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Not That McCarthyism
His columns are clear, concise, and indicate someone trying mightily to call balls and strikes. If there is one blind spot in his analysis, it is that he consistently assumes facts in evidence which are not. Almost always, this is the result of his accepting, as a predicate and at face value, the righteousness of government actors. He particularly tends to extend to the FBI and the DOJ a presumption of professionalism and moral conduct that is not warranted — a tendency I refer to as McCarthyism.
I tend to accept as a sad truth the proposition that the highest levels of the FBI and the DOJ are ardent advocates of and forces for fascism. From the suppression of free speech that challenges the government’s propaganda, to collusion with enemies of the state such as Hillary Clinton to the prosecution of praying Americans to ignoring the intimidation of Supreme Court justices, fascists are plying their evil trade all around us.
I believe this blind spot in Mr. McCarthy’s worldview will soon come back to bite him as regards one Mr. Chansley, Shaman of the Common. He being the horn-bedecked denizen of the Capitol. Tucker Carlson’s reporting has recently broadcast video showing Mr. Chansley as the honored guest of scores of security personnel and Capitol police as they guide him around the environs.
In defense of his comrades in arms, federal prosecutors, Mr. McCarthy asserts in a recent column disparaging the accuracy of Tucker’s reporting, “His [Chansley’s] lawyers would have insisted on being shown any potentially exculpatory evidence prior to the guilty plea, and the prosecutors would have been obliged to produce it. I presume Chansley knew about this video, or at least images just like it; after all, he was in the Capitol and knew what he experienced there, including his interactions with the police.”
Well, presume not, want not. On Wednesday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Al Watkins, Mr. Chansley’s former lawyer, made very clear that (1) they asked for all exculpatory video and were denied access, (2) that the prosecution had a legal duty to provide the possibly exculpatory video showing Mr. Chansley’s engaged in exclusively peaceful behavior (which is true) and (3) that there now appears to be strong grounds for an appeal.
Mr. McCarthy would do well to cut back on his presuming, unless it is a presumption that an increasingly fascist administration is stripping innocent civilians of their civil rights. Merrick Garland is like Albert Speer though lacking his aesthetic genius much as Biden is a lot like Hitler though lacking his warmth. Even Hitler never showered with his daughter.Published in General
I remember how he praised Patrick Fitzgerald when he was investigating the Valerie Plame non-issue. That was when I realized he would never have a bad word for anyone on team DOJ.
Agree completely. I admire a lot of his work, but he’s way too deferential to government authority.
I used to read Mr. McCarthy, but his presumption of virtue for his former comrades has a sell-by date of 2019.
Clearly the prosecutors chose to be ignorant of any exculpatory materials. The used partisans cutouts to cherry pick evidence. Sounds like something that should be illegal. You are right that McCarthy has a soft spot for any federal prosecutor.
My problem with McCarthy or any lawyer is that if they don’t respect the Bill of Rights, then I don’t respect them.
This is his principle virtue, I’d say, and worth reading for that if you can dodge the other “bullets” that you’ve accurately noted.
It is very difficult IMO to properly analyze those performing a government job that one once did because of the tendency to “identify.” And McCarthy has been out of that job for 20 years.
One reason I stopped paying attention to Hugh Hewitt is that he’s been out of the job he claimed expertise from, for 40 years or maybe more.
Great post. The only quibble I have is that the DOJ/FBI/etc. are, IMO, advocates for totalitarianism not fascism.
Well, I agree with you that there’s something rotten at the highest levels in the DOJ and FBI.
I disagree about the silly shaman fellow. I’ve written about this on another thread. I’m disappointed in Carlson’s selective editing and commentary about the supposed innocence of this fellow, especially as he admitted that the entrance of the shaman is “disputed,” meaning that he may have broken in with the rioters. At a minimum, it appears that he was trespassing and interfering with the Senate business, by standing at the Senate podium where Vice President Pence was supposed to be presiding over the counting of the electoral votes. Pence, of course, was not there because the Senate and House were driven from their chambers by a rioting crowd that broke into the Capitol.
I also don’t agree with your use of the terms “fascism” or “fascist.” Again, I agree that there’s something rotten at the DOJ, but it ain’t fascism. What in the world do you mean by “fascism”?
It’s hard to define. It seems to be used principally as an all-purpose, meaningless epithet. The main three examples of fascist government, though, are Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and Franco’s Spain.
Mussolini and Franco weren’t so bad. I’d certainly prefer our government — at least, the one that we used to have — but I don’t think that they were monsters. Even if you disagree, the fascist governments were characterized by:
There were other aspects, of course, but these were major portions of the fascist program.
Whatever you may say of the cabal at the top of DOJ, they sure ain’t nationalists, and they sure don’t support family values.
We need another label for them. I don’t like them. I just don’t have a good name for them.
Standing next to a podium in the senate, definitely a crime that warrants years of imprisonment.
Agree with the premise. Andy has too much deference to DOJ and FBI as being unbiased upstanding professionals. Rah Rah Rule of Law and all that. But today’s DOJ/FBI isn’t the one he served in.
This is a very common problem for us on Ricochet!
Do we need a “Define Word” button that would guide us through the process? It would bring up a form, and you would put your cursor in the “Word” field and type the word you want to define, say, “fascism”.
Then all the other user input would be gathered, and viola! you would have defined the word!!
I think it would be very valuable.
= = = = = = = =
I was kidding when I started this Comment.
But now that I think of it, it may be one of my brilliant, near-Jeremy Clarkson-class ideas.
Also, kedavis, if you are still reading this: you don’t need to correct the spelling of “viola”. It was a joke.
I haven’t watched it. But did Tucker proclaim him “innocent” or did he just point out with video that we weren’t given the whole story and maybe the findings of the partisan panel/show trail/kangaroo court were similarly incomplete?
I endeavor to use my terms precisely. I understand the main difference between communism and fascism to be whether their brand of socialism is international (communism – workers of the world unite) or national (fascism – Germans unite). I further understand that not all fascist regimes were antisemetic. The Nazi party, yes, Mussolini’s Italy, not so much.
But all fascist regimes display several seemingly identical properties. First, the government controls corporations even while they remain, technically, separate entities. There were no private corporations under Stalin. In contrast, Volkswagen remained a corporation under the Reich but took orders, or “suggestions” if you prefer, from Adolph via Speer. Is this not akin to how Facebook and Tesla were keen to take “suggestions” from the deep state? Nice technology company. It would be a shame if something happened to it. Similarly, auto manufacturers were largely forced to accept government largess under Obama with the understanding that they would dance to Obama’s tune. Drilling for oil isn’t illegal, but the Biden administration is pretty clear in “suggesting” that Exxon not do so. (continued below)
Second, they create pretexts for expanding their iron grip on their populations and punish anyone who speaks up. January 6 is their Reichstag fire leading to hundreds of arrests and detentions without bail while turning the Capitol into an armed bunker. Covid leading to vaccine mandates enforced against the innocent. And in every instance, people, AMERICANS BY GOD, are afraid to speak up.
Third, they imprison and kill if possible their enemies. The endless investigation of Trump anyone?
And lastly, over it all, is a not so thin veneer of socialism. DEI anyone? Anyone? What is “equity” but socialism writ large.
One more point, the particular brand of fascism that was Nazism had a penchant for racial theories of superiority. The Biden administration preaches daily the gospel of white inferiority while seeking to unify a portion of the country in their hatred of whites. Not just whites. Let us not forget that Biden expressly stated that not a single black man or Hispanic woman is qualified to be Vice President, and, presumably, President. Sounds a little race superiority-y to me.
I understand why comparisons to Fascism and the Nazis areoften times just lazy and inappropriate. But allowing that blanket observation to dissuade us from calling out fascism is worse than lazy. To paraphrase an observation on the Devil, “The greatest trick the fascists ever played was convincing the world that it did not exist.”No. The Biden administration is expressly and openly fascist. I said what I meant and I mean what I said.
I don’t correct that spelling, I just do this:
IIRC Chansley entered a voluntary guilty plea.
So he’ll face the same challenge to withdraw it and seek a trial and exoneration as did Gen. Flynn: unyielding enmity from the D.C. federal district court and its appellate branch against anything connected to Trump or the J6 defendants. Only after a presidential pardon was Flynn finally let loose from its clutches.
Andrew McCarthy seems to play the fool. No amount of evidence will change his mind.
The main characterization of fascism is totalitarianism.
Chansley would be foolish to try to withdraw his plea. Remember, as part of his plea deal, 3 or 4 of his charges were dismissed. He only pleaded to one count.
As I mentioned in another thread, the video is good for correcting misperceptions some people may have of him, but considering his charges, the video is not really exculpatory. It is, instead, more evidence that places him at the scene and would corroborate the testimony of the officers who apparently stated that they walked with him, telling him to leave and keeping an eye on him. An exculpatory video would show him in Topeka Kansas, or somewhere like that on 1/6. You see what I mean?
I agree it should have been turned over if it wasn’t, because it’s at least, in a limited way, potentially exculpatory depending on how witnesses would have testified at trial. But it never got that far. And it appears consistent with the government’s theory of the case.
It may also have had some sentencing impact, if the judge had some vision of him as tearing through the halls like a lunatic. But the judge had the officers statements about following him around which is pretty much what the video shows. So, there would have been no surprise if the judge had seen it.
So, there’s no upside to trying to withdraw the plea. Success is highly unlikely, and even if you can withdraw it, the government doesn’t have to offer that deal again. The most likely outcome is conviction on more than one count and possibly more time.
Andrew McCarthy has a DOJ tattoo on his butt, much like George Schultz’s alleged Princeton Tiger.
I agree that he should think long and hard, but the video does raise questions of prosecutorial misconduct. His guilty plea was presumably the result of (false?) presentations of the amount of evidence against him. I also agree that success is unlikely, but let’s not pretend that’s “justice.” This may well be a “Brady” violation (apologies, but I assume most know about that).
It’s all coming back to me now.
What is the difference between a viola and a trampoline?
You have to take your shoes off before you jump up and down on a trampoline.
Are you confusing “viola” and “violin”? Easy mistake to make till you hear them played. The shrill screechy noise, that’s coming from the violin. The one that sounds a little like Nat King Cole singing, “Stardust”, only a little richer and a little deeper, that’s the viola.
The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.
What is the difference between a trombone player and a large pizza?
A large pizza can feed a family of four.
I read the article on NRO today and really appreciated that it was a calm, reasoned piece with the bottom line that both the Jan 6th committee and Tucker’s show missed the mark somewhat. I also assumed that because his opinion was even handed and well thought out that it would have no place in the current discourse. lol
Only after all other possible avenues are explored and unsuccessful.
Raises questions, maybe, but it’s far from clear that that occurred. First, again, I question whether the video is truly exculpatory. Also, it is very common that police/investigators are tardy in turning over evidence they’ve had for awhile to the prosecutors. This is particularly likely where the two offices (law enforcement and the prosecutor) are handling a large number of cases from one event like this. Also, what’s the motivation on the part of the government to hide it? It helps their case. It corroborates what their officers are saying. If they’d given him the video, maybe they could have convinced him to plea to the remaining in a restricted area charge, too, rather than having to dismiss it. This is all complete speculation of course. I have no idea what those discussions were like.
It may be a Brady violation, but if so its an extremely minor one. As with just about any constitutional violation, to get anywhere with it, you have to show it affected the outcome. This video is, again, inclupatory as to most of his charges. I believe the only charge he faced involving any kind of violent behavior was the entry into the building, and the video doesn’t depict that. And, anyway, that charge was dropped. He was not convicted of that. To the extent he was unaware of additional photo/video images of him in the building, it’s just evidence that boosts the case against him. So he can’t really claim his plea was affected.
A small chance it helps on the sentencing, I would grant you, and that’s probably what puts it into Brady territory, but again, I don’t think it’s much to go on.