Trutherism, The Early Days
Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic Party currently running for governor of Virginia, is a "True Believer in the 1980 ‘October Surprise’ Conspiracy Theory," Jim Geraghty writes today. Geraghty committed the ultimate rightwing neocon deathbeast thoughtcrime -- he cut and paste from McAuliffe's own 2007 autobiography; at least for the moment, you can read the following passage in Google Books for yourself:
Reagan’s Inauguration hit us all like a kick in the gut, and not just for the obvious reasons. President Carter was racing the clock trying to free the hostages before Reagan was inaugurated, and it didn’t look as if he would make it. Then Inauguration Day came and exactly five minutes after Reagan was sworn in, the U.S. hostages were finally released after 444 days in captivity. A former National Security Council (NSC) staffer named Gary Sick spent years investigating and put together a strong case that a deal had occurred between Reagan’s people and the Iranians to sway the elections by delaying the release of the hostages — and in return for helping Reagan, the Iranians would be rewarded with weapons shipments from Israel.
Let me tell you why I’m sure the Reagan people had a hand in this. First of all, the arms transfers from Israel to Iran began almost immediately after Reagan became president. Second, the main defense of the Reagan people was that it would have been too terrible a crime for Reagan to cook up secret deals with the Iranians in violation of U.S. law, but that is just what the Reagan administration did when it sold arms to the Iranians and used the profits to illegally fund the contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Finally, the key to Reagan’s deal on the Iranian hostages was Bill Casey, a swashbuckling Cold War spy master who served Reagan as campaign manager and CIA Director. Sick’s sources told him that Casey met with the Iranians in a Madrid hotel in July 1980 and again several months later, and made the deal.
As Geraghty notes afterwards, "The first advocate of the 'October Surprise' theory was Lyndon LaRouche," McAuliffe's fellow Democrat. "The truth is out there, Terry," he quips. "Maybe the cigarette-smoking man got to everyone else!"
Meanwhile, the Daily Caller combs through McAuliffe's memoir and finds that "Five times Terry McAuliffe admits he ditched his wife for politics." Newsbusters adds, "Terry McAuliffe Reveals He Was a Bad Husband to Skip Out on Childbirth to Attend WashPost Party....But WashPost Didn't Tell."
The Post is also happy to bury the news that currently polls show that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, McAuliffe's Republican opponent, currently has a ten point lead over McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race.