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The Ghost of Joe McCarthy Slither around Allen West’s mind
Posted: 02 May 2012 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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West is not an admirable man, but I’m not very fond of Moyers, personally.  He has his own history of thugery, tracking down homosexuals in cooperation with the FBI while working for LBJ’s administration in various capacities, assisting in the bugging of Martin Luther King, advocating the surveillance of civil rights groups, seeking information from J. Edgar Hoover about Goldwater and his supporters.  A most sanctimonious fellow, who probably should not pontificate to the extent he does, all too often.  And I’m inclined to think that unfortunately, McCarthy is not that unusual a politician in the history of our Glorious Republic.  Using him as a rhetorical device is always safe, but is getting tiresome.

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Posted: 02 May 2012 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Maybe Moyers had a revelation and has been saved.  LOL

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Posted: 02 May 2012 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Brian, Your attempt to draw in debate about Allen West not literally being Joe McCarthy, is the straw man that you want to set up and knock down. 

As to the relevance of “tu quoque” (which you brought up - I had to look up the meaning) tactics, progressives suggesting that Allen is like McCarthy, or W. Bush is a fascist, pales in comparison to the use of this tactic by the right.

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Posted: 02 May 2012 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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TimB - 02 May 2012 11:28 AM

Brian, Your attempt to draw in debate about Allen West not literally being Joe McCarthy, is the straw man that you want to set up and knock down.

Please, TimB, try to be serious about this. If Allen West was literally Joe McCarthy then Allen West would literally be Joe McCarthy.  Nobody’s said that from your side and I haven’t said that’s anybody’s position on things.  Clearly (like I said) West was compared to McCarthy (which is why the writer had McCarthy’s ghost looking on with satisfaction) and it was suggested West is engaged in McCarthyism.  That’s no straw man.  It is a straw man, however, to suggest that I claim your side said West was “literally” Joe McCarthy (and not a particularly adept attempt at creating a straw man, I might add).

As to the relevance of “tu quoque” (which you brought up - I had to look up the meaning) tactics, progressives suggesting that Allen is like McCarthy, or W. Bush is a fascist, pales in comparison to the use of this tactic by the right.

I’ll take you at your word that your point skirts the issue of whether it is appropriate to accuse West of McCarthyism for his comment in favor of blaming the right for using questionable tactics more often than the left.

It seems likely you misunderstood what I was saying when I mentioned “tu quoque,” by the way.  No biggie, since your point is irrelevant to the topic of the thread (see thread title).  If the right engages in McCarthyism 1,000x more than does the left, it doesn’t really settle the question as to what West was doing.  Isn’t that obvious?

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Posted: 02 May 2012 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Ok, West flat out called the progressive caucus Communists.

Subsequently, he said that he did this to elicit debate in which his agenda apparently was to reveal that we have, in his words, “(a) choice between two futures:  a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state.”  (In this response, he never precisely withdrew his assertion that the progressive caucus members are Communists.  He referred to them as “so-called Communists”, neglecting to clarify that they were so-called by him.)

But taking him at his inference, in this subsequent response, he apparently doesn’t believe that the progressive caucus members are actually Communists.  Possibly, he just wants everyone to consider how they are like Communists, so that everyone will come to understand how they are threatening to destroy our constitutional republic in favor of a bureaucratic nanny state.

So what’s your point in defending this guy?

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Posted: 02 May 2012 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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TimB - 02 May 2012 12:33 PM

Ok, West flat out called the progressive caucus Communists.

Your response conveniently sidesteps the issue of whether he meant to apply the term literally.

Subsequently, he said that he did this to elicit debate in which his agenda apparently was to reveal that we have, in his words, “(a) choice between two futures:  a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state.”  (In this response, he never precisely withdrew his assertion that the progressive caucus members are Communists.  He referred to them as “so-called Communists”, neglecting to clarify that they were so-called by him.)

Well, if you keep the entire context of West’s statement, he’s attributing the term “communists” to the constituent who asked the original question.  Did that strike you as unfair?  Or did you just not notice?

But taking him at his inference, in this subsequent response, he apparently doesn’t believe that the progressive caucus members are actually Communists.  Possibly, he just wants everyone to consider how they are like Communists, so that everyone will come to understand how they are threatening to destroy our constitutional republic in favor of a bureaucratic nanny state.

So what’s your point in defending this guy?

I think he has a good point, and it isn’t McCarthyism.  Charging him with McCarthyism is a good way to dodge the debate about political ideology.  I’d like to see the charge of McCarthyism dropped and see the debate about issues ensue. 

Your point, iirc, is that the Republicans are bad and stuff.  wink

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Posted: 02 May 2012 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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If West wanted a debate about political idealogy, calling the progressive caucus Communists, was not a straightforward way of eliciting that debate.  Though he asserts that due to his military experience, he is a straghtforward guy, his tactic, of calling his ideological opponents Communists, belies that.  And it left him open to accusations of McCarthyism.

And,, yes, Republicans are bad and stuff.  More specifically, their ideology is misguided and misguiding.

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Posted: 02 May 2012 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Bryan - 01 May 2012 05:20 PM
TimB - 01 May 2012 02:30 PM

Allen West, however, did, apparently, assert his belief that the congressional progressive caucus members are members of the Communist Party.

You think he literally meant that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are members of the Communist Party.  Seriously?

TimB - 01 May 2012 02:30 PM

President Obama is routinely referred to as a Socialist.

Yes, and Bush a “fascist” with the cute little nickname “Bushitler.”  Is any of it relevant?  What’s your point?  “They started it”?  “They’re the worse of the two”?

If you take those two camps and examine who’s buying up arms and munitions like they’re candy and a case could be made that there is a big difference - and like an intellectual siamese-twin look at that Birther crap, it all paints a scary ugly picture.  Tooo much disconnect from reality.

Then I can’t help thinking of my dear Mom {who was born in Budapest in 1925 and got to live the thirties and dodge bombs during WWII} some of what’s going on today goes way beyond McCarthy and reminds her of 30s German to the point of deep fear, if not despair for the future.  And she’s actually an upbeat, in love with life, her kids and nature type of person, but she has always kept up on the news, and what can you say it’s pretty ugly.


And though lefties get pretty bizarre towards science I don’t think it compares to the anti-expert, anti-science hard-on tea-baggers seem to have.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now you’ve got me thinking about it and I gotta admit, one of the things that amazes me the most is how the neo-con type of extreme right-wingism can be so proud and sure -> when their approach to the world has brought about such disasters*.... our self-destructive wars of choice, ignoring how we are impacting the Biosphere, the very foundation of our survival, creating a self-cannibalizing “Free-Market” system and just to touch on the first that come to mind.

*Besides, making less and less people richer and richer, what has that neo-conservative agenda accomplished??

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Posted: 02 May 2012 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Oh OK, forgot to add… you are right: Allen isn’t really McCarthy.

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Posted: 02 May 2012 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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TimB - 02 May 2012 01:56 PM

If West wanted a debate about political idealogy, calling the progressive caucus Communists, was not a straightforward way of eliciting that debate.

Well, if he’s not using a straightforward way to elicit the debate then we ought to crucify him as a new Joe McCarthy.

Though he asserts that due to his military experience, he is a straghtforward guy, his tactic, of calling his ideological opponents Communists, belies that.  And it left him open to accusations of McCarthyism.

Crucify him!  Crucify him!

And,, yes, Republicans are bad and stuff.  More specifically, their ideology is misguided and misguiding.

Neither of those statement is particularly specific.  And I daresay such generalizations are not a straightforward way to elicit debate.  For that, true specifics serve best.

But I’m not in favor of crucifying you.  wink

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Posted: 02 May 2012 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 02 May 2012 08:14 PM

Oh OK, forgot to add… you are right: Allen isn’t really McCarthy.

Finally a concession!

wink

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Posted: 03 May 2012 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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ciceronianus - 02 May 2012 08:43 AM

West is not an admirable man, but I’m not very fond of Moyers, personally.  He has his own history of thugery, tracking down homosexuals in cooperation with the FBI while working for LBJ’s administration in various capacities, assisting in the bugging of Martin Luther King, advocating the surveillance of civil rights groups, seeking information from J. Edgar Hoover about Goldwater and his supporters.  A most sanctimonious fellow, who probably should not pontificate to the extent he does, all too often.  And I’m inclined to think that unfortunately, McCarthy is not that unusual a politician in the history of our Glorious Republic.  Using him as a rhetorical device is always safe, but is getting tiresome.

Do you have sources for these claims against Moyers? Particularly the thugery, homophobia, and bugging of MLK. That’s not consistent with Moyers’s usual role as in, for instance, Great Society.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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traveler - 03 May 2012 04:37 AM
ciceronianus - 02 May 2012 08:43 AM

West is not an admirable man, but I’m not very fond of Moyers, personally.  He has his own history of thugery, tracking down homosexuals in cooperation with the FBI while working for LBJ’s administration in various capacities, assisting in the bugging of Martin Luther King, advocating the surveillance of civil rights groups, seeking information from J. Edgar Hoover about Goldwater and his supporters.  A most sanctimonious fellow, who probably should not pontificate to the extent he does, all too often.  And I’m inclined to think that unfortunately, McCarthy is not that unusual a politician in the history of our Glorious Republic.  Using him as a rhetorical device is always safe, but is getting tiresome.

Do you have sources for these claims against Moyers? Particularly the thugery, homophobia, and bugging of MLK. That’s not consistent with Moyers’s usual role as in, for instance, Great Society.

thanks for asking.
I was wondering about all that too.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Bryan - 02 May 2012 11:40 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 02 May 2012 08:14 PM

Oh OK, forgot to add… you are right: Allen isn’t really McCarthy.

Finally a concession!

wink

Right.
He’s just channeling Joe’s spirit.  cheese

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Posted: 03 May 2012 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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traveler - 03 May 2012 04:37 AM
ciceronianus - 02 May 2012 08:43 AM

West is not an admirable man, but I’m not very fond of Moyers, personally.  He has his own history of thugery, tracking down homosexuals in cooperation with the FBI while working for LBJ’s administration in various capacities, assisting in the bugging of Martin Luther King, advocating the surveillance of civil rights groups, seeking information from J. Edgar Hoover about Goldwater and his supporters.  A most sanctimonious fellow, who probably should not pontificate to the extent he does, all too often.  And I’m inclined to think that unfortunately, McCarthy is not that unusual a politician in the history of our Glorious Republic.  Using him as a rhetorical device is always safe, but is getting tiresome.

Do you have sources for these claims against Moyers? Particularly the thugery, homophobia, and bugging of MLK. That’s not consistent with Moyers’s usual role as in, for instance, Great Society.

I’m always afraid I’ll mess up when I try to link something.  A lot of this apparently came out in 2009 on a review of FBI files.  Jack Shaefer at Slate did several articles about it, as did Joe Stephens at The Washington Post.  More conservative publications like the WSJ and the Weekly Standard had a field day with it, of course, but Stephens did the first article about it as I understand it.  The Wikipedia article on Moyers addresses some of it as well.  You should be able to find these on a search of the Web.

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