Skip to comments.It's Time to See Joe McCarthy For the Hero He Was
Posted on 02/26/2013 8:10:18 AM PST by Kaslin
Freshman Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is just the latest in a long series of public figures to be reviled for "McCarthyism" following his recent questioning of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense. The response? Conservatives have rushed to defend their own against the charge. To understate the case, that's not enough. It's time to debunk McCarthyism itself.
No matter how much evidence vindicating the late Sen. Joe McCarthy comes out, what we call McCarthyism remains anathema in American life. Simply to utter the word is to deep-freeze debate, even thought itself. Even as we learn about the history-changing extent to which American traitors working for the Kremlin penetrated and subverted the U.S. government (including many individuals investigated by McCarthy), the unsupportable fact remains that nothing in American public life is worse than to be compared to the man best known for his uncompromising fight against the secret, massive assault on our nation. When will we realize it's time to make amends and honor his memory?
Liberals and conservatives alike continue to fall for the poisonous bait. Last summer, for example, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's accusations that Mitt Romney hadn't paid his taxes "baseless" and "shameless," and compared them to so-called McCarthyism. The Hill newspaper's write-up of Fehrnstrom's comments perfectly sums up society's ignorance on the issue:
"This reminds me of the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s," Fehrnstrom said, referring to former Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, who led a controversial search for communist sentiment during the Cold War. "I would ask (Reid) one simple question: 'Have you no sense of decency, sir? Is there nothing that you won't do to debase yourself and the office you hold in the name of dirty politics?'"
"Baseless" and "shameless" were indeed apt descriptions for Reid's smear tactics, but they don't describe the exhaustive investigations mounted in the middle of the 20th century by teams of Red-hunters, including McCarthy's, in the House and Senate. As for their quarry, it was not, as The Hill delicately stated, "communist sentiment during the Cold War." Literally hundreds of Soviet agents taking orders from the KGB and related Soviet intelligence agencies to bring down the American republic had become deeply embedded in the U.S. government in the 1930s and 1940s. Most of them remained undiscovered, and many were active well into the 1950s.
After World War II, Red-hunters in Congress did their best to expose this communist menace -- a menace that we now know, following declassification of some FBI and intelligence files in Washington and Moscow, was much worse than we thought. Thanks to Joe McCarthy, many Americans whom the left angelicized as "free thinkers" or "liberals" were finally unmasked as hardened Soviet agents. These would include, to take 10 examples from M. Stanton Evans' masterpiece, "Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies," Solomon Adler, Cedric Belfrage, T.A. Bisson, V. Frank Coe, Lauchlin Currie, Harold Glasser, David Karr, Mary Jane Keeney, Leonard Mins and Franz Neumann.
As for "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" This tiresome catchphrase may quiver with righteousness on history's eternal wavelength, but it is probably the biggest crock of all. As Evans writes, Army counsel Joseph Welch famously hurled the question as an accusation at McCarthy. McCarthy's transgression, we are supposed to believe, was outing Welch's young legal associate, Frederick G. Fisher Jr., as a former member of the National Lawyers Guild, a notorious communist front group.
The truth is quite different. Six weeks earlier, Welch himself was quoted in The New York Times, confirming that Fisher had belonged to the communist front and that, as a result, Welch himself had "relieved (Fisher) from duty." Welch's hearing-room histrionics, in other words, were a lot of hot air. But they worked. To this day, the truth remains lost to most people, while this thinnest fiction is immortal.
Many other charges against McCarthy similarly disintegrate on examination. The problem is, there is far too little examination. Even this week, when the National Review took up editorial arms to defend Ted Cruz from croaky cries of "McCarthyism" coming from Democrats in Congress and cable TV hosts, the editorial explained how it was that Cruz had not engaged in the "M-word." It further declared Cruz "has not, as Senator McCarthy was reputed to have done, slandered an honorable man by cavalierly associating him with an odious and politically radioactive 'ism.'"
"Reputed" by whom, and according to what facts? Failing to unmask the McCarthyism libel for what it is and always was -- bunk and agitprop designed to demonize conservatives, from Joe then to Ted today -- does exactly what conservatives continue to take pains to disavow. It slanders a patriot -- Joe McCarthy -- by cavalierly associating him with an odious and politically radioactive "ism."
It's time to thank the man instead.
“American traitors working for the Kremlin penetrated and subverted the U.S. government”
Looks like he was right.
Amen. May the honor be restored to his name, it is richly deserved.
He was a drunk, paranoid, and often wrongly accused people of being Commies. He’s no hero.
"Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies", by M. Stanton Evans.
Brilliant book, a must read, by someone who was there.
Wrong. On what do you base that? Please specify.
Joe was right! Can you imagine what he’d say about a Communist sitting in the White House?
The liberals have done such a thorough job demonizing Sen. McCarthy, they have created such myths about that period including that McCarthy was somehow involved with the blacklistings in Hollywood. Truth is McCarthy had little or no interest in Hollywood. His attention was focused on where the spies and Communist cells were doing the most damage to our national security and passing intel to the Soviets, the State Department, the Treasury Department, and yes even the DoD. McCarthy had good reason to believe there were large Soviet spy rings operating in the capital. the defctions of Whittaker Chambers and Elizabeth Bently operating in the notorious Ware spy ring in the nation’s capital confirm that higher ups in the FDR-HST Administrations including Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White and many many others were active participants in these communist spy rings. Yet Joe McCarthy continues to get a bum’s rap. For further reading I suggest M. Stanton Evan’s thoroughly detailed and researched book, Blacklisted by History. It is time rehabilitate Sen. McCarthy. It was the liberals cover up for their golden boy, Alger Hiss, that created much of this mythology. Even President Nixon, who was never much of a conservative, would never be forgiven by the liberals for exposing Alger Hiss.
I agree completely
I have one of those daily tear off calendars. One of the sheets has a blasting of McCarthy that is just plain Hollyweird correct. That he was outrageous, drunk, loud mouthed, shooting from the hip, totally wrong, ruined careers, etc. It even says that he never once found a communist member in all of his witch hunts, an unbelievable mistake.
Most of the communists that he exposed used the Metzenbaum excuse when accused of being a member of the communist party: “I can’t believe that you’re accusing me of that!” “Please answer the questions.” “Outrageous to accuse me of that.” “Are now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” “I can’t believe that you’re accusing me of that.” “Yes or no.” “Outrageous.”
This is one of those libtard history re-writes like the re-writing of the history of the Republican Party to be a bunch of racists, homophobes (whatever that means), KKK, etc.
Since the Stupid Party has never had anyone except Reagan and Palin to try to set these idiots straight, the rewriting of history continues.
Troll alert in Aisle 6!!!
Actually, to make it easy on you, please just provide the name of one person who was falsely accused of being a communist by Joseph McCarthy.
We can use that as a starting point, and it shouldn’t be too hard for you to come up with one.
Looks like he missed quite a few and we are seeing their result of patient subversive work and grooming in the White Hut today, with rapid acceleration towards distributed commie paradise.
Let him stay. The Internet is a wonderful tool, and I am sure we will get a response back shortly about just one of the many victims falsely accused by Senator McCarthy.
Then we can engage in reasoned discourse with the poster.
“Troll alert in Aisle 6!!!”
Lol! One of Obama’s newly trained/unleashed internet army members, no doubt—compliments of Organizing for America.
And, by the way. Don’t think of my request as setting a trap. It isn’t. I recognize that a lot of people (including myself at some point in my life) have taken the point of view that you have, possibly based on the same information.
I came out of the blocks aggressively, but I think I can make the case against what you wrote, and if I can change one mind, especially here on FR, it would be worth the effort.
Weather he stays or not is not up to me. He is still a troll
I have to admit, as recently as the publication of Ann Coulter’s book “Treason”, I viewed Joseph McCarthy as an unfortunate but likely deserving blemish on conservatism. I would wince when discussing him, and say with authority “Well, whatever he did, he did it all wrong, and hurt innocent people, and...” and so on.
When I read “Treason”, I was puzzled. That version of history was quite different than the one I had been taught and grown up with.
It was so diametrically opposed, that as I weighed both versions, I was struck that one version or the other could be right, because that meant the other version was a complete and total fabrication and lie.
The lie was being told by either Ann Coulter, or it was being told by the media and the educational resources in this country.
There was no middle ground. And that is a rather large and barren middle ground, with black on one side, and white on the other.
So I read. I have read at least a dozen separate books on this period, and even more, I got the actual transcripts of the McCarthy hearings, which you can get online.
And I read them.
What I found out was that Ann Coulter’s version is far, FAR closer to the truth than any version I had ever heard, if simply reading the transcripts is any indication (which I think it is)
I have always been a conservative, even when I was a ten year old kid watching the political scene in the mid-sixties. (My dad was military, and all those people on the left were demonizing people like him, so I instinctively was against them)
But I still had little twinges of leftism. Why couldn’t we give some government money to those in need? (Not just food and other assistance, but actual money) Why is having the state taking a larger hand in education a bad thing? Won’t it provide consistency? And so on. Like a lot of people I know, I didn’t think it through. It felt right.
But my investigation into this, and reading the book “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers pushed me full force against any and all forms of leftism.
I have come to view being a little leftist as being a little pregnant.
We see the tactics of the left, as practiced against Whittaker Chambers and Joseph McCarthy fully engaged and utilized against anyone who disagrees with them today.
As such, I believe it is vitally important to set the record straight, and to stop the flooding of leftism at all costs. It is the greatest and gravest threat to this republic in its history.
Ok, tell me the names of ten people he accused of being communists who were not.
A large number of members of Congress were alcoholics. Speaker Carl Albert used to routinely pass out in the stairwell of the capitol buildings. Because he was a Democrat, you hear no complaints.
You mean he had no reason to be, what with the entire leftist media and political establishment out to take him down ?
"and often wrongly accused people of being Commies."
Who ? Name names.
Yes,all that’s true to some degree, and ultimately helped
discredit McCarthy, his apparent objectives, and his reputation. But he was thwarted at every step along the way.
It was forced off the tracks and got bogged down in lurid side-issues, like Roy Cohn and David Schine.
Remember that as McCarthy’s popularity grew, along with his approval by masses of the American public, the need to destroy him became all that much more urgent.
The entire McCarthy “project” should thus be seen as a trial run, more than a half-century ago, at how vexing it would be
for any lone crusader to find out the truth about what was actually going in even the very upper levels of government.
True McCarthyism found its true voice only thirty years later, in the persona of one Edward Kennedy, and what he did and was able to get away with, during the hearing for Robert Bork. The American Left has never looked back from that, instead they’ve perfected the demagogic techniques they so confidently accused McCarthy of. What we have today is the true “McCarthyism”, and it’s aided and abetted by the omnipresent and many-headed MSM and pop culture.Consider who this country has elected for President TWICE, and how blithely and proudly ignorant the MSM AND Establishment Politicians are and/or pretended to be as to the true character and Agenda of Barack Obama, and you’ve got some perspective on the matter.
Well, we shall see. He is one of two things: someone who is misinformed as many of us have been on this subject, or a troll, coward and leftist.
Why someone like that would frequent FR is beyond me, so as the Lawyer for Lt. Maryk in “The Caine Mutiny”, I will assume by default that someone frequenting FR for 12 years is not acting out of cowardice, but has other causes for exhibited behavior or opinion.
I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being.
I don’t need a burden of him finding 10 people. I will settle for one name to begin the discussion. Shouldn’t be too hard on his part to find just one.
I think that is a reasonable request, don’t you?
I view McCarthy’s alcohol abuse (which was probably the strongest determining factor in his death) as a reaction to the long term struggle that he carried on, nearly singlehandedly for the better part of five years.
In defense of his country, he sacrificed his reputation, and eventually, his life.
The left killed him as sure as if they had fired a bullet into his brain.
Ask a leftist. He’ll give you the answer. It was those Hollywood people,Trumbo, Lawson, Hellman, Chandler, etc. You know, “The House un-American Activities Committee”. But McCarthy was a “SENATOR”, having nothing to do with “The House Committee on Un-American Activities”. Note the difference in a “liberals” name for the committee. Grammatically it has the Committee “committing” the un-American activities. You can tell a leftist by the way they say the name
I always enjoy watching committed leftists stepping on their own crank by committing that error.
Unfortunately, they have no shame. It usually has no effect.
Not to mention the political damage it would do to McCarthy's detractors. “National rage” was possible in that era because the public was mostly aware of the extent and malignancy of worldwide Soviet subversion. Today the mass media continues to distort the record. George Clooney’s 2005 film “Goodnight and Good Luck” was based on Edward Murrow's CBS TV interview of Senator McCarthy. The movie portrayed State Department official Laurence Duggan as a victim of McCarthy. Duggan, a friend of Murrow, committed suicide after being questioned by the FBI about his ties to the KGB. The Left, including Murrow, defended Duggan as a loyal American.
In 1990 deciphered Soviet message traffic was released by the NSA proving Duggin was a KGB agent. This was further substantiated by a former KGB official. Duggan’s spy role was collecting classified State Department telegrams and passing them to his Soviet handler. Clooney, the director of “Goodnight and Good Luck,” left this fact out of the film.
Communism was not headquartered in Moscow but run out of Wall Street and the City of London.
That McCarthy was a heavy drinker isn’t really at question. McCarthy died of hepatitis, believed to be exacerbated by alcoholism. Was he an alcoholic, I guess I believe he was. There’s certainly a lot written of his heavy drinking. I have read that he falsely accused a black woman of being a communist and that Edward Murrow took him to task on the accusation. While he was likely right about many communists in the US and their subversive activities, we may never know who he may have falsely accused, since he refused to make public a number of names he claimed were communists. Truly an interesting person from the 50s
I spoke to a Democrat officeholder and historian and he told me alcoholism was an epidemic in DC amongst officeholders of both parties (less so today). Unless it was on such public display that resulted in homicide (Ted Kennedy) or just an embarrassing situation with your stripper girlfriend (Wilbur Mills), if every "alcoholic" had been outed, you'd have emptied out a huge % of Congress. I believe there was a gentleman's agreement between the parties to not bother passing proverbial judgment on the members' drinking habits. That's why it was so audacious when ex-Sen. John Tower's alcoholism was put up by the Dems front and center to defeat him for Defense Secretary. The hypocrisy was epic.
In McCarthy's case, it was probably both the stress of the job, but also that drinking was so much a part of the DC culture.
The infamous Annie Lee Moss, who played dumb and innocent during her questioning. Evidence proved she was guilty of the allegation. Even in Clooney's film (but only in the commentary), Clooney had to admit she was guilty.
In re “the blacklistings in Hollywood.”
Joseph McCarthy was a Senator(my own U. S. Senator at the time of the hearings) had no connection or influence with the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which was responsible for the “black listing” of Hollywood Reds, if such did occur.
Close, key advisors to Pres. FDR were Communists.
Joe should have smart enough to tone down his attacks, since everyone was telling him to shut up. But he loved the limelight too much. Still he did not deserve what he got from the senate, and of course, much less injustice was done during his time than during the Red Scare following WWI. Palmerism” would be a more fitting term.
Agreed. I think he died a broken man.
On the issue of the black woman, she WAS not only a working member of the communist party, but deliberately tried (and succeeded with the help of a willing media) to obfuscate it as a case of “mistaken identity”. It was nothing of the sort. You are referring to Annie Lee Moss, a black woman who was a civilian employee of the US Army. She was also a due paying member of the communist party that they dropped from their ranks when she went to work for the General Accounting Office.
She said it was mistaken identity, being identified as she was, and the liberals of the day (including Murrow, who knowingly or unknowingly was a shill of the left) TOOK IT AT FACE VALUE AND DECLARED THE CASE CLOSED. (Sound familiar? Just the way things go when liberals today say they are innocent of any wrongdoing, and that is taken as an aquittal)
The thing that exposed it as an outright obfuscation, if not lie, is that she said when being interviewed by McCarthy that she lived at a certain address. The communist party records, which became public record a few years later clearly showed an Annie Lee Moss living at that exact same address.
The FBI spoke with the Democrat members of the panel several weeks before the hearing where Annie Lee Moss and the liberals forwarded the “mistaken identity” excuse, and Scoop Jackson, after reading the FBI report, said he had “no doubt whatsoever” about the communist party affiliation of Annie Lee Moss. And Jackson, that paragon of virtue, knew. He knew, and never said a word during the hearings about the FBI report. Kind of puts him in a different light to me.
Bottom line, she wasn’t innocent. Was not.
Let’s put it this way. McCarthy was vindicated in a tidal wave of truth when the Venona Files were opened back in the 90’s, and the vast majority those “innocent” victims were shown to be nothing of the sort.
Were I in McCarthy’s position I’d make him look like amateur hour. Our own “Nuremburg trials” against Communists and Marxists would proceed expeditiously and concurrently in every state in this nation, and the penalties would be as cost-effective as they would be brutal.
Truer words were never more spoken; the American people just can't understand much of anything.
and you sir are a rino douchebag easily swayed by conventional media. Have you read Mr. Evan’s book? Have you heard of Venona?
I am disappointed stuck_in_new_orleans decided not to defend his statements.
I guess some people are more comfortable sticking with what they think is the truth, regardless of evidence to the contrary.