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Ed Driscoll

Chris Matthews’ Full MSNBC Jacket

February 1st, 2010 - 10:35 pm

MSNBC Chris Matthews likens the GOP to the Khmer Rouge for opposing President Obama’s leviathan fiscal proposals and centrally controlled economic schemes:

What’s going on out there in the Republican Party is kind of a frightening, almost Cambodia re-education camp going on in that party, where they’re going around to people, sort of switching their minds around saying, if you’re not far right, you’re not right enough.

What, Nazi and Taliban comparisons are old hat now?

Actually though, Matthews is just sneeringly going where Frank Rich of the New York Times recently went before. Twice. In late October, Rich described conservative, small government Republicans in the NY-23 race who preferred Doug Hoffman over RINO Dede Scozzafava as “Stalinists.” It marked perhaps the first time in history when the a journalist at the New York Times would use the word pejoratively. (This is after all the home of Walter Duranty and Pinch “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country” Sulzberger.) And just this weekend, Rich’s wrote that in his rather idiosyncratic worldview, John McCain “epitomizes the unpatriotic opposition.”

But I thought dissent itself was patriotic, as John Kerry, the ol’ Winter Soldier himself used to enjoy saying, oh, up until about mid-afternoon on the first Tuesday in November of 2008.

Stalin is estimated at killing upwards of  20 million people; the Khmer Rouge “only” about 1.5 to two million, so perhaps Chris, in his thoughtful way — he always chooses his words carefully of course, as his comments regarding the president last week should demonstrate — thought he was dialing down the rhetoric, not escalating it. But in any case, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit asks, “Since when did the left start demonizing killer Marxists?… Or, Marxists of any stripe?… What about the Mao balls on the White House Christmas tree?”

Of course, the Khmer Rouge were emboldened when America bugged out of Vietnam in 1975. About which, David Horowitz wrote in October of 2001:

Communism was an expansive system that ruined nations and enslaved their citizens. But [Noam] Chomsky dismisses America’s fear of Communism as a mere “cover” for America’s own diabolical designs. He explains the Vietnam War this way: “The real fear was that if the people of Indochina achieved independence and justice, the people of Thailand would emulate it, and if that worked, they’d try it in Malaya, and pretty soon Indonesia would pursue an independent path, and by then a significant area [of America’s empire] would have been lost.” This is a Marxist version of the domino theory. But of course, America did leave Indo-China – Cambodia and Thailand included — in 1975. Vietnam has pursued an independent path for 25 years and it is as poor as it ever was – one of the poorest nations in the world. Its people still live in a primitive Marxist police state.

After its defeat in Vietnam, the United States withdrew its military forces from the entire Indo-Chinese peninsula. The result was that Cambodia was over-run by the Khmer Rouge (the “reds”). In other words, by the Communist forces that Noam Chomsky, the Vietnamese Communists and the entire American left had supported until then. The Khmer Rouge proceeded to kill two million Cambodians who, in their view, stood in the way of the progressive “good example” they intended to create. Chomsky earned himself a bad reputation by first denying and then minimizing the Cambodian genocide until the facts overwhelmed his case. Now, of course, he blames the genocide on the United States.

James Webb, in his earlier incarnation as a man of the right wrote:

Denial is rampant in 1997, but the truth is this end result was the very goal of the antiwar movement’s continuing efforts in the years after American withdrawal. George McGovern, more forthcoming than most, bluntly stated as much to this writer during a break in taping a 1995 edition of cnn’s “Crossfire.” After I had argued that the war was clearly winnable even toward the end if we had changed our strategy, the 1972 presidential candidate who had offered to go to Hanoi on his knees commented, “What you don’t understand is that I didn’t want us to win that war.” Mr. McGovern was not alone. He was part of a small but extremely influential minority who eventually had their way.

There is perhaps no greater testimony to the celebratory atmosphere that surrounded the Communist victory in Vietnam than the 1975 Academy Awards, which took place on April 8, just three weeks before the South’s final surrender. The award for Best Feature Documentary went to the film Hearts and Minds, a vicious piece of propaganda that assailed American cultural values as well as our effort to assist South Vietnam’s struggle for democracy. The producers, Peter Davis and Bert Schneider [who plays a role in David Horowitz’s story—see page 31], jointly accepted the Oscar. Schneider was frank in his support of the Communists. As he stepped to the mike he commented that “It is ironic that we are here at a time just before Vietnam is about to be liberated.” Then came one of the most stunning—if intentionally forgotten—moments in Hollywood history. As a struggling country many Americans had paid blood and tears to try to preserve was disappearing beneath a tank onslaught, Schneider pulled out a telegram from our enemy, the Vietnamese Communist delegation in Paris, and read aloud its congratulations to his film. Without hesitating, Hollywood’s most powerful people rewarded Schneider’s reading of the telegram with a standing ovation.

But now all of a sudden the worst leftwing players of the 20th century are back to being evil in the eyes of American liberals? It seems quite a stretch to score cheap rhetorical points against the right in 2010.

In the latest edition of “National Review On Dead Tree”, Jonah Goldberg writes that the members of the self-defined “reality-based community” are “going nuts.” Quotes such as Matthew’s and Rich’s are exactly doing much to counteract that observation.

Related: Not surprisingly, back here on planet earth, the feckless GOP still isn’t putting up much of a fuss about Democrat Paul Kirk voting this week before Scott Brown is seated. Stalinists!

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