Joe McCarthy Gives Thanks From the Other Side
Larry Thornberry
by

I just put them all in the mail. OK, it may just be a Donald Segretti-like dirty trick. (Those who recognize the name are dating themselves.) But I have to admit, a bit juvenile or no, I enjoyed it. And I can’t see it will do any harm. No one will have to be paying for pizzas they didn’t order.

It wasn’t easy finding those 8X10, glossy head shots of the late Senator Joe McCarthy. But I got a laugh while inscribing them in this way: “I’m no longer in the game. But it’s such an inspiration to me to see the work I began carried on in such an enthusiastic manner. You’re keeping my tradition alive. You may have even gone lower than I did. Keep on, keepin’ on.” I signed these, “Your friend and soulmate, Joe.” I then put them into the mail to Dick Durbin, Cory Brooker, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, Dianne Feinstein, Maisie Hiruno, Patrick Leahy, and a whole host of others who so recently deployed the late Wisconsin senator’s techniques in such a pitch-perfect way.

Long-ago when the original McCarthyite — the Joe himself — was on a roll during hearings that carried the same tone as the ones we’ve been most recently subjected to, Army counsel Joseph Welch famously asked McCarthy, “Have you left no sense of decency?” The question answered itself in 1954. Had the question been asked last week — it should have been but wasn’t — it still would have answered itself.

Joe and his progeny (partial list above) have no shame either. So the photos and snarky faux inscriptions will not hurt their feelings. (Not even of those unaware that Joe McCarthy is no longer alive.) They might even post them on their office walls.

Larry Thornberry
Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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