Today, Welch would be a punchline

Where did decency go?

There’s more to the story than this, but during the McCarthy-Army Hearings in the Spring and Summer of 1954, the Wisconsin senator, along with Roy Cohn (yeah, that one), accused the United States Army of harboring communists and of lax security. The Army sent Joseph Welch, a lawyer, to make its case, to defend itself. During that hearing on June 9, McCarthy charged, without proof, that one of Welch’s attorneys, Fred Fisher, had ties to a Communist organization.

It was typical McCarthy, who, since 1950, had been accusing members of the government, as well as others in America, of being communists and/or communist sympathies. McCarthy — and see if this sounds familiar? — was a paranoid blowhard, a showman who played for the cameras, trafficking in unsubstatinated rumors and innuendo and bullying those who crossed him.

“Until this moment, Senator,” Welch said, during the hearing, “I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.”

McCarthy tried to cut in.

Welch interrupted, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator,” he said, referring to Fisher, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

And almost immediately, like a defibrillator, Welch’s comments shocked a nation back into rythym. McCarthy’s popularity quickly took a nosedive and within years, after being censured by the senate, he and his legacy, along with Cohn’s, stunk like a sewer. But some liked the smell.

He elaborated in an interview in 2005. “Roy was brutal, but he was a very loyal guy,” Trump told author Tim O’Brien. “He brutalized for you.” Trump, in the end, turned some of that cold calculation on his teacher, severing his professional ties to Cohn when he learned his lawyer was dying of AIDS.

I digress a little.

But that’s our president, that’s our Joe McCarthy. Today, Welch would be dismissed, his question ridiculed on Fox, while anchor after anchor and Trump supporter on Facebook after Trump supporter on Facebook answered NO and proudly.

“Hey, Welch,” I imagine the president asking, “why don’t you ask crooked Hillary that question?”

The president tweeted this after 7 were brutally murdered in London. That they didn’t die from firearms was his point, a cause for celebration and vindication. This wasn’t a president sending condolences to an ally; this was the opening act at an NRA Meet and Greet.

Decency?

Please.

In Orlando, yesterday, five were killed and a gun was used.

Trump didn’t tweet about that — or this.

The sheriff said Neumann did not have a concealed-weapons permit.

“At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Does it even matter anymore?