Who brought Joe McCarthy down in the end? Not somebody playing “dirty”, down in the same gutter with McCarthy, but someone who waited for their moment and caught McCarthy in a decency trap, who revealed the man’s fundamental unfairness and viciousness in part by being scrupulously decent themselves. How did Archibald Cox defeat Richard Nixon? By walking the straight and narrow. Being decent and fair and meticulous isn’t intellectual wankery: it’s hardball.