Republicans censured Joe McCarthy for the sake of decency. Now they applaud Marjorie Taylor Greene

In 1954, McCarthy ran amok with conspiracy theories about communism running rampant in Washington. In 2022, Marjorie Taylor Greene is pushing different conspiracy theories.

SHARE Republicans censured Joe McCarthy for the sake of decency. Now they applaud Marjorie Taylor Greene
Republicans censured one of their own in 1954, Sen Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, center, shown with his lawyer and an aide. Now, House Republicans refused to do the same against QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene, a reader writes.

Republicans censured one of their own in 1954, Sen Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, center, shown with his lawyer and an aide. But House Republicans applauded QAnon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene, a reader writes.

Sun-Times archive

Sixty-seven years ago, Republican Senators took a principled stand to discipline their out-of-control colleague, Sen. Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin. For four years, McCarthy had run amok, accusing thousands of loyal Americans with being pro-Soviet Communists or fellow travelers. Many of these smeared people were fired, had their lives destroyed; some committed suicide.

McCarthy was waging war on American democracy for personal gain. But by early 1954, patriotic Senate Republicans had had enough. As the majority party, they introduced a resolution to censure McCarthy for bringing discredit upon the Senate.

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Democratic Minority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson told his members to shut up and let the Republicans conduct the debate. McCarthy was so flummoxed that he accused his Republican colleagues of carrying Communist water. When the vote came down on Dec. 2, 1954, 22 Republicans — half of the 44 voting — joined all 45 Democrats to censure McCarthy. The GOP initiative and large bipartisan vote sealed McCarthy’s fate.

Seven decades later, House Republicans faced a similar dilemma with a crazed colleague, a newbie QAnon conspiracy supporter, Rep. Marjorie Greene. She has been linked to death threats against Democrats and supported Donald Trump’s treasonous efforts to overturn his re-election defeat. In a closed-door party caucus, Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy (no relation to Joe), engineered a non-apology apology from Greene that kept his caucus from disciplining her. Some gave her a standing ovation.

Democrats moved to strip Greene of her committee assignments, essentially neutering her as an effective member of Congress. Just 11 of 212 Republicans joined all 219 Dems to certify Greene’s descent into congressional disgrace.

After the Dec. 2, 1954 vote, Republicans returned the party to the decency President Eisenhower demanded. Yesterday, Republicans voted to keep the Republican Party in the grip of Trumpism and the lunacy of QAnon acolyte Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn 

Thank you for shoveling, Ald. Waguespack

My husband and I and our family have lived in our house since 1986 in Logan Square. Our ward number has changed a number of times and we have seen various aldermen come and go. Nothing has surprised me — nor impressed me — like what happened earlier today.

I had read somewhere that Chicago has a program for senior citizens that offers volunteers to shovel snow. So I called 311, only to be told that this program was ended a number of years ago. I next called my current alderman’s office to see if we could get help, as we are disabled seniors. The receptionist told me the alderman would call me before he came over to shovel.

Thinking I had not heard correctly, I asked her if I’d heard it right. She said yes, the alderman does the shoveling himself. Not a few hours later, Ald. Scott Waguespack was at our doorstep with not only his shovel, but salt for the ice and a few face masks and hand sanitizer for us! He did a wonderful job of shoveling for not only us, but also for a senior next door.

Thank you, Ald. Waguespack for your care and concern for your neighbors! You’re great!

Maria Zajczenko-Varela, Logan Square

Opinion Newsletter

The vaccine race

I applaud Mark Brown for his column detailing the hoops people are jumping through to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Like other people in Category 1B, I’ve been jumping through those hoops. I’m fortunate that I have the computer skills to maneuver through the websites. 

I’m also safe and healthy at home. I can stay safe because grocery store workers have been shopping for me. To me, it makes sense that all essential workers get vaccinated first. 

I can be patient.

Jo Ann Casey, Rogers Park

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