Hayward on Coulter, Chambers on McCarthy

Our friend Steve Hayward is the author of the invaluable Age of Reagan (if you haven’t yet bought it and read it, or bought it and given it to your kids, please do) and an all-around great guy. Steve has written us regarding the Horowitz column on Ann Coulter that we link to below:
“She is not the right person to handle the McCarthy question. I still refer people to Whittaker Chambers’ sage letter to Bill Buckley in February 1954–six months before the Army hearings that were McCarthy’s Waterloo–in which Chambers presciently wrote: ‘But all of us, to one degree or another, have slowly come to question his judgment and to fear acutely that his flair for the sensational, his inaccuracies and distortions, his tendency to sacrifice the greater objective for the momentary effect, will lead him and us into trouble. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that we live in terror that Senator McCarthy will one day make some irreparable blunder which will play directly into the hands of our common enemy and discredit the whole anti-Communist effort for a long while to come.’
“And that’s pretty much what happened. Even without the provocative thesis of the Manchurian Candidate, if I was a clever KGB disinformation specialist in the 1950s, there could be no surer way of discrediting anti-Communism (and perhaps purging old apparachiks in the West) than to invent someone like McCarthy.”

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