Congressman Allen West hasn't been at his job for a month, and already he's hating on his coworkers.
In a letter to his supporters last Friday, West wrote that he was "appalled" at his co-Congressmen's "arrogance, belligerence, and dishonest rhetoric filled with empty emotional platitudes." He wondered: "Have they no shame?"
Say what you will about West's tact, but you can't deny that he knows his marks. The blogosphere's reaction over the weekend was swift and decisive. "Allen West Shines Again" read a typical headline.
West's full remarks are below, cuz they're worth reading in their entirety. But before you read them, consider: Allen West, the candidate, based his campaign upon an open hostility to government, a desire for transparency, and identification with patriotic Everymen. (And Muslim-haters, natch.) Now that he's in Congress, he'll be expected to get legislative results. Results, in a representative democracy, necessitate compromise and alliance-building in the halls of power. How many alliances will West be able to build if he says, of his co-congressmen, "it is as if America has stopped producing adults"? To compensate for such incendiary rhetoric in public will require West to be exceedingly yielding in private if he wants anyone to work with him on legislation. Which won't be very transparent at all.
Or maybe he'll just keep firing away and people will work with the man because he scares the pants off them. Either way -- at this moment, there is no American politician more fascinating than the erstwhile Col. West.
(Incidentally, he's yet to follow through on his offer to debate his media critics in a public forum. Hello? Congressman? When are we gonna do this?)
Here's the text of West's note:
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Over this past week I have watched and listened to Members of the House of Representatives from across the aisle.
I am appalled at their arrogance, belligerence, and dishonest rhetoric filled with empty emotional platitudes. Have they no shame in realizing that their inept, incompetent failures are the reason why we are debating this continuing resolution. They failed to pass a budget during the 111th Congress.
Have they no honor in realizing that their fiscal irresponsibility over the past four years has resulted in our standing on the precipice of a fiscal canyon from which we may not recover?
Also troubling are the events in the state of Wisconsin which mirror those that happened in Greece several months ago. We are witnessing the abject hostility of a unionized entitlement class that is being lauded by the liberal left, seemingly to include our President.
It is such a critical time for our Republic, yet there seems no visionary leadership -- it is as if America stopped producing adults. I have never seen a greater assembly of petulance and sophomoric behavior as what I have witnessed this week on the floor of the House of Representatives.
To those across the aisle, please explain to the American people how your economic policies have created a better environment for long term sustainable growth.
This debate is about jobs and the economy.
It begins with remedying the spending problem on Capitol Hill. It includes tackling the burdensome taxation and regulation policies strangling our country. It is the understanding that Keynesian tax and spend policies did not grow America's economy, but the indomitable, entrepreneurial spirit of the American People.
Government sets the conditions for job and economic growth, it does not create jobs.
I am pleased that we are having open debate in the people's house. However, there is clearly something lacking in this discourse - the recognition of the failure of the bureaucratic nanny-state liberal policies.
Rest assured that I will do everything in my ability to stand firm and lead on the principles that make America exceptional.
Allen B. West
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