Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | August 19, 2011

Allen West and the politics of nuts

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

The West communication is actually less entertaining than the earnest – not to say prissy – explanations of it being circulated at left-wing websites.  (See here and here, for example.)

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And they even see the historical reference.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.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.



  1. slowly slicing the skin from West’s feet might be just as entertaining, but it would just as inappropriate and about as flaming crazy as West.

    defying the request from CAIR is fine. offering a short explanation of reasons why might befit a Congressman better than acting like a s***head.

    • A rare instance when I find myself agreeing with an amphibian. I was impressed with Allen West when I first heard how good he is speaking ex temp and pulling up historical references, seemingly effortlessly. I’ve been less impressed as time has gone by. Wasserman Schultz is a temple prostitute for leviathan and CAIR is a running dog shill for terrorists; but congressmen should not act like sh1theads even when dealing with sh1theads.

      • Should they not? Are you sure? But they do it all the time when dealing with regular citizens. Why, I´ve been called a terrorist and an accessory to attemptend murder just these last few months – and that´s only by elected Democrats, not even counting operatives.

        But that´s ok.Being serious about the size of our problems also means understanding that our delicate sensibilities don´t amount to a hill of beans.

        Some people want candid, principled straight-talkers who change they way business is done in Washington. Others want the old noncomittal nonresponse, soothing political talk to accompany one´s afternoon nap. Nothing wrong with that. You just can´t have both at the same time. You can´t have everything.

        Until you find me more Congressmen who can be relied on and who talk like Victorian peers, “nuts” will have to do.

    • Nay. Brevity is the soul of wit.

  2. F: I suspect from your comment that you will be having quite a difficult time with the trend in political debate over the near and intermediate term. It’s apparent that you’ve never had to deal before with people who do not see the need to debate/fight on your terms/turf, the need to apologize for not doing so, or the need to qualify themselves.

    I also suspect most people in your part of the pasture will be incapable of dealing with it, other than using ad hominem. You know, like calling people flaming crazy or s***head.


    • Welcome, ampontan. My apologies for the delay in “approving” your comment. Since you have a wordpress blog, I’m sure you know how it works. Now having the stamp of “approval,” your comments will all post automatically from now on. Don’t be shy!

  3. (good to hear from you, sully even if you’re agreeing with me)

    how the hell do you take a chance to make a dignified stand for free speech and freedom of association against those trying to belabor you with conformity to their silly pc standards….and instead swagger like a junior high kid?

  4. Fuster & Sully,

    Y’all are wound too tight. Relax. West’s rejoinder is quite funny and cleverly confirms he’s not to be trifled with. I have mixed emotions about some of his votes, but none about this, a perfect application of the mot juste.

    Enjoy your weekend, Gents!

    • some stuff is witty or kinda funny…..but the jape not a good idea under the circumstances (see Sykes, Wanda …. re kidney failure)

      see (fuster… any number of things)

      I have no trouble seeing the wit of West’s remark and no trouble saying that it wasn’t the way for a Congressman to respond in his official correspondence.

      though not all bad for a s***head speaking in a personal capacity…..

  5. We were talking about “validating” fools and tyrants recently and I believe that, perhaps, West has found the best answer to that problem.

    Also, I think that often, men of honor find themselves having to explain issues of the heart to people who’s main contribution in life is to act like “Wippies” for the many enemies of the country. When that happens, it’s probably best to deal with them as we deal with two and three year olds: Single sillable, one word answers seem to work best with them since lengthy or convoluted explanations are wasted on their limited understanding of the world.

    But, here I go, using too many words again. So, let me reword my post…

    To those that think West is being silly, crazy or wrong:


  6. Some s*** heads are better than others. Debbie struggles to see through the thickness of a shallow mind marinated in the cesspool of Democrat talking points ever since she was a coed leader of Young Democrats (At Miami yet!). The density of Debbie activates an array of caustic response because she is an especially loathsome box of progressive rocks. And to make matters even worse, Debbie is a Yenta. (a yenta is that lady who cuts in front of you at the all your can eat cafeteria in Miami Beach, turns around, and gives YOU a dirty look)

  7. OK, folks, let’s minimize the s-word business. I love all y’all, but let’s not have this spiral out of control.

  8. and “NUTS” was the official response, possibly not his initial one.

    In an interview McAuliffe gave in his office in the spring of 1954 to a group of ALOs (Air Liaison Officers), McAuliffe was asked what he really said, and McAuliffe replied he said “shit” to the German delegation.

    other accounts make the claim that he said “balls” and the more ambiguous synonym was typed

    in any case, a wartime response to an enemy demand, not quite the same circumstance as what Rep West(StHd-Fla) got.

    some people are entertained by Wanda Sykes, the opticon is entertained by Allen West’s “Nuts”…different strokes and all that.

  9. I’m not sure you guys get it – one thing the left cannot abide is for anyone to laugh at them or ridicule their monotonous pontificating.

    Boy, are they going to have a problem with Perry. I, however, already have my popcorn machine going full tilt with Congressman West doing the warm-up act.

  10. Oh for Heaven´s sake. “Nuts” is not especially witty but it is completely harmless compared with the tone set by Democrats these last few years (“Put him against the wall and shoot him”). Which never caused the Fusters of this world to feign indignation.

    • sorry, your rotundity, but I’m far from indignant and far from feigning.

      I expect better from congressman but I know going in that some of them simply don’t have “better’ in them.

      West was just being West. It ain’t good, but it’s not his fault that people in Fla routinely make lousy choices.
      They’re human, he’s human, and, it might surprise West, but the people in CAIR are human as well…CAIR also makes lousy choices…and they’re not really any more fit to represent or speak for the American people than is West.

      • By saying such imbecilities (West = CAIR) you are of course upgrading CAIR.

        No, you do not expect better from Congressmen, you expect them to be in a certain way, then everything is forgiven.

  11. Fuster, I gather Sheila Jackson Lee is desperately seeking a new driver. Are you up for the job?

    • Mealy-mouthed mediocrities (aka professional politicians) are doing far, far more damage than all the ones who are expressing themselves loud and clear. That goes for conservatives and leftwingers, by the way. I´d rather have a Sheila Jackson Lee than a John Kerry because at least WYSIWYG. But of course what West said is not at all in a league with the excretions of the hard left in Congress. It is pretty harmless compared with the cry for the nationalisation of industries, which may not sound harsh but is of course insane, whereas West sounds harsh but is in fact simply correct. Being correct goes a long way.

  12. thanks Zolt, for the offer.
    you and she may be tight, but there’s only one yenta dear to my heart, so I’m staying right here.

    (is the kid loving Wash U or what?)

  13. CAIR are Salafi apologists, unindicted coconspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, ‘devil’s advocates for Hamas.

  14. He likes it a lot — getting guitar lessons for credit – only $50,000,00++ per year – such a deal!

    • ‘zounds! guitar lessons used to be a little cheaper.

  15. Must admit, he’s also getting straight A’s and planning a joint major in Japanese Studies & English (Creative Writing) so he might write the great Japanese novel someday, or compose English-Japanese rock songs, who knows?

    • I suspected there was a lot more than guitar twanging, Zolt and straight A student sounds like it.

      A young friend did some intensive Spanish courses at Wash U not too long ago, including a year in South America as part of the deal.

      If your son does something like that, a year in Japan might put a pretty hefty surcharge on top off that 50K…..

      (and the world REALLY doesn’t need any more Japanese rock songs).

  16. I’m trying to recall any American pop music of recent years that is of such high quality it would negate the need for Japanese to write rock songs.

    If you give me a week, I can probably come up with a tune or two.

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