William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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DISGRACEFUL – AT 1:04 P.M. :  Liberals love to throw around the term "McCarthyism," referring to the tactics used by Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the early 1950s.  But it's becoming clear that many liberals are only too happy to employ "McCarthyistic" practices when it serves their purposes.

We usually praise the editorial page of the Washington Post for being the best-written liberal editorial page available, but the Post badly stumbled this week, and descended into the McCarthyism it so easily decries.  From John Nolte at Breitbart:

When I first saw the headline, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I assumed the link would take me to one of the many left-wing columnists employed by the Post. Nope. This is a full-blown Washington Post editorial (and a despicable piece of McCarthyist race-baiting) -- the kind you would never expect from the same outlet that so doggedly pursued the Nixon administration's Watergate cover up:

Drawn up by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), the letter [from 97 House Republicans challenging any potential nomination of Susan Rice to Secretary of State] alleges that “Ambassador Rice is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public” about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But as congressional testimony has established, Ms. Rice’s comments on several Sunday television talk shows on Sept. 16 were based on talking points drawn up by the intelligence community. She was acting as an administration spokeswoman; there was nothing either incompetent or deliberately misleading about the way she presented the information she was given.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the Post's editorial board closes this nonsense by engaging in a full-blown case of McCarthyism with the floating of the completely unfounded charge that House Republicans are motivated by race:

Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy. You’d think that before launching their broadside, members of Congress would have taken care not to propagate any falsehoods of their own.

COMMENT:  Yes, that is pure McCarthyism.  It's a textbook case.  If we don't like what you stand for, we just give you an ugly label.  Doesn't matter whether it's true.  We just apply it, knowing that it will destroy you and make it unnecessary for us to defend our position.

"Racism" has become the new "Red."  It is used so loosely that it has lost all meaning.  And I'm surprised that the Post has descended to this level.  The Republicans should reply to the Post sharply and vigorously.  Left unanswered, a blood libel takes on an undeserved life of its own.

November 24, 2012