Here’s To The State Of Richard Nixon*

 

Legends Of The Fall

It’s come to this: after being open 20 years, the Nixon Library’s best spokesman for defending the Nixon “legacy” is creationist fraudster and imaginary civil rights veteran Ben Stein.

The  celebration of 20 proud years is in the spirit of Nixon, with events featuring such 60s legends as Freddie “The Jew Counter” Malek.

The Library spent most of these years with no actual Nixon presidential documents. It’s been a place of song, myth, and wedding rentals,  staffed by the fervent few who still believe Nixon’s vindication will come, someday.

How will you celebrate the Nixon’s Twenty Years Of Lustration?

Why not begin with the man himself, your very own Richard M. Nixon Talking Action Figure!

Others may wish to commune with the man himself, Being Richard Nixon, or the sweaty facsimile thereof.  Kids of all ages still snap up the Nixon masks  for Halloween, and a subset finds them useful in robbing banks

You can return to Nixon’s Red Hunting roots with this portrait of a simpler time, then Congressman Nixon pretending to examine the famous in their day Pumpkin Papers:

One of the five film rolls was blank, giving us 20% odds that the staged event was even faker than it appears.

Nixon pioneered the Republican habit of hauling   minorities  around for street cred.

You’ll always treasure the special friendship of Sammy Davis Jr. and Nixon with this commemorative key chain.

For the true Nixonian  connoisseur only ” Millhouse – A White Comedy”  will do.  Warm up the VCR and return to a magical era, when Nixon could salvage his place on the 52′ Republican ticket with a mawkish speech, the climax of which was the candidates firm vow not to surrender his daughters’ puppy. 

Richard Nixon: he fights for you!

Shown shouting at lefty Latin American students,  Nixon displays his mastery at presenting himself as America’s champion against the swarthy Reds.

They may all be weird, but Nixon hid it least. David Greenberg writes on the history of Nixon character archaeology, the decades of man hours dedicated to trying to fathom his mysteries.

 

*Phil Ochs’ leftiod-folkie classic  “Here’s To The State of Richard Nixon” isn’t sold in stores, but you can acquire an MP3 version, and if you really want to attract stares a ring-tone is available, for unfathomable reasons.  

 

 

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Flag Of Our Fathers

 

Snakes Eyed

How can the Teabaggers surge to power when they can’t even agree on their flag’s name, now on sale at deep discounts?

No Tea Party rally is  complete without Hammers & Sickles, racist Obama posters, and the beloved “Don’t Tread On Me” flag.

Continental Congress Delegate Christopher Gadsden invented the banner during the Revolution. [Fun Fact: Gadsden’s grandson James, after valiant service driving the Seminole from Florida, did further service to our Manifest Destiny by solidifying the Southwest’s theft from Mexico. He bought the last bit in service of a railroad line, a scheme by Jefferson Davis to give the Slave states an outlet to the Pacific]

The flag’s last use in politics was by the Peoples Bicentennial Commission, a leftie alternative to the bland commemoration planned by the Nixon/Ford administration.

Accept No Substitute

But all this proud heritage hasn’t kept goofballs from spelling the name “Gadsen”  in their hamfisted efforts to catch the Teabagger fever.

And at steep discounts. $9.99 brings you this handsome polyester number. But the real savings come with correct spelling. Flag retailer victims of the Teabagger Bubble are trying to unload product for as low as $.49.

Where will we ever unload all this green/yellow plastic?  What of today’s youth?

One patriotic school did its part.

They got the Spirit of ’76 so bad they misspelled Gadsden a few graphs above an admonition the kids “use proper spelling on all work.”  [They also threw in Jefferson Davis along with Abraham Lincoln because it just seemed right.]

7/23 Bonus Update!

Wonkette has chosen this auspicious moment to launch a t shirt line, featuring none other than the Gadsden Snake!

The Teabaggers will have literally no idea what to think

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Won The Witch Trials? The First Blow Against McCarthyism

 

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How will you celebrate America’s first step towards killing the Red Scare?

This day in the history,  the United States Senate tried to strangle McCarthyism in its crib, voting a resolution denouncing  Joe McCarthy’s first false claims of Reds in the State Department.

This was just five months after McCarthy stumbled into his campaign,  launching a flood of fanciful Communist charges after he saw the response to his “I have in my hand” speech in  Wheeling West Virginia.

McCarthy survived, and had many more political lives, but that’s no reason not to mark the day his act was called out as a “fraud and a hoax.”

McCarthy Meets The Marketplace!

 

“I believe you can ask almost any school child who the architect of our far eastern policy is, and he will say ‘Owen Lattimore.’ ”

– Joseph McCarthy

Owen Lattimore was McCarthy’s first target, a China expert the Senator claimed was the “Number one Red agent in America” and “Alger Hiss’s boss.”  A neat trick for a man who didn’t work at the State Department.  The Senate’s Tydings Committee cleared Lattimore of all charges, and this “instant book” [one of the first, if not the first] was part of Lattimore’s victory lap.  Unfortunately Lattimore’s enemies were not satisfied, and McCarthy ally Senator Pat McCarran took up the hunt again, forcing Lattimore to spend five years batting off charges.

Robert Newman wrote the definitive story: 

For the Lattimore completest, an enterprising soul has taken his FOIA’s FBI records and slapped them into a book:

Spunky, but the FBI has already put them online.

Why not enjoy some quality time with the man himself?  Return now to 1952, with Joe McCarthy unfazed by the Senate’s earlier repudiation and salivating over the sunlit vistas ahead – Ike’s expected election and his own looming committee chairmanship.

M. Stanton Evans, a tireless soldier in the struggle, is the most prominent current “McCarthy Was Right-ist.”

But if you like your fanciful history with long legs and a grating voice, Ann Coulter compiled some of what is known and a lot of what she could make up about Soviet spies in “Treason.”

Actual historian Ellen Schrecker’s history of McCarthyism:

“Point Of Order” is McCarthyism near the end, compiled out of the Senator’s overreaching at the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings. His incessant cries of “point of order” rapidly irritate fellow Senators and viewers, and the hearings helped turn public opinion against the witch hunter.

 

Several years later director Emile de Antonio completely lost his mind,  deciding that what America in the 70s craved was listening to faceless shapes behind a scrim explain the Revolution being brought to you by the Weather Underground.    Time stands still as you hear the flat Midwestern voices of Bernadene Dorn, future Obama “pal” Billy Ayers, and more explain the struggle.

      Sadly unavailable on video except as part of the collected works, Smithsonian Folkways felt moved in 2007 [!] to release an audio CD version, allowing a new generation of teens to groove to such commie classics as “We Are a Small Organization”  and “Why We Are Communist & Speak Collectively” [and apparently escew pluralization!]

 

 

 

William F. Buckley evolved into the cuddly kindly uncle of the conservative movement, but back in the day he trafficked in all manner of nonsense about McCarthy.    He and his future paramilitary brother-in-law Brent Bozell wrote a pioneer apologia,McCarthy and His Enemies: the Record and Its Meaning

Buckley continued to bang the drum into the sixties in his columns and on “Firing Line,” his retrospectively sparkling TV show.       This episode is one of the greats, where “Bill” and Fred Schwartz deplore the dissipation of anti-Communist fervor.

However did that come about? Here we have two men in a  studio mustily reviewing how Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev proved he was a Marxist in his  “Secret Speech” denouncing Stalin, 13 years after the fact, and three years after Khrushchev himself lost power.

The fizz “Dr. Fred Scwartz” brings to the topic are typical of the man. His Christian Anti-Communist Crusade [oh yes, they have a web page!] spent much of its time flogging Fred’s book,

but when not doing that they were ferriting out the Red presence in youth culture.  He promoted the wholesome Janet Greene as an Anti-Communist

folk troubadour against the Kingston Trio menace,   with minimal results.


 

Glen Beck carries the torch for Joe McCarthy on a nightly basis, combining head shaking, interviewees he won’t let get a word in, and incoherent versions of his own theories in a potent brew of fiction and spittle. And he draws a fan base to match, folding his tales into their own pet causes such as re-litigating World War II. Did you know Japan was a victim of China and Russia? It’s true, I read it on the Internet!

 

 

 

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