McCarthyism has been now reborn in the form of Florida Rep. Allen West who has been pitched by some GOPers as the perfect running mate for former Massaschusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, now the party’s presumptive nominee:
As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).
West warned constituents at a Tuesday town hall event that he’s “heard” that dozens of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party, the Palm Beach Post reported. West wouldn’t elaborate beyond that, however, and didn’t offer up any names. There are currently 190 House Democrats.
A request for comment from West’s spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
As I’ve often noted, in the news biz when a source or their rep doesn’t return phone calls on a controversial story it usually means they hope the story will go away, they’re working on a response to limit damage control, or they mistakenly think that by not responding the reporter will hold or downplay the story. And to many editors and reporters, if a source doesn’t respond it usually means the source is guilty as perceived.
All Allen needed to do to make his McCarthyism imitation more complete was to hold up an empty list. I assume Republicans know that this kind of reprehensible rhetoric will chase away many many independent voters. But then they knew that also i the Rush Limbaugh controversy and we know how quick and pointed many of their comments were.
I would also assume this would totally eliminate West as a serious option for Romney’s Veep. Wait: in some parts of the GOP this will boost his standing.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.