Will Ted Cruz Fair better Than Joe McCarthy?
I want to give kudos to Chris Matthews and his staff at Hardball (MSNBC) for making a profound correlation between Texas Freshman Senator (TX) Ted Cruz and the "Old Commie Hunter" Joseph McCarthy in their similar tactics and sudden impact on the scene.
It is so early into Cruz's senate career, but he has already used his debate skills and legal background to piss a lot of folks off in Washington D.C., including John McCain by using innuendo to impune the reputation of former Senator Chuck Hagel. McCain had raked Hagel over the coals two weeks before during Hagel's confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense.
In this final Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing (Hagel was NOT present), Cruz reached back in the McCarthy playbook to use innuendo to try and link Hagel to North Korea without any evidence. Cruz used a roundabout debate tactic of "What If." Cruz insinuated that Hagel may have taken $200,000 from the North Koreans for a paid speaking engagement or possible corruption without any proof. He used "What If" basically to impune Hagel's reputation.
It looked to this observer that Cruz was stepping into McCain's schoolyard and McCain had to chastise the freshman. Cruz is VERY well-educated (Princeton undergrad, Harvard Law). He is a champion debater and seems to have brought that into the senate only weeks into his tenure.
He is hanging with the "Obstructionist" wing of the GOP. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act, along with 21 other Senate Republicans, which was passed into law overwhelmingly by the Senate body that day.
So he obviously doesn't pay attention to polls. Let's see how he shakes out with other legislation. So far he has voted with the Tea Party wing of the GOP on every vote.
McCarthy allegedly lied about his war record and had all kinds of tax issues and was accused of taking bribes from Pepsicola. OY. Those were the days...The Commie Witchunt idea wasn't even his idea. Edmund Walsh, a Catholic priest, came up with the idea, suggesting McCarthy begin a campaign against communist subversives working in the Democratic administration. McCarthy was soliciting advice at the time from his closest inner circle on HOW TO RETAIN his senate seat in what would have been a close senate race without an issue to ride on. McCarthy's first few years in the U.S. Senate were not too impressive.
Ted Cruz comes to the U.S. Senate firing on all cylindars, making the old guard Republicans uneasy and some of the younger guys like Marco ("I'm Thirsty") Rubio (also Cuban) sitting there trying to decide to become a moderate or a rabble rouser. Cruz may force Rubio's hand.
Important Note: Ted Cruz, 42 was born in Alberta Canada. He is NOT eligible to run for U.S. President. Rubio is American-born. I see this as a VERY significant fact. Cruz could make a lot of trouble for a lot of people in Washington and not give a crap. He has nowhere else to go. If Texas keeps sending him back, he could be there a long time.
McCarthy was drummed out of the senate and died in 1957 from advanced alcoholism at the age of 49 years old.
Ted Cruz is just getting going. If he uses his superpowers for good and not evil, who knows. If it all catches up to him being a one-man-army...Could be a long hard road...We shall see.