Commies in Congress?
In just one more example of the GOP rhetoric that has been pushing its base across the line between reason and rage, a Florida representative told attendees at a "town hall meeting" that 81 Democrats are members of the Communist Party.
"I believe there is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party," said Rep. Allen West.
A spokeswoman for West said he was referring to the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which the Communist Party has called "its allies."
"The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself," said Angela Melvin, the spokeswoman. "These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom."
Campaign Manager Tim Edson added fuel to the fire when he said that "some" Democratic members have traveled to Cuba in recent years and "certain" members have praised Castro (two, to be exact - Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and former California congresswoman Diane Watson, both members of the Progressive Caucus).
Edson reiterated Melvin's comment: "Call them what you want; they're clearly people who oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom. We can quibble about the terminology used to describe them, but it's clear. Whatever you call people that oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom - maybe it's 'socialist,' maybe it's 'Communist' ..."
We're pretty sure the members of the CPC, including the founder, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist who represents Vermont in Congress, don't oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom, but if you put the words "unbridled and unregulated" in front of those three things, they would probably agree.
West, a first-term representative, has become famous for his outrageous and offensive comments.
He called Fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz vile, despicable, not a lady and a coward.
Earlier this year he said President Obama and liberals should "Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America."
West has also been derisive of the LGBT community, saying people can change their sexual orientation "like ice cream flavors."
Taking West's most recent comments at face value, he is calling both Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch, who is also a member of the CPC, communists.
"We're not quite sure what planet Mr. West lives on, but McCarthyite red-baiting won't work in 2012," Sanders told the Reformer on Wednesday.
In 2010, when Welch was running for Congress, one of his opponents alleged Welch was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Welch said he had never heard of the organization.
At the time, the director of the DSA laughed about Williams' comments because in his mind, the members of the CPC were "die-hard capitalists" and aren't even worthy of the title "socialist."
For the record, the CPC was founded in 1991 by Sanders to reflect "the diversity and strength of the American people and ... to give voice to the needs and aspirations of all Americans and to build a more just and humane society."
But on April 11, The Cypress Times quoted an article in the Canada Free Press from August 2009 in which JB Williams wrote: "After decades of failed attempts to take over America via their third party initiatives that couldn't break America's two party system, leaders of both the Communist Party USA and Socialist Party USA chose a new strategy.
"To gain full control of the Democrat Party, DSA leadership established two congressional legislative bodies, headed by DSA/CPUSA/SPUSA members. Today, these are the two congressional bodies in control of congress.
"They are the Congressional Progressive Caucus established by Socialist Party member Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and the Congressional Black Caucus established by Communist Party member John Conyers of Michigan."
(While we are pretty sure Conyers is not a communist, we will admit he did speak to the Communist Party USA during a meeting in 1965.)
If the last few years are any indication, the socialists and communists have utterly failed in their attempt to take over Congress.
All one has to do is take a look at the CPC's website and there you will find its agenda is based on four core principles that "reflect a fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Those principles are: Fighting for economic justice and security for all; protecting and preserving our civil rights and civil liberties; promoting global peace and security; and advancing environmental protection and energy independence.
In Bernie's words: "The Progressive Caucus is fighting for working families, children, the sick and the poor."
If that makes them communists, sign us up.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.