Ron Johnson Sounding Like That Other Mighty Flawed Senator–Joe McCarthy

There are few ways to describe what has taken place in the past hours regarding Senator Ron Johnson without thinking of Joe McCarthy.

The Wisconsin Senator said Tuesday that an informant has told Congress that a “secret society” was set up within the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice shortly after Donald Trump was elected president.  That foolishness was spoken on FOX News–so in some ways this all should not be surprising.   Bret Baier who was conducting the interview seemed not to know precisely how to deal with Johnson claiming that “corruption at the highest levels of the FBI” existed.

Johnson then backed the claims by two Republican lawmakers that emails from two FBI agents suggested there was a “secret society” of staffers within the Department of Justice and the FBI working against Trump.

“The secret society — we have an informant talking about a group holding secret meetings off-site,” Johnson said. “There’s so much smoke here, there’s so much suspicions.”

Upon hearing those words I suspect many a citizen of our state, and certainly every history buff, thought back to another U.S. Senator from Northeast Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy.  He, too, made some very unstable statements, one of the most recalled in Wheeling, West Virginia.  He used that speech in an effort to undermine President Harry Truman and the State Department charging the government harbored “traitorous” Communists.

Numbers were thrown around concerning how many ‘fellow travelers’ were supposed to be in the government, with the advance copies of the Wheeling speech placing the number at 205.  It was all hokum and nothing more than a massive smear campaign designed to tarnish the Democrats.  McCarthy quickly revised his wild claim both in a letter he wrote to Truman the next day and in an “official” transcript of the speech that McCarthy submitted to the Congressional Record ten days later he used the number 57.

Enabling us to play out the similarity with McCarthy, today Johnson came out with a revised point of view following his statements yesterday.  Now Johnson claims he did not know “what they meant” in the exchange, and his committee—the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs—will now focus on “the Clinton email scandal.”  We can all be proud that our senator spoke about a matter that he had no real knowledge about!

Every time things get dicey for the GOP they either scream “Benghazi” or “Clinton emails”.  Their antics make me yearn for a new update on the JonBenét Ramsey case just to make the pitiful yell of “squirrel” from the Republicans go away.

What is happening to our nation based on the dangerous manner in which Republicans seek to undermine the FBI needs to be addressed.   For partisan purposes a most determined attempt is being made to blemish the FBI.  I fully grasp the fact this is a most tense and problematic period for the nation.   With people so deeply divided it is not a surprise that some may speak of bias by the ones doing the investigations of the president and his campaign.

But there is a way to speak about possible bias without crashing through the barriers of common sense with wild-eyed and bombastic rhetoric which will result in nothing more than the erosion of faith among the electorate of one more national institution.

The price for the undermining of justice is too high to pay.   Politicians need to get their tongues under control.

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