Allen West's No-B.S. Weekend: Disses Bush, Palin

This has been a bullshit-busting kind of weekend for Allen West.

First, he showed up on Fox News Sunday, talking smack about his own party's recent history. He was debating Donna Edwards, a Democrat congresswoman from Maryland, when host Chris Wallace asked:

Congressman West, Republicans offered a plan this week... to get the economy going... Cut the top tax rate for individuals and business, 25 percent; less regulation, more patent protection; and pass free trade deals with other countries. Whether that's good policy or not, the fact is we did see less taxes and less regulation under President George W. Bush. We ended up in a recession.

To which West replied:

Well, the important thing is this: With President George W. Bush, he grew government. And he increased the government spending. So you cannot have a cut in taxes and also a gross enlargement of government. That's one of the things we don't want to see happen.

Yes. Allen West went on TV yesterday morning and blamed the recession on deficit spending. Still, though. Give the dude credit for spreading some blame for our current predicament on his side of the party line.

Of course, a lot of Republicans are making similar noises these days. What most Republicans aren't doing is getting pissed off at Sarah Palin as she hits the road to work through her repertoire of gun-totin' patriotic poses on her (faux?) prepresidential campaign bus tour. But West did.

This was at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle run, which began this afternoon in Arlington, Virginia. Its putative goal was to honor the nation's vets, but when Sarah Palin rolled in unnanounced on a Harley and joined the head of the column of idling bikes, she was immediately hogged by reporters, fans, and assorted grinning groupies, and Allen West did not sound pleased.

According to Talking Points Memo, West said:

I don't think any talk about Palin coming here is right here. The talk is about Memorial Day. The talk is, like I said, those people who have given that ultimate sacrifice.

After you served 22 years in the United States Army, what brings me out here today is that there are people here that I served with, there are people here who served with my older brother in Vietnam... and this is the right thing, for us to always remember those who had given their lives in the ultimate sacrifice and to never forget our POWs and MIAs.

Listen -- say what you will about Allen West, but the clenched-tooth anger he's not quite suppressing in the above quote is pretty freaking cool. The guy's got feeling for the armed forces. Palin does too, probably -- she's got a son who's in them -- but West, unlike Sarah, has spent a lot more time defending the flag than wrapping himself in it. Put the two together at a biker parade and Sarah looks phonier than ever.

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Brandon K. Thorp