Sunday, January 15, 2006

"Kennedyism" - the New McCarthyism

Ted Kennedy's hateful behavior at the Alito confirmation hearings is getting some press (although not from his liberal lapdogs in the mainstream media). First, in today's New York Post, Arthur Herman writes:

...McCarthy's defeat seemed to vindicate their own excesses. Liberals began to label conservatives as closet fascists, embodiments of a primitive and pathological "paranoid style" of politics, while the media applauded.
Over the next decades, while conservatives were reining in the rhetoric, liberals were settling into the habit of attacking every Republican as a crypto-Nazi, a racist, a sexist and a religious bigot — and those who supported them as an ignorant redneck lynch mob...
Democrats came to see themselves as entitled to smear every conservative as a racist and every conservative organization as a looming threat to civil liberties, while the media accepted that rhetorical excess as standard operating procedure.
And — like McCarthy — as the Democrats' political fortunes began to slip, they assumed that the way to reverse course was to ramp up the rhetoric, "to get their message out," instead of turning it down.
Then came Wednesday.
THIS time, the TV camera, trained by chance on Mrs. Alito's face, revealed the human cost of their recklessness — just as it did that June afternoon in 1954.
The media filter's control of the direction of our public perceptions and sympathies has been suddenly reversed. Americans can see which is the party of reason and compassion, and which the party of demagogues.
And Sen. Kennedy's strident demands for a closed session to sniff out Judge Alito's connection to a long-defunct conservative Princeton alumni group sounded precisely like McCarthy's "Point of order, Mr Chairman," during the Army hearings — the exact same kind of "are you now, or have you ever been" guilt-by-association attack that McCarthy made famous.

And Mark Levin takes the media to task for its acceptance of this "standard operating procedure":

The media like to pat themselves on the back for taking down Joseph McCarthy. They award themselves the Edward R. Murrow Award for courage in journalism as Murrow is viewed as the reporter who exposed McCarthy. McCarthy’s name has been turned into a synonym for character assassination. And yet, judicial-confirmation hearing after judicial-confirmation hearing — during the terms of Republican presidents — there sits Ted Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee using every sleazy tactic fed to him by every sleazy left-wing group to destroy the reputation of honorable men and women.
...Kennedy has played the role of McCarthy for 40 years, and always to a fawning press. He’s a greater menace than McCarthy ever was. Indeed, McCarthy’s influence lasted only four years. In 1954, the Senate censured McCarthy for his behavior. Today’s Senate lacks the statesmen to censure Kennedy, and the media lack the integrity to expose him.

We don't have to ask where Mr. Kennedy's sense of decency is...he lost it long ago, along with the body of a female companion, down in the depths of Chappaquidick...
But what of the media? It reminds me now of some once-chaste girl, now fallen, taken by many, used by most, whom demands to know why she is called a whore...

New York Post here:
Levin here:

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