“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

It’s two days before Christmas and my intent had been to write something light, airy, and apolitical. I had illusions of creating a memorable piece; something along the lines of Francis Pharcellus Church’s 1897 editorial in which the famous aphorism “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” was first published.

Alas, I lack both Church’s gift for words and his sense of optimism in uncertain times.

On my mind today is another historical figure, Joseph Nye Welch, who was an attorney for the United States Army during the 1950’s. Welch represented the Army during the infamous McCarthy Senate hearings.

“Tail-Gunner Joe” McCarthy saw a communist under every bed, behind every lamp-post, and in virtually every government office. After weeks of abusive interrogations, during which McCarthy conjured rumors, lies, innuendo, fear, uncertainty, and despair over the character of a string of largely guiltless witnesses, Nye was at last moved to address McCarthy:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

The hundreds who packed the galleries of the Senate burst into applause.

Today, I address Mr. Welch’s words to the 58 Democrats (and two independents) in the Senate who are lining up to vote for Obamacare.

You are ready to vote for this bill in the face of public opinion polls that clearly indicate a majority of Americans are opposed to it.

You are ready to vote ‘yes’ despite the dozens of documented questionable, certainly unethical, probably illegal, and perhaps unconstitutional deals that have been made with various states, individuals, lobbying groups, and private corporations in order to garner the bare minimum of support necessary to pass this bill.

You have turned your backs and held your noses so as not to witness the decay and corruption that abounds about you.

Only a few of you have complained and that was when you discovered too late that you did not hold out for enough—that Harry Reid and Barack Obama would have given you almost anything to buy your vote.

You have prostituted yourselves to your party, your president, and your contributors. You have betrayed your constituents. You have joined in a feast of greed and corruption by which every other congress pales in comparison.

I can only wish I were as eloquent as Joseph Nye Welch:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: