Ted Cruz is the junior Senator from Texas (I know, how shocking) and has been doing his best to make a name for himself on the Hill. He rode the Tea Party swell into office and, by gum, he’s going to give them their money’s worth. Or the Koch’s money’s worth, at least. Part of that includes channeling the spirit of Joe McCarthy, apparently. But he doesn’t mind as it’s all part of the program –
“Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don’t like what they’re saying.” (SOURCE)
In his crusade against Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense, Cruz has been especially ugly. His colleagues may think that he’s going too far – John McCain scolded him last week – but that doesn’t faze Cruz. He maintains that Hagel has taken money from a group called “Friends Of Hamas,” a group that doesn’t exist anywhere but in Cruz’s fantasy world. Then he tried to insinuate that Hagel is taking money from North Korea: $200,000 to be precise. He also mentioned “… the government of Iran formally and publicly praising the nomination of a defense secretary.” Not exactly. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said he “… hoped that there would be practical changes in American foreign policy…” Yeah. Not exactly a rockin’ the casbah moment.
Several political reporters and pundits have remarked that Cruz’s behavior smacks of McCarthyism. Hardball‘s Chris Matthews and Sen. Barbara Boxer have both come right out and labeled it as such. Matthews said that Cruz was “… prosecuting him (Hagel) for political purposes.” Adding, “This is McCarthyism.” Boxer was a bit more oblique, summoning up the imagery of McCarthy’s “I have here in my pocket…” methodology.
Ted Cruz is trying to make a name in a town where one’s name can become a meme. His populist stance belies his background – Harvard grad with Supreme Court clerk experience – but he has somehow convinced his Tea Party supporters that he’s one of them. In his behavior, he may very well be acting like most of them would. His attacks and subsequent whining are in line with what they love in their Congressmen. But this guy… well, one anonymous Republican called Cruz “Jim DeMint without the charm.” That says a lot.
Cruz told reporters that they should focus less on “attacking” him and more on Hagel’s background. Maybe they should. As Joan Walsh of Salon.com says
“That’s good advice. Because if they do, they’ll find no substance to Cruz’s charges in Hagel’s “record,” but a lot of substance to charges that he’s a 21stcentury Joe McCarthy in Cruz’s.” (SOURCE)
In the meantime Senator Cruz, put on your big boy Underoos and deal with it. This is the big leagues, honey. Learn to handle it or go home.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…