Friday, September 21, 2012

Singing from Tommy's Joe McCarthy Songbook

If I'm not mistaken the U.S. Senate seat that Tommy Thompson is running for has not been held by a Republican since Joe McCarthy. So it is interesting that I should stumble over the fact that in Tommy Thompson's personal archives as governor there was a Joe McCarthy songbook.  You didn't know that existed did you? Neither did I.

Seriously, go check out the Tommy Thompson Collection at the Marquette University Archives. Stamped for inclusion is a “Joseph R. McCarthy Songbook,” complete with a collection of 28 far-right songs with titles such as “Fightin’ Joe McCarthy,” “Deutschland Uber Alles,” and “This Land Was Made Conservatively.”

The following are lyrics from everybody's favorite foot tapping number “Fightin’ Joe McCarthy”:
Fightin’ Joe McCarthy We’re one and all for you You licked the dirty Commies And you’ll lick the pinkos too. Fightin’ Joe McCarthy We’re one and all for you Our land you’ll save Our flag you’ll wave The dear red, white, and blue Now Fightin’ Joe McCarthy Has gone to his reward And now he’s up in heaven Fightin’ Commies for the Lord. 
I wonder if Tommy's apparent facination with Wisconsin's most infamous senator was influenced by his appointee to the Wisconsin Health and Education Facilities Authority, Kenneth Merkel? [Wisconsin State Journal, 3/22/92]

The reason that I ask is because the Marquette University Special Collections also include a 1967 address delivered by then-Assemblyman Kenneth J. Merkel.  It was a rousing speech delivered at the 10 year graveside remembrance of Joe McCarthy's death. The Merkel speech was marked by references to McCarthy's “titanic struggle” against Communism and lamented about him being denied heroic status.

So I'm just wondering what the apparent fascination is with Joe McCarthy and more importantly does Tommy still sing from this song book?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'd guess what tommy admired most about mccarthy was his drinking ability.