Tag Archives: McCarthy

Congressman Issa: Preparing for the New McCarthy

Witch hunt

Witch hunt

New Orleans If, as it seems increasingly likely, the Republicans take over the House of Representatives in the coming week, it is not too early to prepare for the coming contentiousness and partisan, political baiting that will accompany the new McCarthyism in the House Investigations Committee when Congressman Darryl Issa (R-CA) takes over next year.  Be prepared for the Washington equivalent of the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy commie witch hunts.  I know I’m already talking to lawyers about strategy and advice, because I’ve read enough of Issa’s so-called investigations he released as minority reports over the last several years, to understand fully that these “investigations” are simply long press releases whose dearth of any factual basis makes them read like the bad fictions that they are.

One report built a castle in the air from the firm foundation that ACORN was a tax-exempt, 501c3 organization and therefore had violated a host of rules and regulations about filings and formalities deserving of total scorn, condemnation, and confiscation.  Of course ACORN was never a tax exempt, 501c3, yet that simple piece of research seems to have totally eluded the Issa and his so-called investigators in their rush to burn and torture the organization.

Another report that still sends shivers in the wake of many big and upstanding organizations seemed mainly focused on the fact that the legal department contracted with ACORN did the corporate filings out of the headquarters address of the corporation in New Orleans.  I’ve even been told by major unions with hundreds of thousands of members that they were uncomfortable doing business with any of the 300 odd corporations that Issa had listed in the report in a classic example of “guilt by association.”  For the life of me I’m uncertain where the “guilt” might have been regardless of the “association.”  What large enterprise doesn’t separately incorporate property holdings to segregate liabilities?  What housing operation doesn’t separately incorporate its various housing development properties and projects?  And, these were the bulk of the corporations and the filings, not that the facts would have mattered to Issa and the conspiracy theorists he employed as “investigators.”  If there were justice, once anointed he could start with Citi or Bank of America and sort through their thousands of corporate entities first, which might keep him busy for years as he looks for “criminal conspiracies.”

Given that so much of the hard core Republican base still believes that ACORN “stole” the election for Obama in 2008, maybe this will be his media strategy for an early headline ramp-up as he takes full command of the House Investigations Committee.  After all the Issa motto seems to be:  if we want to say it, it must be true, so who needs the facts anyway?

Have motto, then the sloppy methodology must follow.  How much of what is left of the progressive movement will he try to silence and chill with such antics?

People get ready!


Standing Up Against McCarthyism

Joseph_McCarthyMemphis Changing planes heading for the West Coast, and even on Labor Day when it’s time to talk about why unions matter and what we need to do about it, we are blocked by our inability to unite to stand together against the new McCarthyism.  My twitter and Facebook buddies were wild in the tweets and all over the status reports on this cave-in from progressives and the disunity that continues to allow the rightwing to attack organizers, leaders, and organizations.  As I’ve already said, I take all of this personally, because I’m going through this whirlpool still.  The difference is that I took no comfort in a Glen Beck switching the attack from me to Van Jones.  The tactics are the same, even when the target is different.

The only way to confront McCarthyism is to call a spade a spade and then stand up together to push it back.  Right now, there’s nothing but bobbing and weaving.

Many had a lot to say.  I have rarely gotten as much response to my blog and my stand here.  Taj James was on the same page.  Ludovic Bain also had a lively exchange of comments on all of this.  He pointed out that no white environmental group stood up on the Van Jones attack.  I wish it were just a matter of racism in the environmental movement, then we could isolate and cauterize the mess.  Truth is, it’s just cowardice everywhere, I fear.

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