Channeling Joe McCarthy, Tea Party Rep. Allen West claimed that the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus is full of communists while at a speaking event in Florida. On Thursday, West appeared on CNN with Soledad O’ Brien. During the interview, O’ Brien grilled West about his accusations and pressed him to name names, but like Joe McCarthy before him, West refused to do so.
O’Brien: So name names for me. Which? Start naming the 78 to 81.
West: Oh we don’t have to do that…
O’Brien: No, no, we do, I’m dying to know.
West: You can go look up the Congressional Progressive Caucus. You can go look up the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
O’Brien: I’ve got them right here.
West: Well then you’ve got the names.
O’Brien: So Keith Ellison is a Communist?
West: Soledad, Soledad you know something…
O’Brien: Raúl Grijalva is a Communist?
West: Well look, I’m just talking about the fact that the ideologies, the principles you believe in.
O’Brien: Tammy Baldwin is a Communist? Judy Chu is a Communist?
West: You can call it whatever you want. You can call it whatever you want. I’m talking about their beliefs.
O’Brien: No but I want to know what you’re calling it.
West: I’m calling it this: Communist, Progressive, Marxist, Socialist, Statist — which is another term that’s been used. I’m looking at the ideologies.
Here’s the video:
CNN is often mocked for its lack of journalistic quality but at least Soledad O’ Brien has the guts to grill a Republican about their hateful and dividing rhetoric. By refusing to name names, West became an instant coward on national television. His refusal also reveals him to be a liar. None of the members of the Progressive Caucus are communists, but regardless, it’s not illegal to be a communist in America. Americans have the constitutional right to support any political ideology they want. All West is trying to do is scare voters into not voting for Democrats. He wants division and the best way to get that is to accuse his opponents of being something different.