Monday, May 05, 2003

The Senate made public today the files from Joe McCarthy's closed-door interviews with over 400 witnesses. The files had been sealed for the last 50 years.

Here's a couple of quotes from the ranking members of that same committee today.
"We hope that the excesses of McCarthyism will serve as a cautionary tale for future generations," Senator (Susan) Collins said.

Senator (Carl) Levin said, "History is a powerful teacher, and these documents offer many lessons on the importance of open government, due process and respect for individual rights." He recalled organizing an anti-McCarthy petition drive as a student at Swarthmore College 50 years ago.

I find the whole thing laughable, because McCarthyism has never left the American political scene. Today those tactics are used to ferret out racists and sexists and other politically incorrect objects of scorn. Modern liberals will say they hate the tactics, but they adopted them. The American Left only hated the fact that communism was coming under fire. McCarthy was a demagogue, but even the KGB files that have been made public prove that communist infiltration wasn't a madman's fantasy. It’s not even a question anymore as to whether Alger Hiss was a communist spy.

Now that their old "witch hunt" argument is flimsy, after all there were real communists and witches are make-believe, the Left can only criticize the tactics of McCarthy. But if they really hated those tactics they might be willing, for instance, to give Bush's judicial nominees and up or down vote instead of insinuating that candidates like Estrada are anti-woman. How is accusing Estrada of being anti-woman any different than the way McCarthy accused someone else of being anti-American? Why not end these whisper campaigns and half accusations and let the Senators go on record with their vote?

If you want to see the thousands and thousands of McCarthy pages in PDF format, click here.

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