Allen West knows a communist when he sees one and Chuck Fleischmann ain't no Red.
Yesterday, by way of the above video, Florida Republican, University of Tennessee graduate and McCarthyite U.S. Rep. Allen West announced his endorsement of Chuck Fleischmann, a Chattanooga Republican facing two primary challengers in his bid for re-election to Congress. Fleischmann is a "proven conservative," West says, and a fighter who has worked alongside West to "stop the destructive agenda" of the president and to "protect and advance constitutional conservative principles."
As the Tennessean's Michael Cass rightly pointed out, the announcement would be rather unremarkable were it not for the notoriety West gained two months ago by asserting that as many as 81 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.
Given his public eccentricity, a new insight from West — which is actually two years old, but was unearthed today by the Internet miners at BuzzFeed — is also remarkable, but unsurprising.
"In 1930, there was a gentleman in Germany who took away private gun ownership and you know what happened to that population," West told a crowd at a campaign stop in 2010. "You must be well informed and well armed, because this government we have right now is a tyrannical government."
Never mind that our current president has done little if anything to make it more difficult to own or carry a gun in this country (and never mind that Adolf Hitler was no gentleman). Allen West appears to believe — or at least believed back in 2010 — that the Holocaust would have been prevented if, say, the NRA had a stronger presence in 1930s Germany. West was ahead of the curve on this point, it seems. Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher made similar comments just last week.
While I suppose it might have helped somewhat if the millions of people Hitler was trying to slaughter had been armed, to insinuate that the Holocaust might have been prevented as a result seems disingenuous at best. And actually, do mind that bit about how our current president has done little if anything to make it more difficult to own or carry a gun in this country. What's the implication here? That Obama might try to take away your guns? The guy who's knocking off "militants" across the Middle East with flying killer robots? I don't see it. (By the way, if our "tyrannical government" does decide to start killing us, one can assume they'll be using those flying killer robots and all too happy to let you keep your pistol.)
But surely West and Plumber aren't implying that Obama wants to kill us all. Perhaps it's Obamacare? If this mandate stands, we'll have to resort to "Second Amendment remedies"? Putting aside fatuous claims about what might or might not have prevented the Holocaust, what are these guys really even getting at here? (My guess: mindless applause.)
The idea that candidates must always be made to answer for the things their supporters say can get out of hand at times. That said, Team Fleischmann did make a point to announce West's endorsement on their website. We don't know whether or not Fleischmann knew about West's Holocaust commentary, or how he feels about it. We've attempted to get in touch with the campaign and will update here if/when we hear back.