Tuesday, June 07, 2005


A party-building exercise

When will so-called "conservatism" get sooooo ridiculous that it simply implodes? It should have happened 10 years ago. At this point it's beyond parody. Consider what sort of mental-- or moral-- deficiency it takes to generate the following legislator: "Ohio State Senator Larry Mumper warned that 'card-carrying Communists,' whom he defined as 'people who try to over-regulate and try to bring in a lot of issues we don't agree with,' are teaching at universities. " Follow the mental process if you dare. Over-regulation and disagreeing with the Senator = being a member of the Communist Party. Joe McCarthy was far more persuasive than this and, as we know, he didn't have anything in his briefcase except a fifth of bourbon. Now, as anyone who has read Molly Ivins descriptions of "the Lege" knows, one mental defective in the statehouse is not a national crisis. In Texas, it's not even a quorum. But consider the following bit of mental deficiency: "On February 25, leaflets quoting Section 51530 of the Education Code were anonymously posted on the doors of ten faculty members at Santa Rosa Junior College. The leaflet quoted the code: 'No teacher ... shall advocate or teach communism with the intent to indoctrinate, inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism.' Such 'advocacy,' the statute says, means teaching 'for the purpose of undermining patriotism for, and the belief in, the government of the United States and of this state.' ... A subsequent press release by the Santa Rosa Junior College Republicans claimed responsibility. ... In a letter to the campus newspaper, the Oak Leaf, the president of the SRJC College Republicans, Molly McPherson, explains that "The instructors I "targeted'" were not selected at random ... There have even been accounts of JC teachers openly advocating Communist and Marxist theories ... [which have] been outlawed in the classrooms of a country with the strongest free speech rights in the world.' When the campus Republicans found it hard to document the massive teaching of communism at the junior college, they retreated to general complaints of 'leftist bias' by faculty members. Evidence to support charges of biased teaching seemed just as scarce. In a forum discussing the flyer, student trustee Nick Caston pointed out, 'I have been on the Board of Review (the last step of the grievance process) for three years and have never heard a complaint about bias in the class room.' 'I've never even talked with any of the students who were involved in this,' commented red-starred professor Marty Bennett." This sort of baseless smear is exactly why McCarthyism was rejected, even by right-wing cranks like Bill Buckley. When you accuse people of breaking the law, and you can't substantiate it, when you complain about people's misbehavior but haven't even filed a grievance, it's plain that you're just making it up. In the real America, making up false accusations and using them to try to wreck people's lives is just plain wrong. In George Bush's America, it's party building.
That's why I call these people Neo-Stalinists: Not only is it true, it also irritates them because they want to believe that they're fighting Stalin, not emulating him.
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