Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The New House Un-American Activities Committee

Throughout the fifties and sixties, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was the House version of what eventually became known as McCarthyism—the modern witch hunt that destroyed untold numbers of lives and careers in the name of “Americanism.” Like its historical Salem counterpart, this “witch hunt” was based on paranoia, ignorance, and intolerance. Sometimes its victims were targets of someone mean and clever enough to use the power of politics against a rival. Sometimes the destruction was completely impersonal—the result of politicians “counting coup” in order to get attention and be perceived as powerful warriors in the cause of so-called “justice.”

Some of the members of the HUAC and the hundreds who testified in its hearings were vicious and consciously evil. Others were merely ignorant and easily led. Still others were genuinely deluded by the notion that insidious forces were working to take over the minds of America. In any case, it was those tarred with accusations by the HUAC that were thought to be “un-American," not—at the time—the committee members themselves.

Now, however, it seems evident that plenty of things are going on in the House itself that could be called “un-American” by almost any standard. So here, from among many qualified candidates, are my nominations for a new HUAC—one composed of House members bent on destroying the soul and undermining the strength of this great nation:

  • John Boehner (R-OH), a lead obstructionist opposing anything that might move America forward, from the financial stimulus to climate control measures; lead liar claiming, among other things, that health care reform would result in “death panels”

  • Michele Bachman (R-MN), frequent user of inflammatory language to promote rage, revolution, and a citizenry that is “armed and dangerous”

  • Patrick McHenry (R-NC), whose stated purpose is not to make good legislation but to undermine the duly elected government, to “bring down to the approval numbers for . . . Democrats.”

  • Eric Cantor (R-VA), rude and relentless standard-bearer for the GOP (General Opposition Party) who flamboyantly ignored the president during a joint session of Congress and tries to undermine his authority, even on foreign soil

  • Ron Paul (R-TX), Libertarian leader who has inspired many of the best minds in America to adopt a cynical, anti-government point of view and withdraw from public affairs rather than being leaders for constructive change.

With august nay-sayers and anger-mongers such as these, presidential heckler Joe Wilson--who at least had the good grace to offer a half-assed apology—doesn’t even make the list.


Six said...

Can't argue with those on your list one bit - except that I notice it is solely comprised of "R's" and no "D's".

I am curious to see what your definition of 'undermining the president overseas' is exactly? I seem to remember more than a few "D's" saying not-so-nice things about our president and his policy while overseas... including one particular Senator who we now call our President. So what is one-parties 'un-American' undermining of the president is another's expression of Free Speech and patriotic dissent? Personally, I have never bought in to the notion of expressions of free speech and dissent were un-American... I didn't think so when Bush was in office nor now that Obama is there. What is so threatening about the minority party challenging at every step the presidents actions - if the Democrats had been as willing to oppose rather than cut deals in the back room (which is what they did) in opposing the Iraq invasion and the war in Afg - don't you think we would be a little better off?

I seem to remember a particular candidate who promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afg, end the practice of rendition, roll back the most egregious portions of the Patriot Act and a particular favorite of mine, end Federal Drug raids on Medical Marijuana dispensoraries - just to name a few broken promises... too bad this has essentially turned in to Bush's third term with a side of Healthcare. I for one am sitting here scratching my head wondering, outside of Healthcare, what are the Republicans so upset about, Obama is essentially in lock-step with Bush.

In case you are having trouble coming up with some names of dirtball "D's", I can list a few for you:

Nancy Pelosi - Hypocrite and frequent abuser of taxpayer funds. She gives Newt a run for the money of being the worst speaker ever.

Charlie Rangle (D) - From inappropriatly using taxpayer resources to being a Tax cheat and a Liar, he is easily one of the most corrupt and vile politicians in DC.

Alan Mollohan (D) - Steals from the American taxpayer through paying for vacations for friends and family as well as policital kick-backs on the taxpayer dime.

Maxine Waters (D) - Too many fun reasons to list... she could possibly be up there with Michele Bauchman (R) for having the ability to say some of the dumbest things... and like Bauchman, I honestly believe SHE believes the crap coming out of her mouth.

John Murtha (D) - "If I am corrupt, it's because I take care of my district" At least we can only call him a thief and not a liar.

Sue said...

Just like in the days of McCarthyism, we have reached a low point in politics where anyone who doesn't agree with "me" is __________ (fill in whatever form of slander you want: un-American, socialist, backbiting, hypocrite, etc., etc.). What we need instead is respect for the person even when we disagree with positions and policies. The greatness of this country has been that people of all beliefs could live and work together because of a basic agreement about the goal (a healthy democracy) even if we disagreed about the means to achieve it. Such disagreements are good and healthy; squelching free speech by insulting one's opponents by whatever means -- but particularly through the use of intimidation -- is the antithesis of democracy.

So next time you want to engage in name-calling, stop and think. Is this an accurate charge or invective. If the latter, how about trying a dose of civility instead.

Six said...

Points well made Sue and for the most part I completely agree... but I still stand by my calling those listed 'dirtballs', 'thiefs', 'corrupt', 'hypocrites', 'liars' and 'vile'.

Sue said...

If the actions of any elected official is coriminal it should be called such and appropriate action (prosecution, impeachment, defeat at the polls) should be taken. That's different from a difference of opinion that results in name-calling. I say, Go after the crooks, but name them appropriately.

The Tarquin said...

It strikes me as passingly ironic that you indirectly lambaste a group of people as being unAmerican ("...composed of House members bent on destroying the soul and undermining the strength of this great nation...") a group of people and then declare that they're fit to sit on a new HUAC.

Then again the House Un-American Activities Committee was always a big ball of irony, starting with its fantastic double entendre of a name.

As for me, I think that both houses of Congress are behaving in a perfectly unAmerican fashion as-is. No need to pick and choose. Let's throw them all out. Every single one. Won't fix everything, but maybe it'll send a strong message to the next set of representatives.