Liberals Still Using Libel to Advance Agenda
Written by Steve Byas
During Tuesday night’s Democratic Party presidential debate in Des Moines, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (shown) reiterated her “Decency Check” that she has been touting in recent days, as part of her effort to increase her support before the Iowa caucus contests (the first in the national contest that will ultimately determine the Democratic Party nominee to challenge Republican President Donald Trump).
Arguing that Trump’s tweets and policies indicate that he is somehow lacking in decency, Klobuchar repeated her “favorite example of a decency check” as “someone from Iowa” (naturally) — Joseph Welch, the lead attorney for the U.S. Army during the hearings involving charges made by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) in 1954.
Klobuchar has said that “McCarthyism” was “really wrong, and everyone was scared of” McCarthy, adding that “not many people would stand up, but one guy from Iowa — he stood up.” As Klobuchar noted during the final debate before the Iowa caucuses, Welch famously asked McCarthy at that hearing, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? Have you no sense of decency?”
“This is a decency check for our country, because we have parents that mute the sound on the TV when the president speaks, because they’re afraid of what he’s going to say.”
During the debate, Klobuchar added that McCarthy was “blacklisting” people.
Apparently, Klobuchar’s performance pleased the liberal Washington Post, which said in its headline today that she and former Vice President Joe Biden “shine at the Democratic debate.” No doubt that the Post regards trashing the late Joe McCarthy, who died in 1957, even if Klobuchar’s remarks about him were historically dubious, as something that causes a presidential candidate to “shine.”
Probably few viewers of the debate had any idea of what Klobuchar was even talking about, or who Joseph McCarthy even was, but it is likely that they have accepted the falsehood — perpetrated by most history books, professors, teachers, the popular culture, and the liberal media — that McCarthy was a bad guy who unfairly smeared many Americans as communists and in league with the Soviet Union.
The truth about what McCarthy was all about is far different. First of all, McCarthy’s focus was always on communists and Soviet spies working within the U.S. government, not American citizens generally who happened to be members of the Communist Party, or even private citizens who openly sympathized with the Soviet Union — a hostile foreign power responsible for the mass murder of its own citizens.
He had no “blacklist,” despite Klobuchar’s assertion that he did. She was probably referencing the so-called Hollywood Blacklist, an effort by motion picture studio executives to deny screenwriters, actors, and directors jobs in the movie industry. This “blacklist” was compiled before McCarthy began his own efforts to root out communists and spies from the U.S. government in 1950.
This falsehood is routinely cast as, “From his position as chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Senator Joseph McCarthy compiled a Hollywood Blacklist that cost several patriotic Americans their opportunity to earn a living.”
But, of course, McCarthy was not even a member of a House committee (as he was a senator), much less its chairman. He had no blacklist of Hollywood personalities that favored mass-murderer Joseph Stalin over their own country any more than the House Committee on Un-American Activities did.
So, what was Klobuchar talking about, when she referenced Welch and “decency?” During the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, Welch was badgering McCarthy aide Roy Cohn, demanding that he name some communist spies. His voice dripping in sarcasm, Welch said, “May I add my small voice, sir, and say whenever you know about a subversive or a Communist or a spy, please hurry.”
As M. Stanton Evans wrote in Blacklisted by History (considered by many as the definitive biography of McCarthy), “After sitting through these Welch sermonettes about exposing every subversive or communist suspect Cohn had ever heard of, and being extra quick about it, McCarthy at last broke in by raising the issue of Fred Fisher.”
McCarthy told the hearings, “In view of Mr. Welch’s request that information be given once we know of anyone who might be performing work for the Communist Party, I think we should tell him that he has in his law firm a young man named Fisher, who he recommended incidentally to do work on this committee, he has been for a number of years a member of an organization which was named … as the legal bulwark of the Communist Party.”
Fisher was indeed a member of the National Lawyers Guild, which indeed was an organization that Attorney General Herbert Brownell had described as the “legal mouthpiece” of the Communist Party.
Welch responded, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never fully grasped your cruelty or your recklessness.… Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad.… Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Of course, Fisher was no “lad,” but a grown man who was a law-school graduate. Other facts that neither Welch nor his modern-day champion Klobuchar fail to mention is that Welch had spent several minutes badgering Roy Cohn to out some communists, even while Welch had in his own law firm a man (not a lad) who had membership in an organization that was officially cited by both the attorney general and a committee of the House of Representatives as the “legal bulwark” of the Communist Party.
Yet, the Left continues to besmirch the historical reputation of Senator Joe McCarthy, a patriot who wanted to protect his country from a hostile foreign power and an ideology that has caused the premature deaths of millions of people.
The better question should be directed at Senator Klobuchar: “Have you, Amy Klobuchar, no sense of decency?”
Steve Byas is a university instructor of history and government, and author of the book, History’s Greatest Libels, in which he examines the libeling of several historical figures, including Senator Joe McCarthy, as well as others such as Christopher Columbus, Marie Antoinette, and Clarence Thomas. He may be contacted at [email protected]
Courtesy of The New American