WHOA – CNN TURNED OBJECTIVIST SO SLOWLY, I HARDLY EVEN NOTICED! Journalist Carl Bernstein Declares ‘Cold Civil War’ In America:
On Sunday, appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Carl Bernstein, who along with Robert Woodward, broke the story of Watergate for The Washington Post, claimed, “We are in the midst of a cold civil war in this country.”
Bernstein, who along with Woodward relied on anonymous sources to discover information related to the Watergate break-in, made his comment about a “cold civil war” to distinguish the era of Watergate from the current political climate.
I wonder if Bernstein thinks he invented that phrase – when perhaps its very first use was by Ayn Rand in a 1962 column with that same title, back when she was giving speeches and proposing book titles railing against JFK’s “Fascist New Frontier.”
(She lost her long-suffering editor, the famous Bennett Cerf, a What’s My Line panelist, over that title – but she may have been more right than she knew.)
Hit the “Continue reading” link for a lengthy look at the “Cold Civil War” phrase in the 21st century and some background on Carl Bernstein’s radical past.
More recently, William Gibson used the phrase in a 2007 novel titled Spook Country, and that same year, libertarian-leaning blogger “The Hyacinth Girl” put the phrase into circulation in the Blogosphere with assists to spread the word via Mark Steyn and myself among others. The Hyacinth Girl wrote:
At some point last month, I put down William Gibson’s newest tome and picked up something written by Victor Davis Hanson. I am only now getting back to Spook Country, and though I’m afraid that I know exactly where Gibson is going with this, I found his idea of this country being in a “cold civil war” to be fascinating. What would that entail, exactly? A cold war is a war without conflict, defined in one of several online dictionaries as “[a] state of rivalry and tension between two factions, groups, or individuals that stops short of open, violent confrontation.” In that respect, is the current political climate one of “cold civil war”? I think arguments could be made to that effect. My mother, not much of a political enthusiast, has made similar assessments since the 2000 election, concerned that the political climate (which has become increasingly acrimonious in the last 7 years) would indeed lead to some sort of lukewarm civil war–not hot, not cold, just divisive and destructive. Seven years ago, I laughed off her fears, secure in my naivete.Now, I’m not so sure.
There are certain elements within this country that would rather see our country fail and possibly fall than to see their political rivals succeed. It’s this sort of petty, short-sighted partisan bickering that will metastasize and bring down empires–or benevolent democratic hyperpowers.
Tread carefully, folks.
That was a year before Obama was elected president, a man who seemed much more eager to go to war against Republicans and the American people than Al Qaeda or ISIS. As a response, in the summer of 2012, PJM’s own Michael Walsh wrote a post referencing the Cold Civil War:
Now we are engaged in a great Cold Civil War. But the decision American voters will make in November is far more than merely an ideological clash about what the Constitution meant or means. For that supposes that both sides are playing by the same rules, and have a shared interest in the outcome. That presumes that both sides accept the foundational idea of the American experiment, and that the argument is over how best to adhere to it.
That is false.
For some, this is a difficult notion to grasp. To them, politics is politics, the same game being played by the same rules that go back a couple of centuries. The idea that one party — and you know which one I mean — is actively working against its own country as it was founded seems unbelievable.
But that is true.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Barack Hussein Obama who famously said on the stump in 2008: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
So yes, many on the right have viewed a Cold Civil War being waged by the Deep State against their freedoms for quite some time. And given the Cold War reference inherent in that phrase, it’s worth a reminder that, while the sins of the parents shouldn’t automatically transfer to their son, Carl Bernstein’s parents were colluding with Russia before Trump was even born:
Partway through Carl Bernstein’s memoir of growing up in a radical family in Washington, he recalls the 1973 film about the writer I. F. Stone in which he and his father both appear: ”My father speaks of Izzy’s values; then the camera cuts to . . . me, talking about how I. F. Stone’s Weekly was always in the house during my childhood and how . . . I had looked to it to tell me what was going on in the world.” It is a scene I can still remember, satisfying both for the sympathy between father and son and for its suggestion that though the needs of differing historical moments differ, good people – like the Bernsteins – would always respond. Unfortunately, such generational solidarity was only a cinematic illusion. In reality the household was torn by conflicts that it appears have not yet been resolved.
Alfred Bernstein, father of the former Washington Post journalist, was a typical New Dealer who held various governmental positions, including an important job with the wartime Office of Price Administration; after the war he became director of negotiations for the United Public Workers of America, a union for Federal employees. From 1942 to 1947 he was also a member of the Communist Party. Carl Bernstein’s mother, Sylvia Bernstein, was active both in efforts to end racial segregation in Washington and in the campaign to save the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; she also was a member of the Communist Party during the same period. Starting in 1942, the Federal Bureau of Investigation put the family under surveillance, which became a full-scale investigation, which became harassment – especially after 1947, as Alfred Bernstein represented hundreds of Government employees whose jobs were at risk as a result of the loyalty-security program initiated by President Harry Truman. Between 1947 and 1951 the senior Bernstein appeared before Congressional committees five times. Mrs. Bernstein also appeared, drawing the headline ”D.C. Housewife Takes the Fifth” following a summons from the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1954.
Our source was the New York Times, as Ambassador de Sadesky would say.
David Horowitz’s “Discover the Networks” profile of Bernstein adds:
“A case can be made that [Bernstein] should have disclosed the conflict of interest he brought to his Watergate exposes,” wrote New York media consultant Sidney Goldberg in 2003. “After all, he was brought up as a Nixon hater and readers might have been told that his family regarded Nixon as vile, as an enemy.”
Bernstein’s animus for Nixon is beyond dispute. He has written that anti-Communists such as Nixon and Joseph McCarthy unleashed a “reign of terror” in America. Yet he has always maintained that his motivation in pursuing Nixon was purely journalistic.
Purely. And because Washington elites have cried wolf since 1968 every time a president with an (R) after his name has won the election, much of their freakouts over Trump are falling on deaf ears.
Though we are aware that some on the left are trying their best to make the Cold Civil War go hot: