"So Which Leftwing Martyr/Icon Is Left?"

After my appearance on PJTV this afternoon, I heard Glenn Reynolds discussing this New York Times story with PJTV host Allen Barton and Maximum Pajamahadeen Roger L. Simon:


Ever since he was tried and convicted with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on espionage charges in 1951, Morton Sobell has maintained his innocence.

Until now. In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Sobell, who served nearly 19 years in Alcatraz and other federal prisons, admitted for the first time that he had been a Soviet spy. And he implicated his fellow defendant, Julius Rosenberg, in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets vital classified military information and what the American government claimed was the secret to the atomic bomb.

Glenn added, “Before my time, but I believe that all right-thinking people believed the Rosenbergs innocent back then. I wonder what other beliefs, widely shared among right-thinking people today, will turn out to be similarly wrong in 50 years?”

Back in late 2005, when there a news item that Upton Sinclair hid knowledge of Sacco and Vanzetti’s guilt in order to do his antediluvian Free Mumia impersonation (as I wrote back then), Jonah Goldberg noted:


So which leftwing martyr/icon is left? Sacco & Vanzetti were guilty. The Rosenbergs: guilty. Hiss: guilty. Margaret Mead: liar. Rigoberta Menchu: liar. Duranty: liar. Kinsey: liar. Upton Sinclair: liar. I.F. Stone isn’t looking too hot (lied about America often, loved totalitarians, might have taken KGB money).

Martin Luther King Jr. — small flaws aside — is still looking good. But Bobby Kennedy is only a useful leftwing hero if you don’t look too closely. Ditto JFK. Jesse Jackson’s going to look awful to historians.

Who’s left?

Hey, there’s always John Kerry and Bill Ayers.



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