lose but have no idea of what they can gain -- again raises the specter of invisible forces that will take but not give, dictate but not listen, tax but not provide. But as is almost always the case with right-wing populists, the shooter has aimed at her own foot. Palin's "death panel" remarks either killed or helped kill the proposal to offer end-of-life counseling. The victims will be the poor, the uninformed and the ideologically blind who will find themselves unable to make a graceful exit. The affluent have their living wills and such. The poor have only their grief.

    McCarthy's career was mercifully short. He made his famous speech in 1950 and was censured by the Senate four years later. By 1957, he was dead. His rise was a product of a now-antiquated newspaper culture, but his fall was abetted by the advent of TV. Americans looked and were appalled. He was finished.

    Palin, as wholesome as McCarthy was not, is ready-made for television. Still, she has gone from a 57 percent favorable rating soon after McCain picked her as his running mate to a current 39 percent -- a negative landslide of justifiable proportions. Before she fades into fringedom, she will do one bad and one good thing -- hurt the very people she supposedly champions and expose the appalling opportunism of the Republican leaders.

    I have in my hand a list of their names.
    cohenr@washpost.com


    Not surprised. The left seems to be big on lists of names.

    I do not agree with Cohen but I think it at least has to be considered. Just as we can not afford to allow the Far Left to usurp power from us, we must also be weary of the right. I don't believe that's what's going on with Palin but Cohen asks the question so it is at least worth considering.
  2. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Why does a question from that hack require answering?
    Just because someone asks a question does not mean it deserves an answer.
    Their fear of her is so clear that I guess this was just a matter of time.
    The left constantly tries to use McCarthyism; just another in a long boring road.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Palin went overboard calling it a death panel however there was a section in the bill that required elderly to be consulted on end of life matters which was recently removed. As far as I'm concerned if and when I want to talk to my doctor about end of life that will be my choice with my doctor not with a consultant mandated by the Government. Thankfully this was removed but she was not that far off in her description
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I do not think she did ...... that was exactly what it was.
  5. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    How is this female not a politician anymore and still the Dems hate her? Is she a jedi, in her political death she became stronger? How does that work here?
  6. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to be clear, I didn't say it needed to be answered. I simply said that it is wise for us to consider the question.

    Now, if we decide to give an answer, that of course is up to each individual. The answer, of course, would be consistant with what you believe about Palin and this article.
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I think had she called it out based on what was written she would not be getting ripped by many right now. But yes there is a bit of truth in what was being said I just think she should have said if differently.
  8. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    McCarthy is a person the left loves to demonize, but he was right far more than he was wrong. There are several informative books out there detailing just how correct he was. This was a topic here about a year ago.
  9. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Exactly correct.........its just another case of sucessful revision of history by the left, but truth is filtering out.
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    McCarthy was a total SOB and he only seized on the Red Scare as a way to increase his power. But from the time the Soviet Union collapsed and we started to find out about what had been going on it was seen that he by accident was a whole lot more right then wrong.
  11. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    She is still a politician and always will be. She just no longer holds office. Same with Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton. They are no longer in office, but still remain politicians. And people still hate Clinton.
  12. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    Clinton does not spark the kind of outrage I have seen for Palin even post office.

    Gingrich does not spark the kind of ourtrage I have seen as well for Palin, nor has Gore and all them.

    Palin could get up and tell people to get out of the path of the hurrican and i could assure you 60 percent of the people would hate her for it.
  13. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Active Member

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    McCarthy was big on throwing numbers of "known Communists" in government and elsewhere. His accusations ruined the careers of a lot of people. Are you saying that this Government is riddled with "Card Carrying Communists"?
  14. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    The Democrats feared McCarthy (Tail Gunner Joe) and they fear Sarah Palin because she reaches the people.

    Her characterization of the bill's provision as one creating Death Panels was accurate it you are familiar with the way many doctors treating the elderly are eager for them to have signed DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders that blocks attempts to keep them alive when they have an occasion of heart failure. Although the meaning was not spelled out, the mandatory aspect of it was intended to promote the urging of early deaths as a way to reduce costs to the 'public option,' or, if not so intended by all who voted on it, could be used that way. She saw that, and so did many oldsters, particularly after she brought their attention to it with a pithy phrase.

    She doesn't need an office to be effective and it drives liberals crazy, just as Rush Limbaugh has always done. Only she has more gravitas.

    :)
  15. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    My point is she is still a politician. That has not changed, so it is understandable that she will still illicit some kin of reaction whether it is positive or negative. She is just recently out of office, so it makes sense that she still has some influence on people. Once she has been out of office as long as Gingrich and Clinton she won't be as influential just like those two guys. Their influence has lessened over time. Not that I remember that much public outrage associated with Gingrich. I am sure there was some, but nothing compared to when Bill was in office.

    Politicians will always be politicians. I don't believe in the "i like/voted for him/her because they are just regular people". They are not regular people. They are politicians. Every single one of them.
  16. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Is it wrong to sign a DNR? I know that is way too general of a question. It will depend on the exact situation. I think there are many cases where a person signing a DNR can save a huge headache for their loved ones. Certainly you don't want to force anyone to sign a DNR, but when a person is fully informed, willing and able to make that tough decision there should be no problem with signing a DNR.
  17. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Just the Executive branch.;)
  18. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    And Phrozen if you bothered to check it out he was right about the state department and other areas haveing a lot of spies in it. As the KGB files showed that were made public in the early 90's.
  19. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    He may have been an SOB. I don't know. I never talked to the man, but that does not change the fact he was correct many more times than he was wrong. It was more than luck or accidents. He was the loudest and yes it built his rep up, but none of those things should distract from the main point, he was correct.
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    He was a POS and a SOB. No doubt about that.

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