The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

CPAC 2019: Great Minds Think Alike

Posted on | February 27, 2019 | Comments Off on CPAC 2019: Great Minds Think Alike


Tuesday night, while I was working on my latest American Spectator column, I kept getting distracted because my office TV was tuned to the A&E Network’s documentary The Trump Dynasty. On the one hand, this was entertaining and informative. I did not realize, for example, that Trump’s grandfather was a German immigrant who made his fortune in the Yukon Gold Rush. And there was also the information, from a 2014 interview with Trump, that he understands his own success to be significantly influenced by heredity. Seeing life as a Darwinian struggle, Trump believes himself to benefit from genetic superiority. And why shouldn’t he? He is 6-foot-3, which puts him in the 97th percentile of U.S. males, and he is phenomenally healthy. At age 72, he’s never had any heart problems, and if you watch the A & E documentary, you’ll see footage of Trump as a young man in the 1970s to remind you what a remarkable physical specimen he was in his prime, with the fine white teeth of a carnivore and the calm blue eyes of a natural-born killer.

Oh, that word — “killer” — was a compliment in the vocabulary of Trump’s father Fred, a remarkably successful real-estate developer. Fred was one tough taskmaster of a dad, and young Donald was sent to military school because of his unruly behavior. The son learned to appreciate his father’s qualities and, after becoming president of the family business, famously sought to make a name for himself in Manhattan, acquiring a valued mentor, Roy Cohn.

This is where the flaws in A&E’s telling of the Trump tale became apparent to me. In recounting Cohn’s early years as an attorney on the staff of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the producers repeat the liberal myth that McCarthy wrongly accused people and invented Communist conspiracies “from whole cloth.” Anyone who has read M. Stanton Evans’s excellent 2007 book Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies, knows that this is a smear. McCarthy had his flaws, and he made some mistakes, but there really was a national-security problem with Communists and their sympathizers employed in sensitive government jobs, and McCarthy’s investigations unearthed real evidence of this problem.

If they get the McCarthy thing wrong, how many other things did the A&E producers get wrong? As I say, there was a lot in the show that fascinated me — and distracted me from my work — but this glaring error of their smear against McCarthy undermined their credibility.

This morning, Instapundit linked a column by Donald Trump Jr. in which he discussed the media’s demonization of his father’s supporters:

When there’s violence against Trump supporters because of their political beliefs, the media will ignore it until they can’t, and then they’ll downplay it. If that fails, they’ll just proclaim that the Trump supporters had it coming to them because of the “climate of hate” that their political views create.

Yes, and weirdly enough, that’s exactly the point I was laboring to get across in the column I was working on last night:

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both been announced as speakers at this week’s 46th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but I don’t expect to be inside the Gaylord Hotel’s Potomac Ballroom for those speeches. Presidential security is heavy duty, with lines to get through the metal detectors and lots of muscular guys with ear-pieces and holster bulges standing around looking very serious. Instead of dealing with security hassles and ballroom crowds, I’ll be out in front of the Gaylord watching the left-wing protest mobs that predictably show up wherever the president goes. The fact that CPAC is in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside D.C., makes it a short trip for Washington-based protesters, but Joseph Alcoff probably won’t be there.
Alcoff was a reputed leader of Smash Racism DC, an “Antifa” contingent blamed for mobbing the home of Fox News host Tucker Carlson last November and running Texas Sen. Ted Cruz out of a restaurant in September. Last month, however, authorities in Philadelphia filed 17 charges against Alcoff for his alleged role in an attack on two Marines. . . .

You can read the rest at The American Spectator.

Now I’ve got to get packed up for my trip. Yesterday, I sent emails to two dozen tip-jar hitters, thanking them for their contributions and explaining that my wife’s going to hit the roof when she sees my hotel bill for CPAC. The Five Most Important Words in the English Language are:





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