Oh the tangled web we weave! Normally after a few days you can expect the dust to settle and to sort out the events under examination. Not so easy here. Allen West has refused to apologized for his misogynistic remarks about Debbie Wasserman Schultz (then claimed he did, then claimed he didn’t). He has claimed in his own defense the old tried-and-true schoolyard routine of saying, “Oh yeah? Well Democrats are racists!” That is what he told FOX News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast July 20, 2011:
From Crooks and Liars:
“This is something, once again, the Democrat Party, they put my Social Security number and my wife’s employment identification number in a mail piece,” he said. “This has just been an ongoing thing. I have been called Uncle Tom, a sell-out Oreo. It’s not about Allen West. And so once again, it’s very interesting to me that we continually allow liberals to do whatever they want and attack conservatives, but all of the sudden when a conservative stands up and says enough then people all want to sit back, especially liberals, and play victim. She’s not a victim. She’s been attacking Allen West for quite some time.”
Of course you can check for yourself and see that Debbie Wasserman Schultz said nothing racist to Allen West, let alone used the terms he claims.
He has also tried the “I’m just a simple old soldier” routine, saying “there are certain ways we talk in the military. I guess I haven’t learned the DC-insider talk.” Right. This is the same Allen West who lost command of his unit in Iraq for abusing an Iraqi policeman. I’d say his problems go a little deeper than being unfamiliar with “DC-insider talk.” He’s a thug. He was a thug before; he is a thug now.
West said, “I just apologized,” when asked by a Huffington Post reporter about the situation in the Speaker’s Lobby before votes Wednesday afternoon, according to a tape of the conversation.
Wasserman Schultz refuted this on Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room:
BLITZER: Wow. Have you ever been attacked publicly like that?
SCHULTZ: No, and I was surprised that he sent that to my personal e-mail, an e-mail that he didn’t previously have.
But it’s — you know, it doesn’t faze me. I mean, it isn’t surprising he would react to the probably untold pressure he’s getting from his constituents.
I mean, he and I both represent, as I pointed out in debate on the House floor, represent thousands of senior citizens who under this cut, cap and balance — really, duck dodge and dismantle — plan that the Republicans have proposed would face huge increases in their Medicare costs. It would end Medicare as we know it. It’s the Ryan plan on steroids. And he clearly is feeling the pressure.
If he can’t handle that pressure, can’t handle being called out in debate on the House floor, then he probably should change his position.
And, you know, he also suggested that I focus on my own congressional district. I’ll point out that I was. He’s a constituent of mine, and so I was dutifully doing my job and representing my constituents and taking to task someone who I think is really taking the wrong position when it comes to the people we represent in south Florida who badly need that safety net and make sure that we’re not going to dramatically increase their costs, which that cut, cap and balance plan does.
BLITZER: So you’re saying he lives in your district, he doesn’t live in his own district?
SCHULTZ: Yes, Congressman West is a constituent of the 20th congressional district, but represents the 22cd.
BLITZER: Now there’s reports out there as of this moment that he called you and apologized.
SCHULTZ: That is absolutely untrue. I have not received an apology. I haven’t received a phone call. I know he has my e-mail, I haven’t got an apology on my e-mail nor on my fax machine in my district office or my congressional office in the Capitol or at the Democratic National Committee.
BLITZER: He’s quoted in this roll call as having told a “Huffington Post” reporter, I just apologized.
SCHULTZ: That’s simply not true. BLITZER: As of this moment, he has not called you, he has not communicated — he has not apologized?
SCHULTZ: No, he has not.
BLITZER: If he does call you and say I’m sorry, what will you say?
SCHULTZ: Well, I would appreciate his apology, and I would hope that he would reconsider his ill-advised position on increasing benefits — increasing costs for Medicare beneficiaries.
But I think Congressman West really needs to understand that when we’re debating on the House floor, that’s what we do. We engage in a back and forth. And if he can’t handle that, particularly on an issue as important to our constituents as Medicare, then he probably needs to reconsider his really ill-advised position on Medicare.
To further complicate an already complicated chain of events, Roll Call reports that the West camp then claimed it had never apologized to Wasserman Schultz and that it was Wasserman Schultz who should be doing the apologizing:
But West spokeswoman Angela Sachitano doubled down, saying it was Wasserman Schultz who should do the apologizing. Sachitano strenuously denied that West had apologized to Wasserman Schultz and even denied what he’d told Huffington Post.
“In fact, we’re waiting on an apology from her,” Sachitano said.
Sounds more and more like West is a typically disturbed Republican with no grasp of the truth. We see it again and again from Republican candidates, including Michele Bachmann: say something, then deny they said it. We have West’s voice saying he apologized just as we had video of Bachmann saying what she later claimed was an “urban legend.”
It is perhaps fortunate that he was not there when Wasserman Schultz spoke. Perhaps he would have mistaken her for an Iraqi policeman. He’s not used to “DC” ways, after all. Rather than the simple old soldier he pretends to be, West talks and acts like a rabid dog who should not be allowed out in the company of civilized people.