Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Joe McCarthy and Senator Fred Van Ackerman
One of my favorite authors is Allen Drury.
In fact, he was the first “modern” author I had read outside of the classics.
That’s what happens when you grow up in a household where your Mother is an English teacher and Chaucer was her main field.
Drury wrote four fictional books that were based on Washington DC and politics.
I came from a family that was semi-active in politics, but very strong on opinion, and it was Drury’s books that gave me the “bug” for politics.
He was the first author to write about a Senator, before Robert Kennedy’s murder, assassinated while running for President and that was in his 1962 novel, A Shade of Difference.
The reason I started this post with the reference to Advice and Consent will be explained a bit further in this piece.
Many months ago I had mentioned to several people how I thought Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, reminded me of the late Senator from Wisconsin, anti-communist crusader, Republican Joe McCarthy.
I marveled at the similarity in tone; style; rhetoric; philosophy and even to the fact that they look a like.
Many have stressed that Joe McCarthy was one of the most vicious, calculating and self-serving Senators of modern times, but now we have Senator Ted Cruz.
The Freshman Senator from Maine, Margret Chase Smith, herself a Republican, summed up the feelings of many in Congress, and the Nation, on June 1st, 1950, when she spoke about McCarthy and McCarthyism.
“Mr. President,” she began, “I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition…. The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body…. But recently that deliberative character has…been debased to…a forum of hate and character assassination.”
“Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America,” she complained. “It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”
She asked her fellow Republicans not to ride to political victory on the “Four Horsemen of Calumny–Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”
Now we have Senator Cruz, and his “tea baggers”, again high jacking the Congress by debasing it into a “forum of hate and character assassination.”
McCarthyism has been revived by the Texas Senator in the name of “Patriotism.”
He attacks “Obamacare” as tho it was infesting the nation, as did McCarthy on communism.
He is willing to bring about economic chaos to the nation, and it’s citizens, in the name of patriotism.
He is willing to charge ahead with the “Four Horsemen-Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.”
The fictional Senator from Wyoming, Fred Van Ackerman, in Drury’s Advise and Consent, also used vile and devious methods to carry out his political agenda.
His less than civil methods and concerns caused another Senator to commit suicide.
When the leader of the Senate, and the same party as Van Ackerman, confronted him, Van Ackerman’s answer, “What I did, it was for the good of the country.”
Senator Bob Munson answered, “Fortunately, our country always manages to survive patriots like you.”
Hopefully, and prayerfully, this nation will survive Cruz’s Tea Party brand of “patriotism” like we survived McCarthy.