Why Ted Cruz should embrace the ‘McCarthyism’ smear

Democrat Sens. Barbara Boxer and Claire McCaskill are trying to shut-down freshman firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz by likening him to the Left’s bete-noire, Communist hunter Sen. Joe McCarthy. Here’s why Ted Cruz should consider the source and embrace the smear.

Below is my Washington Times column from November 2010, the last time the Left hurled the McCarthyism smear at a GOP firebrand. The same applies today to Ted Cruz.


Memo to Issa: Channel Joe McCarthy

By Steve Milloy
November 10, 2010, Washington Times

If California’s Republican Rep. Darrell Issa plans on investigating the Obama administration, he needs to read and digest M. Stanton Evans’ gripping book “Blacklisted by History: The True Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies” (Crown Forum, 2007).

The left is already trying to liken Rep. Issa to McCarthy – a Mother Jones headline from this week was “The GOP’s Coming Climate Witch Hunt” and the New York Times’ Dot Earth blog bemoaned the coming McCarthyism.

No doubt the left has good cause for worry, given a White House that hired a director of Socialist International to be energy and environment czar (Carol Browner), an acknowledged communist as the “green jobs” czar (Van Jones), and an admirer of Chairman Mao as communications director (Anita Dunn).

So Mr. Issa may as well learn, embrace and benefit from the truth about McCarthy, since he will be investigating people of the same stripe that McCarthy brought to account.

The common McCarthy caricature is one of a raving lunatic, throwing mud at hapless innocents, recklessly ruining lives and careers, and launching a national paranoia about an imagined “red scare.”

But as Mr. Evans points out with the help of FBI, State Department, congressional and other unimpeachable records, the federal government was, in fact, chock-full of Soviet agents who not only committed copious espionage, but, more importantly, steered U.S. policy to the detriment of America, Eastern Europe and China.

If you’re interested in the shocking back story to the losses of Eastern Europe and China to communists, the North’s invasion of South Korea and more, Mr. Evans’ book is for you. Ann Coulter has rightly described “Blacklisted by History” as “the greatest book since the Bible.”

While McCarthy did make some mistakes – most notably confusing Gen. George Marshall’s implementation of bad policies as complicity rather than cluelessness – most of his errors were pretty innocuous and didn’t detract in the slightest from his larger thesis.

So how is all this relevant to Mr. Issa’s upcoming investigations as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee?

The most valuable lesson from “Blacklisted by History” is that the epithet of so-called “McCarthyism” is not what McCarthy did to others; it was what was done to him.

Congressional Democrats and the Truman and Eisenhower administrations did not even really try defending themselves against McCarthy’s charges by proving them wrong. Rather, they attacked McCarthy personally with the intent of destroying him.

From the outset, congressional Democrats responded to McCarthy’s charges by entirely ignoring them and, instead, falsely accusing him of lying about what he said in his February 1950 maiden speech on communists in the government. Bootstrapping themselves with that distraction, congressional Democrats then spent far more time investigating McCarthy than they did considering his well-documented accusations.

They did everything possible to thwart McCarthy, including refusing to make State Department records available in a meaningful way to congressional investigators, hiding records at the White House under a claim of executive privilege, fabricating exculpatory statements from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, playing fast and loose with congressional records and, ultimately, destroying McCarthy personally with a bogus Senate censure.

Like few in history – and none admirable – the left tagged McCarthy with his own “-ism” that is ignorantly and flagrantly used by the left-leaning lamestream media and a misled public.

As Mr. Evans points out, though, McCarthy gave better than he got. Sacrificing himself, he exposed and rousted many communists from the government and alerted America to a problem that had caused grievous harm to national security.

Even before Mr. Issa takes his seat as committee chairman, he is being attacked. It will get worse. The left will try to savage him. Truth won’t matter. Once he assumes his chairmanship, he can rest assured that he will be lied to and about.

Mr. Issa will need much personal fortitude and persistence. He’ll need a staff of steel to conduct the much-needed investigations that he envisions. He’ll need the stuff of which Joe McCarthy was made.

Steve Milloy is publisher of JunkScience.com and is author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plant to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).

8 thoughts on “Why Ted Cruz should embrace the ‘McCarthyism’ smear”

  1. Bill, you need to read Stanton Evans “Blacklisted By History.” You’ll learn that Annie Lee Moss (your “middle aged black cleaning lady”) was much more than that. And if “Blacklisted by History” isn’t one of the most astounding books you’ve ever read, I’ll eat my hat. “McCarthyism” is what has happened to Joe McCarthy.

  2. The late beloved William F. Buckly Jr. devoted decades to rehabilitating McCarthy. I never followed it closely. At one time Senate investigators found a communist in one of the agencies using comparisons of lists. The person turned out to be a middle aged black cleaning lady who was quite bewildered by the attention she received.

    Yes, Fuchs was a disaster and apparently so was Alger Hiss. But McCarthy stirred up community madness in my opinion.

    To insinuate, ala the new- Senator Cruz that Senator Hagel was on the payroll of an enemy country is way over the line.

    Your work, Mr. Malloy, on DDT, Food Scares, and EPA science are really terrific. Let Joe McCarthy fade in memory.

    Representative Issa flushed away his credibility on a couple of occasions, and he is sorely needed with respect to EPA, CPSIA, the Toyota embarrassment and other real problems. He can’t go after the extortion of BP by our Justice Department because Republicans and Democrats alike share the unwarranted tax on UK retirees.

    Judging by the way we treat or Canadian and English allies, it is a wonder that America has any friends at all.

  3. As a fellow Texan who voted for Ted Cruz I have to say he has made a bigger nuisance of himself than I ever anticipated but he has my full support. The fact that he has ruffled the feathers of the Rockefeller country club Rhinos like McCain makes it more enjoyable. Cruz probably will get the same treatment as Tea Party conservative Allen West; the difference being West only had two years to stir the pot. Cruz has over 5 more years.

  4. Then again, at no point in time was it ever illegal to be a communist in the USA. Perfectly acceptable for common citizens to be communists. It was also acceptable for officials of the US government to be communists. We still have a communist party in America to this day… Not that they’ve ever been very popular. US GovCo workers are allowed to be a communists, atheists or even Democrats, despite McCarthy’s complaints.

  5. labman57: Since you have nothing of substance to offer, you use the left’s favorite defense, slander, ad hominum attacts and name calling. How about screaming “racist!!! racist!!! racist!!” or maybe “Bush lied kids died!!” Or since you mention “coven” are you accusing them of witchcraft? “Let’s repeat Salem for these awful conservatives!”

  6. Ironically today many congressmen and many presidential appointees are indeed communist and/or communist sympathizers. A new effort to find and expose communist in our government would find a target rich environment today.

  7. Cruz appears to be attempting to out-dumb Michele Bachmann and steal her title as the reigning lunatic leader of the Congressional GOP tea party coven.
    Or perhaps he will simple share the spotlight with her, spreading the cancer of ignorance and delusional diatribes to the Senate.

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