Political Animal


April 11, 2012 12:10 PM Red-Hunter

By Ed Kilgore

He didn’t say he had a list in his hand, but the man whose name is on many lips as a fine running-mate option for Mitt Romney, Rep. Allen West (R-FL), responded to a question about the number of congressional Democrats who were card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA by allowing as how it was a “really good question,” and that he’s heard there are “70 to 80” of the dirty Reds.

We hope West will be pressed to name names and perhaps find some video or audio of a House Democratic Caucus meeting that begins with this anthem:

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • T2 on April 11, 2012 12:22 PM:

    I think the sound I hear is dozens of pencils marking West's name off VP lists. I wonder which GOP leader will be the first to repudiate his claim? I'm not holding my breath.

  • Ron Byers on April 11, 2012 12:28 PM:

    I guess he is channelling Tailgunner Joe.

  • T on April 11, 2012 12:32 PM:

    I heard there was a list of 70 to 80 goats that Allen West has had sex with. I wonder if any of them were communist goats?

  • jpeckjr on April 11, 2012 12:43 PM:

    Reminds me of the scene in the original version of "The Manchurian Candidate" when Senator Iselin settles on 57 communists because there was a bottle of Heinz catsup on his table at breakfast that morning.

    Makes me wonder if the question was asked by someone from one of his opponents, in an attempt to get him to say something outrageous or laughable. Worked.

  • T2 on April 11, 2012 12:43 PM:

    out of 70-80 goats, at least one had to be a commie.

  • MattF on April 11, 2012 12:44 PM:

    They're card-carrying card-carriers.

  • Mitt's Magic Underpants on April 11, 2012 12:45 PM:

    Ah, what a world, where the right-wingers can say anything and there are no consequences at all.

  • exlibra on April 11, 2012 12:57 PM:

    There's a Communist Party in the US? How come I was never told? Raise, the downtrodden! Raise, you plagued by hunger! A new thought, in rays of sunrise, is leading us to a hard strife. (loose translation of the Polish text, learnt by every child of my generation sometime around age 5)

  • anon on April 11, 2012 12:59 PM:

    The answer is: No he has no shame.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on April 11, 2012 1:10 PM:

    Representative West is probably on to something! There are probably 70-80 'card carrying' members of the ACLU and everyone knows that they are all 'commies' who hate our country and its freedoms.

    Representative West is probably on to something! Or more likely on something unprescribed.

  • Peter C on April 11, 2012 1:12 PM:

    McCarthy was a Republican too.

    "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

    Same party - same answer: 'no, not a shred'. It is who they are at the core.

  • Josef K on April 11, 2012 1:24 PM:

    How this man was ever allowed into a position of command over others escapes me.

  • boatboy_srq on April 11, 2012 2:07 PM:

    @RPOV: It's FL. I think it's something in the water - well, at least until they finish draining the Everglades. Who'd'a'thunk that all that fuoridation (elsewhere, of course) actually preserved sanity as well as tooth enamel.

    Captcha: "forgotton. gewith". If only.

  • Sisyphus on April 11, 2012 3:31 PM:

    Prediction: There will be no backlash against West for this statement in the short term. He might even get significant good press over it. He will certainly continue to beat the drum regarding communists in congress, and the number he cites will rise and become specific. If we are truly a fortunate and blessed nation, someone will confront him about this eventually. But I don't expect that the whipped American press corps has another Edward R. Murrow hiding in its ranks.

  • Old Uncle Dave on April 11, 2012 4:27 PM:

    What about all the fascists in Congress? There must be at least a couple hundred of 'em.

  • j on April 11, 2012 5:27 PM:

    West was discharged from the military for more than one violation of military conduct, one was concerning Iraqis
    I think civilians where he held a gun to their heads and kept threatening to shoot them - they had done nothing wrong. He was also given a fine.
    Anyway I heard somewhere that 80 repubs in congress were cannibals.

  • Madeleine Begun Kane on April 11, 2012 7:49 PM:

    Limerick Ode To Rep. Allen West
    By Madeleine Begun Kane

    The Republican Rep. Allen West
    Invents scandalous falsehoods with zest.
    His mad claims donít compute,
    Yet his party stays mute ó
    His lies thus implicitly blessed.
    Limerick Ode To Rep. Allen West

  • LAC on April 12, 2012 12:30 PM:

    What, did he step outside on the porch of the plantation and spot them?

  • AMS on April 12, 2012 8:17 PM:

    I predict that, far from apologizing, West will double down on this, the right-wing blogosphere will support him, establishment Republicans will not repudiate him (see for contrast the White House reaction to Hilary Rosen's admittedly maladroit comment about Ann Romney), and the media will give him more or less of a pass.

    My question: don't we have enough problems in the here and now without relitigating the Army-McCarthy hearings, women's access to contraception, and the Mommy Wars? Or are politicians and the media focusing on these things precisely BECAUSE we have so many problems in the here and now that our political system seems completely incapable of addressing?