The US has a McCarthy problem, and not just the notorious Joe McCarthy looking for commies under every rock in America, but a Kevin McCarthy problem!
Kevin McCarthy went from telling the truth about Trump's role in the Jan 6 Insurrection/Coup, to denying a bi-partisan investigation into the event, to obstructing the J6 investigation, to kissing Trump's a-- ...er "ring "...in Mar-A-Lago, to leading a congress in which nearly 140 Repuiblican representatives are still seated, and voting for McCarthy as House Speaker, even though they all tried to overturn the 2020 election results!! What madness is this in a mature democracy such as the US?
Somewhere along the way from 1945 to the present, America seemed to lose its way. Trump was the culmination of years of the merging of White Nationalism, Christian Evangelicalism, Science denialism, Libertarianism, Militia/Survivalists and a mixed up confusion of Jesus and John Wayne (Jesus and John Wayne is the title of a recent book on the problems in America (by scholar Kristin Kobes Du Mez)*
When I was following the TWO Trump impeachments, I noted the significance of the number of Republicans who supported Trump then - those who refused to let the evidence change their opinion. It now seems as though Trump was absolutely right when he made his infamous claim that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and he would not lose his following.
Trump is not president, but his influence on the GOP in Congress continues (seems to be less in the Senate but I may simply be too hopeful) , as we can see in the speech Kevin McCarthy made to the press after securing his election to the House Speaker role (after an historic 15th ballot) https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2023/01/07/trump-seeks-credit-for-mccarthys-speakership-after-former-maga-leaders-ignored-him/?sh=39c980a64fe7
How did the US get to such an abysmal place where insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists can control a government (at least 2 branches seem to be infected - the Judicial branch ( through the US Supreme Court) and the Legislative branch (at least in the US Congress)?
You can change the first names, and substitute Kevin instead of Joseph, but McCarthyism is still witch hunting. First it was for commies, and now for Democrats. It was bad enough for America in the 1950s. It may be worse in 2023 when the far-right conspiracy theorists and Freedom Caucus pull at McCarthy's sleeves.
* The book begins by addressing a speech that Trump gave at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa, on January 23, 2016. In the speech, Trump said that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone" without losing his constituents' loyalties. Du Mez reflects on how she had attended Dordt and participated in worship teams on the same stage that Trump gave the speech - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_John_Wayne)