One thing you’ve got to give West is that he’s entertaining. He seems to keep the left in a constant state of confusion to boot. Debbie Wasserman-Schulz can attest to that; she seemed flummoxed during her dust-up with him by the fact that the infrastructure that made Scarlett O’Hara possible is long gone. You can’t be as nasty as you please to the menfolks and have them keep calling you “ma’am” and tipping their hats. Instead of wilting, West called her on that superannuated southern-belle tactic.
West’s latest confusing maneuver is quoting General Anthony McAuliffe’s storied response to the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. CAIR demanded that West cut off ties with Brigitte Gabriel and Pam Geller. West sent a letter with the following response (image of letter reproduced at links below):
Dear Mr. Hamze and Mr. Shibly,
I am writing to you with regard your recent letter:
Steadfast and loyal,
Allen B. West
Member of Congress
Ann Althouse puts it this way:
1-word response not understood by left-wing blog.
And they even see the historical reference. They just can’t put it together.
I don’t think I’d say they don’t understand it. They’re just bumfoozled by it. If you’re looking for dueling cases of epistemic closure, we may have one right here. The right sees the West response, and – because its allusion is so recognizable and pithy – thinks it’s worth a cheer. The left sees it, thinks first of all that it requires explication, and then proceeds to look squinty-eyed at it. (It’s not as if the event itself “belongs” to either political faction. It’s merely a data point from the lore of American tribal consciousness. The difference is in the perspectives on it.)
I suspect most on the right feel the best homage to West’s statement is brevity in response to it. As for the reaction from the left, it was captured in the last 10 seconds of this clip from the 1965 movie Battle of the Bulge.