Tuesday, August 2, 2016

From McCarthy to Trump

From McCarthy to Trump

About Trump, Warren Buffet put it perfectly:

Mr. Buffett quoted a famous rejoinder to Senator Joseph McCarthy during his 1950s anti-Communist hearings: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

Cannot improve on that. No sense trying.

That rejoinder to McCarthy was made during a televised Senate hearing by Joseph Welch, the attorney the army retained to defend it from McCarthy's slander that it was inept and harboring Communists.

Leading to up to that justly famous line, Welch said, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness."

By that standard — cruelty, recklessness — Trump is the second coming of McCarthy. Roy Cohn, McCarthy's factotum, is a link, arguably an agent of contagion, having been Trump's close buddy and lawyer.

I'm not surprised the old shit doesn't go away, isn't neatly recycled, isn't always reduced to useful compost. But it's alarming how well Donald Trump brings the very worst of the worst of the old crap back.

McCarthy was not running for president. And he hit his wall when attacking the army, as Trump in his rabid way has done, by attempting to defame Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed by an IUD in Iraq.

McCarthy came to his end soon after that Senate hearing. True, liquor helped kill him. Trump, who is dry so far as we know, though I suspect drug abuse — amphetamines, of one sort or another — clatters on.

Is this progress or regress from McCarthy's day?

Is it both?

McCarthy was disowned by his own party, defrocked, thrown out.
Trump has not been similarly disowned by his kind, who, it seems,  can't live with, can't live without him.

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