Is McCarthyism Making a Comeback?

by on January 28th, 2009

A certain one-note politician from the state of New York is angered by the fact that her governor selected Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a fanatical gun control proponent who represents Long Island in Congress, is upset at Gov. David Paterson’s choice because Gillibrand, who was beginning her second term as an upstate New York congresswoman, is a card-carrying member of the NRA.

Such a membership is apparently anathema to Ms. McCarthy, who is also a Democrat. In fact, she finds it so completely unacceptable that she now plans to challenge Gillibrand in a primary in 2010, when Gillibrand will be up for re-election to the Senate. McCarthy, who never previously articulated a desire to run for the Senate, now says she would even be willing to give up her seat in Congress to pursue this quest.

McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 1996. She decided to run that year in response to an incident in 1995 in which a gunman killed her husband and wounded her son. She immediately became a crusader for tougher gun laws. Her zealous activism in this arena lead her to victory in her initial run for the House and has gotten her re-elected in subsequent races.

However, the downside is that her stance on guns has so overshadowed everything else she has ever done that she is now seen by many as a fanatic. I’m sure she has expressed opinions about stuff other than guns and gun control, but very few people have ever heard them. She has cast many important votes in the House that have had nothing to do with gun control, but they have gone virtually unnoticed as well.

She comes off as an all-gun-control, all-the-time politician. And her recent media uproar over the appointment of Gillibrand to the Senate doesn’t help to refute that perception. It would even appear that she is trying to create a new form of McCarthyism, so to speak. This time, however, instead of Communists, its target will be gun owners.

Terry Mitchell