Say Goodbye to Allen West and His Mean Streak

It’s not every day that a politician behaves like a jerk in front of a reporter.

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Florida Congressman Allen West finally conceded his race Tuesday morning, but that’s surely not the last America will hear from that outspoken hero of the Tea Party right. I met West for the first time at a North Palm Beach barbecue joint during the last week of the campaign, and he was as eloquent as I had always heard, although less inflammatory so close to Election Day. I didn’t quote him, but there was one moment I wanted to mention before he moves on to his inevitable talk radio gig, because it’s not every day that a politician behaves like a jerk in front of a reporter.

The incident involved a young woman who was working as a “tracker” for West’s Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy. Trackers have become a ubiquitous presence in American politics, shadowing candidates around with video cameras and iPhones to document their every public utterance. It’s an annoying but legitimate tactic, because it’s worth knowing what candidates say to their supporters; think of Vice President Biden promising a war on coal plants in 2008. Occasionally, a tracker tries to follow a candidate into a bathroom,  but for the most part, you only hear about trackers when candidates call them “macaca.”

A couple days before I met West, he had tried to chastise his tracker for taping his remarks at a public ceremony for Vietnam veterans, accusing the young woman of being “disrespectful to the men and women who have given themselves to this great nation.” I thought it was a tawdry fight to pick; you can judge for yourself on this video.  In any case, he clearly upset the tracker, who was just doing her job, and it sounds like she left in tears.

She came back the morning I was interviewing West outside Park Avenue BBQ, where he was about to campaign. He whirled around and confronted her again: “You’re not going to take out that phone, are you?” She clearly was, but she stammered that she wasn’t. “Do not take out that phone!” West, a former Army colonel, was clearly trying to be intimidating. It worked. The tracker left, clearly upset once again.

I asked West why he had been so hostile. “I don’t have time to play games,” he snapped. “It shows how desperate the other side is.” I told him I thought trackers were pretty common in politics. “I don’t have time to play games,” he repeated.

We’ve all had moments where we weren’t as nice to others as we should have been. And in a way it’s kind of refreshing that West didn’t try to play nice in front of me; other politicians might try to conceal their nasty behavior from the press. But it’s better not to be nasty in the first place.

83 comments
mscarborough
mscarborough

When our Founding Fathers decided congressional terms should only last two years between elections, they must have known something about narcissistic personality disorder and the possibility of someone with the disorder getting elected.

JoeKidd
JoeKidd

I thought Time was supposed to be an objective news organization.All I see are people who have really scary thoughts acting as an echo chamber for each other.

FrankBlank
FrankBlank

It would be good for the country if the media were to refer to West as The Little Corporal.

hemmingsr
hemmingsr

The last paragraph is a great reminder that the way we treat each other matters, in life and politics.

BanKKiller
BanKKiller

I hope the Republicans keep denying math and science along with women's rights. This will keep them in the stone age and defeated. It didn't hurt that the Republicans have Faux News, Rush and Sean misleading their alleged fans. Har-har. 

West is a perfect dupe. He spent three times the money, told ten times the lies and he lost because MOST people are awake. 

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

There's an old SNL skit where an airliner has landed and the passengers are deplaning.  David Spade playing America says to Allen West....

Okay, here we go - thanks for flying with us, buh-bye. Buh-bye! Thanks, now. ... I'm sorry, what part didn't you understand - the buh or the bye?

chiefjgmac
chiefjgmac

And hello , again, to Alan Grayson and his nastier attitude.

MrObvious
MrObvious

So long DB. May every single door hit you in the ass!

Dan504
Dan504

There is no excuse for having a mean-spirited radical man with crazy ideas and pronouncements such as his in public office.  I don't know how he got there, but his exodus is welcomed. 

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

Real big of him to bluster at a woman. What a prick.

fitty_three
fitty_three

There is a difference between Allen West and "black Conservatives".

Black American Conservatives number maybe half the total black American voters, and are absolutely sane.

Allen West is insane, but just happens to be a black American.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

So long, Black Klansman!  We wish you well in your future endeavors.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

The tracker lady got the last laugh.  Adios, mf West. 

bobell
bobell

I assure those of you who think otherwise that West's political views are quite sufficient to render him a stink in the nostrils of anyone to the left of Paul Ryan.  He could be an utter sweetheart and still be the target of contempt from the left.

And how mannerly was it of West to accuse 80 or so democrats in Congress of being Communists?

Forget his behavior.  His policies were enough to get him voted out of Congress.  Good riddance!

bigbudd
bigbudd

allen west is a disease. if he had stayed any longer the people would have to have been inoculated..

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

Grunwald is a sissy who never served in uniform, so he probably has no idea why it why the tracker was being disrespectful during the event for Vietnam War veterans. If the woman left in tears, tough. Those veterans went through a lot worse. McDonald's is still an option if she can't handle her job as a tracker.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MrObvious  

...and may every door that hits you in the ass on your way out have rusty nails in it!

outsider
outsider

@nflfoghorn Tongue in cheek, i suspect.. 

I don't think too many wish him well.. 

jmac
jmac

@KevinGroenhagen I don't see an iota of difference between Allen West and KevinGroenhagen. The ruination of the party I used to vote for is embodied in these two men.  My Vietnam veteran husband (two tours and 21 year's service) agrees.  

bobell
bobell

It was a public ceremony, right?  Anyone could attend.  I assume there was no general rule against audio or video recording.  Perhaps some of the attendees recorded the ceremony for their own future use.  Woud West have asked a ocal TV station's reporters to levae?  A natinoal TV network?  Why did it matter that one more person stood unobtrusively at the ceremony recording the proceedings?  There's no reason to think she was there to disrupt them -- West did the disrupting.

I could be wrong about some of the facts, in which case I may have to alter my opinion. But to me, if things were as they seem to be, it was West, not the tracker, who was out of line.

JoeKidd
JoeKidd

@traffikator @chiefjgmac  

Um, I guess you are forgetting him saying "Republicans' healthcare plan is they want you to die." But, it was Barack Obama who told a woman that instead of her mother getting a pacemaker, maybe someone less emotionally involved could make the decision and give her a pain pill. Look it up. It's on youtube.

traffikator
traffikator

@KevinGroenhagen @bobell 

You are such a LIAR!! The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) was established in 1991 by six members of the United States House of Representatives: U.S. Representatives Ron Dellums (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Thomas Andrews (D-ME), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Where do you find information the members of the CPC are aligned with the DSA? And how do you know West mispoke slightly? Did he tell you that? How could he have mispoken when he delivered a prepared speech? Forget the politics, is this who truly represents you and your values? is the the person who you would place as the frontman for your company? Well then let us get him the nomination for 2016! You must be really proud of him!

jsfox
jsfox

@KevinGroenhagen @bobell Ah yes  WND, World Nut Daily, always known for their high standards and factual reporting. )Please read with the appropriate amount of dripping sarcasm.)

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@mantisdragon91 @KevinGroenhagen Other than the meaning of the first half of our last names, we have nothing in common. I don't believe that you served and you strike me as a sissy, which most liberal men are. You would have more in common with Grunwald.

mscarborough
mscarborough

@JoeKidd @traffikator @chiefjgmac Given a choice between an operation that will more than likely kill you now, and pain medication that will give you a couple more years, what would you do?  That's between you and your doctor, but we wouldn't want to let a little thing like "context" get in the way of an opportunity to take a stab at our Muslim, Kenyan, socialist, President would we?

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@traffikator @KevinGroenhagen @bobell Where do I get the idea that the CPC is aligned with the DSA? Oh, I don't know, how about the DSA itself, moron? This DSA document notes that the CPC members are also DSA members:

 http://www.scribd.com/doc/35733956/DSA-Members-American-Socialist-Voter-Democratic-Socialists-of-America-10-1-09

Also, consider this:

 Q: Aren't you a party that's in competition with the Democratic Party for votes and support?

No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious,and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. 

http://www.dsausa.org/pdf/widemsoc.pdf

And you're wrong about West saying this as part of a prepared speech. He was responding to a question asked at a town hall meeting.

 www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75025.html

You can offer an apology when you get a chance.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75025.htmlhttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75025.htmlhttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75025.html

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@HudsonValleyTim Obviously more integrity that an anonymous coward who calls others names while hiding behind a tree. And ask that girl Barack about quitting smoking.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@KevinGroenhagen @HudsonValleyTim I see, so if you were to say that you stopped smoking, when in-fact you were simply between smokes, that would be OK? I guess that your fingers were crossed to. Lots of personal integrity there, @sshole.

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@HudsonValleyTim Sissy? If you're going to issue an insult like that, at least be a man and use your real name when you do so. The only bet I made with people here entailed Mitt Romney. He is no girl. The closest we had to a woman running for president was Barack Obama, as you can see from this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ub2MVSahGxE

 And I'm fairly certain that if you ever came out from behind your tree, we would find that you also throw like a girl.

My bet said that I would stop posting here if Romney lost. You and your fellow liberal morons here were too stupid to place a time frame on the bet.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@KevinGroenhagen @HudsonValleyTim Hide behind semantics, sissy. What did you mean? Take all the time you need, but you've already had 2 weeks to come-up with a good lie.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@KevinGroenhagen @HudsonValleyTim I seem to remember that you were pushing that bet on me 2-days before the election (which I accepted). Please refresh my memory...if that's not what you meant, what exactly did you mean?

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@KevinGroenhagen @HudsonValleyTim Btw, just curious....what exactly did you mean when you said that you would leave the swamp if your girl lost the election?

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@KevinGroenhagen @HudsonValleyTim On welfare...that's good. I've also noted you spewing your bile pretty-much 24x7.

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@HudsonValleyTim Some of us have lives, Skippy. I can't post here 24 hours a day like you folks on welfare. Mantis has also noted that he is a Canadian citizen. That may or may not be true. If it is, his claim is suspicious since, to my knowledge, Canada had no ground troops in Iraq.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@mantisdragon91 @KevinGroenhagen

**** Silence from Kevin is duly noted ****

Btw, I thought the idea of the military was to stand-up for their country, not cow them into submission. Sounds like West would be more comfortable in a salafist regime.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@KevinGroenhagen @mantisdragon91 Believe what you want but I still have scars from shrapnel from a T-72 tank shell on my right shoulder and arm. That would be in Iraq in 91 facing down Republican Guard Mechanized brigades. Where did you serve tough guy?

TyPollard
TyPollard

@KevinGroenhagen @TyPollard @bobell 

I haven't seen you or anyone give evidence that he is extreme. He may demagogue but that is hardly unusual in congress. Perhaps he is extreme in the same way Obama is extreme - as in NOT.

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@TyPollard @bobell Grayson is an extremist, a demagogue, and a boob. If you wish for more like him, it doesn't say much for your sanity.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@bobell 

Alan Grayson is a bombastic fighter but the idea that he is an extreme, insane radical  is based on nothing. He is the person standing up to bullies making the bullies has a sad. 

More like this please until sanity returns to the Republican party.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@KevinGroenhagen

Being called moron by you Kevin is par for course.

But it's good that you find a complete idiot like Allen West to look up to. Thank Gosh you guys are going out for pasture.

bobell
bobell

My regard for you is a measure of how deeply your calling me a moron has wounded me.

KevinGroenhagen
KevinGroenhagen

@bobell If you believe Grayson has a grasp of reality, then you're a bigger moron than I thought.

bobell
bobell

@KevinGroenhagen

Thanks for asking.

I'll take Grayson.  Okay, he's a loudmouth.  But he has a grasp of reality, and that distinguishes him from West.

bobell
bobell

And Benedict Armold won a major victory for the Colonies during the Revolution.

Is it impossible to be a good soldier and a rotten politician?

TyPollard
TyPollard

@KevinGroenhagen @TyPollard @jmac 

The problem is that he treats his fellow Americans, sissies and all, as if they are the enemy equal to the very real danger of combat in Iraq. He has not been able to modulate his evaluation of threats.

bobell
bobell

To Groenhagen everyone is a sissy whose name is "Skippy."