As a political media outlet, we're really basking in the warm exhaust of the 2016 Republican Clown Car right now. The truth is that as the car fills up, it provides so much cheap content for folks like us. If I wanted to, I could sit back, lace my fingers behind my head and just let the copy roll in for the entirety of primary season. That's how easy it is when you've got an entire political party that seems committed to fomenting candidates determined to out-stupid each other. It's just hurry up and wait for one -- or several of them -- to say the next completely fucking insane thing that's either a real statement of belief or at best is a form of cynical pandering to the base.
But lest anyone think that this whole sideshow is a completely new phenomenon, it's a good idea to remind you of the Great Tea Party Revolution that provided the assembly line for the clown car and changed GOP politics fundamentally. If you're wondering, say, whatever happened to Allen West, the barely-keeping-it-together psychopath who rode the tea party wave into Congress in 2010 and was one of its most vocal proponents, the good news is that he's still around and still a thing with many conservatives. Since being drummed out of the House he's fulfilled his political destiny by becoming a Fox News contributor, which means that he's paid to regularly express the kind of apocalyptic paranoia that he used to only in service to the Constitution of the United States. Like so many within the conservative entertainment complex these days, public service was nothing more than a stepping stone on the road to the big grift.
On Monday, West published a blog post over at his personal site titled "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" In the piece, West recounted a recent visit to a Dallas Wal-Mart, during which a "Muslim employee" reportedly refused to sell him alcohol. Let's let West pick up the story from here, telling it as only he can.
There was a young man doing the checkout and another Walmart employee came over and put up a sign, "No alcohol products in this lane." So being the inquisitive fella I am, I used my additional set of eyes -- glasses -- to see the young checkout man's name. Let me just say it was NOT "Steve."
I pointed the sign out to (my daughter) Aubrey and her response was a simple question, how is it that this Muslim employee could refuse service to customers based on his religious beliefs, but Christians are being forced to participate in specific events contrary to their religious beliefs?
Boy howdy, that is one astute young lady.
Imagine that, this employee at Walmart refused to just scan a bottle or container of an alcoholic beverage -- and that is acceptable. A Christian business owner declines to participate or provide service to a specific event -- a gay wedding -- which contradicts their faith, and the State crushes them.
So, let's recap: Allen West and his daughter go to a Wal-Mart where somebody comes over to the young man at the register and stops him from selling West alcohol. The person's name is "NOT 'Steve,'" if you get his drift. Ergo, Sharia law has come to the United States it's obvious that the state is out to crush all Christians. I want you to ponder for a moment what the hell kind of mind would put that all together and jump to that conclusion.
Now here's what really happened. After posting his conjecture-filled unthink-piece, West reached out to the store -- because he's an "inquisitive fella," just not inquisitive enough to ask a few questions before going off on an online rant -- and found out the "young man" whom he was trying to buy alcohol from was apparently so young as to be under 21, meaning that he couldn't legally sell alcohol. No big conspiracy -- just the law. He's since changed the title of the piece to "More Ominous Signs of Christian Persecution," and is now tying himself into a logical and linguistic pretzel in an attempt to reach the conclusion he's still determined to.
The fun thing about Allen West is that claiming he was the victim of Sharia law at Wal-Mart is literally the least crazy thing he's ever said. That's because Allen West is a special kind of lunatic. He's military weapons-grade insane. Almost every time West opened his pie hole during his time in the political spotlight, some unabashed gem of paranoia, barbarism, incivility and generally offensive backward-ass thinking made itself known. He's the archetypal right-wing bully, a patriarchal tyrant who believes that he and he alone has been given dominion over the land by the Almighty and everyone else can basically kiss his ass.
West once intoned that guns may be necessary to stand against the liberal onslaught, that U.S. military leaders should refuse the orders of President Obama, that American news agencies should be censored, that Obama supporters are a threat to the gene pool, that progressive women are trying to “neuter” American men, and that Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz doesn’t know her place because she refused to show him the proper amount of respect and deference. He claimed that "78 to 81 members of the Democrat party" in Congress are card-carrying members of the communist party.
As a former military man, he's somewhere between General Jack D. Ripper from Dr. Strangelove and the sadistic Colonel Stuart from Die Hard 2. This is a guy who was fined and cited by the military for threatening to kill an Iraqi prisoner and going so far as to put him on his knees and fire a gun next to his head during an interrogation back in 2003.
This is who Allen West is. So, of course, you can find him offering his opinions over at Fox News. Whether he's a representative of the base or just part of it, his lunacy is why the clown car is the most we can expect from conservative politics these days.