There’s much to love about Allen West. He’s had a distinguished military career, and as an Afghan war vet, he’s one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the nature of the enemy we face. He gained national exposure on YouTube through his excellent speaking skills. West doesn’t mince words, or cushion his opinions. His style of rhetoric is blunt, and incisive. All good things…
If he isn’t careful, he could talk himself into being a sort of right-wing Alan Grayson – an obnoxious, bomb-throwing, sucker punching slob, and a national embarrassment.
I was shocked to hear some of the comments Lawrence O’Donnell brought to light on his MSNBC show:
“Obama is probably the dumbest person walking around America, right now”.
“I can’t stand the guy, I absolutely can’t stand him”.
Those statements are beneath the dignity of a United States Congressman. While I don’t blame Rep. West for feeling the way he does, (I feel the same way) – I do blame him for using such strident, and tactless speech. We expect better decorum from our Republican Congressmen. As much as we may not like it, Obama is the President of the United States. Public officials are expected to show a certain amount of respect for the office.
The comments West made about Obama’s trip to Afghanistan are from an interview he gave The New York Times Magazine:
Do you consider President Obama a good leader?
Do you think those in the military respect him?
I don’t know, you gotta ask guys in the military, but I will tell you this: I think that going in in the middle of the night doesn’t show leadership.
Are you referring to that recent three-hour trip to a base in Afghanistan? He needs to consider his own safety, doesn’t he?
Leaders lead by example, and if I’m asking my young men and women to go out there and puttheir lives on the line, I should be willing and able to do the exact same thing. As I told my soldiers when I was commander in Iraqin 2003, the most expendable person in our battalion was me.
Didn’t George W. Bush go in for a surprise visit to Iraq under similar circumstances? Remember the platter-of-turkey photo op on Thanksgiving Day?
I’m not saying that’s right, either. I’m saying that my understanding of leadership is a little bit different. Leadership is about being a servant first.
Suggesting that a President should put his life on the line the same as a soldier is ludicrous, and the fact that he dug in, and didn’t back away from the idea until the very end of the interview with O’Donnell, may well have disqualified him from ever running for higher office, I’m very sorry to say.
Am I wrong?
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers