National Affairs: Joe's Blunder

The Senate subcommittee investigating the right of Joe McCarthy to hold his Senate seat was doing just fine—carefully accomplishing nothing, in the proper election-year spirit—if Joe had only had the sense to keep quiet. But McCarthy bulled his way into the act, charging that the subcommittee was "dishonest," that its expenses were "picking the pockets of the taxpayers." That led to a heated debate in the Senate last week on whether or not to continue the investigation.

Instead of discussing the charges against him (e.g., had he deliberately lied during his attacks on the State Department?), McCarthy quickly confused the debate with...

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