Texas GOP Trying To Shore Up Ratings With Fan Favorite Crackpot/New Chair Allen West
Joe Biden is running campaign ads in Texas because some polls show him competing in the state. Texas Republicans have enough trouble just with Donald Trump on the ticket in November, but they chose to add to their burden and elect Allen West as chairman of the state GOP.
Yes, that Allen West, the former Florida congressman and Tea Party crackpot. The media often describes him as a “firebrand," which just means he frequently says stupid shit with no regard for facts or logic. Texas is a big state. You'd think they'd give him West Virginia.
West defeated the now-former Texas GOP chairman James Dickey during the party's virtual convention this weekend, which was a chaotic mess that experienced an alleged cyber attack.
Texas Republicans have their fair share of assholes, including Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Let's not forget Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor who's fed up with Dr. Anthony Fauci's fancy "science" and "human life." West joins this esteemed colostomy bag. He's already ranting against reasonable efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. West compared shutdowns of businesses and stay-at-home orders to the 1836 battle for Texas independence, which was technically Americans seizing Mexico's land, but whatevs. History's written by the victors.
Today there's a new battleground, there's a new battlefield, and it's really not too much different from what they faced — the despotism, the tyranny that we see in the great state of Texas, where we have executive orders and mandates, people telling us what we can and cannot do, who is essential, who is not essential.
Texas Democratic Party spokesman Abhi Rahman didn't waste time stating that the state GOP had selected a known laughingstock to lead them.
RAHMAN: We're disgusted but not surprised that Texas Republicans chose a certified racist conservative hardliner like Allen West as their new chairman. West is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party and brings to light their failures on building an inclusive, welcoming party that is deliberate and thoughtful in handling crisis situations.
West, a former lieutenant colonel in the Army, sent his wife very demanding and explicit instructions for sexy time upon his return from Iraq. He had a very strong no
wire hangers one-piece bathing suits policy. He later “retired" to avoid a court martial for allegedly torturing an Iraqi cop. He still draws a pension. During his single term in the House, West distinguished himself as a solid angry caller to a rightwing talk show. Your conservative relatives loved quoting his more offensive comments about Barack Obama as evidence that they themselves weren't racist. This was an important service West provided. He accused Obama himself of racism (naturally) and secret Muslim-ness. He also insisted that Islam “is not a religion," so almost two billion Muslims are fooling themselves ... or us!
He claimed women were "neutering American men" and making us weak. I presume metaphorically. Either way, it's stupid. He said the Congressional Progressive Caucus were a bunch of commies because it's 1954 inside his head. He ludicrously declared that “Sharia Law had come to Walmart" because a Muslim employee, who was a minor, couldn't sell him alcohol.
You can't imagine how depressing it is to review West's worst hits and realize they're almost tame compared to what Donald Trump frequently says on the White House grounds. Anyway, we can probably expect more repulsive, Trumpian behavior from West in his new role.
If you're tempted to feel sorry for any organization, no matter how terrible, that now has Allen West in charge, please consider that Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush — son of Jeb! and considered the party's legitimate “future" — sent this message to the convention:
BUSH: Howdy, everyone ... I have some very important news to share with each and every one of you. In approximately four months, Sleepy Joe Biden will be sent home for a permanent retirement for good.
Bush's mother was born in Mexico, but he's still willing to endorse Donald Trump and adopt his juvenile rhetoric.
Allen West might be just what the current GOP deserves.
[Texas Tribune / Media Matters]
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."