The Republican Party’s Return to McCarthyism
By James Clarke
October 22, 2008 - 1:05pm ET
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The Republican Party is spent the last few days in an awkward spiral of jingoism, as evidenced by a slew of controversial statements. Let's review the events of the last few days:
Representative Michele Bachman (R-Minnesota) states that she is "very concerned that [Barack Obama] may have anti-American views"
Representative Robin Hayes (R- North Carolina) tells a crowd that "liberals hate real Americans that ...believe in God."
Sarah Palin levies a new line of attack against Barack Obama by implying that an Obama Presidency would be an "experiment with socialism".
Sarah Palin is forced to apologize for earlier suggestions that some areas of the United States are "Pro-America"; and that, by association, other areas of the country are less patriotic.
My fellow Americans, this is NOT an isolated series of unrelated Gaffs. These gaffes are the embarrassing side-effect of the Republican Party's mindset; that it can successfully use the tactics of Joseph McCarthy, a politician who gained power by publicly targeting individuals and groups as Anti-American, Communists, and Atheists.
Yes, these statements are evidence that the Republican Party is returning to the values of McCarthyism to help them win this election. They do, in fact, want to paint Barack Obama as a communist, but they can't because they wouldn't be taken seriously.
Instead, the Republican Party is exploiting politically convenient semantics; "socialism" is closely enough associated with "communism" to concern Americans.
What the Republican Party has risked by playing by Joseph McCarthy's rules is redefining the concept of the "Red Scare".
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