Ann Coulter, Historian

I like to keep it silly here. But sometimes I am jolted out of my little blog games with something so incredibly stupid and evil that I just have to comment on it. This morning’s example: Ann Coulter defends McCarthyism.

Coulter writes in her new book “Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism” that “The myth of ‘McCarthyism’ is the greatest Orwellian fraud of our times.” She goes on to say that “Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie.” No doubt, she is going to offer up the same argument as the morons before her who blame the demonization of McCarthy on the Jews. Except with out the Jew part. Wouldn’t sell too many books that way, now, would she?

No, she’ll probably fall back on the safer line: “See! McCarthy was right. There really were Commies in the government.”

Well, hurrah. I’m so glad that being right makes it ok to destroy the lives of American citizens who don’t happen to agree with you.

This is the same kind of “attack-the-attacker for being unpatriotic” crap that McCarthy himself used when responding to Edward R. Morrow on his TV show “See It Now” and notably resurgent in today’s political debate… just replace the word “Communist” with “terrorist”.

Finally, the 1954 Republican Senate, which sat across the Capitol from the Republican House and operating under a Republican President, censured the good Senator for being an ass. But, of course, they were forced to do that by the liberal media. You know, the ones that broadcast live the poor, beset upon McCarthy, finally showing the country that he had whipped into such a frenzy what a petty, lying wad he really was by browbeating witnesses and making up evidence.

True, McCarthy was just the most rabid of the anti-Communist hunters of the 40’s and 50’s. He didn’t invent the Red Scare. He just made it his own stepladder to prominence. The House Un-American Activities Committee was doing its dirty work long before McCarthy decided to become an anti-Red crusader. So, maybe it is unfair tie his name to any sort of witch hunt that rears its ugly head. But making him out to be some kind of martyred hero? Puh-leeze.

What I fear most are the hordes of book buyers who will latch onto Coulter’s claptrap and turn the “undeniable facts” into more excuses for things like The Patriot Act. I urge you not to take Coulter’s history or mine or the media’s as fact. Read it yourself from the source material at the Eisenhower Library or the transcripts of the McCarthy hearings, released by the Senate this year after a 50-year gag rule.

While you’re at it, flip through the pages of Red Channels, a booklet that listed all the “subversives” in radio and television and their “anti-American” affiliations, or read the transcripts of testimony given to the House Un-American Activities Committee by Ayn Rand, Judy Holliday, Pete Seeger and the creator of today’s “our copyrights shall never expire!” mega-corporation, Walt Disney.

It’s lengthy reading, but well worth it. And if you have kids, let them know about this stuff. It’s amazing what they don’t get taught in school. While I was writing this, Whiny looked over my shoulder and said, “Un-American Activities?? What’s an ‘un-American activity’?”

I’m not sure, but I think putting Joe McCarthy on a pedestal is a good way to start.

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30 Responses to Ann Coulter, Historian

  1. Scott says:

    [wild applause] Nicely said, Lester. Anyone viewing Coulter as an honest, sincere writer is in need of some medication.

  2. -e- says:

    I salute you too, good sir!
    I wonder if these people would just shut up, and stop trying to justify the idiocy, maybe we’ll forget all of this by Election 2004.

    Us Americans are notorious for our short-term memories. :0)

  3. Les says:

    Wow, this makes what I wrote look pathetic in comparason. 🙂

  4. Ann Coulter defends McCarthyism.

    The Drudge Report is offering up a few quotes out of Ann Coulter’s upcoming book titled TREASON: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism that would suggest that AC views former Senator Joe McCarthy as a sort of martyred hero: “The m…

  5. Kevin's Home says:

    If it wasn’t for us…

    Having endured the pro-war crowd’s cries of “If it wasn’t for us you’d all be speaking German by now!” for…

  6. Eric Paulsen says:

    Outstanding resource use. Good work on supporting your well spoken indignation.

  7. Brian says:

    In her next book, Coulter will prove that Hitler didn’t murder 6 million Jews and was really a much better guy than we all give him credit for. She will source this from Pat Buchanan.

  8. rah says:

    Feed that woman a cheese burger and smack her in the head ok? The scarry thing is they will believe ther the big “They”….dumbasses.

  9. Ooh — I just had to share this with you: Ann’s gonna blog. And the name of her blog is… CoulterGeist. Insert your own joke.

  10. DiVERSiONZ says:

    Coulter on Joe McCarthy

    Love her or loathe her, Ann Coulter is back and she’s got some interesting thoughts on McCarthyism: “The myth of

  11. peat says:

    You like baseball, and you have a wonderful blog, and you aren’t blinded by beauty…I think I love you…did I say that outloud?

  12. sean says:

    I think she just gets off on screwing with people. There’s no logic to any of her arguments, and she freaks if you confront her about any of it. I think it’s all a carefully orchestrated image to sell books.

    Just my $0.02 anyways. Do with it as you please.

  13. Just watch your mouth, or I’ll sit on you


  14. Abby says:

    /applause/ Well done. In addition to the usual common-sense thoughts about McCarthyism (i.e., in a word, it sucked), I have also thought, “So what if they were communists?” I mean, seriously, was that the most horrible thing on earth? It has largely proven to be untenable (as in the USSR) or – it’s too early for me to think of a good word – well, we all know China, North Korea, Cuba, etc. are not good places to live. But anyway. Is communism actually worse than, say, dictatorship (Hussein’s Iraq, Congo), or theocracy (Taliban Afghanistan, Iran)? Or, for that matter, whatever our country is turning into? (Oy, I’ll get in hot water for that. I’d better get to work before I say anything else that’ll get the Patriot Act after me.)

  15. Mark Harden says:

    A scathingly negative critique of a book which you have not even read? That sounds…McCarthyite.

    With all due respect to the truth that Coulter is always “over the top”, I look forward to your followup after reading her book in which you directly debate whatever it is she actually ends up writing on McCarthy.

  16. Solonor says:

    Not critiquing the book. Yet. Just that one lameass statement in it.

  17. Eric Jablow says:

    Well, a year and a half ago, I wanted to see the Army invade the offices of National Review Online, “massacre the leaders, and convert the rest to Christianity”. Ann Coulter gave me that idea. This is particularly strange of me, since I am a Jew.

    In the end, has she any decency?

  18. herbert says:

    Sooner or later you will get what you deserve because you are a criminal. There will be no place for you and your kind to hide. Our peoples will be free from all your lies and distortions.

  19. BillH says:

    Not that I am a fan of McCarthy or his tactics, but one fact about him is indisputable. Because of the paranoia he invoked we added “In God We Trust” to our money and the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. This was to differentiate us from the godless horde that made up Communism.

  20. Solonor says:

    Um, no. “In God We Trust” was put on the money in the civil war.

    And “under God” was added to the Pledge in 1954 after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus and popular opinion, not because of Communist fears.

  21. Les says:

    The phrase did first appear on some of our coins during the Civil War, but not all. The first coin to bear the motto was the bronze two-cent piece issued between 1864 to 1873. The issue would come up again under Theodore Roosevelt who sought to have the motto removed from a redesign of the coins as he felt is was blasphemous. In a letter to William Boldly on November 11, 1907, Roosevelt wrote:

    My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. . . . It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in buildings such as those at West Point and Annapolis — in short, wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements. [FOOTNOTE: Ted Schwarz, The Golden Art of St. Gaudens, “Coins,” September 1976, p. 76.]

    Outcry from the religious community over this resulted in Congress passing the first law specifically detailing that the motto was to be used on all coins.

    The bill was passed in the House on March 8, 1908, and in the Senate on May 13, 1908, becoming Public Law No. 120. The law said in part “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the motto `In God We Trust,’ heretofore inscribed on certain denominations of the gold and silver coins of the United States of America, shall hereafter be inscribed upon all such gold and silver coins of said denominations as heretofore.” Theodore Roosevelt signed it, as approved, on May 18, 1908. — Jon G. Murray, God On Our Coins

    And yes, the Cold War is responsible for both A) the phrase In God We Trust being added to our paper money and B) it becoming our National Motto shortly there after.

    Later, the Cold War was to come to the United States and with it the hysteria of McCarthyism. In this climate, the religious community again moved to capture the symbols of the nation. At that time a man by the name of Matthew R. Rothert from Camden, Arkansas, was the president of the Arkansas Numismatic Society. He had joined the American Numismatic Association in 1946, and was eventually elected president of that association for the 1965-1967 term. In a speech to the Arkansas group on November 11, 1953, he discussed the idea of including “In God We Trust” on paper money. The response to his speech was enthusiastic and that prompted him to send a written proposal to Secretary of the Treasury Humphrey, and also to President Eisenhower and Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks. [FOOTNOTE: Dudley L. McClure, “The Motto on our Money — In God We Trust,” “Coins,” December 1972, p. 47.]

    Just as in the case of the Rev. Watkinson in 1861, one letter prompted the wheels of the executive branch into motion and on June 7, 1955, H.R. 619 “Providing for the inscription of `In God We Trust’ on all United States Currency and Coins,” was introduced in the House. In the Congressional Record , June 7, 1955, page 7796, the intent of the bill was made clear by Mr. Bennett of Florida.

    I sincerely hope that the Senate will give its prompt approval to this proposal. In these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, we should continuously look for ways to strengthen the foundations of our freedom. At the base of our freedom is our faith in God and the desire of Americans to live by His will and His guidance. As long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail. To serve as a constant reminder of this truth, it is highly desirable that our currency and coins should bear these inspiring words “In God We Trust.”

    On June 29, 1955, Lyndon Baines Johnson (D-TX) introduced Calendar No. 642, H.R. 619 “A bill to provide that all United States currency shall bear the inscription `In God We Trust.’ ” The bill was passed that date without any serious debate. The Cold War, however, was not over, nor were the residuals of McCarthyism. On March 22, 1956, H.R. Res. 396 was introduced to establish “In God We Trust” as a national motto. The bill became law on July 30, 1956 (36 U.S.C. Section 186). That law regarding the establishment of a non-secular national motto, has been relied upon by the defendants in both “Aronow v. United States” and “O’Hair v. Blumenthal” to give “patriotic” meaning to several laws, one passed forty-eight years prior, in 1908, and one passed one year prior in 1955.

    This use is to invoke the discredited theory of the efficacy of an ex post facto law in an attempt to gain authority for a prior law by referral back to a later or subsequent law. If Congress had truly been expressing the collective will of the people, the act providing for the adoption of “In God We Trust” as a national motto should have preceded the coinage motto bill of 1908. — Jon G. Murray, God On Our Coins

    Personally, I’d like to know what was wrong with the original motto adopted by the Founding Fathers of “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “One Unity composed of Many Parts” that was first used on coins in New Jersey in 1786 and later used by the United States Mint starting in 1795. A much better phrase in my mind that seems to echo the intent the Founding Fathers had for this country.

    As for the Pledge, when Sen. Homer Ferguson, a Minnesota Republican, introduced the resolution to modify the Pledge to the Senate he remarked, “I believe this modification of the Pledge is important because it highlights one of the real fundamental differences between the free world and the communist world, namely belief in God.”

    In addition to that the Knights of Columbus weren’t the only organization that pushed for the addition of the words “under God.” The American Legion also had a part in this process and their constitution includes the following goal: “To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism.” One of its major standing committees was the “Americanism Commission” and its subsidiary, the “Counter Subversive Activities Committee.” Clearly worries about setting America apart from the Communists did contribute to this change in the Pledge.

    Incidentally, Francis Bellamy was pissed the first time his Pledge was changed from “my flag” to “the flag of the United States of America” in 1923. He died in 1931 and thus wasn’t around to get pissed a second time when “under God” was added in 1954, but his granddaughter was and she felt he would’ve been furious because Bellamy had specifically left out references to God intentionally. The significance of which becomes even more so when you consider that he was a Baptist minister and Christian Socialist.

    Not that I’ve studied up on this much…

  22. Les says:

    Mark Twain had a couple of comments on this that I’ve always thought were not only funny, but highly relevant:

    “We used to trust in God. I think it was in 1863 that some genius suggested that it be put upon the gold and silver coins which circulated among the rich. They didn’t put it on the nickels and coppers because they didn’t think the poor folks had any trust in God.

    Good citizenship would teach accuracy of thinking and accuracy of statement. Now, that motto on the coin is an overstatement. Those Congressmen had no right to commit this whole country to a theological doctrine. But since they did, Congress ought to state what our creed should be.

    There was never a nation in the world that put its whole trust in God. It is a statement made on insufficient evidence. Leaving out the gamblers, the burglars, and the plumbers, perhaps we do put our trust in God after a fashion. But, after all, it is an overstatement.

    If the cholera or black plague should come to these shores, perhaps the bulk of the nation would pray to be delivered from it, but the rest would put their trust in the Health Board of the City of New York.

    I read in the papers within the last day or two of a poor young girl who they said was a leper. Did the people in that populous section of the country where she was — did they put their trust in God? The girl was afflicted with the leprosy, a disease which cannot be communicated from one person to another.

    Yet, instead of putting their trust in God, they harried that poor creature, shelterless and friendless, from place to place, exactly as they did in the Middle Ages, when they made lepers wear bells, so that people could be warned of their approach and avoid them. Perhaps those people in the Middle Ages thought they were putting their trust in God.

    The President ordered the removal of that motto from the coin, and I thought that it was well. I thought that overstatement should not stay there. But I think it would better read, “Within certain judicious limitations we trust in God,” and if there isn’t enough room on the coin for this, why, enlarge the coin.” — Mark Twain from a speech on Education and Citizenship, May 14, 1908

    Sorry, I get wrapped in this topic easily. Perhaps I should have made it an entry on my own blog…

  23. jeremy abrams says:

    Neither the original post nor the comments deal with Coulter’s actual charges. If you go case by case you find an awful lot of organized, Soviet backed communist activities in the US in the 40’s and 50’s. Today’s terrorist infiltration, being documented before our eyes, shows how practical this is to accomplish in a (relatively) free society.

    Methinks you protesters are protesting too much, and reasoning too little.

  24. Solonor says:

    I read Coulter’s book last night. And you know what? It is exactly what I thought it would be: Arthur Herman’s book on McCarthy re-written with a lot of “liberals do this” and “liberals do that” asides. Oh, and her face on the cover.

    Yes, there were plenty of Soviet-backed Communist activities taking place in the U.S. Duh! I’m sure there were just as many anti-Communist activities going on in Russia. Or do you think their spies were better than ours?

    I have no doubt that some of the history around McCarthy is muddied up by using his name as an epithet (kinda like “liberal”). He was an ass, not a mythological demon. The problem is when the historical backlash against McCarthy gets turned into some kind of ongoing liberal plot that’s continued to this day. Yes, there are plenty of liberal nutjobs. I don’t agree with them all. But tossing around the label “liberal” like it’s a rational argument is wrong.

    That’s why my post wandered into the area surrounding his activities (HUAC for example, which he had nothing to do with). I thought I was making a point about witch hunting in general and how turning the witch hunters into heroes is a load of crap.

  25. Bill McKern says:

    Ann Coulter is wrong, wrong, wrong. Joe McCarthy was a dirtbag. All you need to know about McCarthy is that he employed Roy Cohn. Cohn was maybe the sleaziest lawyer ever. Cohn tried to bend the 1950’s draft rules to keep his gay lover David Schine out of the Army, with Cohn all the while denying the two were gay. When the relationship between Cohn and Schine was reported on, McCarthy considered suing the journalist, but changed his mind after being informed that he would have to answer questions about his own sexual preferences. In an attempt to quash those questions, McCarthy married his secretary and adopted a baby girl.

    In an attempt to gain preferential treatment for Schine, McCarthy impugned the patriotism and integrity of such “communists” as Dwight Eisenhower.

    In the 1970’s, Cohn, practicing law in New York, defended the owners of the Studio 54 disco. As Carter White House staff members Jody Powell and Hamilton Jordan have described, Cohn informed prosecutors that if charges against his clients weren’t dropped, he’d accuse Jordan of having usede cocaine at Studio 54. The charges were not dropped, and Cohn made his false allegations against Jordan public, causing the government to spend millions investigating Jordan and Jordan to spend hundreds of thousands defending himself. In short, Cohn lied and smeared a public servant in an attempt to gain advantage for his friends. Sound familiar?

    In the 1980’s, Cohn was disbarred for having faked a client’s signature on a will. And he continued to deny that he was gay even while being seen in public with known male prostitutes. In fact, Cohn continued denying his sexual preference right up until he died of AIDS.

    You couldn’t find people with less integrity than McCarthy and Cohn. Except maybe Coulter.

  26. WHUZZUP! says:

    A few brief notes.

    Ann Coulter – Historical revisionism at it’s best – Reverend Mykeru reviews ‘Treason’… who comes to the same conclusion that Solonor did about everyone’s favorite rabid, soiciopathic she-male. Apparently, great minds DO think alike.

  27. Chloe says:

    Haha – “At the base of our freedom is our faith in God and the desire of Americans to live by His will and His guidance.” Is that a self-contradiction?

  28. Martin says:

    I hope all of you who criticized Ann Coulter book “Treason” had read it. I do agree with it because, unlike those criticizing her, she gives a lot of references to support her claims. And, yes, the references are very much against liberals because most of them have been written by them.
    I suggest to all of you who haven’t read the book and still are criticizing, at least have the decency to start your comments with something like “I have not read the book but…”

  29. Solonor says:

    I absolutely agree. That’s why my original post was not so much about Coulter as about the absurdity of anyone trying to put McCarthy on a pedestal. My follow-up comments came after I read it and concluded that it was the ludicrous piece of self-promoting crap that I thought it would be.

    I can’t speak for the other commenters, but I am pretty certain that at least one of them has done extensive research into the history of the Red Scare, even if they hadn’t read Coulter’s book.

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