In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy began his anti Communist rampage, promoting fear and hysteria in millions of Americans; destroying the reputation of many public figures in government, media, Hollywood, and the professoriate; and silencing most members of the Senate who feared to speak up against him and his witch hunt! 🙁
But early on, a courageous woman Republican senator, Margaret Chase Smith, spoke up against McCarthy when no one else was willing to do so!
Smith was the first long serving woman in the US Senate, ultimately serving four terms from 1949-1973 for the state of Maine! She was truly a “profile in courage”, the title of a Pulitzer Prize winning book by Senator John F. Kennedy a few years later, although Kennedy was unwilling to speak out against McCarthy, particularly because his own father was supporting and financing the Wisconsin Senator!
The kind of courage Smith displayed, showing she had principles and was willing to risk her career to speak out against McCarthy’s tirades, needs desperately now to be copied by several Republican Senators, who are decent, mainstream Republicans, and who in their heart and mind, cannot be imagined to be supportive of the Tea Party Movement trying to usurp power and take over the Republican Party! 🙁
I am referring to Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Graham has, actually, been courageous to express doubts and criticism about the Tea Party Movement, but the others have remained silent. It could be because Snowe and Lugar face reelection contests in 2012, while Collins and Graham face it in 2014.
Graham has set the standard and needs to convince Collins, Snowe and Lugar to condemn what is going on, even if the result is a challenge to their seats when reelection time comes!
Sixty years later, we need some reputable GOP Senators to uphold the honored tradition of the party at a time when the party is in deep trouble and about to commit potential suicide!