“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” was a rebuttal given by Joseph Welch to Wisconsin Republican Senator Joe McCarthy at the Senate hearings in 1954.
McCarthy, the lunatic Senator from Wisconsin, was distinguishing himself in front of America by conducting a witch hunt for communists. Lacking any of the qualifications normally found in a Presidential candidate, McCarthy and his sidekick Roy Cohn plowed through people’s personal lives in an attempt to gain national recognition for a potential Republican party nomination. McCarthy and his chief counsel Cohn ran roughshod over witness after witness under the guise of ferreting out any communists that might be “hiding under our beds” in an attempt to gain notoriety for himself.
The McCarthy hearings were aligned with the Hollywood Blacklist and authors and actors had their careers cut short by the accusation, “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the communist party?” Relentlessly grilling and insulting witnesses, McCarthy set a tone for the meanness, the pettiness, that lies deep in the soul of the Republican party today. Finally, McCarthy was brought up short by the question from Welch, “Have you left no sense of decency?” America heard the question and decided that they did have a sense of decency and the hearings were brought to an end.
This past week came the announcement that a ten year old rape victim was denied an abortion in her home state of Ohio because she was determined to be three days past the six weeks cutoff date. Take a moment. Get a drink of water and slow down your life long enough to contemplate what a full term pregnancy will do to a little ten year old’s body. Now, take another moment to contemplate the psychological damage done to the child through absolutely no fault or action of her own.
Somewhere in the bowels of hell the Republican party has deemed themselves to be the prosecutor, judge, jury, executioner and media rep, all in one for all of us.
I’d like to think that it’s only a sliver of the Republican demographic that would be so heartless to enforce a pregnancy on a ten-year-old. I’d like to think that the majority of Republicans don’t think that rape victims should carry the child of their rapist, have to share custodial rights with the rapist, sit at the family dinner with their child’s father who might also be their father. I’d like to think that it’s only a sliver of the Republican party that is this cruel, this mean.
Evidence does not support my notion. Ronald Reagan famously said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left me.” Horse Hockey! Reagan left the Democratic party to quench his/Nancy’s lust for power, his need to tell everyone else what was right and wrong, to be the lead actor on the biggest stage in the world. Aided by unscrupulous individuals like Newt Gingrich, the Republicans set a course for dismantling all of the social programs so vital to the American poor and middle class. The heartless movement that they started has become the American Taliban we see today.
American Taliban, a bridge too far? What else do you call a society that is being governed by religious theories? If a sliver of society doesn’t believe in abortion, gay rights, miscegenation, a woman’s right to control her body and her destiny, and you have six Supreme Court justices willing to throw the Constitution aside in favor of dogma, what do you have?
When you throw in the sliver’s irrational support of guns, the guns that enable that sliver to have a “louder” voice than the rest of us, we wind up with daily crises that divert our attention from the main issues. These people want child rape victims to give birth to the consequence of their most horrible moment in life.
I ask you again, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”