CNN's Soledad O'Brien got a much-needed education about political ideologies from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) Thursday.
When she brought up a quote from the Vice Chairman of the National Communist Party refuting the Congressman's claim there are 78 to 81 Communists in Congress, West simply replied, "I don't care what he says" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Toward the end of her interview with the congressman on Thursday's Starting Point, O'Brien played the now famous clip of West telling a group of his constituents that there are between 78 and 81 members of the Communist Party in Congress.
At the end of the clip, West replied, "Well, unfortunately Soledad, you didn't play the entire thing, and I talked about the Congressional Progressive Caucus."
Indeed. Liberal media members have regularly edited that part out of the video to dishonestly depict what West said.
He continued, "I've had to give quite a few people a tutorial about the political spectrum of ideologies, and there's a thin separation. And at the turn of the century here in the United States of America, American Communists renamed themselves Progressives, but the strategy and the tactics and the ideology still remains the same.
"And when you're a member of a caucus that actually wanted to have a Constitutional amendment to redistribute wealth in the United States of America, I don't think that's in keeping with the principles and values of this country."
West was referring to H.J. Resolution 34 that proposed "an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to taxing the people of the United States progressively."
It was originally introduced on February 13, 2007, by Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.), and then again in February 2011 after which it was referred to committee. It has 28 co-sponsors including Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) - all members of the CPC.
At this point in the interview, O'Brien asked West to name the Communists in the House, but the Congressman said, "You can go look up the Congressional Progessive Caucus...then you've got the names."
O'Brien then started reading the name of some of the CPC's members and asked incredulously if these people were Communists.
"You can call it whatever you want," answered West. "I'm talking about their beliefs. I'm calling it this: Communist, Progressive, Marxist, Socialist, Statist - which is another term that's been used - I'm looking at the ideologies, I'm looking at the things that they believe in, and if you don't think that we have to stand upon truth and be able to identify and clearly contrast the different principles and values and ideologies and principles of governance here in this country, then we're never going to get to the fact of accepting the true debate that's happening in America."
"We don't need a bureaucratic nanny state. We need to stay a Constitutional Republic. I think a lot of people need to study that and understand what it is."
Can anybody argue with that?
O'Brien actually did by quoting Libero Della Piana, the Vice Chairman of the National Communist Party who said of West's contentions, "I just think it’s an absurd way to cast a shadow over his colleagues. It’s kind of a sad ploy…It’s just guilt by association taken to an extreme.”
"He says you're wrong," concluded O'Brien.
West simply and emphatically responded, "I don't care what he says."
Do you? Or should any American?
Obviously, O'Brien does.
What does that tell you?