Bachmann, West and the Rebirth of McCarthyism

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Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann

How the nation and our political leaders deal with members of Congress like Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Allen West (R-FL), who talk as if they are the reincarnation of Senator Joe McCarthy, is our next test! Will we again allow the nation to go through the pain and suffering that McCarthy caused or do we stand up early and say, "Your brand of politics and intolerance is not acceptable in 2012"?

When Bachmann and four other ultra-conservative members of the House of Representatives made serious and unsubstantiated allegations against Huma Abedin, wife of former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and long-time aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, only Senator John McCain (R-AZ) went to the well of the Senate and called out Michele Bachmann. He said, "These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis and no merit, and they need to stop." While I applaud him, McCain didn't go far enough and neither did Speaker John Boehner, who said he hadn't read Bachmann's full statement but stated that "lawmakers shouldn't make such serious allegations without anything to back them up," saying, "From everything that I do know of [Abedin], she has a sterling character and I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous."

Where were the majority of the other members of Congress both Democrat and Republican and why weren't they lined up to speak and call out Bachmann after McCain and Boehner? It appears that most of the Republican Party is apparently willing to accept her and West, who sees communists under every bed, as part of their party and would rather not speak out against them and show them to be the extremists that they are.

This nation suffered greatly during the McCarthy era in the 1950s and many good people lost their careers and even their lives due to McCarthy's tactics. We are seeing those tactics used again today by the likes of Bachmann, West and their cronies. This time we should work to nip them in the bud before they get out of hand and before they can again take over our nation. Good people will listen to reason but it takes leaders who are willing to stand up to bullies like Bachmann and West and call them out now! If there is anyone who doesn't speak out because they believe this country can't go back to the days of McCarthyism they are fooling themselves.

I have heard some pundits say we should disregard the likes of Bachmann and West because when we give them airtime and talk about them we play into their hands. I for one believe we can't follow that path because they are too dangerous to be ignored.

There seems to be a palpable fear in the nation today of standing up to the worst of those who make bigoted statements, and they include some of the members and leaders of the Tea Party like Michelle Bachmann. The Republican Party accepted her as a presidential candidate and had her in numerous debates and it seemed that the other candidates felt that if they weren't overly polite to her they would suffer. One can be polite to her as a woman but should not accept the outrageous things she says without a strong rebuttal. Mitt Romney will likely, and from my point of view thankfully, lose this election because he took positions so far to the right to appease Bachmann's constituency. But thankfully as we have seen that constituency isn't yet strong enough to name a nominee of the Party and the Republican Party still has a chance to speak out and save itself from that eventuality.

Many like me believe that people are innately good. No one is born hating but rather hate is taught. Instead we need to teach tolerance and love of thy neighbor. We need to stand up to and call out fanatics like Bachmann and West and it needs to be done by those in both political parties as well as the clergy and all those who truly believe in diversity and a world where we can live together and respect each other.

If we give in to the Bachmanns and Wests of the world without a doubt we will see ourselves facing the next era of McCarthyism. Instead we need to stand up and be counted and take them on head-on. Bullies will always end up caving if one can only summon the guts to stand up to them.

This article was fist published July 31, 2012 in The Huffington Post.

0 Comments For This Article

Irwin Corey

Have a chicken sandwich and relax

Ruth Jacobsen

Thank you so much for writing this. I couldn't agree more. It's hard to believe these people are in positions of power. The comment above about having a chicken sandwich and relaxing is exactly the problem. It's rude, for one thing, and for another, it's EXACTLY what Republicans want people to do while they ruin the country. Keep on writing. Don't relax.

Irwin Corey

I wonder when this "ruining the country" started. Was it with the ethical behavior of Bill Clinton, John Edwards, or Anthony Weiner; or with the economic prowess of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid?

Anonymous

You clearly have spun what they said in a way that is very self serving. They issues a lengthy report in which a sentence contained Huma Abedin. You need to wake up to the fact that there are issues out there that need to be addressed about how "radicals" are infiltrating our society for their interests.

When will you be writing about Harry Reid and his "McCarthyism" as he produces unsubstantiated claims about Mitt Romney and his taxes.

Shame on the Dish for publishing this crap.

I would also suggest that others take their heads out of the sand. This article is as big a piece of garbage as the Liberals are turning our great nation into these days.

I prey that Romney wins the election because there isn't an American with an ounce of common sense that can believe the Obama has moved us in a positive direction. Unemployment is miserable! The deficit is out of control! We are becoming an entitlement society!

What a DISASTER!

Anonymous

In Minnesota there must be many accomplished, knowledgeable, and wise women and men who could represent the congressional district better than Bachmann.

Bonnie GK

This article is correct on most every point. The only reason Romney would appease Bachmann's Tea Party radicals or Super PACs is for votes...he sure doesn't need more money and he sure doesn't care about them. Romney only cares about Romney, not his kids' feelings, not his dog, not even his wife's horse in the Olympics. Why in heck does anyone think he has USA citizens' interests at heart...he doesn't have one. Morman missionary work in France...give me a break...that's a joke.

My guess and that of others, is that the only reason he has not shown his taxes for previous years is that he paid NONE. Can anyone REALLY come up with a better answer? And, yes, he sent jobs off shore...do you think all his millions of $$$$$ stashed in other countries' banks is just sitting there waiting to be reinvested in USA businesses? Get real!...those banks are lending it out to improve their own countries' economies. Romney is a greedy self-absorbed traitor.

Bonnie GK

To Ms/Mr Anonymous...We ARE becoming an entitlement society...Romney thinks he is entitled to be president while not disclosing his taxes like everyone else who runs for president has done, including his own father.

Senators and Congressmen think they are entitled to get paid when they stonewall legislation that is in the best interests of society for their own self-interests and political gain. Politicians think they are entitled to medical and retirement benefits long after they leave office and some for a lifetime while only serving for 2 years. How many of us are getting those entitlements on the backs of fellow US citizens?

Social Security is being labeled as entitlement by the radical right when we seniors have paid for it in advance. Covering basic health and medical services for those who can't get insurance or afford it is thought of as entitlement, socialism, or "communism" by those who already have theirs? At the same time, we only spend about 6% of our nation's GDP on health care while squandering 54% of our GDP on excessive defense spending...more than China, Russia, UK and France combined. We are a very sick nation in more ways than one. Vote out the Republican's and eliminate the real entitlements.

Cravin Moorehead

All that is left of the republican party are the very, very rich and those stupid enough to vote republican and against their own best interests.

@Irwin Corey is a perfect example of one of the, "not rich", ones.

His focus is on the nasty sexual foibles of the people that he sites.

Now lets talk about his republican cronies and what they have done to the nation.

Richard Nixon - Had a "secret plan" to end the war in Viet Nam. Sure he did. How many thousands of lives were lost while the shape of the table in Paris was negotiated? He was a disgusting republican pig.

Spiro Agnew - The first VP sent to jail on charges of bribery and extortion. Perfect republican.

Ronald Reagan - Devastated the public educational system and started the cancer that is now metastasized into the modern republican. The party of which @IC is a part. He committed treason by negotiation with a foreign power (Iran) to gain the Presidency. Was it a coincidence that the hostages were released on his inauguration day?

He traded arms to our enemies to finance a war that the congress would not finance. He, like @IC, was scum.

George W. Bush - EVERYTHING! Took a booming economy and transferred all of the wealth to the top 1%. He described them as, "His base". They were "base", all right. His business acumen took us to the brink of a

depression.

Mitch "The Turtle" McConnell - Mr. Obstruction. Stated that his most important job was to make President Obama a one term President. Don't bother trying to create jobs. We don't need those.

Frank Luntz - He held a dinner on President Obama's inauguration night.
There he convened the republican leadership and began plotting ways to obstruct the duly elected President Of The United States Of America. Not treason? Why not. Isn't that the republican way?

And so, @IC, keep those pure asexual thoughts and base your votes on them. Pray with Senator David Vitter and Congressman Mark Foley. Kneel with Senator John Ensign and his aid's wife. Pray. And always remember to keep a wide stance with Larry Craig.

You, @IC, are a vile man. That is to say, a republican.

Anonymous

If I wanted to read an article in the Huffington Post I would do this but this anti-republican "crap" is not what I want to read in the Dish. I thought the Dish was about Georgetown and DC not a political arm of the Democratic Party . The publication of this type of article is out of the bounds of non-bias reporting. It is a scare tactic and not worthy of your publication. If you continue to be anti-conservative and involved in National Politics not focused on Georgetown news I will have to look elsewhere for a blog to read.Is the Dish going to become a part of the Huffington organization??? So sad...

Anonymous

I could not agree more with the above comment. I, and many others, read the Dish because of its local, neighborhood-oriented coverage. I do NOT want to read this over-the-top left, unthinking raving commentary, when I come to this site. Do you have any idea how far out there Rosenstein is and how uneducated his views are? Stick to community coverage, which is what you are about!