Ellis Washington is a former staff editor of the Michigan Law Review and law clerk at the Rutherford Institute. He is a professor of Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, and Contracts at the National Paralegal College, a counselor at the American College of Education, and a founding board member of Salt and Light Global. Washington is a co-host of "Joshua's Trial," a radio show of Christian conservative thought. A graduate of JohnMore ↓Less ↑
You cannot offer friendship to tyrants and murderers … without advancing the cause of tyranny and murder. – Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis. (circa early 1950s)
There’s always a conflict of interest when people who don’t really like America are called upon to defend it. – Ann Coulter
Perhaps second only to Woodward and Bernstein’s newspaper articles in the 1970s that exposed the Watergate scandal and forced President Nixon to resign has the liberal propaganda press been so utterly successful at destroying a single Republican – an exhilarating and heady era that predated Watergate by 20 years.
From 1950-54, Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, in a series of Senate hearings modeled after the famous House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC (including the Tydings Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ; the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations [1953-54]; and the ill-fated Army-McCarthy Hearings ), with irrepressible zeal and courage, sought to root out Communists, Communist sympathizers and spies in the State Department, the Treasury Department, the military and in other areas of the government, but also in Hollywood, in unions, in the academy and throughout American society.
Ironically, HUAC, a House committee, was formed not by McCarthy, a senator, but by liberal Democrats 12 years before, in 1938, on the eve of World War II during an era before political correctness and radicalism became the norm; where being a liberal Democrat meant defending America from tyrants abroad and German spies and terrorists at home.
Sen. McCarthy wasn’t the first politician to mount a crusade to bring down intrinsic corruption. The annals of American political history are filled with them. There was the Tea Pot Dome Scandal of 1922 that made a national hero out of the heretofore unremarkable Montana Democrat Sen. Thomas J. Walsh, when he exposed the land for oil deal of the Warren Harding administration. The Truman Committee investigated charges of war profiteering and shoddy materials sold to the military during World War II by U.S. corporations, which lead to numerous reforms and elevated Truman to vice president and, at the death of FDR, to the presidency.
There was Robert F. Kennedy’s stentorian questioning of Mafia dons and corrupt union leaders like Jimmy Hoffa in the early 1960s; this feat lead to RFK’s presidential run, which was tragically brought to an end by the assassin’s bullet in June 1968. However, politics does make strange bedfellows because RFK made his bones as a staffer to none other than Sen. Joseph McCarthy during his anti-communism crusade of the early 1950s. Despite his close association with McCarthy, however, RFK’s memory is kept pure by the propaganda press even until this day. Why? Two reasons – RFK was a liberal Democrat and a Kennedy. McCarthy was neither.
Finally, and who could forget Newt Gingrich who in 1989 dethroned powerful Texas Democrat Speaker Jim Wright over a fraudulent book deal scandal, only to resign six years later for literally the same bogus book deal.
Back to McCarthy. As I revisit this tragic Promethean figure of the early 1950s, let us first answer two basic questions lucidly without emotion: 1) Did McCarthy find Communists, Communist sympathizers and Soviet spies in the State Department, in Hollywood, in the academy, in the literary world, in the military, in the media during his Senate committee hearings? 2) Does an unbiased account of history show that McCarthy abused his power? Yes on the first question, No, on the second.
Conservative political writer Ann Coulter said this of McCarthy and the 50 years of incessant demonization by the liberal propaganda press:
I know he got a bad rap because there are no monuments to Joe McCarthy. Liberals had to destroy McCarthy because he exposed the entire liberal establishment as having sheltered Soviet spies. … There’s always a conflict of interest when people who don’t really like America are called upon to defend it.
Today, McCarthy’s name has been turned into a vile epithet (McCarthyism) and is stricken from the congressional record, from the marketplace of ideas and from public memory. Ironically, neither Marx, Lenin, Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Pol Pot nor Hitler’s names engenders such malediction from the left as does Sen. McCarthy, despite the fact that those leaders and the tyrannical ideals they propagated killed hundreds of millions of people.
In my opinion, Joseph McCarthy is the only man that can be put in the same sentence with the two other great Republican leaders of the 20th century, and they were both presidents – Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Yet McCarthy’s face isn’t carved into Mount Rushmore as TR’s is, nor does even a statue or a $5 plaque appear of him in Washington, D.C., or in his home state of Wisconsin. Yet a few weeks ago the fine people of Amsterdam, Holland, erected a magnificent statute to one of their greatest leaders – no, not Rembrandt, not Grotius, not Spinoza, not van Gogh, but to that great ubiquitous figure … The Prostitute, and to the ancient glorious art of prostitution. Take that, Spinoza!
The craven cowardice and historical ignorance regarding this great man’s contributions to America is appalling, but not surprising to me. Therefore, I also praise Ann Coulter. If it weren’t for her prolific, courageous writings, and the radio and TV appearances of this bold, beautiful political commentator, McCarthy’s memory would be all but totally forgotten or continually and utterly reviled by the political left without challenge. On this point, I’ll let Ann Coulter speak in her own voice:
Among the most notorious Soviet spies in high-level positions in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations – now proved absolutely, beyond question by the Soviet cables – were Alger Hiss at the State Department; Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury Department, later appointed to the International Monetary Fund by President Truman; Lauchlin Currie, personal assistant to President Roosevelt and White House liaison to the State Department under both Roosevelt and Truman; Laurence Duggan, head of the Latin American Desk at the State Department; Frank Coe, U.S. representative on the International Monetary Fund; Solomon Adler, senior Treasury Department official; Klaus Fuchs, top atomic scientist; and Duncan Lee, senior aide to the head of the OSS.
Is there no man, no conservative, no Republican during this upcoming 2008 presidential election who has pledged to continue McCarthy’s magnificent legacy of combating radical liberalism, Country Club Republicanism, Communism, totalitarianism and civilization’s newest enemy, Islamic terrorism? From way in the back of the room, Ann Coulter stood tall like a man and didn’t ask for it, but took McCarthy’s mantle.