Dana Milbank swings and misses at Andy McCarthy

Andy McCarthy spoke yesterday at the National Press Club about the Obama administration’s increasing coziness with the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the concerns he addressed is the relationship between Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Clinton, and the Brotherhood.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post attended the event. In his column today, he attacks McCarthy’s views on the matter of Ms. Abedin. Predictably, the Post’s Clown Prince accuses Andy of “McCarthyism.”

Readers may recall that my view on this issue differs somewhat from those of Rep. Michele Bachmann, who originally helped raise it, and Andy. In fact, I found Bachmann’s letter to the Department of State regarding Abedin to be problematic.

However, Milbank’s attack on McCarthy doesn’t hold up.

McCarthy demonstrates why in this post and two follow-ups. Among other things, he shows that Milbank’s attempt to pass Abedin off as inconsequential – Hillary Clinton’s scheduler and baggage handler – lacks merit.

Milbank makes much of McCarthy’s “concession” that Abedin is not a “policy maker.” But that’s a far cry from saying she doesn’t influence policy and/or have access to classified information. McCarthy points out that the Washington Post has reported that Abedin “advises on politics and policy, especially the Middle East.” That’s not just carrying handbags. Maybe, as McCarthy says, Milbank should read his own paper.

McCarthy also shows that Milbank’s moans about “guilt by association” are specious in this context:

When people are being evaluated for their suitability for appointment to high public office and access to national-security information, the whole process is about associations – that’s why, for example, the form all candidates for security clearances have to fill out exactingly probes a person’s background, relations and associations.

There’s much more to McCarthy’s takedown of Milbank, and I urge you to read it. You can also watch the proceedings here.

I’ll add one more point. Whatever one makes of Abedin’s associations, the concerns of McCarthy and Bachmann are, at a minimum, intelligible. Compare that with the connection Milbank purports to find between the attack on Sikhs in Wisconsin, Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration’s new position on “workfare,” Newt Gingrich’s reference to President Obama as “the food-stamp president,” and Andy McCarthy’s appearance at the Press Club.

But being the Washington Post’s Clown Prince means never having to make an intelligible argument.