No Decency?

No Decency?

By Patrick F. Cannon

On June 9, during the famous Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954, Army counsel Joseph Welch responded to yet another baseless attack on a soldier by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R, Wisconsin) with these now famous words: “Until now, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. You have done enough…Have you no sense of decency?”

The answer was: no he didn’t; any more than President Trump did in his appalling suggestion that former congressman Joe Scarborough may have murdered one of his staff members. Scarborough, who by the way served as a Republican, committed the sin of criticizing Trump on his MSNBC show, “Morning Joe.”  As we now know, our president cannot accept criticism. In response, he makes something up, yet another of the thousands of lies that he has peddled to his acolytes.

McCarthy was only a senator, but he managed to convince much of the country that there were Communists under every bed. He made things up too. One day, he would claim there were X number of Commies in the State Department, the next week it would be Y or Z.  Then the Army had been infiltrated by the Comintern, or was it the Navy? And, boy, did he have his acolytes!

A good many of them were clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. Of course, they had every reason to oppose Communism. Hundreds of millions of their members had found themselves behind the Iron Curtain, under regimes that saw religion as an opposing ideology. With the possible exception of Poland, they largely succeeded in weaning the young in particular from what they called “the opium of the people.” In their zeal, they saw McCarthy – who was, after all, an Irish-Catholic – as a Crusader fighting the Godless infidel.

Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, who never shied from the limelight, was among his staunchest supporters. But so were the church’s foot soldiers. I had a 7th Grade nun at St. Peter’s grammar school in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, who actually had us saying prayers for Joe. I can’t remember her name – let’s say Sister Mary Credulous. Eventually, she became so emotional that she would break into tears. Before the year was out, she was sent away to the mother house, and was replaced by the first lay teacher I ever had, Miss Rizzo. I remember her name, because she was young and inclined to wear rather tight skirts.

Eventually, McCarthy was exposed for the liar and demagogue he was. He was censured by the Senate and faded into drunken obscurity. Trump? I see on the “Real Clear Politics” web site – which publishes a wide variety of opinion – that despite his despicable and irrational blatherings, his support among my fellow citizens holds steady at about 43 percent.

Fortunately (I hope), this level of support won’t get him re-elected in November. If it doesn’t, you can be certain he will call his loss into question, or even refuse to accept it. And with reason. He is afraid that the moment he leaves office, the lawsuits and indictments will begin to pile up. All the prayers of all the misguided religionists including CatholicVote.org., which recently sent me a plea to save the country, not from Godless Communism, but from the Godless Democrats, won’t save him. Knowing this, he will not hesitate to say or do anything he thinks will save him.

(That’s Joe in the photo, being egged on by his equally infamous counsel, Roy Cohn. By the way, Mr. Cohn later became a mentor to none other than Donald Trump. Imagine, just one degree of separation!)

Copyright 2020, Patrick F. Cannon

 

10 thoughts on “No Decency?

  1. These two have been going at each other for years, at least since Trump’s election. Ditto for the press In general and Trump, making up stuff to smear the other. There’s plenty of indecency to go around, but it is entertaining! (If you like that sort of thing. I’m pretty tired of it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The mainstream media does NOT “make stuff up.” The opinion columnists do, of course, voice their opinions, and one may, of course, disagree with those opinions. Editors and producers do “put a spin” on coverage, by choosing what to cover and in what order. But professional journalists adhere to journalistic standards that require them to report substantiated facts. If they report things that are as yet unproven, they are required to say so. And when they realize they have published an inaccuracy, they then publish a retraction.
      God help us if the majority of our citizens stop believing even professional mainstream journalists!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find that newspapers are now very slow in admitting mistakes. We should not expect perfection from even the best newspapers; it’s just so hard to keep up with the politicians and their shenanigans these days. I do subscribe to the NY Times on line, and they do fairly well in covering the daily struggle. But they are one of the few dailies that can afford a large staff of columnists. The Chicago Tribune is down to only two political columnists that I can identify. And they are about to be taken over by an outfit that will cut the staff even more. I do recommend Real Clear Politics if you want a better idea of the rantings of both the far left and right. We all have to figure out the truth for ourselves.

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      2. I wish that were the case. Still waiting for them to tell us how wrong and unproven their coverage was of the Mueller investigation. Maybe some day!

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  2. Real Clear gives a range of views on topics, including health, science, education and others, as well as policy and politics. I scan it most every day. I also get a daily summary from the NYT, once the best paper in the country, but have been dismayed by their negativity and partisan reporting.

    Their newsroom seems to be in the grips of censorious group-think. The other day, their opinion page editor tried to run a countering view by publishing a conservative opinion (one I happen to disagree with) by Senator Cotton, only to have their journalists go ballistic.

    I’ve seen papers apologize for gross errors but never for publishing a politically divergent and reasoned opinion, from a US senator no less. They did, however, publish an op-ed calling Cotton’s remarks “fascist” and blaming Trump for their not condoning different ideas. Meanwhile, nearby, another op-ed announced, “It’s the police who are rioting in the streets.” That’s the NYT.

    But why the fear of unconstrained thought and free speech? (The same can be asked of academia today.) Lest it become a propaganda venue where facts don’t matter, a paper needs to promote an open exchange about solutions from different viewpoints. Labeling the ones it doesn’t like as illegitimate may work for the CCP, but it just doesn’t cut it in a democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of the once great papers — Trib, Des Moines Register, Atlanta Journal, etc. — have seen their staffs cut so much , they can barely cover local politics, much less keep an eye on the nonentities they often send to DC. Oh, well.

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