That's a Good Question?!

So, Rep. Allen West—Republican from 1955—is apparently trying to single-handedly refight the Cold War. At an event today, somebody asked the Florida lawmaker how many members of Congress are “card-carrying Marxists.” His answer: “[n]o, it’s a good question. I believe there is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party. . . . It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

First, ROTFL.

Second, the ACLU really should trademark the whole “card-carrying” thing.

Third, just fyi, Marxists aren’t necessarily the same as Communists and Communists aren’t necessarily the same as socialists. So, let’s get our ideological buckets and political parties straight, sir.

Fourth, even if this hilarious statement is true, which it obviously is not, who cares? This is the post-McCarthy-era. The days of red-baiting are (or should be) long past, especially among our elected representatives.

Finally, and for serious, while Congressman West also has a First Amendment right to make funny jokes about fifth columns (the old-timey term for secret Soviet sympathizers), this is dangerous stuff, and we forget that at our peril. Loyal and patriotic Americans lost lives and livelihoods during the Red Scares simply because of what they believed or, just as bad, because the people who “named names” named their name. While there was certainly a threat of Soviet espionage (a threat long gone in 2012), the tragedy of the Communist witch-hunts must never be repeated.

Ring Lardner Jr., Oscar-winning screenwriter of M*A*S*H, faced questioning in 1947 from the House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC, which originally formed in World War II to investigate fascism and morphed in the early years of the Cold War into a showboating Communist hunter.

Asked the infamous question, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?” Lardner, invoking his First Amendment rights, said, “I could answer [the question], but if I did, I would hate myself in the morning.” He was held in contempt, fined, jailed for a year in federal prison in Connecticut, and wasn’t able to work in Hollywood for almost 20 years. All for attempting to exercise his constitutional right to believe as his conscience dictated.

While we would be the first to acknowledge Representative West’s right to speak his mind (and we do hope this was tongue in cheek), it’s incredible that he would echo the words of that inglorious past.

 

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Larry Linn

Why doesn't Rep. West identify the 78 to 81 Communist Members of Congress? I do know that there is big liar in Congress from Florida.

Anonymous

Everyone speaks of the McCarthy era as if it was a witch hunt... looking for something that wasn't there. However, documents from the former Soviet Union reveal that much of D.C. was infested with Communist spies at the time.
The ACLU needs to focus on violations of Constitutional rights, not stoop to mocking a man who may well be correct.
Because I can guarantee, if the Communists were to actually come to power in this country, the ACLU would be some of the first to be up against the wall.

Anonymous

McCarthy was right. DC was infested with communist spies at the time, as documents from the former Soviet Union have revealed. The aclu needs to stop mocking and only do their job, because if the Reds ever do take over this country- the aclu would be some of the first people purged.

Anonymous

Funny how any one who comments against your opinion is flagged as spam.

Bill King

I am a 21 Year Card Carrying Member but I am not in congress. West is in damage control tday

Bill King

Congressman West is in damage control today

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