It's April in the Year of Our Lord 2011, and most Floridians have reached an accommodation with Allen West. As summer looms and West's congressional career blossoms into maturity, he's almost begun to seem normal. He still hates Muslims, but at least he's polite about it. He probably still thinks you're un-American, but at least he's not telling you so all the time. Mostly, Allen West seems to be focused on the budget, defense spending, and talking up the glories of Israel with Tea Partiers. It's a little weird, but at least it's routine. All around him, Florida dozes.
And then West composes his Weekly Wrapup and writes something like this:
Friday, the HASC subcommittee heart testimony on the implementation plans for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and policies. Before us sat Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel Major General (USMC, Ret) Dr. Stanley and Director of Joint Staff. My concern centers on forcing the US Military... to assimilate its culture to individual behaviors. When I hear other members of the subcommittee, "liberals" attempts to parallel the goal of the law with the integration of blacks and females in our armed services, well, I shake my head at the absurdity of such claims. Race and gender are not behaviors. Therefore, I wonder what comes next for our Military from the social engineers of the liberal progressive agenda?
That's just standard-issue, ungrammatical Allen West silliness, barely worth a response. Let's respond anyway: No, Lt. Col. Rep. West, the repeal of DADT is not about "assimilating" the US Military to "individual behaviors." If anybody, gay or straight, shacks up in the barracks, they're outtathere. The repeal is about not kicking out soldiers because of their orientations. It has nothing to do with behavior. Gay "behavior" is still a kickouttable offense, just like any sexualized behavior. How dense are you, anyway?
I'm pleased to have that cleared up. Unfortunately, there's no similarly easy rebuttal to West's next paragraph, which reads:
Also, one must be concerned about the pressures placed upon leaders to implement this repeal and not challenge any issues they encounter. We saw the ill effects of allowing political correctness in the military with the Major Nadal Hassan episode...
Major Nadal Hassan was the Muslim officer who went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood, killing 13. Please, reader, use your imagination: What on Earth could West mean by the insinuation that this "episode" was caused by political correctness?
Think about it.
Really, think about it.
I've been thinking about it for several hours, and here's the best I can come up with: Allen West is suggesting that the United States was too "politically correct" in allowing Hassan, a Muslim, to become a United States soldier and carry a gun.
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Crazy, right? But what else could it mean?
Moreover, Allen West seems to be suggesting that allowing gays to serve openly might lead to another Hassanesque "episode." Which means -- what, exactly? That Allen West thinks gays are more likely than straights to go on killing sprees? That we're less trustworthy with firearms?
I shot West's press people a note asking for clarification. I'll let you know what they say.