In a clear sign of the upside-down nature of today’s politics, I’m actually feeling sympathy for the highly provocative, and very annoying, celebrity Harvard Law School professor, Alan Dershowitz.  My newfound sentimentality springs from the news that he’s been shunned by his liberal friends at Martha’s Vineyard. According to the New York Times,

For years, Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, has been a garrulous fixture in this handsome, gray-shingled town on Martha’s Vineyard. He holds court from a rocking chair on the porch at the Chilmark General Store, drinking coffee and greeting fellow regulars. He strolls down Lucy Vincent Beach, gabbing on his cellphone along the way.

But this summer, Mr. Dershowitz says that because he has expressed views that back President Trump, he no longer feels so welcome on the Vineyard, a summertime epicenter of progressive values, money and sheer Democratic power in the United States.

“I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Martha’s Vineyard, but I have,” Mr. Dershowitz wrote in an opinion column last week in The Hill, revealing that he has been on the receiving end of a social chill from friends here.

The reason for the liberal lumps: Dershowitz is vehemently opposed to the use of special counsels, on purely constitutional grounds.  As such, he’s seen as supporting Trump for calling into question the Mueller investigation.  As such, his claim of being a victim of McCarthyism follows complaints of others whose views contradict those of the Democratic party establishment, particularly when it comes to their Russia red-scare routine.  Assisting the Democrats in this dangerous propaganda push are The New York Times, The Washington Post, and most pernicious, the liberal cable “news” network, MSNBC, featuring their effectively popular, Russia-manic maniac, Rachel Maddow.

Not new news
That MSNBC is a propaganda arm of the Democratic party is not news, and stretches back at least to Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, at least for my first person, evidentiary encounter.

It was weeks after the election when I found myself in a restaurant outside New York City, sitting at the next table from The New Yorker political writer, and then frequent MSNBC guest, Rick Hertzberg.  With a common friend, I introduced myself, and became a welcome distraction from the young ones at his table.  When I mentioned that I voted for Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, Hertzberg became animatedly agitated, and puzzled at my choice.  Barack Obama is not the problem, I was assured, after laying out my case for voting Green.  Obama’s record aside, I replied, the real difference was MSNBC, who served up a constant dish of pro-Obama and anti-Romney messaging.  I hesitate to call it news, because that’s not what the network does.  It’s not even opinion, as it flat-out shills, and pushed Obama over the finish line.  I’ll grant you that, Hertzberg acknowledged.

Fast forward
What I noticed in 2012 has only escalated over the proceeding years, with MSNBC, in particular, leading the McResistance battle against Trump by spinning Russiagate nonstop, at the expense of reporting on matters that could actually help struggling Americans, like single payer healthcare, or climate change, for example.  But no.  As McResistance mouthpieces, what plays is also strangely consistent with Democratic party messaging: Trump is bad, and we’re not him.  But disagree with the official narrative on Russia with enough of a Twitter following, and find yourself in MSNBC’s McCarthy-like crosshairs.  I witnessed this dynamic play itself out in real time over the past few days, as journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald found himself as such a target.

With his platform at The Intercept, Greenwald is fortunate to have a platform to refute these slanderous, and clearly false accusations.  But it’s that platform that also makes him a target. Greenwald writes in his defense,

None of Nance’s statements here is opinion. These claims – especially that I am an “agent of Moscow” and “deep in the Kremlin pocket” – are intended to be factual statements: that I work for, and am paid by, Russia and the Kremlin, and that I aided Edward Snowden in “defecting” to Moscow. They are all outright lies. There is no other way to describe them.

Thus far, his tweet has been re-tweeted by close to 5,000 people. After I noted that they were lies, Nance re-affirmed them and said how proud he was to have broadcast them.

This is because Nance knows that he is free to lie this way with impunity. That’s because he works for an organization – MSNBC – that masquerades as a news outlet but actively encourages its employees to lie this way about anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party.

He will be celebrated inside MSNBC, not sanctioned or even told to rescind his lie, because – just as happened with the lie he told about Jill Stein – the person he chose to falsely accuse of being a paid agent of Russia is someone that the MSNBC audience of Democratic partisans hates, and lying is thus permitted and encouraged, just the way it is in any partisan organization. The network is derided as MSDNC for a reason.

Obviously, Nance is simply adhering to the post-World-War-II tactic of the U.S. military and intelligence community from which he emerged: for decades, they accuse any journalists they dislike, or dissidents of any kind, of being covert agents of Moscow.

Dissenting from the official narrative?  We’re all comrades now.

With God on our side
While I’m certainly not the first to recognize the dangerously tribalized nature of American political culture today, it’s been on my radar, and something I discussed at length with Black Agenda Report’s Margaret Kimberley last year.  And for those of us who supported Ralph Nader in his infamous presidential run in 2000, we’re accustomed to marginalization and blame from Democrats for tipping the scales in Florida for George W. Bush.  While I’m not going to waste finger typing power correcting those attacks here, there is plenty of evidence available to lay blame squarely with the Gore campaign for failing to inspire what should have been certain victory over the previous Republican buffoon.

With the modern liberal class and Democratic party elites more representative of upper middle class professionals than poor, working class Americans, the tendency to assume intellectual righteousness over their less educated brothers and sisters is ripe.  And this intellectual certainty is fortified by such establishment news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, PBS and NPR, whereby reportage and opinion have fused since promotion for regime change in Iraq, and probably earlier.  Still, despite the damage done vis-à-vis the Iraq War as the result of such clear propaganda, smarty pants liberals keep returning to nurse from the teat of their intellectual tribe.

Today such propaganda is presented in much of the foreign policy reporting and opinion columns from these prominent news outlets in stories involving Russia, Syria and North Korea, with the latter echoing right-wing positions in South Korea.

Judging by the latest news regarding North Korea’s rejection of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s new, belligerent demands, it appears hard-line squawking from Democrats and their press partners is having an unfortunate impact on prospects for peace in Korea.

That it took something so innocuous as Alan Dershowitz’s stance on special counsels to ignite liberal ire, when there is collective silence in response to the professor’s proclamations of support for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s right-wing government, speaks for itself.  For a group who generally sneers at people who “cling to their guns and religion,” modern day liberalism reveals itself as much as an ideological cult as anything occurring on the right.  And goddam anyone who disagrees when you have God on your side.

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.
-Bob Dylan