McCarthy’s Shadow

Insinuation and even direct slander is often leveled at President Obama.  He’s accused of being a secret muslim, of “paling around with terrorists,” of being a Marxist, and of other ridiculous charges. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Liz Cheney, and most of talk-radio all jump to mind as perpetrators of this neo-McCarthyism.  I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that, as I read at Reason Magazine’s blog, the Texas school board wants a “more positive portrayal” of Joseph McCarthy.  Here’s a snippet of Michael Moynihan’s 2008 article criticizing one revisionist pro-Joe history:

The deep conscientiousness that McCarthy displayed regarding the rights of fascists—he once wrote to a friend that the Nazi leaders on trial at Nuremberg were “so-called war criminals” whose “only crime was attempting to win the war”—was hard to discern in his dealings with American leftists accused of espionage. None of this troubles Evans, who cites the Malmédy case to demonstrate McCarthy’s intellectual depth and compares him to those who blew the whistle on abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

But the most frustrating habit of Blacklisted by History is the subtle conflation of New Deal liberals, radical fellow travelers, and actual spies, a move that recalls McCarthy’s own signature tactic.

I can’t help but be reminded of our current political figures who dismiss the sins of their allies and continue in the McCarthy’s dishonorable tradition. 
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