Ted Cruz, Texas's New Senator, Gets Schooled Over His Chuck Hagel Campaign

Categories: Texas

tedderUSE.jpg
Cruz wasn't smiling yesterday.
There are few Senatorial chapters more infamous than Joe McCarthy's months-long screed against the purported communists infiltrating the American government during the 1950s. The man's grating, acidic line of questions and insinuations have long stood as the apogee of paranoia within Washington.

Indeed, McCarthy's purported search for the closet communists have set the lowest bar for Senatorial decorum, and the man has, rightly, been lambasted ever since. His actions spawned rebuke from all sides. After Joseph Welch's timeless reproach -- "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" -- the questioning, and McCarthy's political career, shriveled. McCarthyism -- the ignorance, the condescension -- has been largely avoided in the seven decades since.

Fortunately, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is here to make sure that McCarthy's memory carries forward to another political generation. And, thanks to Bill Nelson, the senior senator from Florida, we can be assured that Welch won't remain the lone individual willing to castigate those without standing, and without decency.

For those who've not followed, Cruz has spent the last week channeling the ghost of McCarthy, blasting baseless accusations at Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator and President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense. The freshman senator seems intent on wringing some sort of Islamist bent from Hagel, parsing verbs and phrases and looking, exegetically, at every single interview and financial source the former senator has ever crossed.

It's been, indeed, a show. Cruz's grandstanding -- coming in front of a man in receipt of two Purple Hearts -- has provided wonderful political theater, and has prolonged what was once a fait accompli. His requests have been, as Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Carl Levin said, "unprecedented."

And until yesterday, they've been unencumbered, and unchecked. Granted a certain amount of room through his recent election, Cruz had paired platform and hubris into a run of conceit unparalleled since, well, McCarthy.

But Tuesday saw a breaking point. As Levin called for a vote -- such discussion on Hagel's patriotism could only run so long -- Sen. Nelson took a moment to touch on a topic festering since last week:

"Mr Chairman, Sen. Cruz has stated his opinion, which he's entitled to," Nelson began. "But I want to put on the record that this Senator feels that Sen. Cruz has gone over the line. He basically has impugned the patriotism of the nominee in your conclusions, which you're entitled to come to, about him, in essence, being cozy with Iran."

Turning to Cruz, Nelson continued: "And you have also stated your opinion that you don't think that he has been truthful with this committee. Those are two fairly strong statements."


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172 comments
Nativo13
Nativo13

Cruz's wife, Heidi, currently works for Goldman-Sachs, is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, and worked to create the North American Union out of NAFTA during Bush, junior's  term...

Ted just looks like another political opportunist...

Nativo13
Nativo13

Cruz's wife, Heidi, currently works for Goldman-Sachs, is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, and worked to create the North American Union out of NAFTA during Bush, junior's  term...

Ted just looks like another political opportunist...

Muhayerboy
Muhayerboy

Sen Nelson is such a Wuss.  He is an appeaser first class.  Florida should be embarassed for re-electing this spineless politician.  @scottsdalebubbe --do you have any proof that Sen Cruz used affirmative action programs to get into Princeton and Harvard.  The most blatant use of said programs to get into Harvard is present in our dear leader, BHO!  He and Mooooochelle are Affirmative Action mavens.

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

Cruz must have been admitted to Princeton and Harvard Law because of some affirmative action program that fulfilled the universities' doofus quota.

michaele12
michaele12

You people defending McCarthy are pretty funny. Ether you've got Alzheimer's disease or you're lunatic alkies. McCarthy was scum as was his gay right hand Roy Cohen. Cruz is rapidly gaining on both of them. You may not like Hagel, but to impune his integrity and dishonor his service to this country and his status as a decorated veteran is pathetically reminiscent of what desperate, impotent men do when confronted with the truth of shallow character and lack of integrity. Cruz will accomplish little in Washington and do even less that will benefit Texans. If anything, he will harm the interests of the vast majority of Texans. Keep waving your McCarthy flags while you cut your nose off to spite your face.

zsingerb
zsingerb

Just remember that despite the fanfare of the times, the VENONA Papers, decrypting cables from the US to the USSR from McCarthy's era show that McCarthy was right in calling for an investigation.

The decrypted messages gave important insights into Soviet behavior in the period during which duplicate one-time pads were used. With the first break into the code, Venona revealed the existence of Soviet espionage at Los Alamos National Laboratories. Identities soon emerged of American, Canadian, Australian, and British spies in service to the Soviet government, including Klaus Fuchs, Alan Nunn May, and Donald Maclean. Others worked in Washington in the State Department, the Treasury, Office of Strategic Services, and even the White House.

The decrypts show the U.S. and other nations were targeted in major espionage campaigns by the Soviet Union as early as 1942. Among those identified are Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; Alger Hiss; Harry Dexter White, the second-highest official in the Treasury Department; Lauchlin Currie, a personal aide to Franklin Roosevelt; and Maurice Halperin, a section head in the Office of Strategic Services.

 So before you continue berating Senator McCarthy for being aggressive in his hunt for spies, remember that he was RIGHT and that if he had been allowed to investigate properly far fewer American secrets would have been given to the Soviet Union.  Cruz is right in his fervor. 

Newton
Newton

Cruz and his fellow tea-partiers are fine, as are the movement conservatives that now almost completely comprise the Republican party. Except they've been wrong on a few minor things, like social, economic and foreign policy. Aside from that, they are good folks that we should respect.

StaceinTexas
StaceinTexas

Senator Ted Cruz is doing the job his state sent him to do; clean up DC.

Frankly, I am surprised at Senator Nelson.  I thought, considering his age, he would not be as effected by the liberal’s two decade old agenda; wussify the male gender.

It appears someone needs to inform Senator Nelson that there is no crying in politics.  Buck it up, big boy!

jbar5377
jbar5377

No one talking about whether we landed on the moon or not... you brought up that crazy extreme straw man position, nice try lib, but back to the point I made.... since the 60's on, our textbooks have been  run through the liberal filter, do we even have a Constitution anymore, or just a "living document" collecting dust somewhere?  If you dispute my point, you really are old, but not much of a boss. By the way, didn't the big lib Obama cut NASA's budget in favor of social entitlement programs? Guess the next person standing on the moon will be Jefs_Ol_Boss  when we all chip in for a one way ticket. 

sharonpachyderm
sharonpachyderm

Senator Cruz is an embaressment to the Republican party, but so many tea partiers now are an embaressment. We have left the party. It was once the party of the intelligentsia, while the democratic party was the workers party. It has switched totally. I would like to see Cruz in a war situation. His tail would be between his legs and he would run screaming to his mama.

saffie6813
saffie6813

Texas Republican politicians have been an embarrassment to this great state for decades

Anse
Anse

Joe McCarthy, in his short reign of red-baiting terror, uncovered woefully few actual Soviet spies in the US government. His revisionist defenders today point to all this evidence that there were in fact spies operating in the US, but the truth is that none of those were ever revealed by McCarthy. He was reckless, vicious, ambitious, demagogic, and vile; petty, and ruthless. He went after people that had no actual ties to the Soviet Union, but therein lies the real problem with him and his modern defenders: McCarthy did not distinguish between actual treason and dissent. Merely the air of communist sympathies was enough "evidence". We see the same thing in our modern attacks on Muslims in this country. There is no effort to distinguish between moderate Muslim and militant Islamists; they're all evil, they're all dangerous, they're all traitors. And the danger of this is that we become the thing we claim to hate, and much worse, because we divert our attention away from real threats. If McCarthy had not had his day, it's possible we would have uncovered more actual spies, more examples of infiltration, but McCarthy was too busy throwing accusations at every suspicious American who hinted at holding ideologically unfavorable views to do any good in the fight against the Soviets.

mark.peterson08
mark.peterson08

I laughed in the face of my graduate professor in Political Science when he attempted to use Richard Hoffsteader's  cliche characterization of the mid-century anti-communist movement as entirely paranoid... 

caddyshack.al
caddyshack.al

The author lost me in the first paragraph with ignorance of recent KGB document releases and the release of information from the Venona Project.

johnwerneken
johnwerneken

I'm no fan of our President, and not generally a fan of his Cabinet either. Mr. Hagel however is a veteran; he has put his body and life on the line for me, for you, for our country. It is just not right for any Senator to accuse such a man as Mr. Hagel of being an unpatriotic subversive.

Texas leads the nation in many things, most of them admirable things. Texans have never been known for being lovers of hypocrisy. I believe that Senator Cruz has indeed crossed a line he ought not to have crossed.

skyfyrr
skyfyrr

Ted Cruz -- pretty strong words for a guy with no Purple Hearts. Maybe he can beat people up with his Princeton debate trophy. 

pstauber
pstauber

@Nativo13And so now liberals believe husbands should tell their wives where to work and what they can do? Just more proof that liberals are too out of touch. If libs are attacking Cruz this hard so early, must be something they fear. Hmmmmm....

pstauber
pstauber

@Nativo13 And so now liberals believe husbands should tell their wives where to work and what they can do? Just more proof that liberals are too out of touch. If libs are attacking Cruz this hard so early, must be something they fear. Hmmmmm....

pstauber
pstauber

@michaele12 After 5 years of Obama, people are starting to see that maybe McCarthy was right. 

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@zsingerb -- Fine.  Even if what you say is true, McCarthy and McCarthy-ism had nothing to do with the arrests and convictions you cite.  McCarthy was an alcoholic Johny come lately narcissist who tied up the country by his ever-widening accusations that were totally without foundation.  Never trust a public official with a pickled brain.

tomcat605
tomcat605

@zsingerb Careful zsingerb. You're using facts. Liberals do not relate well to factual data.

pstauber
pstauber

@Newton Wrong perhaps to a Communist, which is what the Democrat party has become.

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@StaceinTexas It is not within any one Senator's power to "clean up DC", particularly an ignorant newbie.  And impulsive, unfounded, grandstanding has never been a correct recipe for reform.

tafeldienst
tafeldienst

@StaceinTexas  

We sent Cruz to clean up DC?  

I didn't. Then again, Republican gerrrymandering got him there. Maybe we should clean that up. I would rather he act to solve problems, not pretend he's concerned about stuff that matters little anyway. His prima-donna act is male wussification embodied.

Federale
Federale

@jbar5377  

You really need help making a coherent point.

A living Constitution vs what? Original intent? Obama making cuts to NASA? In order to help living humans on earth? Damn, That's a bad thing? Especially when most conservatives reject any scientific gains that could be made from space. If you want jobs in regards to NASA, "the government can't create real jobs", remember that one?

jbar5377
jbar5377

@saffie6813 Thats why so many people want to move to Tx.  Not for jobs and lower taxes, they want to see all the people walking around, we'll embarrassed.

MoFreedom
MoFreedom

McCarthy was calling for investigations & sounding the alarm bells.  It wasn't his job to actually discover who the clandestine agents were. 

And for that his reputation was smeared & his life destroyed. 

All the adjectives that you use were employed by those whose aim was to destroy his reputation & his career.  And to all those folks, I say this:  "Have you no sense of decency? At long last, have you no sense of shame?"

pstauber
pstauber

@scottsdalebubbe @zsingerb Actually, I think Obama has provided the foundations to what McCarthy was trying to do. Maybe we as a country stopped him too soon. If nothing else, Obama has rehabilitated McCarthy's reputation.

Muhayerboy
Muhayerboy

@scottsdalebubbe@zsingerbRE Scottsdalebubbe's ...Never trust a public official with a pickled brain....    You have no trouble trusting BHOle who obivously has a fried brain from all the dope he took or smoked (he admitted the use thereof).  Cruz was elected by a wide margin and is serving Texas as the majority of Texans respect.

Muhayerboy
Muhayerboy

@tafeldienst @StaceinTexas ...Stacie, Senators are elected on Statewide basis.  You just showed your ignorance by saying Republican Gerrymandering caused Sen Cruz's victory.   You must have failed Civics class in high school and if you are a college graduate, you failed Political Science.

stacemac
stacemac

@tafeldienst If you did not vote for Sen. Ted Cruz, then no you didn't send him anywhere. That's rather obvious, isn't it?

ROFL thanks for that laugh.  There is nothing 'wussified' about Ted Cruz.  Though maybe you just do not know your facts.  That's always possible with leftists.

We, the overwhelming voice of Texas, did.  Paul Sadler received less votes than #0bama.  Hard to say which one is the bigger joke. ijs

tomcat605
tomcat605

@tafeldienst @StaceinTexas Gerrymandering got a Senator elected in Texas??? Asking a nominee to stand behind their statements is a bare minimum expectation. If you want to discuss male wussification you might take a moment and watch Hagel's response....or rather the lack of.

Hardly the type needed as the top civilian at the pentagon.

Anse
Anse

I am quite certain McCarthy cared less for rooting out spies than he did for making a name for himself. The man lied about his service record in the war, lied about his supposed list of spies (was it 205? 57? he himself disavowed his own estimate later on), went after people that the FBI knew for a fact were NOT spies, and generally ruined the lives and reputations of numerous individuals. The man was a menace. His modern-day apologists are very nearly as bad.

pstauber
pstauber

@scottsdalebubbe @pstauber @zsingerb While it's comical that someone would actually cite "salon.com" as a reference (that one will keep be laughing for a good week), even you must admit it hardly counts as an expert on neuropsychiatry. I think you've given every one an excellent example of just what "insanity" looks like. Thank you. Now, back to your padded room "bubbe". (PS - Unless you're some redcoat from England, the correct spelling here in the US is "fetid". Perhaps your dictionary is a bit dated, so I'll let this slide, this time.)

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@pstauber @zsingerb  Recommended reading:  the article in salon.com (originally published in the Scientific American) about the closed universe minds of conspiracists.  Just because your foetid brain has a thought does not make it the same as what is true.  Knowing the difference and respecting it (respect for facts and evidence) is the difference between rationality and insanity.

pstauber
pstauber

@Nativo13 @tomcat605 @zsingerb Just so you know, even liberals cringe when you make religious attacks like that. Show 1 citation from the Bible that says the Bible is 6,000 years old.

jddammit
jddammit

@Anse It was Franklin Roosevelt who brought Hiss to Yalta and Harry Truman who promoted Harry Dexter White to head the International Monetary Fund. Both Truman and Roosevelt entrusted these Soviet agents with top positions long after they had been told that Hiss and White were involved in espionage. But yeah, revisionist history  :  /

During the time that the U.S. Senate was debating whether to condemn McCarthy, Andrei Vishinsky, prosecutor for Stalin’s show trials, passed away after having sent scores of people to their deaths for crimes they didn’t commit. “McCarthy had not sent one person to jail. Yet by a terrible irony of fate,” Arthur Herman notes in his book Joseph McCarthy: “it is his name, not Vishinsky’s, that has been universally remembered and reviled as the symbol of an error of terror and suspicion.”

   So I ask, if one U.S. Senator should be destroyed for allegedly making false accusations of Communism, what should the penalty be for (oh, I don't know......) A U.S. President who willingly employs/promotes a Communist in his administration after the fact?  

"Whitewashing"........ sure thing comrade!

MoFreedom
MoFreedom

There're no revisions as to Jim Crow, as far as I know.  Dems authored the Jim Crow laws, were the white supremacist party, and founders of the Ku Klux Klan.  There's no disagreement on that.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_org_democratic.html

But investigations into the New Deal have brought about new understandings. First, those policies may have been offered and/or shaped by clandestine Russian agents working within the FDR administration.  Secondly, FDR's "make work" policies may have impeded economic recovery.  See Amity Shlaes, "The Forgotten Man".

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

And if you're a progressive, you shouldn't mind revisions.  Economists & historians have far more information at their disposal today than in the past.  So, today's views are likely more accurate than the old school views some seem inclined to hold onto.

Anse
Anse

Embarrass myself? The attempted whitewashing of this pig goes right along with the continued revision of history by rightwing "historians" ranging on topics from the Civil War to Jim Crow to the New Deal and the Great Depression. It's never-ending. McCarthy did more damage than any good, which you would know if you had not drunk the conspiratorial kool-aid so in vogue among howling teabaggers. The embarrassment here is the American rightwing.

MoFreedom
MoFreedom

"Read Blacklisted by History" by M. Stanton Evans & go to some of the websites I posted.  Don't embarass yourself by being the last to know.

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