He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason, said Cruz, was that, “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”Mayer then checks with Republican Charles Fried, of the Harvard Law School faculty, who reports that there are at least four Republicans...and, no, no one who believes in "the Communists overthrowing the United States government."
Now, Chuck Gunner Ted is a smart guy by all accounts; it's unlikely that he really believes the stuff that he's saying, but he knows exactly where the rewards lie in the current GOP.
That's why the effort by Alec MacGillis to defend Cruz is really wrong. Yes, it's true that there's really no reason that new Senators should just shut up and respect their elders for their first several years in office, and it's true that we should be suspicious of stories that quote veteran Senators who are upset with newly elected politicians who won't keep their mouths closed. But if what they're guilty of is McCarthyite tactics, then, yes, the right thing to do is to call them out on it. Whether they've been in the Senate for a few weeks or a few decades. And whether or not it's easier to get confirming quotes from actual Senators for unrelated reasons.
Put it this way: Ted Cruz is choosing what kind of reputation he wants. He's going to be rewarded for that from the sorts of people who promote "Friends of Hamas." Is he also going to suffer penalties from everyone else? He certainly should.