When Republicans moved to protect communists in government

On this day 63 years ago, March 9, 1954, senate Republicans stepped up their efforts to shut down Senator Joseph McCarthy’s outing of communists holding prominent positions in U.S. government.

As History.com tells us:

Republicans at first embraced McCarthy and his devastating attacks on the Democratic administration of President Harry S. Truman. However, when McCarthy kept up with his charges about communists in the government after the election of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952, the party turned against him. Eisenhower himself was particularly disturbed by McCarthy’s accusations about communists in the U.S. Army. On March 9, 1954, Republican Senator Ralph Flanders (Vermont) verbally blasted McCarthy, charging that he was a “one-man party” intent on “doing his best to shatter that party whose label he wears.” Flanders sarcastically declared, “The junior Senator from Wisconsin interests us all, no doubt about that, but also he puzzles some of us. To what party does he belong? Is he a hidden satellite of the Democratic Party, to which he is furnishing so much material for quiet mirth?” In addition to Flanders’ speech, Senate Republicans acted to limit McCarthy’s ability to conduct hearings and to derail his investigation of the U.S. Army.

Conventional wisdom holds that McCarthy was a kook who saw communists where there were none; a grandstanding headline seeker and bomb-thrower. He even has an epithet named after him – McCarthyism – which is trotted out almost as often as the terms Hitler, Nazi and fascist when one wants to stifle debate.

But McCarthy was a patriot who was concerned about the hundreds of subversives within the U.S. government seeking the soft overthrow of the country.

Before his election to the U.S. Senate, McCarthy was a respected circuit judge in Wisconsin. Although exempt from military service due to his position as judge, McCarthy enlisted in the Marines and was appointed as a first lieutenant and placed as an intelligence officer for a bomber squadron stationed on the Solomon Islands. He often volunteered for combat missions, serving as a bomber tailgunner when he did so.

After the war, McCarthy began outing communists as early as 1946. In 1947 he told “Meet the Press” that “We’ve been at war with Russia for some time now, and Russia has been winning this war at a faster rate than we were, during the last stages of the last war. Everyone is painfully aware of the fact that we are at war — and that we’re losing it.”

In 1949 McCarthy was presented with an FBI report detailing extensive penetration of the State Department by communists. This report was the basis of his famous February 9, 1950 “Wheeling speech.”

As author M.Stanton Evans noted, McCarthy and his aides outed dozens of communists, including:

1 .Adler, Solomon
 2. Aronson, James *
 3. Barr, Joel
 4. Belfrage, Cedric *
 5. Bisson, T.A.
 6. Carlisle, Lois
 7. Chew Hong
 8. Chi Chao-ting
 9. Coe, V. Frank *
 10. Coleman, Aaron
 11. Currie, Lauchlin
 12. Dolivet, Louis
 13. Duran, Gustavo
 14. Field, Frederick
 15. Glasser, Harold *
 16. Graze, Gerald
 17. Graze, Stanley
 18. Hanson, Haldore
 19. Henderson, Donald *
 20. Hyman, Harry *
 21. Jaffe, Philip
 22. Karr, David
 23. Keeney, Mary Jane
 24. Lattimore, Owen
 25. Levine, Ruth *
 26. Levitsky, Joseph *
 27. Lovell, Leander
 28. Mandel, William *
 29. Miller, Robert
 30. Mins, Leonard *
 31. Moore (Gelfan), Harriet *
 32. Moss, Annie L.
 33. Neumann, Franz
 34. Older, Andrew
 35. Peress, Irving *
 36. Posniak, Edward
 37. Post, Richard
 38. Remington, William
 39. Rosinger, Lawrence *
 40. Rothschild, Edward *
 41. Sarant, Alfred
 42. Smedley, Agnes
 43. Snyder, Samuel *
 44. Stein, Guenther
 45. Stern, Bernhard *
 46. Taylor, William H.
 47. Ullmann, Marcel *
 48. Wales, Nym
 49. Weintraub, David
 50. Weltfish, Gene *

*Took Fifth Amendment as to Communist/ Soviet activity-affiliation

Solomon Adler, Chi Chao ting and V. Frank Coe would all abscond to Communist China. Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, members of the Rosenberg spy ring who worked at Fort Monmouth and related commercial labs in the 1940s, would flee to the Soviet bloc before the McCarthy Monmouth hearings started. Philip Jaffe would self-identify as a Communist in his memoirs.

 

That communists had infiltrated government – and were influencing Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dealings with Josef Stalin during World War II and Harry F. Truman’s during and after the war – was widely known within and around the District of Criminals.

Roosevelt already had a soft spot for communists, but likely the heavy communist influence of his advisers is why Roosevelt was so generous that at the Yalta conference he promised half of Europe to Stalin after the war. (I’ve often wondered if “The Greatest Generation” would have been so willing to fight and die to rid Europe of the scourge of Nazism if they’d known Roosevelt had already given half of it to the demon of communism.)

McCarthy’s efforts were designed to wake up the American public.

In his magnum opus written in the aftermath of the war but not published until 2011 under the title, “Freedom Betrayed,” President Herbert Hoover named in chapters 4 and 5 the 50 communists in government mentioned above along with host of others, including some of those in the armed services at the time Republicans were trying to silence McCarthy to appease Eisenhower.

On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to censure McCarthy, describing his behavior as “contrary to senatorial traditions.”

In other words, the Republican Party establishment – then as now – cared more about party than country.

Next time someone accuses you of McCarthyism, thank him. McCarthy was right all along.

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