Skip to comments.The AIG IRONY
Posted on 03/18/2009 11:11:44 PM PDT by nathanbedford
The AIG irony
Barney Frank's televised demand, reinforced with the threat of a subpoena, that the head of the AIG hand over the names of employees who lawfully took "bonuses" earned pursuant to pre-existing contracts and authorized by statute authored by Democrats, has generated cries of "McCarthyism."
The irony is that cries of McCarthyism are absolutely apposite to Barney Frank's reprehensible behavior but not in the way conventionally understood. Thanks to an unremitting media campaign the left has convinced most Americans that McCarthy was guilty of recklessly releasing the names of innocent men whom he falsely identified as communists resulting in these innocent victims suffering the horrors of a mass hysteria generated by McCarthy's demagoguery. The truth is quite to the contrary.
Democrat senators badgered McCarthy time and again to release the names and McCarthy declined to do so unless he was given assurances that there identities would be protected because, he conceded, many of them might be perfectly innocent.
In fact, the release of a name which occasioned the much worshiped speech by Lawrence Walsh, the Democrat attorney interrogating Roy Cohn, was triggered after Lawrence Walsh had repeatedly demanded that Cohen and McCarthy release names so that the FBI could immediately commenced an investigation of potential spies in the Army. Provoked beyond endurance, MacCarthy obliged. He released the name of a law associate in Walsh's office who had worked for a communist front Lawyers organization. Walsh cynically made his speech which has been replayed ad nauseum on television and exploited by the likes of Edward R. Murrow as an example of McCarthy's reckless bullying tactics.
It is a secondary irony that Walsh had already released his employee's name to the New York Times in an interview and so his entire histrionic performance was bogus. But that did not seem to matter at the time, only the drama of Lawrence Walsh crying and carrying on that "at long last Senator have you no decency?" The decency in that exchange was all on McCarthy's side.
So the irony of the AIG hearing is the Barney Frank is behaving like Lawrence Walsh. He is the inquisitor as was Walsh, he has demanded the release of names, as did Walsh (and numerous other Democrat senators at other times), he is hypocritically blaming AIG for his own sins, as did Lawrence Walsh in attempting to cover the laxness of the United States Army at rooting out spies such as Julius Rosenberg who turned over atomic secrets to the Soviets.
So it is that the much bandied revilement "McCarthyism" has been distorted to mean the the reckless release of names of innocent people by McCarthy himself. Barney Frank, of course, is indulging in McCarthyism in that sense. But he is not behaving like McCarthy, he is behaving like a member of his own tribe: a Massachusetts lawyer working for Democrats. McCarthy, at least in this instance, was a victim of Lawrence Walsh just as the AIG today stands as a victim of Barney Frank and his gang.
One last irony: the result of communists and others being exposed why MacCarthy led these alleged "victims" to no bodily harm. Most of them went on to university chairs and other sinecures. Sean Penn's father (not a victim of MacCarthy but of the HUAC-House un-American activities committee-) for example continued with a lucrative career in television. But the potential victims of Barney Frank face real threats of physical violence. There is no national security reason to learn their names. The demand is only contrived to feed the populist demagoguery of today's real "McCarthyite."
Yes, the charge McCarthyism as it is understood and distorted today, should lie against Barney Frank but we conservatives ought to understand the historical basis why that is so.
Excellent point. Thanks for posting your comments.
Well once there blood starts flowing when there names are released. Maybe they will find out what scum the people think thay are. Nothing but theives.
Nancy the Nanny & Bawney the bulldog............could this get any better?
McCarthys nemesis was not Lawrence Walsh (he of the Iran-Contra affair who might have thrown the election to Bill Clinton by indicting Caspar Weinberger on the eve of the election) but Joseph Welch.
Nor was his nemesis Laurence Tribe (a member of the "tribe" as a Massachusetts lawyer, Democrat, and perennial pontificator about the Supreme Court and its nominees) whose name I could not get out of my head all morning like a bad tune or a scandalous Limerick.
Please forgive the various spelling errors occasioned by my rush to finish this job from memory before hurrying off to weight training and water therapy for my new stainless steel knee at 7 a.m. German time.
Great Post. That crook Barney Frank is always pointing fingers away from himself, so we’ll forget about how he has looted the taxpayers!