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Florida Rep. Allen West has claimed in the past that he is the “modern day Harriet Tubman,” but his latest wild statement leaves him looking more like Joseph McCarthy.

West made his latest in a long line of controversial comments at a Tuesday afternoon town hall meeting in Palm City. When asked “what percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists?” West answered “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.”

Video of West’s claim is below, courtesy of Think Progress:

West did not clarify which congressmen he believed were secret Communists, but his campaign manager Tim Edson defended the Tea Party favorite by claiming that he was referring to the 80 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Edson referred to the progressive caucus as “opponents of capitalism” who “oppose individual economic freedom.”

If 80 Democrats are closet commies, it’s news to the Communist Party USA. Libero Della Piana, a vice-chairman of the party, told Politico that West’s accusation is “an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues” and “kind of a sad ploy.”

Ironically, West has complained in the past that he is “very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric” in American politics.

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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