Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Profiles in Courage: Allen West

Rep. Allen West continues to say inflammatory things and then not have the courage to stand behind his words. The latest example is West publicly stating that "78 to 81" congressional Democrats are members of the Communist Party.

West at a Jenson Beach townhall meeting.

Question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or international socialists?”

Answer: “That’s a good question. I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

That's a stupid question. The answer is pure McCarthyism politics.

McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents. Originally coined to criticize the anti-communist pursuits of Republican U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, "McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses of similar efforts. The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.

West isn't as brave as his tough guy image leads his followers to believe. West and his staff are now trying to pretend that the Congressman didn't accuse Democrats of being communists. Never mind what reality or the transcript says. West a his team will deny, deny and deny. This tells me that West may not believe his own fearmongering rhetoric. Which means he is just a political opportunist playing to the most angry and dangerous of the electorate. That is even more pathetic than someone too cowardly to stay true to his fringe beliefs that Congress has been infiltrated by commies.

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