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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Not An Easy Makeover For Florida’s Rep. Allen West

Not An Easy Makeover For Florida’s Rep. Allen West

Oh, now it all makes perfect sense.

Is West insane? That’s a natural question, but the answer is no. He’s just a fringe gasbag who spices his macho act with a little right-wing paranoia.

Still, it’s possible he really believes that American men are being psychologically emasculated by evil birth-control advocates, and that this is somehow responsible for the nation’s budget deficit.

Likewise, it’s possible West was dead serious when he told a Jensen Beach townhall meeting last April:

“I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

This was a stupendously dumb remark in a community where many are old enough to remember Sen. Joe McCarthy. (Among the current House members whose patriotism West attacked is a Lutheran farmer from Maine, that well-known hotbed of sedition.)

You can see the problem facing West’s campaign team, and you can see why it needs at least $15 million.

This is not an easy makeover.

What do you do with a guy who blogs that voters with Obama bumperstickers are “a threat to the gene pool”?

There are many Obama stickers to be seen in the 18th District along Florida’s Treasure Coast, a fact lost on the arrogant West, though not on his pollsters.

Unsurprisingly, most of his money is coming from outside the state.

He’s raised about five times more than Murphy, thanks partly to big checks from the PACs of Exxon Mobil, Northrup-Grumman, Citizens United and OSI Restaurant Partners, which owns Outback and Carrabba’s.

Floridians who buy their groceries at Publix Super Markets might be interested to learn that the company’s executives apparently have no problem with West’s wild slurs. So far Publix has sent him $12,500, through individuals and PACs.

The question is, will all that be enough?

Can $15 million create in the minds of voters a new, unembarrassing Allen West?

If not, he’ll know who to blame:

Planned Parenthood, the secret Communists in Congress, and all those slaves getting disability checks.

(Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132.)

(c) 2012, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com