PLANT CITY, FLORIDA -- Conservative South Florida Congressman Allen West, looking every inch the soldier he was for 22 years, knocked 'em dead in this small city east of Tampa Saturday night.
The 400+ plus Republicans who gathered to break bread and listen to West's sermon at the Arthur Boring Civic Center here were anything but bored. No one nodded off over the peach cobbler, even though coffee was not served.
West gave a stem-winder based on conservative values and principles and a call to action to save the republic. The gathered faithful loved it. They loved West. They love what he's doing. They love the way he's doing it.
Lefty Fort Lauderdale Congresswoman Debbie Wasserperson-Schultz (D-Karate Chop), au the contraire, couldn't have gotten a single vote from this crowd for Miss Congeniality.
As even people in Kuala Lumpur must know by now, Wasserperson-Schultz (pardon the slight rearrangement of the name, but feminist etiquette must be observed, as Debbie herself would insist), Chairwomanperson of the Democratic National Committee, made some inflammatory remarks about West on the House Floor last week. She said in effect that West and conservatives who supported Cut, Cap, and Balance were stupid and venal and were not only snatching food from the mouths of widows and orphans, but were shoving them out of doctor's waiting rooms as well. They're doing this, our Debbie helpfully explained, so that they can direct more money to their rich oil and corporate patrons, just like those selfish and heartless conservatives always do.
Of course, this abusive nonsense was nothing new for DWS. She's been making inflammatory and insulting remarks about conservatives for years -- with an uptick in frequency and intensity since she was made a Democratic poo-bah -- and paying no price for it. But this time she picked on the wrong conservative. West is a counter-puncher, and fired off an email to Wasserperson-Schultz that contains strong language, including the words "vile," "despicable," and "sophomoric." He also demonstrated a firm grasp of the obvious by asserting that Wasserperson-Schultz is "no lady." (Why anyone should take umbrage at this is a puzzle, as geek-branch feminists like Wasserperson-Schultz consider the title "lady" an insult.)
Well now, we can't have this. Under the current Vagina-Monologues rules of engagement, when a leftist woman rains down inaccurate and insulting abuse on conservatives, the only proper and allowable response is, "Yes, dear." But West, a former combat infantryman who has faced much tougher and more dangerous opponents than DWS, isn't playing this mug's game. The left-stream media are shocked, shocked that West isn't rolling over and apologizing, and have circled their pathetic wagons around their heroine.
Columnists and pundits are on OT, and will be dining out on this inelegant little dust-up for quite a while. One of the more amusing non-sequiturs to come out of this one is that West is being labeled "sexist" and a "misogynist" for daring to call out our Debbie. For alert TAS readers who may be confused by this, I've looked up "misogynist" in the "Liberal's Political Dictionary." It means disagreeing with a liberal woman.
But this unedifying episode was not what West talked about Saturday, though clearly many of the folks in attendance would have enjoyed it had he done so. West confined his remarks to the critical challenges facing America, which West described as "the most exceptional country in the history of mankind." Thanks to the political left's incontinent spending, their assaults on traditional American liberties, and their attempts to create a "social utopia" through ever-expanding government, "the light is starting to dim a little bit" on the shining city on a hill.
West called out President Obama and the U.S. Senate for not being serious about the country's current debt crisis. He said it was "heinous" that the Senate would not even debate Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation passed by the House. West said it's critical that we get our annual federal expenditures below 20 percent of GDP. It's now at 24.4 percent and rising rapidly, on its way to 30-plus percent and banana-republic land at current levels of spending. After the current crisis is dealt with, West wants a balanced budget amendment to prevent us from marching back to the edge of the cliff.
"America is standing on the precipice with one leg dangling over the edge," because of the current debt and spending crisis, West said.
West says there is something downright fishy about the leftists' calls for "shared sacrifice" in the current debate. Shared sacrifice translated means raising taxes. Already, West said, the top one percent of taxpayers pay 32 percent of the nation's income taxes, the top five pay more than half, the top 20 pay 86 percent. West pointed out that already 47 percent of American wage-earning households pay no income tax at all. West worries there may be a tipping point where the entitlement class could politically dominate the productive class.
West ticked off the well-known laundry list of ways the republic is in worse shape since Obama took office: the price of gas, the unemployment rate, home values, number of people on food stamps, the crushing debt, ever increasing regulations, et al. All this, West says, is "snuffing out the entrepreneurial spirit" that is the basis of America's freedom and prosperity. In this atmosphere, West says he is not surprised that "entrepreneurs are not looking to invest."
West said the political left in this country is succeeding in making America not only more socialist, but more secular as well. Contrary to the hopes, dreams, and fervent efforts of the political and cultural left, West says America is a Judeo-Christian nation and should remain one. We should not be ashamed of conservative values.
"There's nothing wrong with believing that marriage is between one man and one woman," he said. "There's nothing wrong with trying to protect the life of the unborn."
West didn't just criticize Democrats. He pointed out that the national Republican Party lost its way for years. "The Republican Party has to regain its credibility," the colonel said. "When Republicans had the presidency and both houses of Congress they did not do what the American people sent them there to do."
All these things were what West's audience came to hear. They were on their feet numerous times to cheer. They responded when West exhorted them to get out there and block and tackle during the next election cycle. Mixing and mingling after the services it was easy to encounter the sentiment that the Allen Wests of the world represent the hope and future of the Republican Party in Florida, not the squishy establishment types that Debbie Wasserperson-Shultz has so enjoyed working with for years.
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