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Friday, April 24, 2009

 
They Say There Are Strangers Who Threaten Us

In the wake of that paranoid DHS report on right wing extremism, I've been pondering a question: who deserves the moniker "witch hunter" more - Jan Napolitano, or Joe McCarthy? Let's stack them up to the key characteristics of the Salem witch hunts.

  • The perceived menace is nonexistent or greatly overestimated. Napolitano. (Commie agents were a real problem; Joe simply went after the wrong people.)
  • Specific individuals were targeted. McCarthy. (Jan is way short on names.)
  • Primary instigation involved ordinary citizens' use of existing laws to lynch their neighbors. Neither - lawsuit abuse is the strongest contender here.

At this poin1 the score is:

Napolitano - 1
McCarthy - 1
Trial lawyers - 1

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