Quote of the Day: Beast Inside, The Daily Beast Friday Digest

Hello,

At some point in the next few days, the U.S. will pass that horrific milestone: 200,000 dead from COVID-19. Michael Tomasky has a terrific column on this terrible moment in which he recalls how he gasped last weekend when he saw that Taiwan had just reported its seventh death—that’s seven total since the start of the pandemic. He got out his calculator and figured out how many Americans would have died if the U.S. death rate was as low as Taiwan’s, or as low as a bunch of other countries that President Trump would probably describe as shitholes. The numbers, Tomasky notes, give lie to what may be Trump’s biggest whopper: “Nothing more could have been done.” He writes: “In a democracy worthy of the name, Trump would be impeached simply for speaking those words.”

— Tracy Connor, Executive Editor, The Daily Beast

The Politics of Accusation

“I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.” It wasn’t the first occasion where this senator had whipped up the specter of an enemy within, nor was he the first to try. But this time he grasped something earlier treason-shouters hadn’t: that counting and naming the actual traitors had a frontier justice allure. No matter that the paper he was clutching didn’t justify his numbers or fill in his list . . . When fellow lawmakers denounced his anti-Communist crusade as a hoax, and him as a charlatan, he brazenly doubled down in the broadsides. Abe Lincoln was surely turning somersaults in his tomb . . .

(btw, Abe Lincoln is surely turning somersaults AGAIN, poor man)

” . . . but Joe McCarthy had the issue he needed to snatch the limelight he craved.”

Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Sen. Joe McCarthy, p. 115

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