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February 21, 2005

Clarifying Coulter's "New McCarthyism" CPAC Speech

Winds of Change wants to know if Ann was serious about calling for a New McCarthyism, or just being provocative.

Let me say I think it's pretty clear she was just being provocative. However, my rushed quasi-transcript of her remarks -- focusing chiefly on her wisecracks and putdowns and Coulterisms -- distorted the thrust of her speech and may have left some question about this.

Coulter was making the same point I've made a thousand times, and you probably have too-- as you sit there watching these fleebs (where?) whine about having their freedom of speech chilled, you want to scream at the TV, "Idiot, you're saying precisely what you want to say. Maybe you need some genuine experience with repression -- such as in your beloved Cuba -- so that you can understand how trivial your whining is."

And I think that's what Ann meant. Her call to "repress" these idiots if they're already blaming us for the same was meant to draw attention to the fundamental stupidity of a Hollywood cretin whining about his free speech being suppressed while speaking in front of an adoring crowd of college students, without being shackled or shot on sight.

But here was Ann's more serious point:

If you've read her book Treason, you know you supports the basic idea of "McCarthyism" -- not as liberals or the conventional wisdom defines it, but how she defines it. And she defines it, with some persuasiveness (though many disagree strongly), as a sincere and prudent effort to find communist agents -- and there were such agents -- working in the highest levels of our government, particularly in the State Department.

Now, obviously she's not concerned with communists so much at the moment. But the thrust of her remarks about this was that giving rhetorical support to terrorists -- as Ward Churchill and many others do -- is outrageous and borderline seditious. (Well, it probably is seditious, but we don't seem to enforce that law anymore (perhaps for good reasons), so let's just say it's "borderline" and move on.)

She was telling the crowd-- composed mostly of college students -- to expose these terrorist-friendly professors and confront them with more free speech. To criticize them, to argue with them, to call their hate speech by its proper name, and to simply publicize their words so that the whole country knows precisely what they're saying in the classroom.

Now, I'm sure some of these guys would call that "repression." But, once again, they seem to define "repression" as anyone taking issue with their hateful remarks. Apparently their right to free speech is defined as nullifying ours; they feel their free speech is protected only to the extent ours is suppressed.

And that was the basic point Ann was making. To the extent she was calling for actual "repression," she was just being provocative.

But to the extent she was calling for a "New McCarthyism," she was serious, at least how she defines McCarthyism-- as a concerted effort to expose an insidious and anti-American fifth column which has infiltrated important institutions.

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posted by Ace at 11:36 PM

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