(excerpt)But what is puzzling about McCarthy is also puzzling about Trump. Once McCarthy was in a position of power, he was incapable of modifying his behavior. He could not shut it off, even when everyone around him was begging him to. He had a single explanation for everything, and the only way he knew how to do his job was by threatening and prevaricating. Trump, too, is a one-trick pony. He says the same things on every issue and in response to every crisis.

Voters get tired of one-trick ponies. Not every civil servant with progressive views can be a spy, despite McCarthy’s insistence, just as not every story Trump finds unflattering can be fake, and not every investigation he dislikes can be a hoax. Endlessly recycled charges lose their sting. That is what happened to McCarthy. It was not that the public decided that Communists were not a real danger. They just got sick of the constant snarling and browbeating. They wanted it to go away.

When Joseph Welch arrived in Washington for the famous hearings, some of the people involved in the Army’s defense were shocked that he did not seem to have studied the case. They worried that he was unprepared. But Welch knew that he could not beat McCarthy on the facts, because McCarthy would just make up new facts. He saw that the only way to destroy McCarthy was to give him the opportunity to destroy himself. He let McCarthy rant and bully and interrupt for thirty days, and then, as the clock was winding down, he closed in for the kill. It was pure rope-a-dope, and a lesson, possibly, for Joe Biden.
Smart analysis.