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The Moth And The Flame

July 28, 1991

In her review of Clark Clifford's "Counsel to the President" (June 30), Peggy Noonan dismisses Joseph McCarthy as a vulgar demagogue, yes, but one whose work merely did more damage to the right than to the left.

In his paranoid search for mythical governmental Communists, Mr. McCarthy ruined the careers, reputations, spirits and lives of some of this nation's greatest and most talented citizens--citizens of high moral rectitude and patriotic spirit who happened to be not quite conservative enough for Mr. McCarthy's liking.

This crime, perpetrated upon people from both the "right" and the "left," transcends the hackneyed partisan-political terms through which Ms. Noonan evidently views the world.

For her sake, I can only hope that her moth-like flapping around the bright centers of political power has ended--that she is not in a position of prominence when the next McCarthy decides that her credentials and views are not to his liking.

JONATHAN SANTORE, MAR VISTA

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