It seems everyone is calling Republican Senator Ted Cruz the new McCarthy. He’s got a list of Commies and he’s not afraid of innuendo. He’s a wanna-be McCarthy, harkening back to the good old days when Republican paranoia took hold of a nation. There’s not one “new McCarthy” in the GOP, but rather a party of new McCarthys. This is an important distinction, and speaks to the inevitable extinction of the party if they don’t do something soon.
Chris Matthews noted five days ago that the GOP is using ‘Cold War CIA tactics’ to bring down the U.S. government (Matthews might be slow to get there but when he shows up, it’s with a bang):
“If they didn’t like a government somewhere — Guatemala, Iran, the Dominican Republic, Chile — they just brought it down,” he said. “Guess what, Republicans are now using the same tactic here at home. If they don’t like who we’ve elected president, they find some way to undermine the government, discredit its leaders, whatever it takes to destroy it.”
That Republicans are using the same tactics they used against foreign governments here, in their own country, should come as no surprise.
You might remember Ted Cruz (R-TX) from his Glenn Beckian/Sarah Palinesque “pallin around with” smears from the Chuck Hagel (R-NE) confirmation hearings or his charge that decorated veterans Kerry and Hagel do not support the military. Cruz’s ready hawking of any conspiracy that comes down the pike isn’t a new thing, or even a function of his freshman status as Senator.
Yesterday, Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote about Cruz’s “list” of Harvard Commies intent on taking over our government (Harvard disputes most of Cruz’s allegations, and pointed out that Cruz knew several Republicans teaching at Harvard — but facts are not in Cruz’s thing). Yes, two years ago, while speaking at a Koch funded gathering, Cruz accused Harvard Law School of harboring a dozen Communists/Marxists who wanted the Commies to overthrow the U.S. government. He also connected the Beck dots to Obama, Harvard, Commies & Marxism:
He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason, said Cruz, was that, “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
So according to Cruz, “overthrowing the United States government” is a bad thing when it comes from imaginary Marxists hiding out at Harvard. But Republicans need assault weapons in case they need to overthrow the Obama tyranny. They tell us this every day, with a lack of embarrassment that exemplifies just how deeply they’ve ensconced themselves in the paranoid, conservative bubble of preppers and birthers.
Senator Cruz is all too happy to help bring down the government, by slinging baseless, reckless accusations meant to stop the Secretary of Defense from being confirmed, wasting votes on repealing ObamaCare when he admits it will go nowhere, and voting no on John Kerry’s confirmation just so he can check “Obstructionist” as part of his 2016 tea party résumé. Ah, conservative “patriotism”.
Senator Cruz has no problem dragging out Glenn Beck’s chalkboard in order to accuse other officials of being anti-American. Senator Cruz keeps lists, you know. He just won’t share them with us.
Cruz, like Rubio, has allowed the narrative that his family fled Castro to take root, when in fact, his father fought with Fidel Castro to free Cuba. So if anyone could be labeled a Commie based on associations alone…
And that might be just the reason why Cruz has gone pure White Hooded Accuser. He may feel he has to distance himself from his own past, lest the Tea Party base not understand nuance (haha). Ted Cruz told the Dallas News that his father allied with Castro’s forces because “they didn’t know Castro was a Communist, what they knew was that Batista was a cruel and oppressive dictator.”
It’s odd that Cruz is the first to point fingers without proof, and doesn’t understand that being on the same side on one issue does not a Communist make, since that is his argument in defense of his father (and one that sounds plausible, I might add).
In Mayer’s piece, a Republican Harvard Law Professor laments that Cruz must have changed. You see, he remembers him as “very bright, very hard-working and very conservative, in a well-mannered, agreeable way. This surprises me. It suggests he’s changed.”
It’s not just that Cruz has changed; but rather that conservatism has changed. The Republican Party has changed. Conservatism now suggests a radical agenda to destroy the US government from within, proud prayers of wanting the President to die, and paranoid rantings about “Commies and libs” in the US government (see Bachmann, Cruz) who need to be investigated. Elected Republicans accused one of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aides of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Cruz’s behavior is hardly new.
The conservative movement is stuck in the time period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of Commie subversion. (Newsflash: “liberal” is not an insult; in fact, according to polling, “Republican” is the insult.)
The wild-eyed craziness of the modern day Republican Party is the result of their refusal to admit that they are no longer the party of fiscal responsibility or national security. They ceded both of those platform identifiers to the Democratic Party. All they have left is social issues, and those are running dry. So now we come to the imaginary list of Commies, being held by the guy whose dad fought with Castro, and who is anti-“amnesty”. The last hurrah.
The man whose father fought with Castro thinks that he is more American and more patriotic than his political opponents. So American that he can accuse them of being Commies intent on overthrowing the US government and no one will laugh in his face. This is called jumping the Commie shark.
Even better, the Tea Party (home of the birthers) is salivating at the idea of Cruz as President. Yeah, because his father fought with Castro and that is so much better than being black.
Republicans miss the good old days when they were winning with red scares and Cold War policy. Denied that, they have turned inward on their own country. Luckily, Republicans have an endless parade of disposable clowns who are willing to sacrifice their long term political goals for the short term gains of today’s imaginary battle.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.