Elizabeth Warren, Rosenberg stooge

The Rosenbergs

Back in the day, anyone who was anyone loved the Rosenbergs. That would be Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, of course, the two American Communist Party members who gave the Soviets the secrets of the atom bomb, thereby changing the course of modern history, and whose execution on June 19, 1953 – the first time in American history that civilians were executed for treason during peacetime – raise the ire of pretty much every high-profile useful stooge in America.

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller, who is generally considered one of the three or four great American playwrights of the twentieth century, wrote his 1953 play The Crucible in reaction to the Rosenbergs’ execution. The play, now a staple of secondary-school English classes, was about the Puritan witch trials in colonial Salem, Massachusetts, which Miller considered an apt historical parallel to the government’s treatment of the Rosenbergs – a view that has persisted on the American left, despite the fact that while there were no real witches in colonial New England, the Rosenbergs were, yes, Soviet spies. As we’ve noted previously at this site, moreover, Miller’s view of this matter was not humanitarian but purely political: while the Rosenbergs’ execution outraged him, he firmly believed that the poet Ezra Pound, who had supported Mussolini during World War II but had never passed atom secrets to the enemy, should be shot as a traitor.

Tony Kushner

Decades later, Tony Kushner, who is widely viewed as the great American dramatist of his generation, depicted Ethel Rosenberg as a veritable cultural hero and martyr in his acclaimed 1991 play Angels in America. Then there’s E.L. Doctorow, one of the most respected American novelists of his day, whose 1971 novel The Book of Daniel centers on a character, based on the Rosenbergs’ two sons, whose parents were executed for treason. It’s a brilliantly conceived novel, in that Doctorow, instead of addressing the guilt of the parents, focused on the suffering of their innocent child, thereby inviting the reader to sympathize with both the boy and his late parents and to feel anger not toward the Soviets, who in real life employed those parents as spies, but toward the U.S. government, which quite rightly executed them for treason.

Even as the contemporaries of the Rosenbergs have died off – and even after the opening of Soviet archives confirmed their guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt – people on the left have continued to express sympathy for Julius and Ethel. In October 2015, on what would have been Ethel’s 100th birthday, the New York City Council issued a proclamation identifying her as a victim of “anti-Communist hysteria.” In October 2016, 60 Minutes broadcast a sympathetic segment on the Rosenberg sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol.

Senator Warren

Fast forward to January 2017, when the then President of the United States, Barack Obama, who was about to leave office, received a letter asking him to pardon Ethel Rosenberg posthumously. It is not unusual for presidents to receive such requests in the last days and weeks of their terms of office. In this case, however, the letter was of special interest, because it came from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The letter

In the letter, which the Gateway Pundit website posted recently, she says that her request originated with Robert Meeropole, who happened to be one of her constituents. Needless to say, senators don’t routinely pass on such requests to presidents; looking at Warren’s letter, one can only assume that she agreed with Meeropole that his mother deserved to be pardoned – pardoned, that is, for having committed an act that was almost beyond imagining in its potential consequences.

President Eisenhower

“The nature of the crime for which they have been found guilty and sentenced,” said President Eisenhower on refusing to spare the Rosenbergs’ lives, “far exceeds that of the taking of the life of another citizen; it involves the deliberate betrayal of the entire nation and could very well result in the death of many, many thousands of innocent citizens.” Fortunately, Obama – although widely viewed as a pretty left-wing politician – appears to have agreed: he turned down Senator Warren’s request. So far, then, Ethel Rosenberg remains unpardoned. If Elizabeth Warren is ever elected president, however, that will presumably change.

JCO, PC joke monster

Now 81 years old, Joyce Carol Oates has published 58 novels (or maybe even more by the time you read this), as well as scores of short stories, plays, poems, and essays. She has taught at Princeton for four decades and she has, presumably, a certain number of fans. She has certainly won a good many awards.

Joyce Carol Oates

But she also has more than her share of detractors. Critics have routinely pointed out that her prolificity is painfully evident in her work – that she seems so driven to churn out books that she doesn’t take the necessary time to craft her sentences, shape her plots, and develop her characters. When asked by an interviewer about Oates, a far more gifted author who was fourteen years her senior, Truman Capote, called her “a joke monster who ought to be beheaded in a public auditorium or in Shea [Stadium, the former home of the New York Mets] or in a field with hundreds of thousands. (Laughs.) She does all the graffiti in the men’s room and the women’s room and in every public toilet from here to California and back, stopping in Seattle on her way! (Laughs.) To me, she’s the most loathsome creature in America.”

Truman Capote

When Capote’s interviewer, Lawrence Grobel (from whose book, Conversations with Capote, these quotations are taken), asked Capote if he had ever met Oates, he replied that he had, “and to see her is to loathe her. To read her is to absolutely vomit.” Asked if she had “ever said or written anything about you to deserve such vituperation,” Capote said: “Yes, she’s written me a fan letter. She’s written me extreme fan letters. But that’s the kind of hoax she is. I bet there’s not a writer in America that’s ever had their name in print that she hasn’t written a fan letter to.” Capote’s words sound harsh, but other writers have testified to Oates’s brilliance at networking, brown-nosing, soft-soaping, and log-rolling – all of which may well explain why she has won so many prizes and been so amiably reviewed.

Peggy Noonan

Certainly she is no great writer. Even more certain is that she is simply not very intelligent. Like other successful mediocrities, she has cleaved long and loyally to the orthodox politically correct view on pretty much everything you can think of. We were reminded of this when we ran across an article the other day that reprinted a 2015 tweet by Oates: “All we hear of ISIS is puritanical & punitive; is there nothing celebratory & joyous? Or is query naive?” To which Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, who is far smarter and better informed than Oates (and also a more engaging writer), succinctly replied: “They feel celebratory & joyous when they behead a hostage, kill a confessed Christian or slay concertgoers, so yes.”

Elizabeth Warren

We wondered if Oates’s inane ISIS tweet was a one-off or if her Twitter feed contained a number of equally boneheaded comments. The answer was (b). In a tweet from last May she asked: “Is Elizabeth Warren just too brilliant, too deserving of the Presidency? Compared to many/ most candidates, isn’t she just simply the most qualified? And if so, what can possibly go wrong?” This about a woman who pretended to be an American Indian so she would enjoy career advancement and who, after taking a test that showed she had a negligible amount of American Indian blood, foolishly crowed that she had been proven right. But of course Oates’s enthusiasm for Warren is understandable: they have both lived for a long time inside the same Ivy League bubble, they both share the same standard-issue Ivy League politics, and if Oates considers Warren brilliant it’s because Warren, while certainly no genius, is probably a few points higher on the I.Q. scale than Oates.

Toni Morrison

As much as she loves Warren, Oates – unsurprisingly – hates Trump, attributing his popularity to “racism, misogyny, fear of change, wish to believe simplistic explanations for highly complex issues; novelty of an ignorant, anti-intellectual person jeering at his superiors, as (possibly) many others would like to do but dare not.” She blames Trump for mass shootings – never mind that they happened under his predecessors, too. She also blames him for ICE policies that date back to Obama, if not to Bush junior. When her friend and colleague Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, died, Oates’s take was that “it is just plain heartbreaking that she didn’t outlive loathed racist T***p Dark Age & welcome a new era.” Also, she’s apparently bought into the idea that if Trump loses the 2020 election the nation will be overrun with “#T***pTerrorists to fight for him.” Similarly, in her take on the HBO series Chernobyl, she managed to link it to gun control in the U.S.: “4,000 persons died as a consequence of the notorious nuclear accident; but nearly 40,000 persons die yearly in US from gun violence alone.” Truman Capote was right: she’s a literary lightweight and a cynical operator, cleaving with consistent fatuity to PC views on everything under the sun. Which is surely a big part of the reason why this literary mediocrity has received the approval of so many of the guardians of the literary pantheon.