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Newt Gingrich is well on his way to full-blown McCarthyism.

Perhaps because he still hopes Trump will put him on the ticket, Gingrich went on Fox and Friends to suggest a revival of the House Un-American Activities Committee:

Let me go a step further, because remember, San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando involve American citizens. We’re going to ultimately declare a war on Islamic supremacists and we’re going to say, if you pledge allegiance to ISIS, you are a traitor and you have lost your citizenship. And we’re going take much tougher positions. In the late 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt was faced with Nazi penetration in the United States. We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis. We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We’re going to presently have to go take the similar steps here.

Gingrich styles himself as a historian but seems to have forgotten some crucial facts. HUAC may have started as anti-Nazi but quickly became a reactionary institution used to punish political dissent. Among the earliest victims of HUAC were the anti-fascists who had gone to fight against Francisco Franco. And the main legacy of HUAC was to serve as the principal instrument for Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist purges, one of the biggest stains on free expression in American history. Even from Newt Gingrich, reviving HUAC is a terrible idea.