Today, Right Side News posted an interview with Rep. Steve King (R-IA). The interview touches a number of political topics, including King’s belief that Congress shouldn’t focus on the economy, but rather “culture,” because “if you get the culture right, you’ll get the economy right. Everything will fall into place automatically.”
At one point, the interviewer referenced the October National Press Club press conference where Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid called for the revival of the House Internal Security Committee, the 60’s-era successor to the McCarthyite House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Right Side News asked the congressman if he would support the “re-creation of such committees.” King answered, “I would. I think that is a good process and I would support it”:
RIGHT SIDE NEWS: Cliff Kincaid recently had a National Press Club conference where he called for resurrection of the Congressional internal security committees. Would you support re-creation of such committees?
KING: I would. I think that is a good process and I would support it.
At the October press conference Kincaid wanted to revive the House Internal Security Committee to study “the ugly spread of Marxism in America, its roots, branches and current manifestations, particularly within the administration of President Barack Hussein Obama.”
It is important to understand what doing so would entail. The House Internal Security Committee was the “successor” to HUAC, which began in 1938. Thousands of Americans were investigated by HUAC for alleged ties to communist infiltrators, and it even turned its sights on the Roosevelt administration, seeking to undermine its progressive reforms by questioning its patriotism. Following World War II, the committee turned its sights to harassing supposed sympathizers with the Soviet Union, and investigated Americans as far-reaching as author Dalton Trumbo and musician Pete Seeger.
In the 1960’s the committee was renamed the House Internal Security Committee, and spent most of its time trying to intimidate nonviolent progressives, such as Abbie Hoffman (who appeared in a clown suit before the committee to call attention to the mockery it was making of democracy). In 1975, the committee was disbanded by House Democrats and all of the legitimate issues it dealt with were reassigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
By calling for a revival of these McCarthyist tactics by Congress, Kincaid and King are trying to revive an era of witch hunts and government intimidation against progressives that the country long ago swore off.