Beliefs

Allen West “believes” that about 80 of his Democratic colleagues in the House are “members of the Communist Party.”

Allen West “believes” that “about 78 to 81” of his Democratic colleagues in the House are “members of the Communist Party.”

I believe that between 78% and 81% of Rep. Allen West’s sexual activity consists of buggering underage budgerigars.

Seriously, is there anything a Republican Member of Congress or political candidate can say that will lead his co-partisans to say “Sorry, that’s over the line”? This is the clown Sarah Palin wants to see as Romney’s running-mate. Any chance that we’ll see a resolution of censure? Not to pass it, of course: just to make the SOBs vote against it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

36 thoughts on “Beliefs”

    1. We have all seen John Lewis’ three volume, 1550 page “Commentary on and Exegesis of the Critique of the Gotha Program,” haven’t we? Who needs a list?

        1. You are correct, sir, and that points out Mr West’s source. He’s obviously getting his information direct from a highly placed D-party insider: It was Heinz ketchup. (Really: It was.) That means that Senator Kerry is obviously Mr West’s source, after listening to his (Kerry’s) European-influenced wife…

          There, have I set up enough possible conspiracy theories?

  1. A grotesquely unfair criticism. Did you see those budgies? Anybody would have sworn they were 18.

  2. If one talks like a communist, votes like a communist, and associates with members of the Communist Party – isn’t it one a communist? The word ‘party’ can refer to a person or group taking one side of a question, dispute, or contest.

    I’m just saying.

        1. Sorry, I thought that’s what this blog was about- seeing something that Republicans do that you don’t like (ie, West says that a large number of Democrats are communists) and then responding with personal insults (buggering underage budgerigars) and straw men arguments (is there anything a Republican Member of Congress or political candidate can say) followed by a little character assassination too (clown Sarah Palin).

          Did I miss something? Was it the SOB comment- is that where the logical, moral, and philosophical argument was? Sorry, I’ll re-read the original post- maybe I missed the deeper meaning that you all found in it.

          1. Sorry, but isn’t it up to West to provide the argument? If I accuse you of being a bank robber you are under no obligation to provide proof that you aren’t.

            When he makes a stupid, baseless, and insulting statement about “78 to 81” members of Congress, in effect accusing them of disloyalty, it’s fair to ask whether members of his party consider it an appropriate comment. And it’s fair to point out how idiotic it is by making an obviously humorous accusation against him.

      1. A Conservative Teacher – you seem slightly confused about how this English language thing works. Isn’t that a handicap in your profession?

    1. Name these Democratic members of Congress who vote like a Communist and who associate with members of the Communist Party. In fact, name even one. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

      1. West “clarified” that he meant the membership of the progressive caucus. He also implied it was a joke. I suppose the delivery of this “joke” was everything.

        1. The question he was asked was about the number of “card-carrying” Communists in the US Congress. He specifically spoke about members of the Communist Party or CPUSA. What he said, in context, was that all the members of the progressive caucus were Communists. How is that a “joke”? Is there anything in the context of the actual words spoken, either by the questioner or by West, would would imply that his response was in jest? I don’t see any and the reporters seem not to be interested in asking West to explain himself.

  3. If I am not greatly mistaken, the way they might say this down South is, “Allen West, bless his heart, believes that about 80 of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party.”

    1. I’m laughing so hard I could pee my pants at that comment! I moved to North Carolina a few years ago (from Louisiana…..where they don’t say that, by the way) and learned all about that little piece of wit. And, if they really don’t even want to cover up their contempt for the object of this comment they will just say “bless IT’S heart”…..

  4. “Seriously, is there anything a Republican Member of Congress or political candidate can say that will lead his co-partisans to say “Sorry, that’s over the line”?”

    Yes. Hint at any willingness to do the sane fiscal thing and raise taxes on the super-rich.

  5. Piling on, his estimate of “78 – 81” missed the mark of the membership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus: 76.

    1. I’m sure he’s identified at least five fellow-travelers who aren’t formally members of the Progressive Caucus on the list in his hand.

  6. I’m less worried about what one not so smart member of Congress thinks (though I did feel a brief urge to quote Mark Twain that I had to suppress).

    I’m more concerned about how many voters, if asked in a poll, would agree that Allen West is right (or at least has a point). See Jeff and the Conservative Teacher above.

    Don’t schools teach anymore what Communism actually is?

    1. Katja: Don’t schools teach anymore what Communism actually is?

      There was a wonderful study in the 1950s, when Joe McCarthy was in office. A researcher stopped people on the street in his home state and asked them they opposed communism, and just about all of them said oh yes they strongly opposed it. The next question was “What is Communism?” and not a single person gave the correct answer.

  7. No, schools don’t do that. While an informed discussion would reveal West is an idiot, it might also lead to too many people noticing that elements of both communism and fascism have been incorporated into our public policy, and to wonder whether that’s really a good thing. And that’s a conversation policy makers don’t want to have.

    The goal of public education is useful, subservient proles. Not people informed enough to possibly dissent.

    1. Shouldn’t public policies be evaluated on their own merits, and not on whether they happened to be endorsed by fascists or communists?

      1. Yeah, the only examples out of the famous 10 points in the Communist Manifesto that I can see reflected in modern American society in some form are progressive taxes, abolition of child factory labor, and free education of children in public schools.

        As to progressive taxes, those weren’t originally proposed by Marx and Engels, but by raving socialist firebrand Adam Smith in “The Wealth of Nations”.

        As to abolition of child factory labor, I suspect that is something that even the modern Republican party might endorse. I am not completely certain, though.

        And if free public education for children is a particularly Communist idea, then Frederick the Great’s Prussia was a crypto-communist country (before Marx was even born).

        But I just don’t see the “abolition of property in land”, the “establishment of industrial armies” , or the “centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State”.

        1. “As to abolition of child factory labor…” – Newt and a number of Republican office holders have proposed rolling back child labor laws.

          “And if free public education for children… Frederick the Great’s Prussia was a crypto-communist country” – Frederick is dismissed because of his suspected sexual orientation. Bismark is the crypto-communist for implementing Social Security.

  8. It appears that, after quite a long pause, West delivered the punch line (something along the lines of “The entire Progressive Caucus!” ba dum dum). In the end, it SEEMS as if the communist crack was the setup of a poorly delivered joke, such as “conservatives” appear to understand the term.

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/04/allen-west-campaign-blasts-stupid-reporter-releases-full-video-of-west-calling-house-progressives-co.php?ref=fpb

  9. When you watch the video, the story that this is a badly delivered joke looks a lot less probable than that there actually are 81 dues paying members of the Communist party in Congress.

  10. This is a guy who was fired from his previous job for torturing a prisoner. That he is in congress at all says pretty much what one needs to know about the party that welcomes him.

    1. This really can’t be repeated enough. The fact that the name of an insane moron is being bandied about for Republican VP is no surprise but the fact that Republicans are so enthusiastic about a guy who got kicked out of the army for torturing someone is…well, no, I guess that’s not a surprise either.

      1. For that matter, it’s no surprise that Biden is a heartbeat away from the oval office, but can’t we agree that the practice of picking VPs as life insurance policies has to end?

  11. Imagine what a caucus of 78 real Communists would be doing to Allen Wset and his friends. Budgie-buggering charges would be the least of it. You know, people like V.I. Lenin, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Georgi Dimitrov, Will Muenzenberg, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Josep Broz, and Mao Tse Tung. Even one fruitcakr Trotskyite like George Galloway was able to have a lot of fun at the expense of a US Senate committee that had forgotten what the hard left looks like..

    1. James: Even one fruitcakr Trotskyite like George Galloway was able to have a lot of fun at the expense of a US Senate committee that had forgotten what the hard left looks like.

      That, I think had more to do with the US Senate being a rather milquetoast affair compared to the House of Commons (which is what Galloway was used to). How many US Senators could handle Westminster-style question time at the dispatch box?

  12. What about all the fascists in the republican party? Do we have a dem ready to stand up and project a number on that one? No? Didn’t think so. Sad

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