What is McCarthyism? And how did it happen? – Ellen Schrecker

In the 1950s, as part of a campaign to expose suspected Communists, thousands of individuals were aggressively investigated and questioned before government panels. Named after its most notorious practitioner, the phenomenon known as McCarthyism destroyed lives and careers. But how did this episode of political repression take off? Ellen Schrecker traces the history of McCarthyism.

D.C. Insider: There’s a Shadow Govt. Running the Country, and It’s Not Up for Re-Election

Alter Net

By Mike Lofgren           

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates on its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. [1]

During the last five years, the news media have been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: in the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

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