The legacy of Joe McCarthy lives on
Source Dave Anderson
Date 16/07/07/23:49
The legacy of Joe McCarthy lives on
By Dave Anderson

DONALD TRUMP HAS been compared to earlier rightwing demagogues such as
Hitler, Mussolini, George Wallace and Pat Buchanan. The name of
witch-hunter Senator Joe McCarthy comes up a lot.

Recently, the New York Times, Washington Post and Politico published
lengthy pieces about how McCarthy’s henchman, Roy Cohn, became one of
Trump’s best friends and his closest adviser on business and personal

Cohn had been chief counsel for McCarthy’s Senate permanent
subcommittee on investigations. McCarthy had been censured and
disgraced after he tried to smear the Army and the CIA. But Cohn moved
back to his native New York and became a highly visible power broker
as the lawyer of politicians, big businessmen and mobsters. He became
friends with gossip columnists and shamelessly used the tabloids to
get in the headlines.

Trump and Cohn met by chance in 1973 at Le Club, a private disco for
Manhattan’s rich and famous. Trump was a 27-year-old developer who ran
a real estate empire with his dad Fred. Trump introduced himself to
Cohn and asked him about a bothersome legal problem. The Civil Rights
Division of the Justice Department was suing him and his father,
accusing them of refusing to rent to black tenants. Trump told Cohn
that their lawyers were urging them to settle. He didn’t want to do

“Tell them to go to hell and fight the thing in court,’” Cohn said.
Trump hired him as his new lawyer and one of Cohn’s first acts was to
file a $100 million countersuit that was quickly dismissed by the
judge for “wasting time and paper.”

But Cohn fought on for over a year and a half and accused the Justice
Department and the FBI of using “Gestapo-like tactics.”

The Trumps would be forced to sign a consent agreement to rent to more
blacks and other minorities and they had to put ads in newspapers —
including those targeted specifically to minority communities — saying
they were an “equal housing opportunity” company. Trump complained
about the cost of the ads. “It is really onerous,” he said.

The government called the consent decree “one of the most far reaching
ever negotiated.” But Cohn and the Trumps claimed it was a victory for

After this, Cohn became Trump’s mentor on practically everything. In
1979, Trump told Newsweek, “If you need someone to get vicious toward
an opponent, you get Roy.”

A year later, pressed by a reporter from New York Magazine to justify
his association with Cohn, he said: “All I can tell you is he’s been
vicious to others in his protection of me.” He elaborated in an
interview in 2005. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,”
Trump told author Tim O’Brien. “He brutalized for you.”

Trump remained friends with Cohn even after the lawyer was disbarred
in New York on ethics charges. However, Trump cut all business and
personal ties to Cohn when he was dying of AIDS.

Trump knew Cohn was a closeted homosexual. Politico’s Michael Kruse
says, “(Cohn) was a tangle of contradictions, a Jewish anti-Semite and
a homosexual homophobe, vehemently closeted but insatiably
promiscuous. In 1964, ’69 and ’71, he had been tried and acquitted of
federal charges of conspiracy, bribery and fraud, giving him — at
least in the eyes of a certain sort — an aura of battle-tested
toughness, the perception of invincibility.”

Kruse says that people who have known both Cohn and Trump say they
“see in Trump today unmistakable signs of the enduring influence of
Cohn. The frank belligerence. The undisguised disregard for niceties
and convention. The media manipulation clotted with an abiding belief
in the potent currency of celebrity.”

Many years ago, Cohn introduced Trump to two men, Paul Manafort and
Roger Stone, who are playing a crucial role in his presidential
campaign. They are longtime political manipulators involved in the
Republican “establishment.”

The soft-spoken Manafort is now running Trump’s campaign. He studied
under James A. Baker III who was Reagan’s Chief of Staff and George
H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State. Trump denounces all those horrible
Washington lobbyists. But Manafort is one of the sleaziest lobbyists
in D.C.

Manafort was a lobbyist for despots in the Philippines, the Dominican
Republic, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Somalia. The Center for
Public Integrity released a report, which detailed the firm’s work,
entitled “The Torturers’ Lobby.” Manafort would clean up a dictator’s
image, coach him on how to present himself and have him booked on 60
Minutes andNightline.

While Manafort is low-key, Roger Stone is a loudmouth. He has
specialized in campaign “dirty tricks” since Nixon. For example, he
created a pseudonym and made contributions on behalf of the Young
Socialist Alliance to one of Nixon’s potential challengers.

Stone recently claimed that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK
assassination. He has said that Bernie Sanders should be shot for

Stone is now calling for a McCarthyite witchhunt against Muslims.

He is specifically asking if Hillary Clinton’s close adviser Huma
Abedin is a “Saudi spy” or a “terrorist agent.”

Newt Gingrich has jumped in with a proposal to revive the House
UnAmerican Activities Committee to go after Muslims. He is a Trump
supporter and says he is willing to serve as Donald’s vice president.

It will be a very ugly campaign.

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