Video: Bill Moyers – The Ghost Of Joe McCarthy Slithers Again
Back in April of this year, Bill Moyers connected the disgrace of McCarthyism of the past to its modern resurgence in the comments of Tea Party member Rep. Allen West and others in “The Ghost of McCarthyism” aired on April 26, 2012, raising the question: Haven’t we learned this lesson already?
Bill Moyer’s 9 minute video begins with Tea Party favorite Rep. Allen West:
“We’ve talked at times about George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, and the amnesia that sets in when we flush events down the memory hole, leaving us at the mercy of only what we know today. Sometimes, though, the past comes back to haunt, like a ghost. It happened recently when we saw Congressman Allen West of Florida on the news.
A Republican and Tea Party favorite, he was asked at a local gathering how many of his fellow members of Congress are “card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists.”
He replied, “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”
By now, little of what Allen West says ever surprises. He has called President Obama “a low level socialist agitator,” said anyone with an Obama bumper sticker on their car is “a threat to the gene pool” and told liberals like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to “get the hell out of the United States of America”. Apparently, he gets his talking points from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or the discredited right-wing rocker Ted Nugent.
But this time, we shook our heads in disbelief: “78 to 81 Democrats… members of the Communist Party?” That’s the moment the memory hole opened up and a ghost slithered into the room. The specter stood there, watching the screen, a snickering smile on its stubbled face. Sure enough, it was the ghost of Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin farm boy who grew up to become one of the most contemptible thugs in American politics. “
Moyers ends with the following warning:
” So beware, Congressman West, beware: In the flammable pool of toxic paranoia that passes these days as patriotism in America, a single careless match can light an inferno. You would serve your country well to withdraw your remarks and apologize for them. But if not, perhaps there are members of your own party, as possessed of conscience and as courageous as that handful of Republicans who took on Joseph McCarthy, who will now abandon fear and throw cold water on your incendiary remarks.”