Banquets are a central part of American political culture, combining culinary and rhetorical “red meat.” These are gatherings for the partisan faithful, aiding in fundraising or honoring electoral victors. As in the case of Joseph McCarthy’s claims of subversives in the US State Department, banquets can be a platform for gaining public notice. However, as gatherings of those with similar mindsets, rhetorical claims directed at a private group can cause controversy when publicly revealed.

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