Flanders role in Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy
I propose substituting the following text for the first two paragraphs in Joseph McCarthy#Condemnation and the Watkins Committee. The current text suggests that Flanders was acting at the bidding of “a coalition of Communists, Liberals, and Eisenhower Administration officials.” The literature shows him to be a conservative with an approach to fighting communism that was different from that of Senator McCarthy. Please leave your comments at below the Proposed text. Norwich 16:07, 11 December 2007 (EST)
While, over the past few years, Senator McCarthy withstood countless biased and unsubstantiated attacks by Liberals, Communists, etc., the organized effort to remove McCarthy from his Chairmanship and officially condemn him began in March of 1954.
On March 9, 1954 a fellow conservative and anti-communist Republican Senator, Ralph E. Flanders of Vermont, gave a speech criticizing what he felt was Senator McCarthy’s "misdirection of our efforts at fighting communism” and his role in “the loss of respect for us in the world at large.” Flanders felt the nation should pay more attention looking outwards at the “alarming world-wide advance of Communist power” that would leave the United States and Canada as “the last remnants of the free world.”  Eisenhower Administration cabinet officials told Flanders to “lay off,” while President Eisenhower sent Flanders a brief note of appreciation for his speech, but did not otherwise confer with him or explicitly support him. In a June 1, 1954 speech, Flanders emphasized how the Soviet Union was winning military successes in Asia without risking its own resources or men, and said this nation was witnessing "another example of economy of effort...in the conquest of this country for communism." He added, "One of the characteristic elements of communist and fascist tyranny is at hand as citizens are set to spy upon each other." Flanders told the Senate that McCarthy's "anti-Communism so completely parallels that of Adolf Hitler as to strike fear into the hearts of any defenseless minority"; he accused McCarthy of spreading "division and confusion" and saying, "Were the Junior Senator from Wisconsin in the pay of the Communists he could not have done a better job for them."
On June 11, 1954 Flanders introduced a resolution charging McCarthy “with unbecoming conduct" and calling for his removal from his committee membership. Upon the advice of Senators John Sherman Cooper and J. William Fulbright and legal assistance from the National Committee for an Effective Congress, a liberal organization, he modified his resolution to “bring it in line with previous actions of censure.” After introducing his censure motion, Flanders had no active role in the ensuing hearings. Flanders bore McCarthy no personal animosity and reported that McCarthy accepted his invitation to join him at lunch after the Watkins hearings had taken place.
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References for the above passage
- Flanders, Ralph E. (March 9, 1954). Activities of Senator McCarthy—The World Crisis. Proceedings and debates of the 83rd Congress, second session—Congressional Record.
- Flanders, Ralph E. (1961). Senator from Vermont. Little, Brown, 255-257.
- Flanders, Ralph E. (1961). Senator from Vermont. Little, Brown, 258.
- Crozier, Barney (September 29, 1979). Vermont Senator's Speech Heralded McCarthy's End. Times-Argus Newspaper.
- Woods, Randall Bennett (1995). Fulbright: A Biography. Cambridge University Press, 187. ISBN 0-521-48262-3.
- Flanders, Ralph E. (1961). Senator from Vermont. Little, Brown, 260-261, 267.
- Flanders, Ralph E. (1961). Senator from Vermont. Little, Brown, 267-268.