What held National Review together during its heyday was anticommunism. The kiddies who post at NRO either don’t know this, or are embarrassed by it. Yesterday, Mario Loyola, commenting on the prospect of the Obama administration potentially prosecuting members of the Bush administration for encouraging torture, ruefully notes that there is historical precdent for this. According to Loyola,
During the 1952 campaign, John Foster Dulles, who was to be Eisenhower’s secretary of state, fostered the impression that “secret agreements” had been reached at Yalta selling out large chunks of the civilized world into Communist slavery, and that the State Department was full of people who had intentionally facilitated the Communist takeover of China.
As a result, we had the McCarthy hearings once the GOP came to power, which Loyola, quoting Dean Acheson, describes as “the attack of the primitives.” This is the same Mario Loyola who earlier chastised American leftists for not applauding George Bush for “fighting fascism,” since American leftists “are the heirs to the European and American leftists who, during the Spanish Civil War, went to Spain to fight the rise of a fascist dictatorship,” an action Loyola burbled was “their finest hour.”
Loyola is hardly alone at NR. The magazine brought in Ron Radosh to trash Stan Evans’ positive book about McCarthy, both Victor Davis Hanson and David Frum have wailed about the evils of Franco, and Richard Brookhiser has bemoaned conservative criticism of Yalta. Even when Communists are criticized at NR these days, it is because they were really Nazis. Jonah Goldberg’s column today blames the Soviets for fueling “national-socialist movements around the globe.” How long before the magazine devotes an issue to lauding the Abraham Lincoln Brigade’s fight against fascism, or perhaps one to prasing the creative contributions of American Communists to Hollywood?