A Man of No Class: Allen West

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“Conservative” Allen West

AFRICANGLOBE – Recently, a big Republican donor described President Obama as “the most dangerous man in America.”

The problem with the designation is that it is directed toward the wrong individual. It applies best to Congressman Allen West (R. Florida).

West seems a man who takes himself seriously, is “quick out of the gates,” and this is a sure sign of a short lived political career. He is the kind of person Malcolm X spoke so eloquently about; that is, if there is “no back door,” he will make one.

West may very well be ignorant of history which dictates “those who forget the past are bound to repeat its mistakes” and be victims of its process.

A few recent examples may suffice to make a point about Blacks in the Republican Party. Particularly where there is great emphasis on being a “conservative.”

Conservatives were very influential members of the Ku Klux Klan, and other terror groups as the Red Shirts, Knights of the White Camelia and White Citizens Council, many of which wore white sheets and did dreadful things.

Herman Cain declared as a candidate in the Republican presidential primary. He had a 9-9-9 Plan that was promising, so we were told.

One of Cain’s shortcomings is that as he came out swinging, he claimed Blacks who voted Democratic were “brainwashed” and that thirty-five percent of Blacks were ready to vote for him. He also boldly proclaimed the Koch brothers were his “brothers by another mother.” Well, we know his fate. Yes, he now resides in the forgotten piles of potentially promising Black Republicans.

Here is another example. When the Republican Party could not settle on a leader after several rounds of voting, they elected Michael Steele as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Many people have argued that the strategy was to pit him against President Obama, for what better way to bring down the Black man from the lofty position of leadership than to sic another Black man against him.

Steele came out swinging saying. “I will engage the Black Community,” he claimed.

His attacks on the President were scathing yet ineffective. Even when some of the most vile criticisms and racist animus characterizations were leveled against President Obama, Steele did not have the guts to say, “Wait a minute, that is out of bounds!”

The end result, Steele could not touch Obama and so he was replaced as Chairman of the RNC. He forgot about Malcolm observation: “Blacks are not attacked because they are Democrat or Republican, Masons or Elks, but because they are Black.” He had “no comment” responses to the racist attacks against the president. Steele lost more than his job. He is merely a meaningless has-been who is no longer a news item.

During the Reagan Administration, Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court replacing the only Black man to sit on the Court. As a Republican, many people believed Thomas was not really a replacement of the Liberal Thurgood Marshall who was instrumental in the historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in which the Supreme Court ruled segregation was illegal and unconstitutional.

In the pushback against Thomas during the Congressional hearings, to vet his candidacy, Thomas described the hearing as “high tech lynching.” Nevertheless, while he was approved and appointed to the Supreme Court, the sugar to make the medicine go down was that Thomas, young and pliant, would become Chief Justice. Thomas went to work; siding with some of the most Conservative rulings imaginable.

Yet, President George W. Bush appointed Roberts Chief Justice. It must have been bitter disappointment for Thomas.

Let’s look at J.C. Watts. He was young, articulate and good looking; presumably with a great future in the Republican Party. Who knows why he was soon “retired” and only trucked out now and then to make a comment about some insignificant issue?

This brings us back to Rep. Allen West. Military veteran of Afghanistan, still enthused with the “Gung Ho” spirit, who has come home to fight the Republican battles. The only problem is he wants to fight anyone who is not Republican or more specifically Democrats whose ranks comprise Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians, Handicapped, women and especially immigrants.

West became a darling of the Tea Party Movement and was elected to Congress from Florida. To recall, Herman Cain disparage Blacks for voting Democratic; yet, there are some 42 elected Democratic Congress persons who are members of the Black Caucus. Prior to West’s election there was one, no more than two elected Black Republicans in the House. Hence, it is reasonable to argue, the Tea Party Movement, born in the cauldron spewing racial venom toward Obama, needed to attract Black members. They needed a sort of Spook who sat by the Door. They got West because he spoke their language and so they bankrolled his candidacy. The burning question is whether West did a “Faust” in order to acquire political elevation? Still, Herman Cain recommended West for the Vice President position.

Top rated Republicans have dropped West’s name as a potential Vice Presidential candidate on the Romney ticket. This honorary mention certainly got to West’s head. So much so, at a recent fundraiser with his rhetoric ratcheted up and with his chest out there, West informed the audience: “There are 78 to 81 Democratic House members in Congress who are card carrying members of the Communist Party.”

It’s as if he was reading from the list of membership in the Communist Party. Reprise of the McCarthy era? However, while much of this has inflated West’s ego, the reality is he has a minus-40 percent chance of getting the nomination; the Republicans will not be able to defeat Obama. Besides what does West bring to the ticket other than empty rhetoric? He certainly cannot deliver the Black vote because many Blacks see West as anathema.

Before West’s name was dropped, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was the “Tea Party Darling” and was considered a viable candidate because as conventional wisdom holds, he could attract Hispanic voters. There is also Senator Robert Portman (R. Ohio) and the firebrand Sarah Palin, former Vice Presidential candidate on John McCain’s ticket. In addition, such heavyweights as Condoleezza Rice, Rick Santorum and Governor Christie have also been mentioned.

The Republican commentator Bay Buchannan made an interesting comment which is, the Vice Presidential choice should be someone who “Can do no harm” and is “absolutely ready to be President” in the event the top guy falters. On the question of whether West is ready to be President the answer is probably not.

However, on the more important issue of “Do no harm” a cursory look at some firebrand statements by West automatically disqualifies him. On CNN’s April 19, 2012, morning program with Soledad O’Brien, West boldly stated: “In this new century, communists, progressives, Marxists and socialists renamed themselves the Progressive Caucus.”

West seems to view himself as some kind of ‘Super, Super patriot!’ This is a fragile and dangerous mindset. After all, Former Vice President Dan Quayle gave the following advice: “Remember, you are number two, do not act like number one. Do not go out there campaigning.”

West sent an e-mail message to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, calling her “vile, unprofessional, and despicable,” “a coward,” “characterless,” and “not a Lady,” and demanded that she “shut the heck up.”

West is a man without any class. Hopefully, fate may allow the experience of the ghosts of Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele and J.C. Watts to give West his just rewards.

By; Fred Monderson