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“Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism,” by Ann Coulter, Crown Forum, NY, 2003 (NY Times Best Seller).

This one I would class as a polemic. It equates liberalism with Democrats and with Communism. The liberals' consistent support of Communism is unpatriotic and un-American. Hence, liberals are traitors.

Not presented in the book, but an idea that comes through is that Communism and liberal ideas are related. In the time of Dickens and in the early industrial age, common man was often a mere pawn, almost a slave of the system. New thinking led to Marxism and Communism as possibly better systems. Now we know Communism doesn't work out as well as capitalism, but its easy to visualize liberals seeing Communism as a bold experiment. Coulter presents Democrats as hoodwinked and inept. That is a bit strong, but clearly there are parallel interests. Of course, demise of the Cold War ended that experiment. With it, liberals lost a major issue. They are left with domestic issues–sometimes extrapolated to global positions, but with little else to fight for.

A few facts from the book–

McCarthyism was real. Soviet cables intercepted, decoded and finally released as part of the Verona Project on July 11, 1995, show conclusively that Communist spies were widely distributed in the US government. Of course, the fact that the Soviets were able to get the A-bomb so soon led many to suspect espionage.

The nomination of George McGovern, “darling of the left-wing radicals,” signaled the end of the conservative anti-Communists within the Democrat party. Since that time liberals have dominated.

Two Democratic administrations (FDR and Truman) had employed Soviet spies at the highest level. Because of inept Democrats, Stalin would learn of the atomic bomb before Truman did. Democrats invented the myth of McCarthyism to cover their ineptitude. Otherwise, voters might think the Democrats could not be trusted to defend the nation.

McCarthy had nothing to do with the Hollywood blacklisting. The Hollywood Ten were called before the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1947. McCarthy was a Senator. He did not serve in the House.

George Marshall as Secretary of State in the Truman Administration was “the Zelig of disaster.” Coulter holds him responsible for the loss of China, and for firing MacArthur. Marshall saw the Marshall Plan as a welfare program. He never conceived it as a weapon against Communism. It was rescued by the Republicans in Congress.

History text books are often biased in the liberal point of view. “Upcoming editions will include the dark tale of how Swedes flew planes into the World Trade Center on 9-11 and glorious renditions of how Bill Clinton–shoulder-to-shoulder with Larry Flynt–saved the Constitution.”

IF Stone, a highly regarded liberal journalist of the McCarthy era, was a paid Soviet agent. Stone called McCarthy an anti-Semite and a fascist. Accusations of fascism and anti-Semitism was a standard Communist Party strategy. The Communist party played up the Jewish issue whenever it could to make comparisons with Nazi Germany seem plausible.

The Kennedys were close personal friends of Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy was godfather to Bobby Kennedy's oldest daughter, Kathleen, in 1951. “Liberals are always recalling some late-night conversation no one else heard in which the Kennedys expressed their secret qualms about McCarthy.”

In his speech in Wheeling, WV, McCarthy indicated he had the names of 205 Communists in the State Department. That speech was based on a statement by Secretary of State James Byrnes just a few years earlier indicating that 205 identified security risks at the State Department were still on the job. McCarthy's point was that no one seemed to know or care what became of those cases.

A standard liberal fairy tale is the Joseph Welch “have you no decency” soliloquy during “televised hearings of McCarthy's investigation into phantom communists in the military.” In fact Julius “Rosenberg was an engineer with the Army Signal Corps. Incredibly even after the Army discovered he was a Communist and dismissed him in 1944, Rosenberg continued to work on classified military projects. He supervised a cell of other Soviet spies still working for the Army.”

In March, 1946, Truman rebuffed Winston Churchill after his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, MO. Truman instructed his secretary of state Dean Acheson not to attend a reception for Churchill a week later in New York. Acheson was “deeply troubled by Churchill's call for an Anglo-American partnership that would seem to be directed against Moscow. Whether the dictator is Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein, Democrats always warm to the idea of appeasing murderous dictators.”

“Liberals sheltered Communists, Hoover was onto them, so they called him a fag.”

“After Nixon exposed Hiss and his Democrat patrons, liberals would not rest until he was ruined. This is the true story of Watergate.”

“The left's deep sensitivity to anti-Semitism had always been a convenient lie. The Communists' opposition to Hitler turned on whichever side Stalin was on. During the Stalin-Hitler pact, American Communists were pacifists. Only when the Germans attacked Russia did they yearn for American boys to fight Hitler.”

A weakness is that the book rakes over the same old stories again and again. Most of them are old news. There is little guidance for where we are going or even should go. It merely flames the liberals and especially the liberal press: The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Some books gain your trust by presenting some conclusions you already know. This one does not do that. It is extremely right wing. One wonders how far the facts have been distorted. Liberals will find it infuriating; even conservatives will wince. But will it promote new thinking?

Amazon has over 1600 reader reviews of this book posted. I've never seen so many. Obviously, feelings about it run strong.
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