[Marxism] Red-baiting spasm

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 31 07:28:21 MDT 2005


(This is not neutral reporting. It is the Washington Post trying to destroy 
a movement that is gaining momentum.)

washingtonpost.com
Conservative Author Is Seeing Red in America

By Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman
Wednesday, August 31, 2005; A05

Cindy Sheehan: anti-American communist?

That was the accusation coming yesterday from the Heritage Foundation, 
which hosted author John J. Tierney Jr. for a forum titled "The Politics of 
Peace: What's Behind the Anti-War Movement?"

Tierney researched the movement for a book and came up with some choice 
descriptions. "I have to say it is communist," he told an audience at the 
conservative think tank, also describing the groups involved as 
"revolutionary socialistic" and "cohorts" of North Korea, Saddam Hussein 
and Fidel Castro's Cuba. "We're really dealing with . . . a comprehensive, 
exhaustive, socialistic anti-capitalistic political structure," he said.

Tierney, of the Institute of World Politics, identified five groups: 
ANSWER, Not in Our Name, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and 
MoveOn.org. He said these groups "come from the Workers World Party" and 
are an "umbrella" for smaller groups, such as the "Communist Party of 
Kansas City" and the "Socialist Revolutionary Movement of the Upper 
Mississippi." Of the last two, he said, "I'm just making these up."

Tierney singled out Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and who camped out at 
President Bush's ranch this month to protest the war. "I've never heard of 
a woman protesting a war in front of a leader's home in my life," he said. 
"I've never heard of anything quite so outrageous."

Heritage's Dana Dillon introduced Tierney by saying that "the discussion 
today does not oppose the antiwar movement per se or question the 
patriotism or loyalty or common sense of Americans on either side of the 
debate." But the blurb promoting the event on Heritage's Web site said of 
the movement: "At root, they are anti-American rather than anti-war."

The author said he has "grave, grave problems with the conduct of the 
operation in Iraq" and wouldn't want to see his 20-year-old son go there. 
But he said it is "automatic" that anybody who joins a protest by one of 
the offending groups is supporting communists.

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an official with ANSWER, said: "Sounds like he's 
channeling Joe McCarthy, basically. That's a pretty heavy-duty résumé of 
redbaiting."

One questioner at the event tripped up Tierney when he asked if there was 
an analogy between this sort of guilt by association and efforts by Ronald 
Reagan's opponents to tie Reagan to the John Birch Society. "There could 
be," Tierney allowed.
God Is in the Details

What strategists call the "religion gap" between Democrats and Republicans 
may be widening, despite efforts by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid 
(Nev.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and other prominent Democrats to 
talk about their faith and the religious underpinning of their positions.

A Pew Research Center poll released yesterday found that 29 percent of the 
public sees the Democratic Party as "generally friendly" toward religion, 
down from 40 percent a year ago and 42 percent in 2003. A 55 percent 
majority continues to see the GOP as friendly toward religion, according to 
the poll.

Scott Keeter, Pew's director of survey research, said it appears that 
during the 2004 presidential race, Republicans succeeded in using Sen. John 
F. Kerry's support for abortion rights to raise doubts about the sincerity 
of the Democratic nominee's Catholic faith.

Since then, Keeter said, the charge that Democrats are anti-religious has 
been repeated in debates over judicial nominees, public displays of the Ten 
Commandments and the teaching of evolution in public schools. "My own sense 
is that the Democrats haven't forged a coherent response, and it's a hard 
charge to rebut individually, because if you start making a show of your 
personal piety, it can easily backfire," he said.

Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg has another explanation: "The efforts 
that Democrats have made to talk about faith and to present a different 
image is still very much an insider effort in Washington. They haven't 
taken it to the nation yet," she said.

The poll found, however, that both parties have weaknesses on religion. 
While 44 percent said non-religious liberals have too much control over the 
Democratic Party, 45 percent said religious conservatives hold too much 
sway in the Republican Party.

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