The Root, an African-American culture magazine, says that there's "a job opening out there for a black Ronald Reagan" but that Rep. Allen West don't fit the bill.
The magazine says West, along with Rep. Tim Scott and presidential candidate Herman Cain, are black Republicans who have had the opportunity to bring African-Americans toward conservative ideals but blew it.
"So far at least, none has seized the mantle as standard-bearer for black conservatives," The Root says. "Even though all that any of them has to do is offer a buoyant, judicious, forward-looking face for black conservatism, none of them has done it yet."
Black voters have identified themselves as Democrats at a rate hovering between 70 and 80 percent over the past few decades -- or live on the "21st-century plantation," as West would say -- and West isn't helping to change that.
As The Root points out, whereas the congressman's once-admirable simple-man tone gained his admirers, the conversation he's decided to morph into now isn't that of a leader:
Although he's emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of Obama and Democrats among the GOP's congressional freshman class, West's plainspoken style has recently morphed into rank hostility and comportment that's unbecoming of the career Army officer that he is.
With an email tirade this week in which he attacked fellow Florida Rep. and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz as "cowardly," "despicable," "vile" and "not a lady," West has branded himself as impolite and irritable -- and not a Reagan.
The Washington Post recently said one of West's problems is that he implies Democrats don't like him because he's black and conservative:
"If West had simply said that sometimes liberals unfairly attack black conservatives by questioning their racial authenticity, suggesting that there's some sort of 'betrayal' involved with being black and conservative, he would have had a defensible argument," the Post says.
As long as West continues to alienate people with his habitual name-calling and ignoring black voters, The Root is right -- he's not the "black Ronald Reagan."
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