On CNN’s New Day Wednesday morning, Carl Bernstein repeatedly compared President Trump to the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy and also referred to him as an “authoritarian demagogue.”
According to Bernstein, “Donald Trump mimics, reembodies to a large extent the tactics, techniques and methodology of Joe McCarthy. The constant smearing of immigrants, of Mexicans, of those he opposes, the belittling of them, little this, little him. Go look at the clips of Joe McCarthy.”
During the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, McCarthy became an extremely unpopular and controversial figure after accusing many in the United States government of working as Soviet spies and blacklisting people as members of the Communist Party.
Bernstein’s contempt for McCarthy should come as no surprise, considering his sympathies to the Communist Party. In 1989, Bernstein wrote a book called Loyalties, where he detailed his parents’ memberships in the Communist Party. His father worked for the now-defunct Office of Price Administration during World War II. Maybe Bernstein didn’t realize it but his book actually proved McCarthy correct. Communists did in fact work for the United States Government. Not surprisingly, the media gave Bernstein’s book favorable coverage, with Ted Koppel praising the book as a “testimony to courage: the courage of some unabashed trade unionists and civil rights workers, Leftists and yes, American Communists, who fought for principles that we now take for granted.”
It comes as quite a strange coincidence that leftists like Bernstein now view Russia as the United States’ biggest national security threat when they spent the entire Cold War downplaying, if not sympathizing with the Communist Soviet Union. Even as late as 2012, Democrats minimized the Russian threat. When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested that Russia posed the greatest national security threat, President Obama responded by saying “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.”
CARL BERNSTEIN: What Trump has wanted to do is to turn this into a Democrat versus Republican argument as opposed to being about the conduct of the President of the United States and his family and his campaign and his business associates. And he’s succeeding in it, partly because the press is falling for this line and spending all our time debating this memo. It’s really a red herring. The real thing that’s going on now, you know people keep looking and I’m asked all the time, how is this like Watergate? Watergate is not the analogy. The real analogy is Joe McCarthy and Donald Trump. That really, what Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism were about was smearing American institutions for self-political gain. What McCarthy did, he smeared the Department of the Army, he smeared the United States Information Agency, the voice of America. He accused people of treason, exactly like Donald Trump did the other day. And it’s not an accident that McCarthy’s hand maiden was Roy Cohn. And we heard the other day Donald Trump speak of his mentor Roy Cohn. Where is my Roy Cohn? This is a moment we, including in the press, Fox News, we need to look at history. We need to look at the last great authoritarian demagogue in this country, who was Joe McCarthy, and see if indeed I am right and this is true, that Donald Trump mimics, reembodies to a large extent the tactics, techniques and methodology of Joe McCarthy. The constant smearing of immigrants, of Mexicans, of those he opposes, the belittling of them, little this, little him. Go look at the clips of Joe McCarthy.
CHRIS CUOMO: But, you know, Carl, in a, in the absence of a politician to fill in the role of the “have you no decency, sir” role that took place in the McCarthy era, the Nunes memo, while I hear you, there’s certainly a political play going on. You also in the media can’t let them use phrases like “this was a secret court” where they went for their secret warrant. That is a legislative body, the FISA Court, and they are undermining the DOJ for political purposes. You’ve got to call it out, Carl.
BERNSTEIN: Let’s just report the facts. We don’t need to engage every time the President does something or his lackeys or acolytes do something. We don’t need to turn it into the biggest issue out there that he wants us to turn...What is the real issue here? The real issue is the conduct of the President of the United States, his family, his business associates, his business organization and the conduct of the Russians in the election. We have a legitimate investigation. Let it proceed, the Mueller investigation. That’s the big question. Why is he trying to cover up and impede the Mueller investigation? That’s what...and then use McCarthyite tactics. And the difference between McCarthy and Donald Trump? McCarthy was a Senator. We have never had a President of the United States who was an authoritarian demagogue before who issues these kinds of smears and lies daily. This is extraordinary. We need to look at it as a country. We need to look at our history. Let’s see what McCarthy looked like and put up the video next to Donald Trump.