Messing With Texas: McCarthyism Or McCarthy-ish?

Which Hunt?

Months after the deed was done, establishment Republicans have discovered that Texas’s textbook commission made the state look foolish.

Early last year the elected body’s majority of dinosaur cavorting flat earthers and plain old Republicans provided countless hours of entertainment. They drew up lists of textbook publishers Do’s & Don’ts, banishing deist suspect Thomas Jefferson from the Founding Fathers while shoehorning Phyllis Schlafly into political science.

And perhaps most infamously, bringing back Joe McCarthy.

Texas Republican House Committee chairs are now shocked to discover all this is going on, vowing vaguely to do something about it. The conservative Fordham Institute found the Texas guidelines deficient, stirring the Public Education Chair Rob Eissler to a ringing expression of concern.


Fordham is probably right on the unwieldy tangle part, but when they get to McCarthy they distort the textbook mandate language in order to make the charge. Kind of like Old Joe!

Fordham said:

But Texas actually says this:

“… describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee

(HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and

how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of

communist infiltration in U.S. government “

….which does not tie Venona directly to HUAC or McCarthy. And McCarthy is obviously mentioned by name in the standard, while the Fordham reviewers for some reason pretend he’s only evoked by inference.

The Texas commission has an at least defensible position: the Venona intercepts certainly cover a vast menagerie of federal employees who cozy with people provable as spies.

McCarthy Was Right cranks get in trouble when they wander into the claim that Venona vindicated McCarthy, which is a crock. Cranks almost always do, and at least one commission member wanted to.

But Texas stopped short.

Why we may never know. Maybe they meant to go all the way and the wording got muddled in the chaotic horse trading which produced the standards.

So now we have apparent unhappyness over textbooks on the part of some Republican leaders, giving wing to the disgruntled many unhappy with the adopted standards.

But given the glacial pace and murky expressions of concern they shouldn’t get their hopes up.

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