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Look out Norm, George Galloway is calling you out!
May 13, 2005 7:14 AM   Subscribe

"Joseph McCarthy must be smiling admirably in Hades" -- British MP George Galloway, on Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) We've previously discussed Galloway here, but I thought that pan had flashed and I'd never hear his name again. This is transAtlantic Politifilter for your Friday Morning. (via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it may ask for reg.)
posted by indiebass (50 comments total)

 
"Lickspittle Republican committee" — we have a lot of that here (in the U.S.), but we don't call it that.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2005


Galloway is a racist for defeating the only woman of color in parliament.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2005


That's logical, jsavimbi.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 AM on May 13, 2005


Should persons of color always run unopposed because of fear that they might not get reelected? I don't get jsavimbi's point.
posted by clevershark at 7:30 AM on May 13, 2005


it's cool, next time she won't support Bush's (and Blair's) war. I'm sure she has learnt the lesson.

re: Galloway vs Coleman -- it's a silly fight and both are going to benefit enormously with their constituencies. Coleman gains name recognition for attacking a terrahist-loving commie Brit, Galloway will make his fans happy by slapping a Bush lackey live on TV. it's win-win. a bit Monty Python-ish, but no harm done except to common sense
posted by matteo at 7:32 AM on May 13, 2005


Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said the encounter is bound to get a lot of attention, but he warned that it could backfire on Coleman if Galloway is able to disprove any of the allegations.

No, it will only backfire if Galloway succeeds in making Coleman look stupid and petty in a way that can't be spun away. The MPs guilt or innocence is totally irrelevant to the image making going on here (which is what "UN scam" is really about in the end).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:35 AM on May 13, 2005


jsavimbi: you can't be serious.

Also, I buy matteo's theory.
posted by delmoi at 7:38 AM on May 13, 2005


It's a media event, sure. About time the real left got on the ball and started playing hardball in the hypermediated world of 2005. Turnabout is fair play.

I think I want to send this guy flowers and a donation to his favorite charity or something. His tartness and eloquence will be a shock to Americans used to dull minds in Congress.
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:43 AM on May 13, 2005


c'mon jsvamibi. galloway didn't even need to go there. he took his anti-war credentials into oona king's largely muslim - and normally hard core labor - constituency and put the question to the voters. do you support tony blair (as ms king rabidly does) or not?

the answer from bethnal green was no. they don't like mr. blair and they don't like their MP who supported him.

was this political opportunism on the part of galloway? you bet, but race had nothing to do with it.
posted by three blind mice at 7:50 AM on May 13, 2005


labor labour

damned british spelling....
posted by three blind mice at 7:51 AM on May 13, 2005


Didn't Galloway win millions from suing a newspaper that said he got money from Oil for Food in Iraq? I'd be careful of slandering him.
posted by amberglow at 7:52 AM on May 13, 2005


oh, leave jsavimbi alone. He needs to play Great White Savior. And People Of Color are sleeping soundly tonight because of you, you brave man.
posted by jonmc at 7:53 AM on May 13, 2005


"You don't lose votes by picking fights with foreign officials. Though if [Galloway] were French it would have been better."

Oh deary me.

Sounds like its gonna be 2 entrenched idiots slinging mud around to no real avail... both sides will claim victory + nothing will change.

Yay Democracy.
posted by stumcg at 7:54 AM on May 13, 2005


I guess from this comment jsavimbi is not being serious but Diane Abbot and Dawn Butler are both black female Labour MPs.
posted by ninebelow at 8:02 AM on May 13, 2005


Looks like Coleman continues his quioxtic march to the presidential nomination in '08.

What I haven't seen in all of these oil for food scandals is the fact that the UN Security Council which set up the program, was also responsible for enforcing it.
posted by infowar at 8:02 AM on May 13, 2005


It will appear to be exactly what it is -- an imperial American browbeating of a sovereign nation's politician largely driven by his opposition to the United States' imperialist policies.
posted by clevershark at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2005


"Joseph McCarthy must be smiling admirably in Hades"

Joseph McCarthy is smiling in a way that deserves admiration? Odd that Galloway would out himself as a McCarthy fan.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2005


*sigh*. Why did Wellstone have to die? Coleman's political career was so close to dead. So close.
posted by MillMan at 8:09 AM on May 13, 2005


I thought jsavimbi was being sarcastic - he tried to take the same absurdist line as Jeremy Paxman in the second link.

Of course, the absurdist line could have been his own.

Apologies, of course, to jsavimbi for having refered to you in the masculine if you are actually a delicate flower of womanhood.
Or even not that delicate.
Or florid.

posted by NinjaPirate at 8:21 AM on May 13, 2005


Pardonyou? I think he's saying that McCarthy is smiling because he is admiring Coleman's behaviour.

And MillMan: the good ones always do. Funny, it always seems to be Democrats getting killed in plane crashes... *takes out tinfoil hat, puts on head* lets think about that for a second...
posted by indiebass at 8:29 AM on May 13, 2005


Does Joe McCarthy actually a represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in US politics? I had naively assumed that he would be regarded as some sort of admirable fellow who fought for all he was worth and for all he believed in.
Galloway clearly believes that no-one would want to be associated with McCarthy's methods/efforts/legacy, but is that really the case?

It seemed almost natural that he would have been a poster-boy for the heralds of disaster who herd the nation through a foggy dread of unknown aggressors from within and terrorism. Communism has been substituted for another "evil" - why would the opponents of this evil distance themselves from the opponents of the last?


Genuine questions here, in case anyone wishes to answer.
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:37 AM on May 13, 2005


NinjaPirate writes " Does Joe McCarthy actually a represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in US politics?"

Does Hitler actually represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in German politics? You gotta be fucking kidding.
posted by clevershark at 8:45 AM on May 13, 2005


ninjapirate,

Does Joe McCarthy actually a represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in US politics?

joe mccarthy is the darth vader of sinister politics.

Galloway clearly believes that no-one would want to be associated with McCarthy's methods/efforts/legacy, but is that really the case?

see above.
posted by three blind mice at 8:48 AM on May 13, 2005


NinjaPirate: First of all, everyone knows that the natural enemy of the Ninja is the pirate.

Second of all -- and I don't want to speak for ALL Americans here, but I'll try -- Joseph McCarthy represents government intrusion into affairs that the gov't shouldn't be involved in, as well as baseless accusations, using fear as a tactic to turn one against one's peers, and mostly The Witch Hunt. I cannot think of a single person (maybe Ann Coulter) who admires Joseph McCarthy, and anyone will freely admit that the McCarthy era was a very VERY dark part of American history. He was eventually censured by the Senate in 1954.

From the Wikipedia: During his ten years in the Senate, McCarthy and his staff became notorious for aggressive campaigns against people in the U.S. government and others who were suspected of being Communists or Communist sympathizers.

As a result of these controversial actions the term McCarthyism was coined to specifically describe the intense anti-Communist movement that existed in America from 1948 to about 1956, a time which became popularly known as the Second Red Scare. During this period, people from all walks of life who were suspected of Communist sympathies became the subject of aggressive witch-hunts, often based on inconclusive or questionable evidence. People from the media, the motion picture industry, politics, and the military often became the targets of McCarthyism. The term has since become synonymous with any government activity which seeks to suppress unfavorable political or social views, often by limiting or suspending civil rights under the pretext of maintaining national security. (emphasis added by me)
posted by indiebass at 8:53 AM on May 13, 2005


There have been attempts to rehabilitate mcCarthy's image (most notably by William F. Buckley and Ann Coulter), but most on the right still see him as an embarrassment best forgotten. McCarthy is associated with invasive use of big government, snitching cowards, dishonesty, and ignorance. Not an image most politicians want to evoke, even in these paranoid times.

Also his friends Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover turned out to be "preverts", which can't help his (already sloppy, drunken, insane) image much.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:54 AM on May 13, 2005


By The Grace Of God, I wouldn't call a man with a holiday home in Portugal and an annual salary of almost $300,000 "real left"...
posted by runkelfinker at 8:54 AM on May 13, 2005


ninja pirate to give you an idea of how negative mccarthy's legacy is, clevershark's not so clever comparison isn't even valid.

the wikipedia only gives der fürher an esoteric -ism. joe gets the full monty.
posted by three blind mice at 8:58 AM on May 13, 2005


I would mark PST as "best answer".
Alas I have no ponies.

Thanks for all the explanations, I thought the definition "an embarrassment, even for the right, even in these paranoid times" was excellent.

Of course I was aware that, in general, McCarthy couldn't be rationally regarded as "a good thing", but then Iraq couldn't be rationally regarded as "a dangerous thing". I wanted the ground cleared for me a little in terms of his political standing in the US.
Thank you all.
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:21 AM on May 13, 2005


Joseph McCarthy showed the world that any right-wing asshole can, given the right podium, stir up a frankly servile American populace into fighting a shadow enemy which isn't even really there in the first place.

That's what makes him like Hitler.
posted by clevershark at 9:21 AM on May 13, 2005


On the topic of McCarthyism - I was reading through wikipedia on COINTELPRO and related topics I discovered this hilarious article about the red scare. Can anyone with a better handle on the history of this period give me any decent evidence to the contrary?
posted by longbaugh at 9:31 AM on May 13, 2005


Godwin: *Peeks head out*
Godwin: excuse me? Did somebody call me yet?
posted by indiebass at 9:41 AM on May 13, 2005


Norm Coleman is a lickspittle.
posted by kuatto at 9:41 AM on May 13, 2005


Pardonyou? I think he's saying that McCarthy is smiling because he is admiring Coleman's behaviour.

I know, I was making a funny. The word he was looking for was "admiringly," not "admirably."
posted by pardonyou? at 9:41 AM on May 13, 2005


Didn't Galloway win millions from suing a newspaper that said he got money from Oil for Food in Iraq? I'd be careful of slandering him.

about 1.4 million pounds if I remember correctly, from the conservative Daily Telegraph. oh, and the Christian Science Monitor had to formally apologize to Galloway because they used forged evidence against him. it was all over the right-wing blogs, don't you remember? citizen journalists in pajamas and all

at this point, I hope that at least Galloway starts cracking jokes about lucky plane crashes in Minnesota and all that stuff.

I seriously doubt that, as much as Blair hates Galloway, he'd let the Americans cart him off to Guantanamo. hence Galloway is pretty much home free, short of mooning the Republicans he can do basically all he wants
posted by matteo at 10:00 AM on May 13, 2005


I was there when Coleman's political career started in earnest, in his first run for Mayor of Saint Paul, MN in 1993. I was working for his main opponent at the time. We (in the DFL Party) knew even then that he was a horrifyingly cynical bastard, empty of any real ideology, motivated exclusively by unrestrained ambition. His conduct since then, especially his switching to the Republican party shortly after first being elected, has only reinforced my hatred of him and everything he stands for. His presence in the UN-Oil for food investigation tarnishes any findings that are made.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:03 AM on May 13, 2005


I wouldn't trust Galloway as far as I could push him, but I have to say he's being victimised. Roy Greenslade, writing in today's Guardian, makes the point pretty well. And I'm pleased to see that he too notes the outrageous stupidity and unfairness of Paxman's embarrassingly lame attack on him.
posted by Decani at 10:28 AM on May 13, 2005


Yeah, I'm getting to think that the only people more dubious than Galloway are those consipring against him.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:30 AM on May 13, 2005


Mooning the Republicans sounds good too matteo.

Galloway is everything Holy Joe isn't.

Go Galloway!! Tear this hollow suit up!
posted by nofundy at 10:36 AM on May 13, 2005


I'd vote for Galloway, given the chance. Actually, I did have the chance, in the European Parliament elections a couple of years ago. I think I was one of the 2% in the constituency who voted Respect.

These allegations are no different than the ones made by the CSM and the Telegraph.Galloway has already proven them to be false in a courtroom. I'm more interested in why exactly the establishment seem to be trying to slander him?
posted by salmacis at 10:54 AM on May 13, 2005


Runkelfilter, it's about his policies - not his lifestyle, not Oona King's race - HIS POLICIES. If I have to eat vegan food from a dumpster, live in a squat and ride a dumpster-diven bike to my co-op job every day to be a Real Leftist, I'm checking out of this movement.
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:58 AM on May 13, 2005


ninja: Did you perhaps confuse Joseph McCarthy and Eugene McCarthy?
posted by monocyte at 11:00 AM on May 13, 2005


Coleman is the most disappointing senator ever. We went from having Wellstone to a soulless lackey who only ran because Cheney told him to. The second he got elected he turned away from his home state and into the waiting arms of the RNC- now he's just a tie-clad Republican lie machine. Hopefully we'll have enough sense not to re-elect his useless ass next time around.
posted by baphomet at 11:10 AM on May 13, 2005


Actually, it's a little known fact that, while not outing commies at the State Department, Joe McCarty was a pioneer of cosmetic dentistry and was the consensus choice for Best Smile at the Senate awards banquet following the 81st and 83rd Congresses.
posted by aaronetc at 11:11 AM on May 13, 2005


Does anyone else find Coleman eerily simlar to The Smiler? He's even got a wife hidden away in California!
posted by graventy at 11:36 AM on May 13, 2005


He has regularly sued for libel and, worse still in the eyes of journalists, has always won, sometimes handsomely.

Hooray!

Galloway raises the hackles both of the collective media and of individual journalists. How else can one explain the extraordinary way in which Jeremy Paxman greeted Galloway's election victory for his Respect party over Labour's sitting MP, Oona King, in east London? "Mr Galloway," demanded Paxman, "are you proud of having got rid of one of the very few black women in parliament?" Galloway rightly replied, "What a preposterous question," and soon walked out of the interview.

I assume that's where jsavimbi's joke came from.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:00 PM on May 13, 2005


I'm getting to think that the only people more dubious than Galloway are those consipring against him.

It's not so much conspiracy as it is frustrated hacks with blue balls.

You know how, after a lengthy trial, the pent-up newspapers go nuts on a guilty verdict? Months of teasing foreplay get to them, all that "it is alleged" legal couching and contempt-of-court-avoidance, and it comes bursting out in huge stark front page headlines, like the Guardian's famous "LIAR" over Jonathan Aiken.

Well, Galloway has been teasing journalists For Years. He will sue at the drop of a hat, and send legal letters before it hits the ground. So papers have to be very, very careful about what they say. "Is it a link to Iraq oil, or a claimed link to Iraqi oil? This matters". Which they hate, obviously.

Hence the current feeling of circling vultures. As soon as somebody finds some unimpeachable evidence on him, and the Senate report looked close to being that, we are going to have a field day of just astounding proportions.
Above comment valid in UK only
posted by bonaldi at 5:53 PM on May 13, 2005


Does Joe McCarthy actually a represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in US politics?
Ann Coulter has been trying to rehabilitate his image, without any success.
posted by amberglow at 6:30 PM on May 13, 2005


Does Joe McCarthy actually a represent a dark and sinister symbolic force in US politics?

"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
posted by eriko at 8:13 PM on May 13, 2005


I heart gorgeous george .
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:08 AM on May 14, 2005


"*sigh*. Why did Wellstone have to die? Coleman's political career was so close to dead. So close."

You answered your own question, I think.
posted by Luke Pski at 6:43 AM on May 14, 2005


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