If it was Charlie I was talking about we could all have a good laugh. We'd congratulate Candice on the good fortune of having her dad around again and we'd be looking forward to new TV specials featuring Ventriloquist Hall of Fame headliners such as Mortimer Snerd and Effie Klinker.
But alas those funny dummies are not the ones in the headlines these days.
No we have to deal with a new breed; a different legacy, one borne on the memory of infamy whose first name was not Charlie but rather Joe. And to make matters even more of an embarrassment it, I mean he was a U S Senator.
And there's another difference, the new dummies no longer need their master's hand up their shirt to spew their hate and weave their web of fear.
This new generation of McCarthy-like fear mongers comes in all shapes and sizes and has the unfettered world of the internet within which to spread their filth.
Any student of history will remember the black listing days when everyone's patriotism was scrutinized and no one was safe from a jealous neighbor's finger pointing. And whether or not there was even a hint of impropriety those charged faced months if not years of agonizing character rebuilding or even jail!
Such obviously seedy characters such as Humphrey Bogart and Danny Kaye were among those questioned. Even President Eisenhower and his brother were tainted by false innuendos from Robert Welch of the John Birch Society.
In a side note did you know that the Birch Tree is usually white and is known for its ubiquitous sap? Coincidence? I think not.
But I digress.
In Utah this week a list of people has been accidentally leaked (wink-wink say no more, say no more) naming names of 1,300 people as illegal immigrants.
In a country whose foundation is based on fundamental human rights as inalienable it is scary to see this going on in the year 2010! Whether or not anyone on the latest scare tactic list proves to be acting in a criminal way is thankfully yet to be determined.
Unless I went to bed and woke up with the 'innocent until proven guilty' part of our legal system repealed I believe we must hold judgement for a bit longer.
But judgement should not be held on those who accidentally leaked the McCarthy style list. They belong in their own wing of the Dummies Hall of Fame.