A Throwback to the McCarthy Era

Sen. Joseph McCarthy liked to insist he had evidence of communists in the government, but he couldn’t show you the names right now. The number of communist infiltrators on his secret list changed from speech to speech.

Listening to Donald Trump’s legal team claim over and over again that it has voluminous evidence that the election was stolen, it occurred to me that we’re in a kind of repeat McCarthy era. Only this time, to borrow from that old-school communist Karl Marx, history is repeating itself not as tragedy but as farce.

Take Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who became a right-wing darling as the lawyer for Michael Flynn, Trump’s 24-day national security adviser. Trump repeatedly touted her as a member of his elite legal team, a group nicknamed Strike Force.

Powell has hinted darkly that a state-of-the-art computer hacking program masterminded by the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez was used to hand the election to Biden, with the help of Cuba, George Soros, “likely” China and other “communistic” forces. Powell subscribes to the view, pushed by pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood, that the outgoing president actually got 70 percent of the popular vote and 400 electoral college votes.

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