Believe it or not, Rep. Allen West said something rational yesterday at a town hall meeting in Palm Beach Gardens -- and even said it without name-calling.
In response to GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's idea that she'd be willing to drill for oil and natural gas in the Everglades, West said it was an "incredible faux pas" for the Tea Party caucus chair to suggest such a thing.
"When I see her next week, I'll straighten her out about that," West said.
The Palm Beach Post captured West saying Bachmann's statement about drilling the Everglades was "a horrible thing to say. The Everglades is one of the natural wonders of the world... That's an incredible ecosystem and it's a wetland that is natural and pristine, and that's something we have to preserve for our future generations."
That puts West just about on par with archnemesis and alleged not-a-lady Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who said the following in a statement on Monday:
The Everglades isn't just a national treasure and habitat for many endangered species, it's also Florida's main source of drinking and farming water, is a safeguard against flooding that threatens our state during hurricane season and is vitally important to our state's tourism industry. Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Republican field may think that if we give Big Oil a few more give-aways and take a few risks, we can drill ourselves to energy independence...
We need to look forward and invest in the future, and we won't get there with unthinkable, reckless and irresponsible Republican proposals like drilling for oil in the Everglades. As a Floridian, I can see that Michele Bachmann's outrageous proposal to drill for oil and natural gas in the Everglades, demonstrates just how out of touch Republicans are with the needs of Floridians and all Americans.
So maybe Wasserman Schultz and West aren't exactly the same on their drill-the-Everglades stances, but at least they're in agreement that Bachmann's idea was pretty goofy.
That sentiment has been echoed in response to Bachmann's idea, announced during her Florida tour, from people such as Jerry Karnas from the Everglades Foundation saying, "Congresswoman Bachmann needs to understand that oil and drinking water do not mix" and Progress Florida's Mark Ferrulo commenting, "It would be as crazy as saying 'Let's drill under Space Mountain' in Disney World."
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.