It’s a goddamn Mittastrophe.
As the granddaughter of a school teacher who was fired from his job in the Philadelphia school district because he refused to “name names,” I’m going to need people to stop making dumbass comparisons of the mundane to McCarthyism.
I’m looking at you Eric Fehrnstrom:
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doubled-down on his claim to have been told secrets about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, a top adviser for Romney’s campaign took to Fox News to accuse Reid of leading a witch hunt in the style of the Senate’s most famous witch hunter.
“His charges are baseless and untrue. I would ask him one simple question. Do you have no sense of decency, is there nothing you won’t do to debase the office you hold in the name of dirty politics?” Romney’s chief strategist Eric Fehrnstrom told Fox.
His references to former Sen. Joseph McCarthy didn’t stop there. “Again, this reminds me of the McCarthy hearings back in the 1950s, and it was another son from Massachusetts then, Joseph Welch who finally asked the question that should be asked of Harry Reid, which is, have you no sense of decency, sir,” Fehrnstom said. “Is there nothing that you won’t do in the name of dirty politics?”
On the Senate floor Thursday morning, Reid doubled down on his recent claim to have an anonymous source who says Romney didn’t pay federal taxes for 10 years.
“So the word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for ten years,” Reid said. “Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t.”
Riiiiight. Harry Reid is JUST LIKE MCCARTHY!
Except he’s not. Harry Reid is simply asking Mitt Romney to do what Mitt Romney keeps promising he will do — be open and transparent. Harry Reid is also asking Mitt Romney to do what Mitt Romney’s own father did – release his fucking tax returns.
Joe McCarthy, on the other hand, did actual damage to actual families — families like mine.
Here’s a blurb about my grandpa (which I just found on the Internet! I never thought to google my grandpa before!):
In Beilan v. Board of Public Education, School District of Philadelphia (747-749), a case from 1958, Herman A. Beilan was a teacher in the Philadelphia public school system for 22 years when the Superintendent informed Beilan that he had information which contradicted Beilan’s loyalty and would like to determine whether or not it was true. The Superintendent said he would ask one question and then Beilan could determine whether or not he wanted to answer it and others like it. The Superintendent asked Beilan whether or not he had been the Press Director of the Professional Section of the Communist Political Association in 1944. The Superintendent granted Beilan’s request to seek counsel before answering. Later that year he was again summoned to the Superintendent’s office where he declined to answer the previous question and others like. When the Superintendent informed him that failure to answer these questions might lead to his dismissal as they were investigating his fitness to be a teacher or to continue in the teaching work. The court determined that the question asked of Beilan was relevant to the issue of his fitness and suitability to serve as a teacher, therefore Beilan’s dismissal did not violate the federal Constitution.
When I was a kid, my grandma would regale me with tales of “that bastard McCarthy,” and how it was a shame that the lawyer who argued my grandpa’s case in the Supreme Court was too inexperienced and wet behind the ears. (She didn’t blame the attorney though — she blamed that bastard Joe McCarthy.) For forty years, and long after my grandpa had passed, it plagued her.
[full post at ABLC]