OK, the parallels to a 90210 senior prom have finally hit a brick wall. The saga of Sarah Palin’s disinvitation to Monday’s nonpartisan anti-Ahmadinejad rally at the U.N. has edged dangerously into McCarthyist territory. And as with Hitler references, I never raise the ghost of Tailgunner Joe frivolously.
For those who haven’t been following, I blogged about this earlier. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version:
- Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were both invited to speak at the rally.
- Clinton wasn’t aware Palin was invited; when she found out, she withdrew, saying (bizarrely) that she hadn’t been aware it was a “partisan event.”
- After the organizers were unable to find a suitable counterpart to Palin, and the possibility arose that she would appear without a Democrat to offset her, they came under heavy pressure from Democrats to rescind her invitation.
- Unable to placate the Democrats, but unwilling to insult Palin by singling her out for shunning, the organizers simply disinvited all scheduled politician guest speakers.
Such petty sabotage of a perfectly legitimate event is bad enough, but according to CBS News (as blogged by Hot Air), the Democrats didn’t just lean on the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations to dump Palin from the billing. Not only did some of them threaten to pull support (which is replaceable), but they actually threatened the Jewish groups’ tax-exempt status (which isn’t) if they failed to scrub her appearance.
Tax-exempt organizations are forbidden by the IRS to engage in partisan political activity, even if a good-faith effort is made to preserve nonpartisanship. For Democrats to deny a nonpartisan group access to any of their prominent figures deliberately, and then to turn around and threaten to sic the IRS on them precisely because they have no speakers from their party, all to keep Sarah Palin away from a microphone, is unconscionable. Using government intimidation to silence or weaken a political figure is a hallmark of McCarthyism, and no party is immune.