The arguments never change and the tactics stay the same

The surest evidence I need that someone is an ignoramus about the Cold War is that they are a critic of Joe McCarthy. Much of politics is opaque with many moral considerations involved. For most issues, there are no hard and fast answers, but the Cold War has none of these. The position taken by Joe McCarthy is so unambiguously righteous that to take any other side means someone is ignorant (usually the case) or a person of the left if you are reading something in print. It is the left who continuously bring McCarthy into the story, this being a man who died in 1957. But so long as his name works as a scare word to help entrench the left’s agenda, out his name will come.

So now there is a new bio of Joe McCarthy reviewed here: In McCarthyism’s Long Shadow. The website the review is found on is titled, Law and Liberty which are unambiguously good things, about which the left are its most certain and deadliest enemies. Here is the final para of the review. Do you think you can guess which side the reviewer is on by just reading his conclusion?

McCarthy was an opportunist politician who glommed onto an issue that frightened the American public. His sudden ascent was, in part, owed to missteps by the Truman Administration which initially downplayed the extent of Soviet subversion. From the President’s own characterization of the Hiss Case as a “red herring,” to Secretary of State Acheson’s comment after his conviction that he would not turn his back on Alger Hiss, many Americans gained the impression that the Administration did not take the issue seriously enough. That Truman also reversed FDR’s willingness to tolerate cooperation with communist and pro-communist forces, culminating in the ouster of Henry Wallace and his allies in 1948, began an effort to weed communists out of the government, built NATO, resisted communist aggression in Korea—all before McCarthy’s rise—is compelling evidence that whatever its errors or missteps, liberal anti-communism got it mostly right.

It is one of the hallmarks of the left in dealing with Joe McCarthy and his defenders to concede that he was right but overstated the case or went too far. The classic case in our own time are the punishing reviews that have been visited on Diana West’s must-read exposure of the Roosevelt White House. This is the book that has been criticised by many a supposed member of the anti-communist right: American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character. Her home page, which you really ought to frequent, is or you can link here. It’s as much a lesson in contemporary politics to read the reviews of her books by supposedly anti-communist writers as it is to read the books she has herself written.

Diana’s latest post is Plus Ca Change Plus C’est La Meme Communists. She is discussing how the army was deployed in 1932 to defend the White House from the same kinds of tactics found on the streets of Washington today.

Nearly ninety years ago, “Red organizers” were already using civil strife — in this case, the stress and poverty of thousand of unemployed WWI veterans nearly three years into the Great Depression — to try to spark a violent overthrow of the federal government, or cause as much chaos and mayhem as possible in the attempt while demonizing the anti-communist President Hoover and General MacArthur.

Interestingly enough, the D.C. police commander, Pelham Greenford, was more on the “woke” side than we might expect of law enforcement at the time. Fortunately, the D.C. government and the Secretary of War were clearly on the side of protecting law, order and the White House, and not the agitators — patriotic support President Trump has not enjoyed.

Here’s how events unspooled in 1932. Thousands of “Bonus Army” protestors had camped out in and around the District on federal property since May. After Congress failed to comply with their demands to issue an immediate bonus for their war service, President Hoover was able to get a bill passed providing them with travel fare home. Thousands left the city. Those who remained were increasingly under Communist Party influence and increasingly violent.

After twice advising against providing Army assistance to Washington metropolitan police, MacArthur writes, “on July 28, the crisis was reached.”

A mob 5,000 strong began to move up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Treasury Building and the White House. The police were outnumbered five to one. [Police commander] Glassford was mauled and stripped of his police superintendent’s gold badge, gunfire broke out, and a score or more were badly injured. It was evident that the situation had gotten beyond the control of the local authorities.

A request was immediately made through the Board of Commissioners for the District of Columbia for federal troops.

Note that in 2020, after three days of rioting and looting in D.C., including in and around Lafayette Square during which some 60 Secret Service and special agents “sustained multiple injuries” defending the White House, and St John’s Church was torched, D.C. Mayor Bower was more adamant about fending off  National Guard assistance than fending off protestors. She even went so far as to eject members of the Utah National Guard from a D.C. hotel, and, infamously, permitted 16th Street, NW, to be emblazoned with the words “Black Lives Matter.”

As for the book under being reviewed above, this is the start of its description at Amazon

The definitive biography of the most dangerous demagogue in American history, based on first-ever review of his personal and professional papers, medical and military records, and recently unsealed transcripts of his closed-door Congressional hearings.

If you want to actually understand McCarthy and his travails, this is the book you must read: Blacklisted by history : the untold story of Senator Joe McCarthy and his fight against America’s enemies by M. Stanton Evans. A revelation page after page.

1 thought on “The arguments never change and the tactics stay the same

  1. Pingback: The arguments never change and the tactics stay the same - The Rabbit Hole

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