Last week’s news was dominated by the Senate hearing at which former FBI Director James Comey gave his much-anticipated testimony.
This week, it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ turn to be interrogated by a Senate committee.
Coincidentally, 63 years ago, in June of 1954, another Senate hearing dominated the news and produced one of the most famous questions in American history.
“Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”
That question, posed by attorney Joseph Welch was aimed at Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was investigating the U.S. Army and just about everyone else. McCarthy, even though he actually identified some card-carrying communists in the government, was a bully on a witch hunt.
His very name became a noun, with “McCarthyism” defined as the practice of making false accusations.
As for Joseph Welch’s famous question, it could easily be resurrected and asked of all those public figures whose hatred of Donald Trump has gone beyond all decency.
We’re not talking about so-called “entertainers” like Stephen Colbert and Kathy Griffin, who scorn the president in the most vile terms. Or the New York theater company that fantasizes about the brutal stabbing of Donald Trump.
A bigger problem is what now passes for political discourse in the media, the academy, and even Congress.
CNN and MSNBC are wall-to-wall Trump-hatred, only interrupting the loathing for commercials and the occasional breaking news story.
Our universities overflow with anti-Trump faculty, with one Washington professor even wishing that Republican legislators “be lined up and shot.”
And when it comes to common decency, or the lack thereof, some Democratic politicians have gone completely over the edge. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, speaking at a university, asked and answered a question about the president: “Has he kept any of his promises? No. F*** no!”
This far-left senator, heralded as a possible Democratic presidential candidate, seems to think that dropping “F-bombs” is perfectly okay when talking about the president of the United States.
Democratic Party boss Tom Perez tells anyone who will listen that President Trump “doesn’t give a s***” about ordinary Americans, while Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi informs us that President Trump “needs sleep” and is unfit for office.
By the way, she frequently refers to him as “President Bush,” indicating that she may be the one in need of some rest.
And of course there is Maxine Waters, the scowling new face of the Democratic Party, who is certain that President Trump is “absolutely lying.”
Even Senator Tim Kaine, who nearly became Vice President of the United States, advised his fellow Democrats to “fight in the streets.”
We should avoid directly blaming Democrats and their overheated rhetoric for Wednesday’s attempted murder of Republican House members in Virginia. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was certainly deranged, but he was also a far-left loon who had to be influenced by all the anti-GOP animus. One of his last Facebook posts was this: “Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason.” Wonder where he got that idea?
By the way, remember when Democrats and the media went wild and accused Republicans, particularly Sarah Palin, of inspiring the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords? There was absolutely no evidence that Jared Loughner had any political leanings, but that didn’t stop the conspiracy theorists.
Now those same liberals, moments after a wild-eyed Bernie Sanders supporter shoots Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, blame lax gun laws in Virginia. Unbelievable!
There is some irony in the fact that Joseph McCarthy went way overboard when he was accusing his enemies of aiding and abetting the Soviet Union. Now, Donald Trump’s legion of haters accuse him of being aided and abetted by Russia through some nefarious but ill-defined plot to “hack the election.”
They do not hesitate to smear honorable men and women, most recently Attorney General Sessions. Senator Cory Booker, another Democratic presidential prospect, actually implied that Jeff Sessions may have lied under oath and perhaps colluded with Russia. It does not get a whole lot lower.
Those fanatics in Congress would be well-advised to read some history and learn what happened to Senator McCarthy after he hurled reckless and unfounded accusations. He was disciplined by the Senate, shunned by his colleagues, and died in disgrace less than three years after the Army-McCarthy hearings where Joseph Welch posed that devastating question.
Perhaps Welch’s rhetorical query should be repeated today in a slightly altered form: “Have you no sense of decency, Trump-haters, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”