Ellison, Progressive Caucus: West’s communism remarks McCarthy-esque

At an event in his district Tuesday evening, a constituent asked West, “What percentage of the American Legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?” He responded that he believed “78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party … are members of the Communist Party.”

A spokesman later told Politico that West was referring to the members of the Progressive Caucus, a group of Democrats and left-leaning independents that back policies predominantly more liberal than those advanced by Republicans and even many Democrats.

“Allen West is denigrating the millions of Americans who voted to elect Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) members, and he is ignoring the oath they took to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution—just like he did. Calling fellow Members of Congress ‘communists’ is reminiscent of the days when Joe McCarthy divided Americans with name-calling and modern-day witch hunts that don’t advance policies to benefit people’s lives.

“We hope the people of Florida’s 22nd Congressional District will note that he repeatedly polarizes the American people instead of focusing on their interests. When people like Rep. West have no ideals or principles, they rely on personal attacks. The CPC is proud to stand up for economic equality and civil and human rights for all Americans. Congress is having, and will continue to have, an ongoing debate about job creation, home foreclosures and the issues that concern working families. But we will not engage in base and childish conversations that lower the high level of discourse Americans rightly expect from their representatives.”

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Comments (20)

  1. Submitted by Ross Williams on 04/11/2012 - 08:57 pm.

    The Cold War is Over

    There is a difference between being evil and being stupid. West’s comments are just stupid. McCarthy’s were calculated evil.

    If you want to see evil, look at the attacks on Ozzie Guillen by the “freedom lovers” in Miami. They have consequences.

    • Submitted by Gary Doan on 04/12/2012 - 12:28 am.

      McCarthy was wrong jailing and deporting Communists, he was not wrong about the Communist infiltration of America. He should just have identified the problem to the public. He got fried by Hollywood and the media and his name has been used ever since, as a clock of invisibility, at the mere mention of Communism in America.

      • Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 04/12/2012 - 04:34 pm.

        McCarhty was right about what?

        Well, I suppose even if the “clock of invisibility” is right twice a day, that’s more than West and McCarthy could combine for.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/11/2012 - 09:57 pm.

    Joe McCarthy was right

    Among the most notorious Soviet spies in high-level positions in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, proven by Soviet cables, were:

    Alger Hiss at the State Department
    Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury Department
    Lauchlin Currie, personal assistant to President Roosevelt
    Laurence Duggan, head of the Latin American Desk at the State Department
    Frank Coe, US representative on the International Monetary Fund
    Solomon Adler, senior Treasury Department official
    Klaus Fuchs, top atomic scientist
    Duncan Lee, senior aide to the head of the OSS

    And as far as I know, none of them openly advocated for “economic equality” the way the congressman has, which is at the very foundation of that party and certainly isn’t even hinted at in our constitution.

    • Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 04/12/2012 - 12:39 pm.

      But he was wrong too

      Will you also write up a list of those who were wrongly accused? How about a list of those purposely accused for political purposes only? Nah, hand don’t bother, they were only collateral damage.

    • Submitted by Sean Huntley on 04/12/2012 - 01:32 pm.

      A lot of words that in no way shape or form back up war criminal West’s lie. You might as well have said “Look! The Goodyear blimp!”

  3. Submitted by Gary Doan on 04/11/2012 - 11:09 pm.

    Allen Weat

    Allen West will not back down. He commented earlier about media attacks “bring it on!”. He also said at the same time he was asked about Marxists, the he would love to debate President Obama, but that would never happen, because President Obama would be scared to debate him. He can defend his position, just watch.

    • Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 04/12/2012 - 10:19 am.

      Not Defensible!

      There are no “members of the Communist Party” serving in Congress. He cannot defend his statement because it is simply not true. He may not agree with their progressive or liberal politics but that does not make them “members of the Communist Party”. Using the Allen West standard, one could now say that there are 70-80 Republicans who are members of the Nazi Party because they are identified with the tea party movement which some believe borders on facist. That statement would be equally false. And, Presidents of the United States do not engage in debates with first term House members like Rep. West; President Geoge W. Bush never debated Rep. Keith Ellison either.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/12/2012 - 12:11 pm.

        The nazi party was socialist

        with policies more in line with Obama’s than any republican’s. Republicans aren’t forcing you to do anything but to accept your own freedom.

        • Submitted by Brian Nelson on 04/12/2012 - 03:44 pm.

          Dennis, you’re absolutely wrong again.

          The Nazi’s were “socialist” in name only. As I am sure you will recall the only party to vote against the Enabling Act of 1933 (the act which established Hitler as dictator) was the Social Democratic Party. Germany’s socialist party. As you know, the National Socialists were socialist in name only and were Fascist.

          As for your other point… Republicans desire to limit free elections with the voter ID nonsense (A solution looking for a problem), limit a woman’s access to birth control and family planning, ban two consenting adults from marrying, and not allow a group of workers to organize.

          Dennis, you even once stated that you don’t think women should be able to vote.

          Yours is not a party of freedom, it is a party of fear. Indeed, it appears to have more in common with the “Enabled” party of the early 1930s.

          • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 04/13/2012 - 03:27 am.

            Brian – your facts aren’t right either

            It’s always a treat to see the lack of informed always trying to link the GOP to the Nazis when the only thing they have in common was a strong sense if nationalism. Limiting media, forced collective bargaining, extensive labor rights above all, constant definition of separating people, concentration of power to government-those are liberal plays. The Nazi party was a union workers’ party that used strong arm tactics to get their in-country socialism way…as led to the brownshirts. They were tired of what the treaty to end wwi did to Germany and began a long history of violence and eventually laws to quiet dissent and other views and eventually concentration to only one party. Sounds like a lot of modern liberalism.

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 04/12/2012 - 09:17 am.

    It always the same..

    the intellectually weak just resort to applying lables when they have no facts. West is a political lightweight, in the vein of Michelle, a political Kardashian.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/12/2012 - 09:18 am.

    The commie pinko’s ARE trying to take over the government. Just listen one of them:


    I got the chance after I lost to John McCain last time, to go over to — that was the good part of losing — I got to go to the Olympic Games in China. It’s pretty impressive over there how quickly they can build things, how productive they are as a society. You should see their airport compared to our airports, their highways, their train systems. They’re moving quickly in part because the regulators see their job as encouraging private people. It’s amazing. The head of Coca-Cola said the business environment is friendlier in China than in America. And that’s because of the regulators. That’s because of government.

    Mitt Romney, Jackson MS, 3/9/12

    (end quote)

  6. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 04/12/2012 - 10:10 am.

    Very informative story

    Not necessarily for the story itself, but to expose some right-wing nuts in the comments.

  7. Submitted by Nathaniel Finch on 04/12/2012 - 10:28 am.

    I wish we did have commies in Congress…

    If only there were a few communists in Congress. We have all kinds of right-wing near-fascists in Congress. Why not a few communists too to provide a little diversity of opinion.

    For that matter, we never hear from any self-avowed practicing socialists or communists in any of our media outlets (including MinnPost). Why not? Are these people’s opinions that scary? Are Americans too vulnerable to hear from them? We’re allowed to hear from all sorts of scary people from the right wing.

    • Submitted by Herbert Davis on 04/12/2012 - 01:04 pm.

      agreement with N.Finch!

      …well said, there is certainly not objective coverage of much if the perspective of the socialists is continously ignored…

  8. Submitted by Andrew Richner on 04/12/2012 - 12:36 pm.

    A Dirty Word

    And what would it mean if Keith Ellison were a communist (n.b. little c, not Stalinist, Maoist, or any other nationalist party)? It’s just one political position out of many. No other political label is such a dirty word. Imagine that he had called him a libertarian. Would the witch hunt imagery be immediately conjured up? Even if he had called him a Nazi, the rhetorical pitch would be much more subdued.

    I also wonder whether Mr. Ellison or Mr. West could accurately describe the political, economic, and philosophical thought of Karl Marx. If we can’t expect them to explain why such a label should be so objectionable to them both, shouldn’t we at least hold them to the standard of knowing what they’re talking about?

    • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/12/2012 - 04:54 pm.

      What would it mean?

      “What would it mean if Keith Ellison were a communist? It is just one political position out of many.”

      – I think Mr. Ellison took an oath to support and defend the constitution. Of course, Mr. Richner, if you are saying the constitution has room for communists, the constitution can mean whatever you desire.

      • Submitted by Andrew Richner on 04/13/2012 - 12:37 pm.


        Obviously I have my own ideas, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. I’m interested to know: what conflict do you see between the constitution and communism?

  9. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 04/12/2012 - 04:10 pm.

    There may well be fascists in our government

    Please google “The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism” for a good description of the economic fascism our country seems to be drifting toward.

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