I dispatched the following letter to Congressman West today. That’s right-our boy Allen West. In Allen West-you find everything that is wrong with the our new Galtian overlords all rolled up into one package. Watching this video filled me with disgust and enough anger, that I felt a responsibilty to write the guy himself:
The Honorable Allen West
1708 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman West:
I had the misfortune this weekend to have had to watch your closing address to the CPAC conference. Since I too am a retired military officer who served approximately at the same time as you did, I find you take on world events profoundly disturbing. The difference between us, it would appear, is that I actually learned something during my service around the world-and you clearly learned nothing. I viewed your address with utter disgust, that supposedly educated people could elect someone such as yourself, whose views are so extreme and wrongheaded, to a position of responsibility in the Congress of the United States.
I have three issues to raise with you.
The first, is your knowing acquiescence to a violation of the Hatch Act by having a serving Soldier appear at a political convention, in uniform-to give what can only be described as a political speech, endorsing you, to a political group. He may not have known it was against the law-but I know you do. Your callous use of this young man to further your own twisted political ambitions represents a new low-even for someone who associates with the Tea Party.
Second, your speech is full of lies and misrepresentations of recent American history. For example you cite the often told lie that the administration is seeking to bring on 16000 new IRS agents. This statement may be red meat for the simpletons that attend a CPAC convention-but it is an out and out lie. The claim has been debunked repeatedly by authoritative sources and yet you and others repeatedly cite it. Your interpretation of the new healthcare law is similarly flawed-especially your assertions that the bill is unconstitutional (it’s not, and I believe the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold it), your assertion of all the new “taxes”-which are not taxes at all- shows that it is you that have not taken the time to read and understand the law, not the people you castigate for supporting the bill. Furthermore-your assertion that the underlying principles in the law, primarily the mandate will not work, have not been proven correct in the experience of other countries. I lived almost nine years in Japan. I’ve also been in and around the system in Singapore. Both nations have mandatory assessments for health care and they work well. I’ve seen both systems up close and experienced them. Your claims about a “nanny state” are ignorant. When my [S.O's] heartless American employer downsized her position out of existence, she was able to move effortlessly to the Japanese National Health Insurance program-with no loss of coverage and the ability to see a doctor on the same day if need be. My experience living overseas where, by the way, the quality of life exceeds that here in the states-convinced me that we as a nation need to improve our health care system NOW. Is the new health care bill everything I want? No. But it’s a hell of a lot better than the lack of alternatives you and your Tea Party sycophants are offering.
That’s just one example of where you and I part ways politically. Now that may be part of the democratic process, but in your case there is one final aspect to the campaign and the style you show as a serving Congressman- that I hold in utter contempt.
You repeatedly use your former military rank as a shield-having been a military officer once, does not give you a free pass on stupid ideas now. You repeatedly portray yourself as some sort of a victim because of your difficulties in Iraq. I refuse to accept that-you deserved that Article 15 you got, and whenever I see you on TV, I ask myself this one question: “ How many battalion commanders served in Iraq and did not go to NJP and get forced to retire?” The answer is : “Most of them”. So don’t hold yourself up as some paragon of moral virtue. I remain convinced the Army acted properly in your case. You are neither a hero or a villain-but you did make a mistake and you paid for it. NJP was appropriate and the Army was right not to let you walk away scot free.
Now, some seven years later, it should matter for nothing-but it does because you made it an issue. You capitalize on it and in fact play it up for your Tea Party audience. You did the same in your CPAC speech. It is not that the troops serving in Iraq don’t have the right ROE-it is that they never should have been there in the first place.
So don’t you lecture me on the “superiority” of your values. Furthermore, don’t talk to me about all the spending cuts “you” are going to make, because you and I both know that by exempting defense and most entitlements-you are not even beginning to address the problem. Want to save some money? Want to balance the budget? Repeal the Bush tax cuts, put a surcharge on gasoline and most importantly, get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan. NOW-not years from now. The wars are a waste of lives and treasure, and they do NOTHING to advance the security of the United States.
In closing, I intend to do my part to make sure that you are defeated in the election of 2012. I will give money to your opponent and were I in Florida I would actively participate in your opponent’s campaign. You have allied yourself with some really bad people and you are using them in an opportunistic fashion to further your own political ambitions. There is nothing virtuous in that. In a normal world you would be regarded as a crank and an extremist-but sadly, we don’t live in a normal world in America politically. The GOP (a party I voted with for over 25 years until the war in Iraq) has been taken over by the crazies-and so, as a result, you get to channel the ignorance of millions and create a climate of fear and loathing. You decry the tactics that were used against you in the campaign? Look in the mirror, you are equally as guilty of using the same tactics or worse.
So at the end of the day-I am compelled to give voice to the contempt I hold for you. There are plenty of military retirees who can serve well as a representative in Congress. You, however-based on your actions over the last three years and your speech at CPAC-are not one of them. Reasonable people need to see through your hype and oppose you. This letter is my way of doing so.