West Raises Money Off Communist Libel

West Raises Money Off Communist Libel April 20, 2012

Rep. Allen West shows that he is as brazen and corrupt as he is dishonest and crazy by sending out a fundraising letter trying to raise money from his repulsive accusation that all of the members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are communists.

In an email blast to supporters Friday from his reelection campaign, West says he’s been a target of the political left for good reason: It’s because he’s “not afraid to speak the truth.”

“That’s why I’m the number one target of liberals and their friends in the media who are going completely nuts about my comments at a recent Townhall meeting,” he wrote in the email.

It goes on to add, “In response to a question about Marxists in Congress, I called out the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their extreme left-wing positions. I stand by the point of my comments and I need you to stand with me today by making a contribution of $10 or more.”

John Avlon wonders where the outrage is among Republicans:

The number West picked out was apparently based on the number of congressmen affiliated with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. This is an organization of the most liberal members of Congress, but to call them communists is a slander splashed with blood.

Communists, of course, murdered more than 100 million people in the past century, if you add up the rough total of butchery by Vladimir Lenin (Soviet Union), Joseph Stalin (Soviet Union), Mao Zedong (China) and Pol Pot (Cambodia). This is the reason people were understandably offended at Miami Manager Ozzie Guillen’s recent comments professing admiration for Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro.

But there were no widespread protests or requests for censure in West’s case. Instead it was greeted as an almost unremarkable part of the new normal.

A military man of West’s rank understands the magnitude of his misstatement. So I’m assuming that he was sincere in the accusation.

To equate liberals in Congress with communists is like equating conservatives in Congress with fascists — something only the most brain-dead Occupy protester would attempt.

And just for a moment imagine if a liberal member of Congress made an equal and opposite accusation, saying that all the members of the tea party caucus were Nazis. It would be rightly greeted with wall-to-wall outrage.

But the asymmetric polarization of our politics has made such accusations within the easy reach of politically successful ideologues at unguarded moments.

West’s comments were simply extensions of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s infamous statement in 2008 about how then-candidate Barack Obama — and many Democratic members of Congress — held “anti-American views.”

They really believe this stuff: Anyone who is not avowedly conservative is considered liberal — and therefore anyone who is avowedly liberal is considered communist. This is not a little insane.

And yes, there are people on the left who claim that all Republicans or conservatives are fascists — but not sitting congressman, for crying out loud. That’s reserved for the fringes, but in the Republican party today the fringe has become the mainstream. That’s why not a single prominent Republican has said a word about West’s vile slander. Hyperbolic accusations of evil are the standard mode of discourse for the right these days; that’s why we hear constantly that Obama is a communist and a Muslim who coddles terrorists.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • raven

    Commies?? Really??

    That is just so 1950’s.

    West should have called them secret atheists or Moslems. It’s a complete lie but so what? So is calling them commies.

  • thalwen

    Problem is, most people don’t have a clue as to what Communism really was because the way schools teach history, government and especially world history is beyond pathetic. I was born in the USSR so I’ve seen things from both sides and both sides use the words Communism/Capitalist as scare tactics. Maybe if people were taught the economic/political ideology behind them, they’d just consign them to the bin of boring history facts they had to learn in school instead of rallying cries for loonies.

  • Well, anybody with a lick of common sense knows that West HAS to accuse the Progressive Caucus of commonistic ties, else otherwise and also, too, people might start asking embarassing questions about his whereabouts in the 1990’s when the alleged takeover and massacere of a small, private secular women’s college was undertaken by Glennie Bek and his minions.

    I’m not accusing West of anything, mind you, but why doesn’t he just give us an affidavit to prove that he wasn’t involved?

    BTW, not for nothin’, West is considerably more darksome than Obama–have we ever seen HIS long form, notsomefuckin'”True Copy” Certificate of Live Birth Certificat? I think not. Sorry, Al(i), you secret Ugandamuslofascist, you got ‘splainin’ to do!!

  • doktorzoom

    I’m the number one target of liberals and their friends in the media

    Lorre: You despise me, don’t you?

    Bogart: If I gave you any thought I probably would.

  • plutosdad

    , saying that all the members of the tea party caucus were Nazis. It would be rightly greeted with wall-to-wall outrage.

    Except it wasn’t, not when it was Pelosi or Ried. Sure outrage from the Right, but not from the Left.

    It’s par for the course from both sides. My eyes hurt from rolling them so much whenever a politician speaks.

  • My evaluation of the tea party caucuses: A handful of theocratic fascists pulling the strings of a lot of stupid people, though they probably get dragged by those into random stupidity about half the time. So it’s a balance between genuine fascism and popular stupidity.

  • To equate liberals in Congress with communists is like equating conservatives in Congress with fascists…

    Um…actually, the latter is several orders of magnitude truer than the former. What can we call their aggressive support of corporations, right-wing Christian policies and other entrenched reacionary interest groups, and their relentless demonization of everyone who opposes their agenda, if not “fascist?”

    I know the word “fascism” is not as well defined as “communism,” but what meaningful definition of “fascism” doesn’t include what today’s Republicans are doing?

  • A military man of West’s rank understands the magnitude of his misstatement.

    I think this slightly overestimates his ability to think rationally and to take responsibility for his actions.

  • kermit.

    “To equate liberals in Congress with communists is like equating conservatives in Congress with fascists — something only the most brain-dead Occupy protester would attempt.”

    Hmmm. The first two paragraphs from Wikipedia:

    “Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek rejuvenation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood through a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical education, and eugenics. Fascism seeks to purify the nation of foreign influences that are deemed to be causing degeneration of the nation or of not fitting into the national culture.

    Fascism promotes political violence and war, as forms of direct action that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. Fascists commonly utilize paramilitary organizations for violence against opponents or to overthrow a political system. Fascism opposes multiple ideologies: conservatism, liberalism, and two major forms of socialism—communism and social democracy. Fascism claims to represent a synthesis of cohesive ideas previously divided between traditional political ideologies. To achieve its goals, the fascist state purges forces, ideas, people, and systems deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration.”

    In one were to use the word “Conservative” to refer to a politician and his values such as Eisenhower, in what way would the modern Republican Congress not fit here? I welcome any alternative opinions on this.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @plutosdad:

    Citation?

    I’m not aware of any case where Pelosi or Reid said that Tea Partiers were Nazis.

    I do remember a time when Pelosi pointed out that there were Tea Partiers carrying signs with swastikas, which was true: they were carrying signs with swastikas because they were likening Obama to the Nazis. But to take this as evidence that Pelosi thought any Tea Partiers (let alone all of them) were Nazis, or even were comparable to Nazis, is simply absurd, and I refuse to credit the idea that there is anyone so deluded as to sincerely believe it.

  • LightningRose

    “That’s why I’m the number one target of liberals and their friends in the media…”

    Don’t flatter yourself, asshole. I’m not sure you’re even in the top ten.

    Oh, and why don’t you consider a vacation in The Hague, Netherlands?

  • Chiroptera

    To equate liberals in Congress with communists is like equating conservatives in Congress with fascists — something only the most brain-dead Occupy protester would attempt.

    Yes. equating liberals in Congress to communists is silly because they aren’t advocating state ownership of the entire economy and sending people to gulags for opposing centralized state control over all aspects of society.

    Equating conservatives in Congress to fascists is silly because they haven’t overtly adopted the swastika as their symbol.

    Any other false equivalences we have to make in order to make it look like we’re “fair and balanced” enough to be taken seriously by the mainstream media?

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Equating conservatives in Congress to fascists is silly because they haven’t overtly adopted the swastika as their symbol.

    Note, though, that Congress has overtly adopted the fasces.

    # Two fasces appear on either side of the flag of the United States behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives, representing the Roman power over the House and the country.

    # The Mace of the United States House of Representatives, designed to resemble fasces, consists of thirteen ebony rods bound together in the same fashion as the fasces, topped by a silver eagle on a globe.

    # The official seal of the United States Senate has as one component a pair of crossed fasces.

    # Fasces ring the base of the Statue of Freedom atop the United States Capitol building.

  • Pieter B, FCD

    After pointing out correctly how asymmetrical the extreme rhetoric has become, why does Avlon feel obligated to play the “both sides do it” card in his final graf?

  • In practice, what’s defined a fascist society is roughly as follows: dictatorial government, usually with one figurehead with all the meaningful authority; a strongly nationalist mindset on the part of the leadership; a stratified, quasi-feudal society along with open corporate favoritism and an absolutist morality, including sharply defined gender roles; support by a loud, usually minority, right-wing sector of the populace. (Interestingly, if you subscribe to Bob Altemeyer’s work on right-wing authoritarianism, this last item might be considered an example of populist left-wing authoritarianism driving a right-wing philosophy of governance. If that bends your brain, go read The Authoritarians right now and it’ll make sense.) I left out theocratic aspects; although Mussolini and Franco openly sucked up to the Catholic Church, the Nazis had their own thing going where they sucked up to the RCC as well but also had a factor that entertained their own neo-pagan beliefs. (Of course, no form of fascism that I’ve yet heard of is atheist or morally relativist in any practical way, but that won’t stop the tinfoil hatters from saying it.) And Stalin, though not fascist, is definitely a data point towards the general proposition that left and right wing authoritarians have more in common with each other than they do their political fellow travelers.

    Truth is, there’s far too many people who buy into red-baiting these days, which has only ever been about threatening people with one form of authoritarianism in order to force them into another form of authoritarianism anyway; it’s the same with “Islamofascism” (which doesn’t exist, but certainly could, by the above definition). And communism can exist within a free democracy, although it’s only ever been tried on a very small scale (Emilia-Romagna in Italy was run by Communists for quite a long time, until the Italian communist party was rolled into a broader left-wing party; yep, that’s right, when you eat Parmigiano-Reggiano, you’re putting COMMUNISM on your spaghetti), there’s no reason that the Soviet or Chinese models have to be the inevitable result. But West is banking on people not being able to think that far ahead.

  • dingojack

    You know who else used fasces* as a symbol of power?

    The Romans.

    (From whom Musolini & etc. appropriated and warped the symbolism).

    Dingo

    —–

    * symbolically a bundle of sticks. One stick is easy to break, a bundle is much harder. So fasces are a symbol of the power of collectivism. (Or something like that).