It is in fact no exaggeration to say that we live in terror that Senator McCarthy will one day make some irreparable blunder that will play directly into the hands of our common enemy and discredit the whole anti-Communist effort for a long while to come.
Nixon's genius was that he was able to portray himself as the toughest of the anti-communists, and yet run on a platform that he had a plan to end the Vietnam War. And, of course, his plan was to prolong it until his second election - but he didn't tell us that then.
Like medieval theologians we had a philosophy that explained everything to us in advance, and everything that did not fit could be readily identified as a fraud or a lie or an illusion... The perniciousness of the anti-Communist ideology of the Truman Doctrine arises not from any patent falsehood but from its distortion and simplification of reality, from its universalization and its elevation to the status of a revealed truth.
Reagan survived the Iran-Contra scandal because the elements of it that were illegal (aiding anti-communist Nicaraguans) were popular and the things that were unpopular (arming the Iranians) were quite legal.
Even if corners were cut, (Iran-Contra) was a brilliant scheme. There is no possibility that anyone in any Democratic administration would have gone to such lengths to fund anti-Communist forces. When Democrats scheme from the White House, it's to cover up the President's affair with an intern. When Republicans scheme, it's to support embattled anti-Communist freedom fighters sold out by the Democrats.