Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 17, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

Jeb Bush’s Optimism School
Climate Costs ‘May Prove Much Higher’




Paul Robeson: A Life


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Arts and Culture

Jacob Heilbrunn on Alger Hiss

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

By Jacob Heilbrunn

In 1984 Ronald Reagan returned to his alma mater, Eureka College, where he had been a middling student who devoted himself to extracurricular activities such as the drama club rather than his studies. Now, the former B-movie star and pitchman for General Electric was returning in his latest role—as a popular, if unlikely, American president. He gave the students a dose of conservative political philosophy. He didn’t cite Barry Goldwater or economist Friedrich Hayek as his great heroes. Instead, Reagan focused on someone else, the former communist turned renegade, Whittaker Chambers, who created an uproar in the late 1940s by stating that his old friend, Alger Hiss, a State Department official and member of the Eastern establishment, was, in fact, a Soviet spy. Chambers, Reagan said, was a monumental figure in American history. He had single-handedly created a “counterrevolution of the intellectuals” by breaking with the communist movement. Chambers’ massive autobiography, “Witness,” had cured Reagan of a dangerous delusion that afflicted so many of his coevals. As Reagan put it, “For most of my adult life, the intelligentsia has been entranced and enamored with the idea of state power, the notion that enough centralized authority concentrated in the hands of the right-minded people can reform mankind and usher in a brave new world.”

 

book cover

 

Alger Hiss and the Battle for History

 

By Susan Jacoby

 

Yale University Press, 272 pages

 

Buy the book

 

Ever since he pulled microfilm of State Department documents from a hollowed-out pumpkin on his farm, Chambers has been a totemic figure for the modern conservative movement. In July 2001, I myself attended an event in the Old Executive Office Building held by the Bush White House to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Chambers’ death. As journalist Robert Novak spoke, I watched slack-jawed. It was as though time had been suspended for a moment and the McCarthy era had returned, as Novak lauded Richard M. Nixon and raged against the traitorous liberals who had sneered at Chambers for having the courage to expose a communist conspiracy at the heart of American government. Conservatives, Novak said, would be eternally grateful to Nixon for backing Chambers.

Indeed, for Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr. and other traditional conservatives, Chambers was a heroic prophet who alone had the moxie to endure the obloquy of the liberal-left in the service of truth. Obsessed with the notion that Yalta, where Hiss had been a minor figure, was a sell-out to the Soviets, a betrayal of Eastern Europe to Josef Stalin by a befuddled Franklin D. Roosevelt, conservatives flayed Hiss and other New Dealers as nefarious figures who had been working hand in glove with the KGB. And for generations of neoconservatives, Chambers’ searing experience in breaking ranks was one that they themselves tried to recapitulate, positioning themselves as former leftists who had seen the light and spurned the totalitarian American intelligentsia, no matter the cost to their careers, which somehow seemed to prosper, not despite but because of their supposed apostasy.

In “Alger Hiss and the Battle for History,” Susan Jacoby explores the anfractuosities of the Hiss-Chambers affair. Jacoby, a gifted writer who is the author of numerous books, including “The Age of American Unreason,” reports that her 86-year-old mother responded to the news that she was working on public perceptions of Hiss and Chambers by asking, “Who cares about that anymore?” It’s a fair question. The two men formed a sort of ideological fault line in American intellectual life for decades. On one side were the uncouth conservatives who lauded Chambers; on the other, the anxious liberals who sought to defend Hiss, or at least mitigate his espionage sins. Jacoby seeks to show that the dispute over the two men isn’t a musty affair from the past. Instead, it offers a revealing glimpse into American political history, whether it’s the Cold War or the war on terrorism. Her assessments of the positions of the two camps will probably meet with the approbation of neither, but she lucidly and expertly maps out the terrain upon which the Hiss-Chambers engagements have been fought over the decades.

As Jacoby reminds us—and it is a reminder that cannot come too often—the Hiss case offered for a vengeful postwar right a golden opportunity to tar the New Deal itself as a crypto-communist conspiracy. The stakes were never about Hiss himself, whose influence on Roosevelt was nugatory. Rather, he became a symbol for the iniquities of the New Deal, for the quislings such as Dean Acheson who had sold out America to the Reds. This exercise in historical revisionism allowed the right to efface its own history of having embraced isolationism during the 1930s and, sometimes, worse, having adulated Nazism and scorned the British Empire as trying to inveigle the U.S. into combat on the European continent, all of which is beautifully spelled out in Philip Roth’s indispensable “The Plot Against America.” As the Chicago Tribune, formerly the tribune of the isolationists and inveterate foe of FDR, proclaimed, “So we find this traitor hobnobbing through the years with the mightiest of the New Deal mighty. He advises the President. He is the favored protégé of two men who are kingmakers within the burocracy.” (The Tribune favored phonetic transliteration of some words.)


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By oyunlar, December 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

its right that Since 1921 the CFR has completely coopted and controlled the political, financial, Departmental, and media of the American Government, especially our Govts foriengn policy agenda and actions taken.

Report this

By FOIA, April 14, 2009 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

For an insightful exploration of the psychology behind Hiss’s “refusal, or inability, to accept responsibility for his actions,” see G. Edward White’s “Alger Hiss’s Looking-Glass Wars.” For a modern example of the right-wing attempt to smear the whole Democratic Party with Hiss, see http://www.conservapedia.com/Alger_Hiss

Report this

By xyzaffair, March 25, 2009 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jane Wyatt (the archetypal stay-at-home mom on Father Knows Best) was branded a Premature Anti-Fascist because she opposed Hitler before Germany declared war on the United States.  Anyone who advocated helping the Soviets in their fight against Hitler was suspect.

Report this

By NYCartist, March 24, 2009 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

What would Murray Kempton say about using the word “anfractuosities”?  (I looked it up! Why?) For the young: Murray Kempton was one of the NYC’s great journalists. 

The Communist Party was not illegal in the U.S. (If I find her name that I can’t remember right now, there’s a writer, who did a wonderful memoir of her parents, who had been members of the “Party”.)
  Many “red diaper babies” grew up fearful of the witch-hunting of the McCarthy era.  Fearful they’d return home from school, and that their parents would
have disappeared.  One cannot leave a discussion of Hiss and the era, without mentioning the Rosenbergs, and their sons. And the injustice of the Rosenbergs executions. 
The term “anticommunist liberals” reminds me of how some people were opportunists.

Report this

By P. T., March 22, 2009 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

American veterans of the Spanish Civil War would come to be called premature anti-fascists.

Report this
prole's avatar

By prole, March 22, 2009 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

“As Jacoby reminds us—and it is a reminder that cannot come too often—the Hiss case offered for a vengeful” zionist cabal a golden opportunity to tar the “isolationists” who opposed American meddling in Europes’s wars in the 30’s. This is the underlying object of Jacoby and Heilbrunn as well as the neocon’s. It’s not about Hiss and Chambers themselves, it’s about which revisionist narratives best serves zionist interests. “On one side were the uncouth conservatives who lauded Chambers; on the other, the anxious liberals who sought to defend Hiss, or at least mitigate his espionage sins. Jacoby seeks to show that the dispute over the two men isn’t a musty affair from the past. Instead, it offers a revealing glimpse into”  zionist interpretations of recent American history. “This exercise in historical revisionism allow[s]” zionists like Heilbrunn to thrash the right for “having embraced isolationism during the 1930s and, sometimes worse”, accusing anyone opposing American interventionism of “having adulated Nazism”; and, furthermore “scorned the British Empire as trying to inveigle the U.S. into combat on the European continent”, for whatever little that’s worth. “All of which is” self-servingly “spelled out in Philip Roth’s” indiefensable revisionist zionist fiction ‘The Plot Against America’. And if implicit zionist sympathies aren’t spelled out clearly enough there, you can always check out Heilbrunner’s own, ‘They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons’ where he rails against goyim who have expressed doubts about zionists. Thus, Heilbrunner skewers George Kennan for worrying about “so-called ethnic lobbies.”; Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s ‘The Israel Lobby’, is dismissed as an “addled essay”;  Jimmy Carter is accused of “crackpot moralism.”; and Edward Said described as “a smooth, urbane purveyor of much nonsense about the Middle East.”  If Jacoby, like Heilbrunn, is “hard on the right, she is also very critical of what she sees as the… ‘view of leftists as nothing more than dupes or dopes and of active Party members as the incarnation of evil does not take into account the psychological and political effects of the long impotence of the democracies in confronting Nazi aggression as the thirties wore on’.”  Which replays the continuing zionist ambivalence over this case, as both the Nazis and Soviets pose problems for zionists in various periods so Hiss can be observed from more than one angle. Thus, by the publication in 1978, of Allen Weinstein’s ‘Perjury’ “which dealt a body blow to Hiss’ attempts to recoup his reputation” the zionist neo-con campaign against the Soviet Union was heating up. At various times, in various ways, “The Hiss case offered for a vengeful postwar [zionist neocon’s] a golden opportunity to tar” both anti-zionist Leftists and the anti-zionist so-called “isolationist” right.

Report this

By P. T., March 22, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Post-war conservatives had a problem explaining what had gone wrong with their economic model, resulting in the Great Depression.

Regarding Eastern Europe, FDR did not give control to the USSR, the Soviet Red Army did.

Report this
Chris Bieber's avatar

By Chris Bieber, March 22, 2009 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Yet still…
The Orwellian like erasing of the BACKROUND and actions the Hiss did BEFORE the “pumpkin papers’ is displayed again.

Hiss was a loyal and obedient agent for NOT the Soviets but the NY DC Power Elite and THEIR agenda for One World..Hiss the head of the blatant advocate for One World- the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace….... Hiss was the main pointman in the creation of the United Nations and the socialist fabric and tools that he CREATED for his handlers goes above and beyond the MINOR LEAGUE treason of his aiding the SOVIET conspiracy.

The Council on Foriegn Relations and its nexus and agenda are the ones that matter.  The CFR that Hiss represented in Govt and State Dept is NOT a secret and is NOT a Republican Democratic tug of war.

Since 1921 the CFR has completely coopted and controlled the political, financial, Departmental, and media of the American Government, especially our Govts foriengn policy agenda and actions taken.

The “cold” war so Hegelian-like shoved onto oblivious Americans by CFR shills Demos Kennan and Acheson and the GOPers Nixon and the Dulles Brothers created a false dialectic that Hiss was a player in…on BOTH SIDES.

That is playing field that really mattered and matters today(BHO and his CFR handlers and THE SAME AGENDA…one of globalism and the continued surrendering our soveriegnty and taxpayer dollars to the global elite which the CFR is a proud and leading member)...the more things change the more they stay the same…meet the new boss same as the old boss…)

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, March 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Of course, the brutal wake-up call came with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in 1939, which divided up Europe between the two great dictators, Stalin and Hitler.
****************************************************

This is pure unadulterated BS myth that has come down to us because nobody wants to recognize what both the Soviet Union and George F. Kennan separately gave as the explanation.

The Western powers in their struggle with Hitler, prior to the war, were trying to focus Hitler’s attention on the Soviet Union and Stalin.  In other words, they didn’t want war with Germany, they wanted war between Germany and the USSR.

Stalin, having destroyed the USSR’s military in his vast, ongoing, ruthless, brutal and STUPID purges at least was smart enough to recognize what the West was doing, and that his nation was too weak to hold off Germany in 1939, plus, was in danger in the East with Japan.  Instead of satisfying the Western powers, he did what he had to do: buy time and he did THAT by signing the Non-Aggression Pact Aug 23, 1939.  In that pact, Hitler agreed that Finland and Eastern Poland were the USSR’s sphere of influence, and Stalin agreed that Western Poland and other states were Hitler’s.

Seven days later Hitler attacked Poland on September 1, 1939.

In the spring of 1941, the USA warned the USSR that Hitler was planning on breaking the 1939 treaty.  Stalin responded by negotiating a non-aggression pact with ... Japan! When Hitler attacked on 22 June 1941, the USSR had only to face Germany—and they barely did that, at the cost of some 10,000,000 lives.

Of course, Stalin broke the treaty with Japan just as Hitler broke the treaty with the USSR—but waited until AFTER the first A-Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima so they had an excuse to loot Manchkuo, soon to return to its Chinese name of Manchuria.

I hate when myth is cited as history.

Report this
Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, March 21, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

“We the people”, “For and By the people” Far more an essentially socialistic doctrine than the RedCoat Repugs dare to admit.
If Wealth and access to the Free Market are only allowed to ‘Trickle Down’to the Masses- How is that ‘For & By the people’? Is there an (*) We’ve all missed? A disclaimer that such a Free market and it’s opportunities are only available to the Upper echelon. Sounds like a Feudalistic Cast System to me.
There is no doubt that if our founders felt the People should have control over how gov’t ran, so did they think the people should have control how the market place functioned. When they said ‘Free’ they were talking about access for every citizen, not Unbridled Power over the economic welfare of the nation. They were Talking to ‘The Peoples’ Freedoms, Not the Brick and Mortar Corps (Logos Acting like Family Crests).When a CEO is able to enter the market and bargin for the best compensation for his ‘Wares’ and yet a average labor can not, That is not a Free market. When One persons wage is seen as reasonable, but that same wage which could employ thousand is too costly to do business- more poeple are being pushed from the Market place- blocked from access to not only Sell their ‘Wares’, but the ability to Buy ‘Wares’. One need only read what collapsed most empires in history- they weight and hoarding of the few became to heavy to bear even for the masses below- the foundation collapsed under the weight of the few.
It is not ‘socialism’ to expect the Governing body, elected to be public Servants, to assure the needs of the People are met. That’s kinda what we build those 3 branches to do, while coordinating the Unified States commerce with the world. That’s not ‘socialism’, It’s their damn Job- ‘To protect & defend’. If America was not a Beacon to those who had been denied access to the Free market in other countries, why does our Lady Liberty Beckon them ‘Give me your Tried, Your Poor , Your Huddle masses Yearning to Breath FREE’?
the founders were not granting US the right to Poliitical and Religious Freedoms- but far more important Economic Freedoms from any entity which attmepted to Dominate each & every citizen.
If Our Founders just didn’t want to serve the English Crown, George Washington would have been our first King- not our first Top Public Servant and representative.
Monarchies, Dicatorships and Communism are all the same thing- the Few control and oppress the many.
Socialism is the closest kin to Democracy and the Free Market ideology. It’s not a matter of owning Max Factor or Microsoft- just the ownership and control over essential resources- food, energy.
so keep calling me a Socialist- it only proves you are a Red Coated foot soldier for the self anointed and Treasonous ‘Crowned’

Report this

By warren bishop, March 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

with ethel and julius at least it was the “atom bomb”...ha….the issue never even adressed by the nixon cabal is simply what were the actual secrets…so to speak that warranted “high treason”.......i once read some where it has to do with some type of inflatable life boat…if i am incorrect…it was, i presume not much more even useful than that….johns hopkins——harvard law…two very fertile sources and training grounds for master spies…..russians lost 25m+ and there country devastated…and their only thought was to conquer the world according to insanity of the time…....HST remarked they and the germans should kill each other off and peremptorily cut off aid….

Report this

By M.B.S.S., March 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

i smell some “card carrying communists.”
im reading a biography of joe mccarthy and im at exactly this point in history in the book.  the dynamic of this particular time in american history is fascinating, and mccarthy himself is quite interesting, as well as thoroughly corrupt.

thomas c. reeves, who wrote the biography i am reading, seems to fall on the side which proclaims hiss guilty. from what ive learned so far, which is not much, i would conclude that hiss was indeed what chambers claimed.  but that doesnt negate the way this issue was used as a political tool by mccarthy, nixon, and the other red-baiters.

btw, ive been learning more about nixon as well.  can anyone recommend a good biography?

Report this

By Richard Kukan, March 20, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“As Jacoby underscores, the evidence that Hiss was innocent of serving as a Soviet spy is sparse.”

So Hiss is guilty until proven innocent?  What kind of thinking is this?

Report this

By Michael Shaw, March 20, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We mustn’t ever forget that the McCarthy hearings were in fact witch hunts where many an innocent American was convicted by simply being made to appear. It was a time when you were considered a communist for reading a newspaper, being pro union or being seen with the wrong people who like today’s terrorists were everywhere and around every corner. Look at Zero Mostel and even Lucille Ball and just about every great writer Hollywood ever had! We also mustn’t forget that Nixon was an obscure little nobody until he went out and intentionally ruined Hiss by using a real traitor as his witness. Some would argue the same thing happened to Ethel Rosenberg, including Albert Einstein!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_and_Ethel_Rosenberg

As for Reagan who himself was at one time a new dealer, who in fact wouldn’t have become the radio hack he was if not for the WPA, he himself became a Quisling of sorts to the democratic party shortly after making all those propaganda films on Hollywood lots while others fought and died on the bloody fields of Europe and the islands of the Pacific. He along with guys like John Wayne set the stage for the present day chicken hawks like Dick Cheney.

In the case of Hiss and like many, I see his conviction based entirely upon guilt by association and fabricated at that and how many times have we seen that recently, including an attempt to link Al queada to Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks? I would further add that fascism wasn’t the only reason why people joined the communist party in the 1930’s. Racism was another factor, something that American folk legend Pete Seeger, a guy who unlike Reagan actually served his country in WW2 would have pointed out. Also the great tenor Paul Robeson who was deported as an undesireable.

After seeing all of the amazing accomplishments of Hiss’s career, then noting what an insect Whittaker Chambers was, of the 40,000 FBI documents that exonerated him but were not allowed in the courts, one can only shake their heads in baffled wonderment over how a guy like this with such a full and successful life would jeopardize that by committing treason. I would further add that McCarthyism was allowed to go full steam until the senator starting accusing the generals of the joint chiefs of staff as being communists. Then and only then did we hear, “Have you no decency sir?” “Have you no decency?”

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~th15/who.html

Report this

By Arjun Dev, March 20, 2009 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have not read the book and can’t comment on it. The review says nothing about the book and the impression it gives is that McCarthy and Reagon and Nixon and the rest of the tribe weren’t all that wrong and there was much that was wrong and ‘unpatriotic’ about Hiss. But not a word about what the whole thing was about, and not even anything about the paranoia that the country had fallen a prey to. The reviewer is quite happy that he didn’t read Hiss’s book but he is convinced that it is a bore. But he is convinced that what some person has written about him is right.

Report this

By spritzgun, March 20, 2009 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“That such a book as this should have been permitted to go forth to the world ... affords matter for very grave reflection.”—John Churton Collins on Edmund Gosse’s From Shakespeare to Pope (1886)
  And today the same can be said of Susan Jacoby’s latest effort, where her literary gifts of inaccuracy and ineptitude are on display of every page. And that a publication dedicated to truth, or at least the pretense of digging for it, should feature such a work for review as this is a felony against progressivism and common decency.
  Jacoby contends that Alger Hiss is somehow tied in to a Battle For History, or the “meaning” of history, but she writes on page 165: “To consider the case debatable today is to place oneself outside mainstream scholarly and political discourse.” Well, exactly what is the point of her book then?
  After telling us about the passionate intellectual and political heirs of the 1930s and later, Jacoby astounds us with this: “I would be extremely surprised if the Hiss case meant anything at all to the majority of the students, born after 1945, who occupied college buildings and shut down campuses between 1967 and 1971.” In other words, Jacoby takes it for granted that she can say anything she wants (and she does) about the Hiss-Chambers case, no matter how inaccurate or infantile, and get away with it. The book’s factual errors are vast and LOL stupid. Her interpretations are just the postures of a pseudo-intellect, as are those of Mr. Heilbrunn. The book has been available on Amazon for almost three weeks and has received only ONE notice, a very unflattering review. Jacoby’s book is a shameful embarrassment.

Report this

By eileen fleming, March 20, 2009 at 5:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The strangest part of the Hiss case, however, remains his refusal, or inability, to accept responsibility for his actions.”-Jacob Heilbrunn

Could it be because he was another adherent of Machiavelli?

Case in point: Peres and Machiavelli

In 1963, when Mordecahi Vanunu was nine years old the Zionists came to his home town of Marrakech, Morocco and convinced his Orthodox father to abandon his general store and pack up the first seven of his eleven children for the land of milk and honey. Instead, the Vanunu’s were banished to the desert of Beesheva.

A few months later, Shimon Peres, then Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, inside the White House.


Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”


Peres replied, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”


By September of 1986, Peres was convulsing over Vanunu, who had been employed as a lowly tech in his progeny; Israel’s clandestine underground nuclear weapons centre in the Negev called the Dimona.


Peres ordered the Mossad, to “Bring the son of a bitch back here.”

Peres ordered Vanunu’s kidnapping that included a clubbing, drugging and being flung upon an Israeli cargo boat back to Israel for a closed door trial, 18 years in jail and nearly 5 more under house arrest denied the RIGHT to leave the state, denied the RIGHT to speak to foreignors.

Ever since receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in achieving the Oslo agreement, Peres has been most instrumental in helping to destroy the agreement.


Alfred Nobel’s intention was to reward people with a moral backbone. Nobel had hoped to create icons and examples to humankind.


Within days of the announcement of a record 205 nominations for 2009’s Nobel Peace Prize, [one of several prizes endowed by Swedish industrialist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel] perpetual nominee Mordechai Vanunu declined the honor in a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo:


I am asking the committee to remove my name from the nominations…I cannot be part of a list of laureates that includes Simon Peres…Peres established and developed the atomic weapon program in Dimona in Israel…Peres was the man who ordered [my] kidnapping…he continues to oppose my freedom and release…WHAT I WANT IS FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM….FREEDOM AND ONLY FREEDOM I NEED NOW.

 

Eileen Fleming, Author,
Founder WAWA:
http://www.wearewideawake.org/
Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu” freely streaming VANUNU ARCHIVES @ WAWA

Report this

By abgerard, March 20, 2009 at 5:35 am Link to this comment

Heilbrunn and I suppose Jacoby are wrong in pointing to anti-Nazism as the core of communism’s appeal to Americans during the entire 1930s. That was probably true in the late 30s, when “anti-fascism” was very important, for obvious reasons. Before that, it was the genius of the Party to co-opt the Civil Rights Movement. There is scarcely an important figure in the fight against racism and segregation who was not either pink or red. For example, Corretta Scott King’s obituaries quietly admitted that she was either a Party member or a close sympathizer. And of course there was the Folk revival, which revolved around the fight against racism and was shot through with left wing ideas and people. Anti-fascism was a temporary focus of the Left, but opposition to segregation was its bread and butter. I think it is fair to say that the Movement might not have happened or at least might have taken much longer to develop without the Party and without individual communists.

Report this

By Richard Schrader, March 20, 2009 at 5:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any piece that cites Kempton’s magisterial “Part of Our Time” elevates the dialogue.  Nixon’s ascent, already ignited by his sometimes artful, sometimes crude red-baiting of Jerry Vorhees in the House race and Helen Douglas in the pivotal 1950 CA Senate race, reached national prominence in his wily takedown of Hiss. All Hiss had to do was remain silent.  But he needed to prove his innocence to the foreign policy establishment that had embraced him.

American liberalism has always retained a hint of self-loathing, from the Progressive Era to the New Deal and the New Left. In a turbulent economy, that impulse is diluted by the forging of a broader coalition, restating regulatory boundaries and working acceptable variations of New Deal constructs. The combative right keeps pounding its familiar historical notes, never more dangerous or predatory than in the opposition, against tolerance, taxes and governance.

Report this

By C.P.T.L., March 20, 2009 at 5:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
              John Kenneth Galbraith

Report this
Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.