Thursday, July 21, 2011

West and Wasserman Schultz Square Off in Verbal Battle

He's Alan West. Republican Representative from South Florida and Tea Party hero. West, a former Army officer and freshman GOP lawmaker, has made a name for himself with inflamatory remarks and combative rhetoric which quickly made him a You Tube favorite.

She's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair, Democratic Representative from South Florida, breast cancer survivor, wife and mother.

In her remarks on the House floor, Wasserman Schultz said: "The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from south Florida."

West fired off an angry, widely circulated email to Wasserman Schultz for criticizing his stance on Medicare during a spending debate. West called her "vile, unprofessional and despicable" and told her to "shut the heck up."

Several Congresswomen have called for West to apologize. Rather than shy away from the controversy, the lawmakers who represent neighboring South Florida districts are using their verbal battle to energize their political bases and for fundraising.

West seems less the Washington insider. He was initially snubbed by the Congressional Black Caucus, although the overwhelmingly liberal group later said he could request a membership. He has an ardent following of both churchgoers and biker clubs. The latter followed him during the campaign, offering protection.

In Iraq while still in the Army, he fired a gun near a detainee's head, threatening to kill him and allow soldiers to beat him in hopes of scaring the prisoner into revealing details of a purported plot against West and his men. The man was later found to be innocent. West admitted wrongdoing in a military court, was fined and relieved of his command. But supporters view his actions as those of a true paatriot.
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