Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 10, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE FALL OF JOE McCARTHY....This week is the 50th anniversary of the Army-McCarthy hearings that led to the eventual downfall of red-baiting cretin Joe McCarthy, and that brings up a bit of trivia. In an op-ed on the subject today, Thomas Doherty quotes Joseph Welch's famous retort to McCarthy (after McCarthy had suggested that fellow attorney Fred Fisher was a communist) like this:

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

I haven't actually listened to Welch's speech in a dog's age, but my recollection is that his phrasing actually went like this:

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Which way should it be rendered? Let's take a vote.

And while we're at it, how about a pool. Will National Review take the occasion of this anniversary to produce yet another article telling us that McCarthy wasn't nearly as bad as everyone thinks he was?

UPDATE: Transcript and audio are here. The phrase in question is at about the 8-minute mark. And I have to admit, listening to it again, that it sounds like the first version above is probably the more accurate one.

Kevin Drum 12:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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