The liberal media have their knives out for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after his textbook cross-examination of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel at the latter’s confirmation hearing Jan. 31. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker seized on a speech Cruz gave three years ago in which he asserted that when he was at Harvard Law School, shortly after Barack Obama, there were twelve Marxists on the faculty and one Republican.
That, Mayer alleges, is evidence of Cruz’s innate McCarthyism--and hence, she implies, ought to discredit Cruz’s inquiries into Hagel’s beliefs and financial backing. That’s rich coming from the New Yorker’s resident Koch-obsessive, who launched a McCarthyist assault on the Tea Party in 2010, asserting it was mere Astroturf for the “billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama,” and demanding more scrutiny of the Kochs’ ties to it.
Her current campaign against Cruz is a pure political vendetta--a fact she does not even try to deny. In her latest offering, she defends her sudden interest in the 2010 speech as follows: “...Cruz’s hostile questioning of Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, and insinuations about Hagel’s loyalties had provided a fresh context for looking more closely at the nature of the accusations he has leveled at political opponents.”
In terms of accusations against one’s opponents, it’s hard to top Mayer’s suggestion that millions of conservative Americans are paid stooges--or Obama’s numerous attacks on opponents using false accusations and innuendo. Remember the doctors who cut out kids’ tonsils for no reason except greed? The Republican presidential nominee who just might be a felon, and may have killed a man’s wife? Few complaints from Mayer there.
In fact, Mayer gave positive coverage to the anti-Bain Capital ads that ran against Romney in Ohio. In a post-election article on Nov. 19, 2012, "Seeing Spots," Mayer noted that the ad about a worker's dead wife was inaccurate. She nonetheless celebrated the company that made it for another ad in the series, "Stage," which helped "to float the image of Romney as a coldhearted fat cat" and gave Obama a decisive advantage in the polls.
Cruz was absolutely correct that there were, and are, many radicals on Harvard Law’s faculty, and few Republicans. Give the Texan a technical for hyperbole: he may have over-counted the Communist revolutionaries, and undercounted the Republicans. But Mayer turns to two dubious sources to attack Cruz’s assertion. One is Charles Fried, the former Reagan solicitor general; the other is critical legal studies guru Duncan Kennedy.
Fried was a Republican. He is far to the left of that party today. In 2008, Fried voted for Barack Obama. In 2011, in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he declared that Obamacare’s individual mandate was constitutional--even agreeing that it would be constitutional for Congress to pass a law forcing people to buy vegetables or buy a gym membership. Though it upheld Obamacare, the Supreme Court rejected that argument.
As for Kennedy, he is not a Communist, and says he never “believed in the overthrow of the U.S. Government.” Yet he believes in the undoing of much that sustains our system. of laws and institutions. For example, when I was a student, he once told me that the solution to the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico was to end the border entirely, i.e. to be one country. That would have rather radical implications for our government.
One of Kennedy’s colleagues, Roberto Unger, is a fellow member of the critical legal studies movement. He is not a Communist, but a self-described leftist revolutionary nonetheless. I took two classes with Unger while I was an undergraduate, and he attacked the American “cult of the Constitution,” arguing that the world’s present countries with a new system in which each represented a different (leftist) “moral” vision.
Several members of Harvard Law’s faculty espouse other radical left ideas. They are not card-carrying Communists, but some do see themselves as proponents of different forms of Marxist thought, and would like to see revolutionary changes in both the U.S. government and the international order. Saul Alinsky, too, was not a Communist--but he believed in the radical disruption of our political system and the redistribution of wealth.
Those views are distinguishable from formal Communism only by virtue of the fact that they do not call for a proletarian dictatorship. Our contemporary “social democrats” wish to impose such revolutionary changes through our present political system, transforming our Constitution and our society through democratic means. There are far more of such radical professors at Harvard Law School than those who defend conservative thought.
The media’s crusade against Cruz proves that in Obama’s America, it is considered far worse to accuse someone of being a Marxist than to be one. The same journalists who demand full disclosure of every penny that conservative financiers might have put into lobbying or politics now mock Cruz’s attempt to probe Hagel’s financial disclosures--or the lack thereof, since Hagel has refused to supply much of the requested information.
It is certainly of interest that a man who would lead the Pentagon would have close ties to an organization funded by the Saudi government, the Hariri family, and foreign arms dealers, among others. Had Hagel been chairman of Americans for Prosperity, Mayer would no doubt be clamoring for a full-scale investigation into the Kochs. Instead, she is leading a smear campaign against Cruz, one of the few in D.C. actually doing his job.