Scary Halloween 2008 - Nicole Sandler as Sarah Palin, Allen West as himself

Allen West is not only a coward and a war criminal. He’s also a misogynist.  The newest evidence that all of those allegations are true comes from the pen of the congressman himself.

Yesterday, DNC Chair and member of Congress Debbie Wasserman-Schultz gave a fairly typical, albeit tough, floor speech on the topic of HR 2560 – the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill that, as she said, is like the Ryan plan on steroids.  Here is the entirety of her speech:

Did you catch where she “directed

[her] floor speech comments directly towards [Allen West]”?  No. Neither did I.  So I went through and transcribed the speech, and I’m guessing this was the 14 seconds of the speech to which West was referring (in his letter, that follows):

“Incredulously, the gentleman from Florida who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries .  Unbelievable for a  member from South Florida.”

That was it. Go back and watch the video again. Wasserman-Schultz never mentioned Mr. West by name, nor did she “direct her comments directly” toward him. Not that I would have faulted her if she had.  But apparently Mr. West has some very thin skin, as he responded with this letter (h/t Politico)

From: Z112 West, Allen
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior……which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

I’d say that letter constitutes “Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from” Congressman Allen West and deserves censure from the House.

But that’s only one of many despicable statements from this man, who should be in military prison instead of congress.  Writes Joy-Ann Reid at The Grio:

In August 2003, while commanding the 20th Field Regiment, West ordered his soldiers to pick up an Iraqi policeman, Kadoori Hamoodi, who West’s unit suspected of helping the insurgency. According to Hamoodi’s testimony, he was beaten and threatened, and at some point during the interrogation, West fired his pistol near Hamoodi’s head in a mock execution. Hamoodi was never charged with plotting against U.S. troops, and West later admitted he might have been wrong about the Iraqi.

After a hearing, West was fined $5,000 and allowed to retire with full benefits at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Despite the moment of introspection in the New York Times, remains unapologetic about the incident, often saying on the campaign trail that he would “go through hell with a gasoline can” for his fellow soldiers. The incident in Iraq made West a hero to conservatives who believed the media was focusing too much on incidents like Abu Ghraib.

We’ve long known West is a misogynist.  Just days before my ill-fated attempt to ask him a question at a “town hall meeting”, West spoke before the group Women Impacting Nation (WIN) – yes, a women’s group – during which he explained that those “women on the other side – those Code Pink women and the Planned Parenthood women” were “neutering” our men.  And that if these women didn’t stop our men from becoming subservient to women “the debt will continue to rise”.  I kid you not.  See for yourself  (h/t Think Progress):

Cue the twilight zone music, please.

And why am I so intent on exposing this sorry excuse for a human being as the fraud he is?  First, because – like it or not- he’s my congressman.  In a “tele-town hall meeting” Thursday night, he said- at least twice – that he represents all of his constituents. Not just those in his party.  But just yesterday, he wrote a column for a very-right-leaning blog in which he called the president a liar (a trend among the teabaggers), and rambled on incoherently before ending his diatribe with this sentence:

“I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

Yeah, he represents me… right into the poor house.

But on April 26, I went to an event that was advertised as a Town Hall Meeting with my congressman. I figured that since he’s supposed to representing all of us, he should at least hear what his constituents who DO NOT agree with him are thinking.  Unfortunately, when I arrived I was told that we’d have to write our questions on cards, and they’d be asked by one of the staffers.  So much for the idea of members of Congress listening to their constituents.

You can get all the details of what transpired after I attempted to follow up his non-answer to a question on his vote for the Ryan plan which would effectively kill Medicare.  (Short version: I was thrown out, manhandled by a cop, arrested after I protested the manhandling, and maced in jail for speaking up for my rights and those of the other women being held at the Broward County Jail).  West’s reaction to my arrest for attempting to ask him a pertinent question? (h/t The Political Carnival)

Unfortunately, that video was shot by a teabagger himself. I’d love to have been able to see what West said immediately after his curt and very rude comment about my accommodations the night before, but I was otherwise detained.

Allen West is the best example we have of creeping fascism in this county. I’ll keep you posted on more details of the insanity of this war criminal who belongs in the brig rather than the halls of Congress. He’s an embarrassment to the institution and to our country.

On today’s show

Of course, I spoke at length about the West problem on this morning’s show.  But I started where we left off yesterday afternoon when I filled in for Randi Rhodes…. with the new Gang of Six plan to get the debt ceiling raised.  Unfortunately, it’s a TERRIBLE plan.

I spoke with HuffPost’s Ryan Grim on Randi’s show yesterday, who pretty much confirmed my thoughts.  Although there’s not an actual plan, the outline (courtesy of Huffington Post) is scary enough.

Media MattersEric Boehlert joined me on the show to give us the latest on the Murdoch scandal that’s rocking News Corp and the right wing world!

And, in the second hour, I spoke with Alan Rosenblatt – Associate Director for Online Advocacy for the Center for American Progress. We had a fascinating conversation about the role of social media in politics – both here in the US and abroad, and the new site progressive action site Progress League (which is certainly worth your time!).