Darrell Issa is taking us back to that era. No doubt mistakes were made during the chaos of four American deaths in Benghazi, as they almost always are when there are no clear battle lines or enemies, but like McCarthy, Issa is on a mission of prosecution, not investigation.
Now John Boehner, sniffing political paydirt, joins the hunt by calling for release of White House e-mails to breathe new life into an attack on Obama’s reelection and a pre-emptive strike against Hillary Clinton in 2016—-a demagogic twofer if there ever was one.
Prosecutorial slickness has been upgraded since McCarthy’s days of blurting conflicting estimates of Communists in the State Department. Instead of a low-rent hack, we have Issa, the richest man in Congress who is smooth enough to banter regularly with Bill Maher despite iffy Wiki bread crumbs about his own past while amassing a fortune from car alarms.
With help from new aspirants like Marco Rubio and the old team of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, the GOP will wring the Benghazi sponge dry in media that still sees equivalency in two sides of every political argument without weighing their merits.
In coming days, hearings will continue to produce a string of what blogger Kevin Jones calls “Nothingburgers” while hinting at deep dark plots. Those with long memories will recall that Joe McCarthy eventually ran out of prosecutorial gas and was censured by the Senate.
But his spirit lives on.