Apparently the spirit of Sen. Joseph McCarthy lives on in South Florida Rep. Allen West. While President Barack Obama was speaking yesterday in Boca Raton, West spoke to supporters in nearby Palm City and said he's heard that up to 80 of the 190 Democratic members of Congress are actually members of the Communist Party. Of course, he offered no names or proof to back up the outrageous claim.
A reckless and unsubstantiated claim such as that hasn't been made by a sitting U.S. member of Congress since Senator McCarthy in the 1950s announced he had proof there were several Communist sympathizers and spies working inside the State Department and other levels of the federal government.
After a bunch of ridiculous investigations and hearings, McCarthy was never able to prove his claims and was censured by the Senate. "McCarthyism" is now something of an insult in American politics.
However, it's really no surprise West has decided to go this route. His entire political career is based on his ridiculous statements. He's now fighting to be more than just a one-term loudmouth and has switched to the newly redrawn 18th District in hopes of remaining in the House.
West also said President Obama would be "scared" to have a one-on-one debate with him, even though debates between rank-and-file congressmen and presidents are virtually unheard of.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.