CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A column by Henry Lamb showed up today in a news feed that goes to Republican organizations across the nation, and it revived the red-baiting spirit of Sen. Joe McCarthy, who saw commies behind every tree. The Daily Bellwether accessed Lamb's "Are the Communists Coming?" through the Hamilton County Republican Party in Cincinnati, which gets its news from GOPUSA.com.
"It is increasingly difficult to distinguish between the agenda of the Democratic Party, and the agenda of the Communist Party."
The complete column is available here, and Bell writes that a Communist Party USA official who laid out the group's strategic goals for the 2008 election season sounded like she took her playbook from the Democrats.
"We should get involved in voter registration in every club, involving every member. We can inspire voter registration and turnout by relating the elections to ending the war, achieving universal single-payer health care, and measures to respond to the economic crisis."
That made Bell react: "Does this sound like a Democratic rally or what? . . . The sad reality is that because Communists hide behind such words as 'progressive' and 'democratic,' they have been able to sell their agenda to the public."
A little history lesson might be in order. In the mid-1950s, the U.S. Senate voted 67-20 to censure Joseph McCarthy for conduct "contemptuous, contumacious, denunciatory, unworthy, inexcusable and reprehensible." It acted after McCarthy called Utah Republican Arthur Watkins, a conservative GOP senator, an "unwitting handmaiden of the Communist Party. "
Now it is 2007. Lamb's column harkens back to the retro style of perennial red-baiting, back to the McCarthy-era rhetoric of Roy Cohn, back to over-the-top invective of Tailgunner Joe. Halloween is just a few weeks away. Anybody dressing as a Red Scare?
[Note: The photo of Sen. McCarthy comes from Wikipedia via the Library of Congress.]