The Senator and the President
T HE FIRST HALF of 1953 was a critical period in the Administration's coexistence with Joe McCarthy. The Senator, who had complained that the Democrats had given the nation "twenty years of treason," professed his loyalty to the new President at every opportunity. Even on the Senate floor he cited his campaign efforts with vehemence. He gave himself credit for having made more speeches for General Eisenhower than most of his colleagues and glowed about the Administration's early "batting average." Yet, in a series of cases that received wide attention, he had become openly critical. Before the Administration had completed its first six months, speculation had grown about how long Ike would evade a head-on clash with the front-page-grabbing Senator.
McCarthy, of course, was working on a good thing. His personal ambitions were unlimited. Not even the removal of the Democrats from commanding positions could dissuade him from continuing his crusade. Toward Eisenhower his attitude soon became contemptuous. He appraised him as a "political lightweight" who was out of his element in dealing with the Washington infighting. He was, thought McCarthy, essentially a military man whose commanders were now a White House clique that was insinuating its own prejudices and ideas on the President. Eisenhower himself was not dangerous because he was conservative, but "left-wingers" like Sherman Adams and C. D. Jackson could corrupt him with ease. For they were the ones unsympathetic toward "strong patriotism" and Americanism and would "coddle Communists and left- wingers in government and listen to their advice." Of all the important personalities of the Administration, only Vice President Nixon had Mc