Ann Coulter and McCarthy
Posted by aogThursday, 10 July 2003 at 19:31 TrackBack Ping URL

Andrew Sullivan and Dorothy Rabinowitz are both slamming Ann Coulter’s new book. The basic criticism is that Coulter treats McCarthy as a hero. Now, it’s certainly the case that some of McCarthy’s targets were Communists (which in my view is worse than being a National Socialist) and that there was in fact Communist infiltration of the US government and various large organizations. However, one can argue that McCarthy did more to aid that infiltration than any other single person through his tactics and self-aggrandization. I don’t think McCarthy was a real anti-Communist, but just an opportunistic leech who turned a valid security concern into a watchword for hysterical paranoia. The real anti-Communists were largely discredited through guilt by association for decades afterwards. If one can say that the “anti-war” protestors were objectively aiding the Ba’ath through their actions, the exact same logic applies to Joe McCarthy and the Communists. He massively damaged the immune system of the country, damage from which it is still in many ways recovering. I normally like Coulter but I think she’s fallen in to the “overpowering trap”. If one is successively more over the top, eventually you drift in to the ozone.