The New McCarthyism: Now in Book Form.

Andy McCarthy has turned his regular columns arguing that both the White House and the president are personally sympathetic to terrorists into a book, titled The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America:

For years, McCarthy warned of America’s blindness to the Islamist threat, but in The Grand Jihad McCarthy exposes a new, more insidious peril: the government’s active appeasement of the Islamist ideology. With the help of witting and unwitting accomplices in and out of government, Islamism doesn’t merely fuel terrorism but spawns America-hating Islamic enclaves in our very midst, gradually foisting Islam’s repressive law, sharia, on American life. The revolutionary doctrine has made common cause with an ascendant Left that also seeks radical transformation of our constitutional order. The prognosis for liberty could not be more dire.

The Obama administration has restored the Bush-era hybrid military-commissions system for trying terrorists. It has maintained and tried to expand the surveillance state put forth by its predecessors. Indefinite detention remains U.S. policy. The administration has expanded the use of drone strikes on suspected terrorist targets, escalated the war in Afghanistan, and deployed the U.S. military in covert actions across the globe in nations where we are not at war. It has done all these things in defiance of the civil-liberties and human-rights groups that saw the hopes for a restoration of the rule of law in Obama's candidacy.

Yet McCarthy imagines that it's Real Americans like him who face the brunt of the government's use of force: "To this president and his government, I am the problem." Dodge any drone strikes over at National Review HQ there lately, Andy? I didn't think so.

In the deranged, spittle-flecked parallel universe of Andy McCarthy, the fact that there are a few lawyers working in the Justice Department who once advocated for due process for people accused of terrorism is proof that the Obama administration is actively working to aid al-Qaeda. Aside from being detached from reality, McCarthy's thesis is ripe with all the usual right-wing contradictions: Liberals are alternately unstoppable and vicious, but also weak and frightened. They are socially permissive but can't wait for Osama bin Laden to come in and force a burka onto every woman in sight. Liberals seek a "transformation" of the existing constitutional order, while it is McCarthy who dreams of a world where any Muslim accused of terrorism can be locked away forever and waterboarded to the point of insanity without ever seeing a lawyer or the inside of a courtroom.

Once a celebrated prosecutor, McCarthy has been reduced to a boiling stew of the worst kinds of right-wing paranoia, Bircherism, McCarthyism, and Birtherism all churned together with a teeth-chattering Islamophobia. But it's important to understand that it's not the terrorists who are the real focus of McCarthy's wrath; it's anyone who disagrees that the executive branch should have limitless, unchecked power to fight Islamist terrorism. These people, to McCarthy, are indistinguishable from someone who steps onto a plane with a bomb in their shoes.

Ultimately McCarthy's issue is a kind of Louis XIV-style narcissism: To disagree with McCarthy is to be an enemy of the state.

-- A. Serwer

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