Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review July 10, 2000 / 7 Tamuz, 5760

Chris Matthews

Matthews
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


Another kind of McCarthyism


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- AL GORE is guilty of a new form of McCarthyism — Charlie McCarthyism.

Unlike Joseph McCarthy, the red-baiting Wisconsinite of the early 1950s, Gore has his spokesman speak the naughty words. Confronted by reporters, he acts as if the aide were speaking for himself.

The ploy is reminiscent of the late, great ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, whose dummy, Charlie McCarthy, would make all the wildly mischievous wisecracks while Bergen himself took on a stunned look of innocence.

The running gag was that the distinguished Bergen would never say such awful words. Only a dummy like Charlie McCarthy would say such terrible things.

Charlie McCarthyism. That's the game Gore is playing, but with dead seriousness. Faced with high negatives in the polls, he cannot afford to be seen or heard bad-mouthing the other side. So he gets staffers like Chris Lehane to speak what he knows to be the unspeakable.

Lehane accuses Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., of "McCarthyite tactics" for calling Attorney General Janet Reno to testify as to why she has not honored her top investigator's call for an independent counsel to probe Gore's Buddhist temple fund-raising.

Specter, who knows the poison loaded in the charge, writes the vice president, demanding that the "McCarthyism" slur be retracted.

In response, spokesman Lehane continues to bludgeon Specter with the charge of McCarthyism. Mark Fabiani, Gore's communications director, tells reporters that the Pennsylvania senator "shouldn't expect an apology."

His official "spokesman" and "communications director" having spoken, Gore himself remains silent.

Having gotten no response to his first letter, Specter now writes the vice president a second. He notes that Gore is still using "surrogates" to make the "McCarthyism" charge.

AlGore & Bubba?: One is wooden, the
other has a glow-in-the-dark schnoz

"If you intend to continue your character assassination of me, I think you ought to be man enough to say it yourself."

Gore continued to play Edgar Bergen to his spokesman's Charlie McCarthy. "I think Chris does a great job. I'm going to let him speak for himself."

Anyone who knows Gore and watches his campaign knows the rich absurdity of that remark. Gore's staff people speak what Gore wants them to speak or they no longer remain Gore staff people. Senate surrogates are held to the same strict compliance by the daily "talking points."

When Gore wants something said that no senator would say about a colleague, it's the spokesman's job to say it.

Sen. Specter promises to bring the "McCarthyism" charge up the next time the vice president comes up to the Senate to break a tie vote. He still hopes to hear Al Gore's words from Al Gore.

He'd have better luck waiting for the late Edgar Bergen to show up — with or without Charlie McCarthy.



JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

07/06/00: How Bubba's teapots clang
07/03/00: AlGore's latest hazard
06/29/00: No echoes in this presidential choice
06/26/00: Death joins the debate
06/21/00: Jerry Brown tells AlGore how to 'wage' campaign
06/19/00: Squishy logic for soft money
06/15/00: Citizen Kane, 113 years later
06/12/00: Kennedy-Nixon redux?
06/07/00: Bush says 'I do' to reality
06/05/00: Clinton's odd silence on his achievements
06/02/00: Pelosi, a voice for human rights
05/30/00: Bubba's escape hatches
05/23/00: Who typifies leadership?
05/19/00: Bubba's legacy involves AIDS
05/16/00: Dubyah's outlook for 'playoffs' remains perilous
05/11/00: Giuliani's travels
05/09/00: A Yale degree, a Bob Jones education
05/03/00: Show of force!
05/01/00: Abortion polls don't reflect reality
04/28/00: Bill Russell and American racism
04/24/00: Vietnam 25 -- The good, bad and ugly
04/19/00: Nader's threat to Gore in California
04/17/00: Berkeley politician visits with Elian's father
04/14/00: Clinton and the Castro curse
04/11/00: Men who saved Elián from the sea
04/06/00: Caine should coach politicians
04/03/00: No. 2 spots: Woman-to-woman?
03/29/00: Gray for veep and Gore might coast to victory
03/27/00: The secret life of a CIA wife
03/22/00: 'We're suckers for underdogs'
03/20/00: Bush's California dream vs. reality
03/06/00: Scary Gore vs. hopeful Bush
03/06/00: McCain's appeal to 'Reagan Democrats'
03/01/00: John McCain fits a hero's profile
02/28/00: Grading the American presidents
02/25/00: Clinton remains No. 1 issue
02/23/00: Will Ross Perot aid POW McCain?
02/18/00: McCain faces fury of GOP establishment
02/17/00: Citizen Springer
02/14/00: McCainia and the frisky independents
02/07/00: A prime-time primary for California
02/02/00: Clinton's final campaign: Take the blame
01/31/00: Which GOPer is willing to pay for his positions?
01/27/00: John McCain's gay radar
01/25/00: This time, candidates get 'authenticity' check
01/18/00: AIDS dooms 1 in 4 in tiny Swaziland
01/13/00: Complacency might be the campaign key
01/10/00: A choice, not an echo
01/06/00: The role of a lifetime
01/03/00: Dangers in Gore's dirty war
12/30/99: Churchill's fighting words saved the century
12/28/99: Candidate Gore's separation anxiety
12/17/99: Catch 22: Leading candidates don't lead
12/17/99: New Democratic leader on the horizon
12/15/99: Is Hillary clueless?
12/08/99: Taking Buchananism to the streets
12/03/99: Why are we so obsessed with 'spin'?
12/01/99: Donald Trump, 'Sinatra of Steel'
11/29/99: Why AlGore will be our next president
11/23/99: After the fall
11/17/99: Our conveniently forgetful president
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
10/06/99: Bradley's got the right Rx
10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
09/30/99: Who'll spin political gold in Golden State — Gore or Bradley?
09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
09/22/99: The biography battle
09/20/99: Buchanan's new book is a must-read
09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win

© 2000, NEA