Channeling the ghost of Joe McCarthy

Posted: October 23, 2008 in america, anti-truth, clueless, lies, police state, politics, republicans, stupid
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Senator Joe McCarthy is not dead, it seems.

Though the late unlamented right-wing nutcase died over 50 years ago, his spirit lives on in the hallowed halls of Congress, searching for a new host to possess and a new voice to continue his destructive, anti-American reign of terror.  Every now and then it finds a willing conservative, and this year it seems to be Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN).

Rep. Bachman recently made headlines when she suggested that we need a commission to determine which members of Congress are “pro-America” and which are “anti-America”. Thus spake the “honorable” lady:

“I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America. I would love to see an exposé like that.”

Folks, we’ve been down this road before.  In 1950, Senator McCarthy began waging a crusade of anti-communism, attacking and accusing nearly anyone who disagreed with him and his extreme views.  His reign of terror culminated with his worst mistake in 1953 when he went after the U.S. Army in his misguided attempt to root out “traitors” and “infiltrators”.  He failed, despite increasingly desperate mining and shitslinging.  The end of his career began during one contentious hearing with Joseph Nye Welch, Army legal counsel, who famously said

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or your recklessness[…]” When McCarthy resumed his attack, Welch interrupted him: “Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

McCarthy was later censured by the Senate and died in 1957 of alcoholism, a fitting end for a crass and unworthy politician.

And now Ms. Bachmann wants to begin anew the attitude, if not the age, of McCarthyism.  Channeling the spirit of Tailgunner Joe, Rep. Bachmann has called for a new season of “anti-American” witch hunting.  Fortunately, the rest of the GOP appears to remember the damage McCarthy did to its reputation 50 years ago and is pulling its support for Ms. Bachmann.

Her fall may be swift and short.  And, if she truly wants to root out “anti-American” attitudes in Congress she needs only to look in her own mirror.  There’s nothing more anti-American than denying others the right to speak freely.

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