The be­trayal of Con­gress­man West

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation -

Can some­one please ex­plain to me why the Re­pub­li­can Party in Florida al­lowed Rep. Allen B. West to be ger­ry­man­dered out of his con­gres­sional dis­trict? Mr. West is the most prom­i­nent and best­spo­ken elected con­ser­va­tive in the United States. He’s a mo­tor­cy­cle-rid­ing war hero, a pas­sion­ate Chris­tian and a pa­triot. He’s the first black Re­pub­li­can mem­ber of the House from Florida since Re­con­struc­tion, and he is as strong a vice-pres­i­den­tial can­di­date as any­one else. But now he might not even have his seat in Congress next year. Why do we want to take one of our best play­ers out of the game?

It would make sense if this were Mas­sachusetts or Cal­i­for­nia: If a Demo­crat-ma­jor­ity state had tried to force out Mr. West, we could eas­ily see why. But this is a bat­tle­ground state, and one whose Leg­is­la­ture is run by his fel­low Repub­li­cans. While some might think that it might be bet­ter to have some­one safe, some­one timid, in such an en­vi­ron­ment, I dis­agree whole­heart­edly. It is pre­cisely in such tight races that we need some­one who can mo­ti­vate the base to show up on Elec­tion Day and some­one who can get peo­ple ex­cited. If our can­di­dates don’t look any dif­fer­ent from the Democrats, what would be the point of vot­ing for them?

Florida is go­ing to be per­haps the most im­por­tant state in this year’s elec­tions. It is the fourth-largest in the union and a swing state where Repub­li­cans have a huge ma­jor­ity of the con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion. Its only ri­val in elec­toral sig­nif­i­cance is Ohio. Do we Repub­li­cans want pow­er­ful voices, or weak ones, rep­re­sent­ing the party in these states?

Mr. West’s only fault is that he didn’t em­brace the pow­ers in the Re­pub­li­can es­tab­lish­ment when their views were con­trary to those of the tea party.

What makes Mr. West dif­fer­ent from other Re­pub­li­can law­mak­ers is pre­cisely what makes him a rock star: his courage, his elo­quence and his in­tegrity. The mighty Es­tab­lish­ment can’t con­trol him; they fear him.

In his own words: “Take your mes­sage of equal­ity of achieve­ment, take your mes­sage of eco­nomic de­pen­dency, take your mes­sage of en­slav­ing the en­tre­pre­neur­ial will and spirit of the Amer­i­can peo­ple some­where else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bot­tom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of Amer­ica.”

I guess the Es­tab­lish­ment just couldn’t stand some­one with pas­sion and con­vic­tion. But what does our party need right now? Do we need an­other Laodicean? With as many deep prob­lems as we have, do we want our lead­ers to be mil­que­toasts? In case you need re­mind­ing, our na­tion is in cri­sis.

Our pres­i­dent right now is vi­o­lat­ing the First Amend­ment rights of the largest re­li­gious de­nom­i­na­tion in the coun­try and in the world. Some­one needs to stand up.

The Democrats in the Se­nate have not passed a bud­get in more than 1,000 days. Some­one needs to stand up.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is spend­ing $10 bil­lion per day. Some­one needs to stand up.

Tax­pay­ers give mil­lions of dol­lars ev­ery year to Planned Par­ent­hood, our na­tion’s largest abor­tion provider. Some­one must stand up.

Lt. Col. West is a hero to mil­lions of tea par­ty­ers across the coun­try. He al­ready has raised mil­lions of dol­lars for his re-elec­tion cam­paign, get­ting do­na­tions from peo­ple out­side his dis­trict and even out­side of Florida who just want to have him in of­fice even though he won’t be rep­re­sent­ing them. That says a lot about what kind of an er­ror the party is mak­ing.

The tea party move­ment be­gan pre­cisely be­cause of the fail­ures of GOP lead­er­ship. It’s no sur­prise that they are fight­ing back against its more con­ser­va­tive mem­bers.

Amer­ica didn’t reach cri­sis overnight — it is the re­sult of a long se­ries of de­feats go­ing back decades. And ev­ery­one who al­lowed our coun­try to fall into such a state is com­plicit, is guilty.

Now, more than ever, we need lead­ers such as Allen B. West. The fact that party elites could so cal­lously al­low one of our finest rep­re­sen­ta­tives to be put into such a sit­u­a­tion is an in­dict­ment of them. This is noth­ing less than a be­trayal.

Go to saveal­len­ to make your voice heard in fa­vor of an Amer­i­can hero.

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