Are We Back Into the McCarthyiest Era in American History?


Are We Back Into the McCarthyiest Era in American History?

I received this letter today from one of the best and non-partisan organizations in America.–KAS

 Dear Kevin,

It is unbelievable that anyone would suggest that the League of Women Voters is unpatriotic, but it is happening, right now. And frankly, it’s a bit scary. League offices and League volunteers are receiving threats because of the League’s nonpartisan role in sponsoring and moderating a congressional debate in Illinois. We are just not going to stand for it.

With your support we will stand proud, “Making Democracy Work” in our fair and nonpartisan way. Here’s the almost unbelievable story: someone in the crowd at a Congressional debate hosted by a local League in Illinois called for the Pledge of Allegiance, and when told that this was not part of the pre-negotiated agreement reached by the candidates, many stood and recited it anyway.

One of the candidate’s campaigns put the video up on the Internet soon afterwards—so it was likely a planned stunt. And now, fueled by Glenn Beck, conservative extremists are calling in threats to League offices and local League volunteers’ homes, accusing us of opposing the Pledge and being unpatriotic. But you and I know the truth.

The League of Women Voters and our members are patriotic to their core—in the way that makes a difference each and every day. And we need your immediate support now to take our message of informed voter participation to the public. That’s real patriotism. Please contribute today.

Like you, we are average citizens who put our time and money into making democracy work in our communities. We sponsor nonpartisan debates. We publish nonpartisan voters’ guides. We assist in voter registration. We are active in our communities not only at election time but throughout the year.

No matter what craziness Glenn Beck and the misled and misinformed circulate, the League of Women Voters and our members will continue our important work. These far-fetched attacks are just a distraction from next week’s pivotal midterm elections.

Please help us keep the focus on making democracy work. Please make a contribution today. Thank you for helping us keep the discourse civil and advancing our work to engage citizens in meaningful and productive ways.

 Sincerely, Elisabeth MacNamara President, LWVUS

http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&Template=/Templates/LWVHomepage.cfm

Copyright © 2010 League of Women Voters, 1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036-4508. All Rights Reserved.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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2 Responses to Are We Back Into the McCarthyiest Era in American History?

  1. Pingback: GLENN BECK ADMITTED in 2007, “I Am RACIST and Barack Obama is very White” « Eslkevin's Blog

  2. eslkevin says:

    http://pr.thinkprogress.org/

    RADICAL RIGHT
    Right Wing Violence

    Earlier this week, Tim Profitt, who was at the time the Bourbon County campaign coordinator for Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul, stomped on a female MoveOn.org activist’s head outside a debate between Paul and his Democratic opponent Jack Conway. Profitt threw the activist, Lauren Valle, to the ground and then smashed her head to the pavement with his foot. Valle was taken to the hospital where she was treated for a concussion and a sprained arm. Conway supporter Michael Grossman said a Paul supporter also assaulted him at the same event. Despite recently touting Profitt’s endorsement, Paul distanced himself from the incident but refused to return Profitt’s $2,000 campaign donation. Just two weeks prior, private security guards for Alaska GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller physically restrained a local blogger who was trying to ask Miller questions during a campaign event. While this incident did not mirror the brutality of Profitt’s attack, it — along with the incident outside the Paul-Conway debate — is emblematic of a wider pattern of violence coming from the right wing, or threats of violence, scattered throughout the past two years. Indeed, as progressive blogger Digby noted on Daily Kos, “The average American is frightened and confused while the rightwing is excited and overstimulated. The toxic combination of Bircerism, big money, xenophobia and social conservatism that defines the Tea Party is happening at a moment of maximum danger.”

    A VIOLENCE-THEMED TWO YEARS: President Obama’s election and the Democrats’ solidification of power in Congress in 2008 spawned a wide ranging right-wing backlash of violent intentions that has resulted in bloodshed. Indeed, shortly after Obama’s inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security warned the right-wing groups may resort to violence to advance their goals. James von Brunn, the white supremacist who shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. last year, reportedly also wanted to kill White House senior adviser David Axelrod. An anti-abortion crusader killed late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in May, 2009, while just last month, the FBI arrested a self-described “Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden” for plotting to bomb an abortion clinic. Authorities arrested nine members of the “Hutaree militia” in March for plotting a violent uprising against the federal government. A Montana Tea Party leader recently advocated violence against gays. As part of the increasing Islamophobia over the past two years, one right-wing radio host said of the proposed Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan, “I hope somebody blows it up.” Just last week, in the wake of the Fox News-led backlash over NPR’s decision to fire contributor Juan Williams, NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC received a bomb threat. Today, the TriCity Herald reports that a supporter for Washington state GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi attacked a woman protesting Rossi.

    DEMOCRATS TARGETED: Democrats were the targets of violent threats during the heated health care reform debate last year. Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) received a phone call before the final vote threatening her life. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) received death threats via phone and fax. Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) told CNN that his office had received a fax showing a noose after he voted in favor of the health care reform bill. Just days after the final health care vote, the FBI arrested a California man for making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Another man was arrested for threatening Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) life because of her vote for health care reform. But other random acts of threats and actions have occurred outside the health care debate. A tea partier called for Murray’s hanging at an event in February. In July, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said he had to close a local office “after staff members discovered a bullet had shattered a window there.” Just last week, an envelope containing “a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them” was reportedly mailed to Grijalva’s campaign office, which was later to be determined a benign substance.

    REPUBLICANS ENCOURAGE ANGER: In addition to violent rhetoric coming from Florida House GOP candidate Allen West, on at least two separate instances throughout her campaign, GOP U.S. Senate candidate in Nevada, Sharrong Angle — who has a real chance at defeating incumbent Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) — suggested the possibility of an armed insurrection against the U.S. government. Saying that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment “was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government,” Angle added, “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.” Angle, who has refused to disavow those claims, even said recently that it’s “possible” that the U.S. could be faced with a “revolutionary situation.” Last week, GOP House candidate in Texas Stephen Broden said a violent overthrow of the government is “on the table.”

    GLENN BECK INSPIRED: In July, 45-year-old parolee Byron Williams opened fire on Highway Patrol officers in Oakland, California. After a brief shootout, police wounded Williams, who is now sitting in a California jail. Police caught Williams on his way to San Fransisco, where he hoped to “start a revolution” by killing workers at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tides Foundation. According to a recent Media Matters report, Williams said that he was inspired by the fiery rhetoric of Fox News’ self-described “Progressive Hunter” Glenn Beck. “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind,” Williams said in an interview from jail. “I do enjoy Glenn Beck,” Williams also says, “and the reason why I enjoy that is because…no other channell will speak about the same things that he’s talking about, and if you go and investigate those things you’ll find out that they’re true.” “Beck is going to deny everything about violent approach, deny everything about conspiracies,” Williams said, adding,” But he’ll give you every reason to believe it. He’s protecting himself, and you can’t blame him for that. So, but I understand what he’s doing.” Yet at the same time, Beck continues to demonize the Tides Foundation and ramp up the violent rhetoric. Just yesterday, the Fox News host connected Obama and progressive financier George Soros to a “violent revolution” coming to “our shores.” Citing former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as having invluence over Beck, Media Matters’ founder and CEO David Brock said recently, “we’re going to make a personal plea to her to stop this insanity.”

    House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) will campaign this weekend with Ohio House GOP candidate Rich Iott. Iott gained notoriety after Bill Maher’s show highlighted the fact that that he enjoyed performing as a Nazi reenactor and dressing up as an SS officer. Boehner has not sought a refund of the donations he made to Iott’s campaign.

    An assessment of the fallout from the Citizens United decision shows the Supreme Court majority was wrong when they promised that the “public would know — almost instantly — who was paying for” election campaign ads. According to election law experts, corporate donors can hide their contributions despite the opposition of shareholders and customers because of tax law loopholes and a weak FEC.

    Appearing on The Daily Show last night, President Obama said the Senate filibuster process “needs to be changed” because the GOP minority’s “unprecedented” use of the filibuster “deters Democrats from working across the aisle” and drives the parties further apart. Noting the number of his nominees still awaiting confirmation, Obama said the GOP’s abuse of the filibuster is “just not in the Constitution.”

    In an interview with the UK’s Daily Telegraph, former Bush adviser Karl Rove questioned if former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has the “gravitas” to be president. “With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office,'” Rove said.

    Despite a record of gaffes and embarrassments during his tenure as RNC Chairman, Michael Steele is reportedly eying a second term. Steele “already has picked two current RNC staffers to help run his re-election campaign.”

    Federal law enforcement authorities arrested a Virginia man yesterday who was allegedly plotting to bomb the Washington, DC Metro system. Farooque Ahmed, a naturalized American citizen, “conspired with people he thought to be al-Qaeda operatives,” who were actually federal agents, and spent six months casing the Metro system. Authorities say the public was never in danger.

    Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) admitted “serious sins” during a candidate forum last night, presumably a reference to the prostitution scandal which ensnared the senator in 2007. “Obviously, I’ve stumbled in my marriage. Obviously I’ve committed serious sins, which I’ve talked about in the past,” Vitter said.

    The Justice Department assured voters yesterday that it will thwart any voter intimidation efforts at the polls next week, and that all voters will have easy access to the voting booths. Conservative activists aim to challenge the eligibility of voters at polling stations, which many say amounts to intimidation, often of minority voters.

    And finally: Fans of neon spandex and leather masks fear not, for a federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that the state must allow voters to dress up in pro wrestling garb at polling places on Tuesday’s election. Linda McMahon, the former CEO of the WWE (and occasional fighter) is running for Senate in the state.

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