New York (CNN) -- "I have here in my hand a list of 205 communists ..."
The ghost of Joe McCarthy's ulcerous accusations hung over a disturbingly casual comment this past week by U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Florida.
When asked by a constituent at a town hall, "What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?"
"That's a fair question," West replied. "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party."
Keep in mind that this is the man Sarah Palin recently recommended be Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee.