Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Monday, June 4, 2012

In defense of Allen West..

Alright, I'll come flying in with my superhero cape & be the defender of poor allen west.
I'll post your blogger's critiques, & analyze them for you.

Rep. Allen West’s 15 Most Outrageous Statements
By Guest Blogger on Feb 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm
In two short years in the U.S. House of Representatives, congressman Allen West has earned a reputation for making the most irresponsible statements which are clearly intended to attract media attention, spark debate, and fire up his most fervent right-wing supporters. West may be running in a new (more conservative) district this fall, but he’ll still be running on his old record of divisiveness and discord. To refresh everyone’s collective memory about who Allen West is, ThinkProgress has compiled a list of his most outrageous quotes (and it’s anything but pretty):
(1) “YOU ARE NOT A LADY”: In July 2011, West responded to a perceived slight from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-FL) with a fiery letter in which he threatened her and scolded, “You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!” West later said he had apologized, but Wasserman-Schultz said she had not received one.

Here is what i found.. what was said..
shultz, on the house floor, after west had left:
"The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries -- unbelievable from a member from South Florida,"

west, in a personal email response, after hearing her remarks:
"Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige.
"You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!"

I could not find the exact quotes that included the 'not a lady, no respect from me' lines, but i'll concede that they are there.

So shultz criticized west after he left the house floor, he wrote a scathing email, then she released it to the public. They are neighboring congress members of florida districts. their history of fighting & squabbling goes way back. Singling out one part, & ascribing all the blame to west is a pretty lame criticism. So i'm going to put this in the 'made up partisan criticism' category. Why no outrage for shultz for publishing a private email? Seems like i remember someone here getting bent out of shape over a published private message.

(2) JOSEPH GOEBBELS WOULD “BE VERY PROUD” OF DEMOCRATS: In December, West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.” The link to Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945, drew criticism from several members of Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and others.

I haven't heard this, but what's the deal? You never heard bush get called names, or call any other pubs the same or worse? I get called worse than this on the forums, all the time. If anything, what he says is true. The dems DO have a powerful propaganda machine. This is another lame, hypocritical criticism.

(3) LIBERALS “GET THE HELL OUT”: Speaking at the Palm Beach County GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner in last month, West said of liberals, “Take your message of equality of achievement. … You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.” West later tried to walk back the statement, claiming he was only referring to “the message” and not liberals themselves.

Sounds like he was exactly saying their 'message'. So an obvious attempt to spin his words becomes one of your criticisms? That is obvious in the quote.. i didn't even look it up for context.

edit: here is the speech excerpt:
This is a battlefield that we must stand upon. And we need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and my dear friend the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee, we need to let them know that Florida ain’t on the table. Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else! You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America!

(4) “A THREAT TO THE GENE POOL”: In a July 2011 post on the website Red Country, West wrote, “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

Oh, that was so mean.. he's so hateful & scary.. really?.. this is offensive? I've heard much worse from dems about west, bush, palin, or anyone.. i've heard worse personally here. another bogus, hypocritical claim.

(5) “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU”: Before running for Congress, West had a 22-year career in the military, but left after he abused an Iraqi detainee: “This is it. I’m going to count to five again, and if you don’t give me what I want, I’m going to kill you.” He then fired a shot “a foot” over the detainee’s head.

So he scared a terrorist that he was interrogating? To the left this is an indication of 'crackpot'? I thought the idea was to scare the terrorists so you could get information.. waterboarding, etc.. How is this a criticism?

(6) “NUTS!”: West has often clashed with opponents over the issue of Islam. In August 2011, a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked West to sever ties with anti-Muslim activists. In response, West sent a letter which read only, “I am writing to you with regard [sic] your recent letter: NUTS!” Why West chose this response is a mystery, although he might have been quoting a World War II general who responded that way when the Nazis told him to surrender.

Obviously he was.. he is a military man, & has knowledge of military history & was quoting the famous line for effect. How does this make him a crackpot? So far, i haven't seen one of these criticisms to have any validity in attributing an extreme viewpoint or showing an unstable personality. It is all partisan bashing & spin.

(7) “WE ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE OUR MEN BECOME SUBSERVIENT”: In April 2011, West told a conservative women’s conference that liberal women “have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow.”

So you think that men should be subservient to women? I've stopped looking up the exact quotes, since the charges are so lame & transparent. There is nothing to get excited about here.. this is made up hysteria.

(8) “BLINDLY FOLLOWING A COMMANDER IN CHIEF”: Talking with radio host Mark Levin last month, West said Generals “have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military.” What West did not mention was that officers are constitutionally bound to follow the President’s orders unless they are illegal.

"And you know I've had a lot of people ask me about that because the responsibility of our senior generals has to be to the men and women in uniform," West said. "They have to be very careful about blindly following a commander in chief that really does not have the best intent for our military."

I'll admit that this doesn't sound very good on the surface. It is true that the military's oath is to 'protect & defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign & domestic', which does not entail blindly following a commander.. there have been many instances in military history where men did not follow their superiors, & were vindicated, as it was shown the commands were contrary to the higher duty of the soldier. For example, if a superior officer told you to shoot civilians, you wouldn't just obey.  Now if some commander said this same thing regarding bush, i'm sure you wouldn't care at all.  But i would have to hear more of his views of military chain of command, & have him clarify his meaning before i could condemn him for this statement. Without more information, it is hard to understand the context. But, if he means it as a statement of sedition, & is advocating insubordination, i will agree with the criticism. But this is highly unlikely for a career military man. It is more likely, especially lumped with all the other 'criticisms' here, that it is a trumped up distortion of his views.

(9) I AM “THE MODERN-DAY HARRIET TUBMAN”: Speaking with O’Reilly Factor guest host Laura Ingraham in August 2011, West said the Democratic party is a “21st-century plantation.” He added, “So I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”

(Yawn).. that's it? This is some kind of an indicator of a dangerous extremist crackpot?

(10) “LET THEM GET SHOT AT”: In May 2011, the House narrowly defeated a proposal which would have required President Obama to submit a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Of those who voted for the bill, West said, “I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they’d have a different opinion.” This was just months after the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The giffords connection is irrelevant. 'Just months after the shooting?' What a lame attempt at a correlation! He was talking about war. I've heard variations of this phrase many times, from many politicians. Liberals have said things like this. I would take it further, & have heard it said by others.. let the politicians go to war, first. Let them be at the front lines of danger, & see how that changes their decision making.

(11) “WE ALSO SHOULD BE CENSORING THE AMERICAN NEWS AGENCIES”: In response to the whistleblower website Wikileaks releasing thousands of pages of diplomatic cables, West declared: “And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled [Julian Assange] to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts.” West later claimed he only called for “censuring” the media. Either way, it would be a First Amendment violation.

This was directly addressing wikileaks. If we are in a crisis of war.. like ww2, there IS censoring. War correspondents do not have total freedom to report anything they want. If they report things that are aiding & abetting the enemy, it is no longer a free press issue, but a treasonous one based on national security.

(12) “I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS A KIDNAPPING ATTEMPT”: When West first ran for Congress in 2008, the Arab news network Al Jazeera asked for an interview. West recalled, “But my b.s. flag really went up when [Al Jazeera] said they wanted my address, to pick me up at night. They said they would send a car but wouldn’t tell me where it was going. I don’t know if it was a kidnapping attempt. But I am not going to entrust Al Jazeera with my life. I said, ‘Cancel the interview!’”

You're kidding, right? I don't know much about west, but this seems to be a joke from him, & even if he is saying he's afraid of a terrorist supported news agency, what's wrong with that? He might also say the same thing if the KKK said they would be coming by.. at night.. to 'give him a ride'. I would certainly have misgivings if some of the posters here wanted to come by late at night for a vist or to take me for a ride.

(13) RELIGIOUS COEXISTENCE “WOULD GIVE AWAY OUR COUNTRY”: During a March 2011 town hall, West talked about the “Coexist” movement, saying of their bumper stickers: “Every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are.”

So, he is evil because he doesn't like leftists? It seems leftists don't like him, either, so this is the pot calling the kettle black. this is just another partisan shot. It does not indicated any psycho tendencies.. except to the extreme left, who calls everyone on the right a psycho. You added the spin & hysteria by including 'religious'. He was talking about the drivers of the cars & their bumper stickers, not religious liberties. I have heard him give clear support to the 1st amendment..

(14) “GEORGE BUSH GOT SNOOKERED”: During the same town hall, West claimed: “George Bush got snookered into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace.”

I haven't heard this before.. so you don't like anyone criticizing bush? Or is it islam? Are both of those subjects off limits to leftist criticism? Or is it just offensive because you can't stand the idea of bush getting 'snookered'? It has nothing to do with Snookie, so he's not smearing one of the left's role models.

(15) DEMOCRATS SUPPORT “MOST INSIDIOUS FORM OF SLAVERY”: Just yesterday, West accused Democrats of supporting the worst form of slavery known today. “The Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today,” West said.

I heard this one, not long ago..  i saw the video of the speech.

"We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock" ~Allen West

"..Minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us. Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom." ~Allen West

Sounds pretty good & accurate to me.. how is this the ravings of a madman?

“I’m very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric,” West said of President Obama in December, apparently unaware of the glaring irony. 
– Zachary Bernstein

Zach, this is the only one where i'll agree with you, & you didn't even number it. His partisan divisiveness is not much difference than obama's. Of course, a congressman in a district isn't usually scrutinized that much, nationally, while a president should be. So if anything, you making an issue of it is more of a backhanded slam of obama.

I've done this before (reply to long lists), with usually the same result. No effort is given to rebut, but once the light of truth is shown, the distorters run & hide like cockroaches in a welfare queen's kitchen. This big list of 'scary proofs' is nothing but distortions & partisan smears, with no basis in reality. They are either common political discourse, or blatant misrepresentations.

If anything, i would not think the left would be that keen on giving air time to west. He's a pretty straight shooting guy.. the kind that the american people like.. We are tired of the mealy mouthed politicians.. who change messages depending on the audience. Someone who speaks their mind, like christie & west, are refreshing changes from the run of the mill politicians that infest the country. But i do appreciate the challenge to look up more about him.. the more i read & hear, the more i like him. I've added him to my twitter feed & facebook. He's got some good ideas, is not afraid to speak his mind, & doesn't hide behind innuendo & double speak. He might very well make a good vp for romney, who is more like the other pols. He's a tp fave, & is getting quite a following. If this is the best vetting the left can do with him he should be good. O has more skeletons in his closet than west. If there isn't something more damning forthcoming, his name will definitely be on the short list for vp. Thanks for having me research him more.

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