In the 1968 campaign, when Hubert Humphrey said he would end the bombing of North Vietnam, Spiro Agnew said Hubert was "soft on communism." A media firestorm erupted over such "McCarthyism."
Yet, in 1948, Harry Truman had so savaged Tom Dewey that The New York Times ran this headline: "President Likens Dewey to Hitler as Fascist Tool." Was Harry called to account? No. His "Give-' em-Hell-Harry" campaign remains a glorious episode in the archives of liberalism.
Point: What the Left calls McCarthyism -- smearing an enemy on false or non-existent information -- has been its stock-in-trade since the Left invented the term to destroy its great antagonist, the ex-Marine and Wisconsin senator known as Tailgunner Joe.
This is a theme of Ann Coulter's brave book, Treason, which is a heroic defense of that most reviled of patriots. Joe had his flaws and made his mistakes, but on the century's great issue -- the mortal struggle between America and the evil empire of Lenin and Stalin for control of mankind's destiny -- Joe was right and his enemies worse than wrong.
Some were traitors, other tolerated treason, others were derelict in their duty to root it out of the republic. And, in part, because of treason and Establishment blindness to it, the fruits of America's victory in World War II were lost. Stalin was allowed to swallow up Eastern Europe, Mao -- the greatest mass murderer in history -- seized China by the throat, and Moscow got the atom bomb.
There are three great questions to ask about Joe McCarthy:
First, was Joe right, that FDR and the New Dealers were as soft on Stalin as Neville Chamberlain had been on Hitler?
Yes. At Teheran, FDR ceded Poland to Stalin, the nation for which Britain had gone to war, asking only that he not let the word out until after the 1944 election, as FDR needed Polish votes. At Yalta, FDR ceded 10 Christian countries to Moscow, including the Baltic republics Stalin had acquired in his devil's pact with Hitler.
Truman called Stalin "Good Old Joe." When Churchill sought to rouse America with his Iron Curtain speech, Truman, according to his biographer, David McCullough, sent "a letter offering to send the (USS) Missouri to bring (Stalin) to the United States and promising to accompany him to the University of Missouri so that he might speak his mind, as Churchill had." Talk about groveling appeasement.