"Is Senator Ted Cruz our new McCarthy?" asks this weekend's New Yorker. The question is based on a speech Cruz (R-TX) made in 2010, in which he accused Harvard Law School of "harboring a dozen Communists on its faculty when he studied there."
"There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists!" said Cruz. "There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government."
Cruz has his facts wrong, says Harvard Law School Prof. Charles Fried, a Republican who served under Reagan. Fried told the New Yorker that he knows other Republicans on the faculty. He added that some faculty members "were quite radical, but I doubt if any had allegiance or sympathy with anything called 'the Communists,' and certainly wouldn't want to overthrow the government."
For his part Cruz has doubled down. "Senator Cruz's substantive point was absolutely correct," his spokeswoman told the Blaze. "In the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of 'critical legal studies' - a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism."
Cruz was first compared to McCarthy after he aggressively questioned Chuck Hagel two weeks ago. MSNBC's Chris Matthews proclaimed that "this is McCarthyism," while Daily Kos writer Meteor Blades called the questioning a "rancid McCarthyist display."