Exhuming McCarthy

UPDATED BELOW: Wolf Blitzer apologizes, sort of.

Outside of Wolf Blitzer’s pathetic show, Liz Cheney’s McCarthy Palooza against the Obama DOJ isn’t going quite as planned, despite the enthusiastic boost it received from the LA Times.  Numerous prominent conservatives have branded Cheney’s insultingly ignorant fear-mongering as reminiscent of or worse than McCarthy, and even Condi Rice called the campaign, “unfortunate.”  When you’ve lost Condi Rice, you’ve lost America, Liz. I always thought it was odd that any credence and or airtime would be given to A) the unqualified daughter of the most despised politician in America, and B) the dumbest and most often wrong Neocon flak of that same dark and repudiated era, but the US media is an odd place, where no show is too unpopular to take on the road, once again.

Fortunately for Kristol and Cheney, but unfortunately for the party they think they’re boosting,  only FOX-addled Americans and overpaid media gasbags sit around worrying about terrorism anymore…  the rest of the country has its own problems, which have the advantage of being real.  The fact that they’re playing the terror card this early simply shows that they don’t have anything else, which is pretty foolhardy, since most Americans realize that Obama is as far to the right as any President could go on terror without getting hauled into the Hague.  Worse than that, these cynical, fear-based campaigns remind Americans of the worst aspects of Bush’s disastrous Presidency, something any smart Republican ought to be running from as fast as they can.

But they aren’t, of course.  A party which offers nothing but war abroad and police-state repression at home can only sell itself through fear, and as the recently released RNC PowerPoint starkly revealed, that’s what they’re going to do.  Of course, since Cheney and Kristol are more interested in papering over their shameful pasts than they are in getting Republicans elected in the future, they’re peddling the same fears from the glory days of 2002-2004, striking a dissonant note when the new, improved fears are supposed to be about creeping socialism and whatnot.  Micael Steele ought to tell Cheney to shut up, but he obviously doesn’t know what that means.

If the Republicans think, seriously, that such tired, discredited strategies will do anything but play right into the hands of the feckless Democrats who, having few good alternatives either, have already picked the Bush years as their opponent in 2010, they will remain in the minority for a long time.  The Bush years were not just about ruinous economic policies, reckless spending, and corruption at all levels, but more importantly they were about a manipulative and sleazy method of governing by fear, smear, and innuendo.  And while the former have remained stubbornly unchanged, America is happy to be free of the latter.

Liz Cheney utterly fails to recognize this, and after having successfully harangued the DOJ into making public the names of the perfectly mainstream lawyers she vilely called the “Al Qeada Seven,” is still beating her dead horse:

Cheney, for her part, shows no signs of relenting. Hours after her organization was able to browbeat the DoJ into releasing the names of the seven officials who previously represented detainees, it put out a statement demanding even more disclosure.

“We regret that they still refuse to tell the American people whether any of these lawyers are currently working on detainee issues inside the Department,” said Aaron Harison, the executive director of Keep America Safe. “The American people have a right to know whether lawyers who voluntarily flocked to Guantanamo to take up the cause of the terrorists are currently working on detainee issues in President Obama’s Justice Department.”

“Flocked to Guantanamo to take up the cause of terrorists?” Really?  How dumb and blindly hateful does Liz Cheney think we are?  Americans fell for fear in 2002 and 2004, and, unlike the media, remember what it got them.  They also remember that almost all of it was unmitigated horshshit, much of it coming from someone named Cheney.  Liz should be glad she didn’t inherit her father’s looks, but sadly, she did get his personality, and that’s good news for Democrats.

UPDATE: Mistakes were made, apparently, at CNN:

On Friday, Blitzer apologized for the graphic and called DOJ lawyers “patriotic.”

“CNN had no intention of suggesting that the Justice Department supports terrorism. Lawyers at the Justice Department are patriotic Americans and we certainly regret any confusion that may have been caused by our graphic.”

Not by his insultingly ridiculous reporting, natch, but it’s something.


  1. cocktailhag says:

    Tom, it’s okay to read such horseshit, but thinking it’s persuasive is a bit beyond the pale. I counted about six flat lies and two or three constitutional rewrites on the first page. C’mon, Powerline got this one right…. why can’t you? Don’t you detect despotism when it’s waved in your face? You don’t see anything wrong with what McCarthy (aptly named) is saying? Evidently not.

    • nailheadtom says:

      As usual, you’re not going to point out exactly what those six lies on the first page are. And it’s nice to know that you agree with Powerline since they basically agree with McCarthy.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Y’all can “agree” that the moon is made of green cheese, too. It doesn’t change the fact that the kind of summary justice, witch hunts, and police state tactics of which McCarthy (both of them) are so enamored are un-American. And counterproductive, since all they do is make our justice system look like a banana republic joke, and other countries (except the despotic ones, of course) unwilling to cooperate with us on terror prosecutions.
        Of course, since you, Powerline, and McCarthy want nothing more than for us to be plagued with terrorism forever to relive the glory days of Bush, maybe there’s a certain logic to your desire to mass-produce martyrs.

  2. mikeinportc says:

    Missed Blitzer, but caught Sessions (again). Apparently, he hasn’t gotten your memo yet. :(

    To bolster his argument for the Cheney/Kristol side 666th Circle of Hell*, he cited that great authority on justice and due process ……….[wait for it]
    …………………………………………………………….. Jon Kyl .

    * (I know,I know. There weren’t that many, but if Dante was around today, he’d have to come up with [a lot!] more Circles.)

    • cocktailhag says:

      Well, a lot of the media has, as usual, blown it, but I think that’s what brought some righty lawyers out of the woodwork to say “WTF?” And when Condi stomps her Ferragamo, watch out. I’m still betting this is a big, fat backfire.

      • Blahniks. I thought it was Blahniks. Then again, what do I know? I hear she plays the piano, though — probably Scarlatti, so she doesn’t have to worry about getting the stilettos caught on the pedals like she would with Chopin.

        • cocktailhag says:

          I refer to a bit of unpleasantness when, as New Orleans was drowning, Condi went to New York to see “Spamalot,” and then sashayed into the Ferragamo store to buy $800 and up little somethings for herself, and when accosted by customers in the store, had them all removed by security. Whether Tasers were used, CHNN has not verified. Afterward, she decided, albeit belatedly, to go to Mississippi and go to church. A caller on the Ed Schultz show (he was just a Fargo-based radio guy then) said, “She isn’t getting into Heaven wearing $1000 shoes.” Truer words are seldom spoken.
          I’m sure Condi had a Blahnik or two, but she was able to buy them with less incident.

  3. sysprog says:

    This particular March 2010 episode of the new McCarthyism made me remember (with help from The Google) the Cully Stimson affair of 2007.

    Stimson got lousy press coverage for going a little bit too far – - a bit farther than his Pentagon position allowed, and, after a couple of weeks of push-back by legal ethics supporters, and by the corporate law firms he had slandered, Stimson was forced to resign his office at the Pentagon and move to a new office as “Senior Legal Fellow” at the Heritage Foundation.

    The wingnuts continue, undeterred.

    Stimson had earned his wings and won himself a wingnut welfare “fellowship” and is now a regular “expert” commentator on CNN, NPR, and various other Fox-affiliated networks.

    In 2008, some of Murdoch’s spokesmen editorialized, in the WSJ, that pro bono representation gave the Gitmo prisoners an unfair advantage over the poor little outgunned USDOJ and USDOD lawyers, who would have won their valiant battle in the SCOTUS if only the evil corporate law firms weren’t ganging up against the will of the people. This was probably the only time in recent memory that the WSJ has complained about corporate law firms.

    The wingnuts continue, and they refine and polish their crap, and they’re selling it, and people are buying it.


    February 10, 2010

    Terror Trials

    Voters say 68 – 25 percent that terrorism suspects should not receive all of the constitutional protections afforded by a civilian trial.

    - – Quinnipiac Poll

    If and when the White House forces Holder to reverse his decision to have civilian trials for (some) Gitmo prisoners, Liz Cheney and the GOP will smile and take a well-earned victory lap around the beltway chatter circuit.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I think they already have capitulated, as is their habit. Still, I think that Cheney’s victory lap will be laughably premature. Run with this, Liz, please.

      • sysprog says:

        That’s what we love about the hag. On Friday night, once the grey cells are immobilized, her inner Pollyanna bounds forth.

        • cocktailhag says:

          Not every Friday, and it doesn’t have to be night, either. This time, though, I do think that the three-dimensional chess may have actually paid off. Had Obama actually made any substantive changes to the Bush terror policy, there’s a chance that this crap might have worked. He didn’t, to his everlasting shame, but his stupid and unprincipled choice does make Cheney et al look like the hyperventilating prevaricators that they are, when they come out with stuff like this.
          Given the media, it’s still a toss-up, but I think Keep America Safe got a bit carried away.

          • nailheadtom says:

            Why would you care if the Cheney dame says something off the wall in a video that will turn every semi-conservative into a Stalinist? Why are you worried about Republican failure? Why aren’t you saying, “Luckily, those dippy righties have crapped in their nest and now Wall Street won’t have to give the Dems and Obama a jillion dinars to buy the next election”? Huh? Aren’t you glad that they’re so inept that it will make it child’s play for the Dems to entrench themselves even more deeply into the national government? What are you complaining about?

          • cocktailhag says:

            For some reason, you fail to notice that I like or dislike policies regardless of the party responsible for them. I think it’s absolutely shameful that Obama has allowed the gross constitutional usurpations of the Bush administration to go unpunished, and worse, has continued many of them. Police states are police states, whether from the left or right. (Or in this case center right or far right…) Wars are almost never justifiable or worth the cost, whether they’re called “necessary”or not.
            What Obama has shown is that having the Democrats so “entrenched” is just as bad as having the Republicans so entrenched. Not worse, but hardly better.

  4. michlib says:

    Are you sure about the looks thing … shave the head, fit with Al-Queda detecting superspecs, add supercilious sneer …. OMG – it’s Dick Jr. !

    • cocktailhag says:

      Come to think of it, no. I saw two pictures today that, minus the lip curl, could have been Dick himself in a bad blonde wig. Even better.

  5. sysprog says:

    The three “bloggers of the year” at PowerLine are split.


    John and Scott say that Liz Cheney’s video was a sadly necessary weapon against the evil Kenyan dictator’s Madministration. War is Hell, after all.

    Paul disagress, and refers to Liz Cheney’s “vicious, unfounded attacks on lawyers who exercise their right to represent despicable clients.”

    All three guys preserve their JBS street cred by agreeing that, whatever their opinion of Liz Cheney, the word “McCarthyism” is a misnomer for vicious unfounded attacks, since Tail Gunner Joe was, you know, awesome.

    • cocktailhag says:

      When Ann Coulter first got the ball rolling on McCarthy revisionism, I thought it was just because she (?) was bonkers. Little did I know a rebranding was underway, and of course once one righty starts to believe something demented, all the rest of them have to get in line. I’m quite certain none of them would ever listen to, much less quote, REM. They prefer Lawrence Welk, minus those commie Lenin Sisters.

  6. meremark says:

    I agree, CH, MuckCheneyism is backfiring. You can tell they are desperate when their only message is “be terrified.” And you can tell they are losing, and shrinking, when their lips are moving and having to talk a message. Since everyone forgoddabbuttem.

    The “DoJ means what?” has backfired when Blitzer has to apologize. Other media which contaminated themselves (LA Times) silently bury their false reporting, hope it is forgotten, and just never ask or believe Cheney muck again.

    Meanwhile, there’s a similar fall from grace into Liars Hell going on with the NY Times trying to bury their six months of false reporting about the O’KeefeLiar videos. The Times is the dissolution figurehead but many ‘monkey-say’ media echoing liars are running away scared, taking cover, or throwing sources under the bus … same as the Times is trying to do.

    Other indications in the same direction — exeunt! — show the rightwing rabies running its course, inevitably terminal. The scene is the larger meta-scene FAIL, beyond individual failures and ruins such as Cheney, LA Times, O’Keefe, NY Times, Palin, T-bags … today McCain got roasted and fork-stuck done on Maddow’s minutes … who’s next? to shoot off their mouth and self-destruct in hate poison.

    In the larger picture the traditional media which want their reputation back are going to snub and dump FUX TV and all the echo-head TVs using the FUX’ed up material.

    • cocktailhag says:

      We’ll see about that, but I do see promising signs here and there. I think that Beck/Teabaggerism has made the righties more (if that were possible) intemperate with their lies, and the mud lands on the media when they mindlessly repeat them as before. Everybody’s seen this stinker of a movie, and won’t pay to see it again. Remember the weak pseudo-apologies from the NYT and WaPoo after their WMD boo-boos? Fool me once, and all that.

  7. nailheadtom says:

    “Fortunately for Kristol and Cheney, but unfortunately for the party they think they’re boosting, only FOX-addled Americans and overpaid media gasbags sit around worrying about terrorism anymore… the rest of the country has its own problems, which have the advantage of being real.”

    Taken an airplane ride lately? Had you ticket scanned at a sporting event? Applied for a job?

    • cocktailhag says:

      Yes, and it’s all quite perfunctory and stupid, and also ignores the fact that “the terrorists,” who will be around as long as we continue to provoke them, won’t use airplanes again, unless they’re really dumb. Like the underpants “bomber.”

      • nailheadtom says:

        Like always, the only point you get is the one on your head. Does the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Safety Administration consist entirely of “only FOX-addled Americans and overpaid media gasbags”? You’ve exposed too many of your meager supply of brain cells to industrial adhesives and solvents.

  8. harpie says:

    Related articles:
    John Adams Meets Joe McCarthy; Eugene R. Fidell; 3/6/10

    Have You No Sense of Decency?; David Luban; 3/6/10
    [includes link to 2006 interview of DSG Neal Katyal with Stephen Colbert after Katyal represented Salim Hamdan in front of the SC.]

  9. The Heel says:

    The National Enquirer is under consideration for a Pulitzer prize:


    It’s all good. We are definitely making progress as a species….

  10. retzilian says:

    In defense of The Enquirer, I met one of their reporters in California when I was attending Peterson’s murder trial and this guy was a very seasoned journalist – a grizzled old bald guy from Brooklyn who’d written for mainstream newspapers and still used an old-fashioned reporter’s notebook and pen. He had some really great stories and we exchanged “inside scoops” for the case.

    When the Edwards story broke in December 2007, I had a big argument with a friend who was an Edwards supporter about the fact that I thought the story was true, that it smelled true, and that I thought it had legs. He told me I was an idiot to believe the Enquirer and that it was just a smear campaign. I said, “Hmmm. I dunno. This rings like a bell to me!”

    He has since had to apologize to me when the truth came out. Ha ha.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’m with Retz on this one, Heel. Because of the constant threat of libel suits the tabloids face, they actually are pretty careful about their sourcing. Davis Gregory could never get a job there, for example. The Enquirer may choose cheesy stories, but they usually get them right.

      • dirigo says:

        Bottom feeders chase bottom feeders, coming up for air occasionally to tell us what they’ve found, thus advancing civilization, somewhat haltingly.

        It’s progress of a sort.

    • The Heel says:

      Does this friend of yours that had to apologize drink and write political blogs? :)