He’s not naming names, but Rep. Allen West (R-Florida) is standing by the declaration he made at a town hall meeting last week that 78 to 81 House lawmakers are members of the Communist Party. According to an ABC News report, West said he was just calling “a spade a spade” and suggested that “progressive” and “communist” can be used interchangeably.
“No, I don’t regret it whatsoever,” West said at a Tuesday news conference. “I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be afraid about the fact that I called a spade a spade. That’s my responsibility to the American people.”
According to West, progressive lawmakers promote communist policies, like the Wall Street bailout and the Affordable Care Act in an effort to “expand the welfare state.” He also said that the accused don’t like the point he’s made but aren’t debating it.
That’s not entirely true. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) and Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), who co-chair the progressive caucus, called West’s remarks “childish” and not only untrue but also reminiscent of McCarthyism, because there is no evidence there are communists in the House.
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(Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Landov)