You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
From James Carter (via Steve Benen), here's Rep. Allen West (R-FL-very-very-nuts) explaining what he meant when he recently said that there were 80 or so "members of the Communist Party" in Congress. Or at least, he's trying to explain what he meant. I'm not sure you can watch this video and come to any conclusion other than that Allen West is either very stupid, very seriously unhinged, or just a rotten human being, pure and simple:
I don't have the willpower to transcribe that. Sorry. Short version: He "does not regret" that crap he said, doesn't know the damn difference between Woodrow Wilson and communism (because the communists renamed themselves progressives way back in 19-dickety-two, therefore all progressives are communists, and we all wore onions on our belts because that was the style at the time), and, oh, claims birth control is a plot to destroy religious institutions. He says this all in a calm, matter-of-fact style that makes you think that none of these wacky things is at all controversial, or misleading, or entirely batshit crazy.
Now, keep in mind that what he's defending here is his specific claim that there are secretly 70 or 80 members of the Communist Party in Congress. That's something you might want to, oh, walk back, lest people think you are a half-mad McCarthyite. But no, he stands by it, apparently because whether it's true or not isn't the point; the real point is how you damn reporters out there don't know your history and how pretty much everyone Allen West doesn't like is automatically a member of the Communist Party, from Woodrow Wilson on down the line.
I know some folks get frustrated when we talk about these nutcase members of the Republican caucus. I get that. But this guy is in Congress. This guy won an election. He may still win reelection—and his whole shtick is being pompously, self-righeously loony. There's no deep philosophy on how to govern a nation resting in that noggin, just a stream of unending suspicions against the "communists," historical malapropisms, and a general hatred for government doing, well, anything. We've elected a conspiracy theory to Congress.
Worse, he's not the only one. Not by a long shot.
I'm not sure whether America can do better at this point. I mean that sincerely; the combination of corporate money and uninformed elections (note that those two are far from unrelated) means that too many candidates can go too far without anyone ever seriously examining what the hell it is they might actually stand for. But I'm pretty sure the first step would be, well, to give it try. Politicians may loathe the new campaign reality of having people follow them around with video cameras, recording their every word, but it's probably the best information that voters can get. It at least gives you some insight into what the candidate says in off-the-cuff situations. That helps, even if it sometimes is as scary as hell to listen to them.
Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 01:08 PM PDT.