From Walter Judd to Tom Freidman

I loved John’s demonstration of Tom Friedman’s ignorance of Minnesota politics which I consider one of the best Power Line posts in recent memory. John’s takedown of Friedman included, among other gems, this:

Friedman’s suggestion that in the 1950s and 1960s Minnesota Republicans were all liberals is absurd. Minnesota Congressmen of the era included rock-ribbed conservative Al Quie, John Zwach, who headed the Conservative Caucus as a member of the Minnesota Senate, and others who, like [Clark] MacGregor, would be astonished to hear themselves described retrospectively as liberals.

Walter Judd was another Minnesota Republican congressman of the 1950s and early 60s. John was right not to include Judd among the “rock-ribbed conservatives” of that time. Although he certainly was no liberal, Judd could probably be described as moderate on domestic issues.

But Judd was as rock-ribbed a conservative as they come with regard to China, where he had served as a medical missionary. Indeed, as his Wikipedia entry reminds us Judd is “best known for his battle in Congress (1943–63) to define the conservative position on China as all-out support for the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-sheck and opposition to the Communists under Mao. After the Nationalists fled to Formosa (Taiwan) in 1949 Judd redoubled his support.”

In the 1950s, Judd “helped organize the Committee of One Million, a citizens’ group dedicated to keeping the People’s Republic of China out of the United Nations.” Moreover, “he was an outspoken anti-communist and critic of U.S. rapprochement with China at the expense of the Republic of China on Taiwan [and] throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he was actively involved in the Council Against Communist Aggression in Washington DC.”

I mention Judd not just out of nostalgia (his ringing keynote address at the 1960 Republican National Convention is one of my early political memories). I also mention him because Tom Friedman’s fawning tributes to China undoubtedly have Judd spinning in his grave.


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