There is an interesting phenomenon sweeping the liberal press in the US these days –comparing Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz to 1950’s Commie-baiter and inveterate liar, Senator Joseph McCarthy. Those of us of a certain age remember sitting as kids in a movie theatre for a Saturday matinee. In those days before we got to the double feature, they would kick things off with a cartoon and something quaintly called the newsreel—a 10 or 15 minute roundup of filmed news stories—mostly American; and it was from these that 7 and 8 year old Canadians saw Senator McCarthy grilling movie stars, screenwriters– mainly Jewish, and assorted government officials about their past ties to Communism. The entire era is well captured in George Clooney’s 2005 movie, Good Night and Good Luck.
There is a physical resemblance of sorts between Cruz and McCarthy—both men are somewhat baby-faced, and both have bushy eyebrows. The similarities go beyond the physical, however. Just as McCarthy made outrageous, and often unprovable claims about sinister Communist fifth-columnists occupying high positions in government; Cruz also favors hyperbole. He suggested that at the Harvard Law School you could find more teachers who were Communist than were Republicans, adding for good measure that on that basis, Barack Obama would have made a perfect president for the school. Like McCarthy Cruz is willing to smear first and prove it later– or not at all. During the hearings into Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defence secretary Cruz suggested the twice-wounded Viet Nam war hero had taken secret payments from the North Koreans. The attack earned him a strong rebuke from fellow republican senators like John McCain. Ultimately for McCarthy his increasingly irrational witch hunting tactics eventually so alienated his senate colleagues that they formally censured him. Ted Cruz is well on his way to a similar fate, but in the meantime he can create a lot of mayhem.
With this edition of the Bay Observer we quietly observe the end of five years of publication. Can you imagine launching any business venture in October of 2008? The TSX lost 35% of its value that year. Consumer confidence was at a low ebb. Things were pretty scary. Advertisers would say, “we’re going to hold off till we see how you make out.” Thanks to those who took the early plunge and to those who have subsequently chosen to reach their customers through our publication. What we set out to do then, and continue to do is create a news product that people want to read from cover to cover and thereby create a productive environment for our advertisers. We try to provide a little different perspective for our loyal readers who make our day when they say they look forward to every edition. We don’t intend to rest until we have justified the faith that they, our advertisers and very important—our investors—have placed in us. Thanks everybody.