“Whenever I ask those who object to my methods to name the objectionable methods, again I hear parroted back to me the Communist Daily Worker stock phrase, irresponsible charges and smearing innocent people. But as often as I have asked for the name of a single innocent person who has been smeared or irresponsibly charged, nothing but silence answers.” – Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, from his own second book “McCarthyism: The Fight for America”
You may get the feeling from the title of McCarthy’s book that once upon a time “McCarthyism” was complimentary. It was.
Prof. Jonathan Zimmerman’s April 8 op-ed “How Trump finally turned Republicans against McCarthy” (NapaValleyRegister.com) gives our president undeserved credit. Simply put, few people, let alone Republicans, know the real Joe McCarthy saga to begin with – and might not even care.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, as a fan of McCarthy, had early on tried to educate the president, but the lesson didn’t go far before Trump planted a pejorative McCarthyism tattoo on Robert Mueller.
Yet McCarthy is a hero to many because he was right.
Most conspicuous, Professor Zimmerman avoided mentioning the most important book on the subject, M. Stanton Evans’ 2009 “Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies.” Why would that be, professor?
Zimmerman also gives the impression that pro-communist Far East policy architect Owen Lattimore was some innocent bystander. On the contrary, Lattimore helped steer American policy against the nationalist Chiang Kai-Shek while building up Mao.
McCarthy’s astounding 50-29 Gallup approval in January 1954 only faded after it became public that his wunderkind chief counsel Roy Cohn took a loving shine to G. David Schine, badgering the Army for Schine’s preferential duty assignment.
That, along with some McCarthy blow-ups later, allowed the establishment to divert attention away from the civilian red moles at Fort Monmouth.
McCarthy’s renowned defense attorney Edward Bennett Williams demolished the swamp lynch mob but found out the Senate was no court of law. Cheered on by President Eisenhower, the liberal-dominated Senate (with its thin Republican numerical control) waited until after the mid-term elections to “condemn” McCarthy on a flimsy conduct-unbecoming charge.
Peter B. Hrycenko