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King Features Column


(As always, thanks to the syndication deal, this appears here a week after its newspaper release)

       FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 15th FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019  
       CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
       BOB FRANKEN
       FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012
       OLD MCCARTHYISM, NEW NAMES
       BY BOB FRANKEN
       This is an Action Eyewitness News Alert! Michele Bachmann and four other House Republicans have written letters to government agencies demanding an investigation into whether longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has connections to Muslim Brotherhood efforts to infiltrate the government. They cite a website, the Center for Security Policy, that calls Abedin one of “six Islamic sympathizers” who “have achieved positions within or advisory roles serving Team Obama.”
       Never mind that the “www” for the site stands for “WorldWideWacko.” Sen. John McCain made a highly unusual speech on the Senate floor, defending Huma Abedin as a longtime friend and condemning the “sinister” accusations, “an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant.”
       Say what you will about John McCain -- and there is plenty to say, both good and bad -- but his intolerance of intolerance is definitely on the “good” side.  Still, I think he’s missing an important possibility: Could it be that Bachmann and the others are infiltrators themselves? Might they have been backed by our nation’s enemies to get elected to Congress, where they can continuously embarrass the United States of America?
       I have no evidence whatsoever to back this up, but think about it: It certainly would explain some of the crazy charges she makes that rile up those who don’t really think about much of anything. She ran for president and got votes. What could be more embarrassing than that? I rest my case.
       Of course, she and the others are back-stepping so fast that they would do Mitt Romney proud, Bachmann is insisting her intentions “are unfortunately being distorted,” but then she has a track record of goofy pandering that kind of distorts itself.
       Maybe that’s not the only nefarious plot here. Huma Abedin is married to Anthony Weiner; we all remember “Weinergate,” where he was caught on Twitter with his pants down. Literally.
       He resigned from Congress, but in just the past few days, we have seen all kinds of stories suggesting that he wants to make another run for political office. Is this a coincidence or some clever way to gin up some sympathy for him? Is this really a conspiracy involving Weiner, his wife, Bachmann and the other House cheap-shot artists? Is John McCain part of it? How about Hillary Clinton?  
       Again, there is absolutely nothing to give credence to any of that, but it is plausible, particularly for those of us who have gone off the deep end.


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       Actually it is interesting that Abedin works for the State Department. In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy gained infamy by making wild Red Scare accusations about the Marxists burrowing into our government. A special for him was, you guessed it, the State Department, which he declared was “infested with communists.” He finally was brought down, but not before his unfounded accusations ruined any number of lives and spawned the term “McCarthyism.”
       It means “irresponsible, ambitious fearmongering with no regard for accuracy or the human cost.” Joe McCarthy at one point was confronted with the question: “Have you no sense of decency?” Today, Muslims are the demagogues’ new communists. Maybe it’s time to ask that “decency” question of Michele Bachmann.
       Who can forget her claim that a presidential trip to Mumbai was costing U.S. taxpayers $200 million a day? That one was based on a nonsourced report on an Indian TV website. It was thoroughly discredited, but so what? After all, it did serve its primary purpose, which was to push her agenda -- which, by the way, is publicizing Michele Bachmann.
       Maybe it’s time to replace the “McCarthyism” epithet with “Bachmannism.” Unfortunately, there are many “isms” these days, as so many politicians say anything to get attention.
       They have become commonplace in our political system, proof that the bad-guy infiltrators already have succeeded.
       © 2012 Bob Franken
       Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
      

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