Crazy-Eyed Washington Columnist Defends Allen West From Hypothetical Democrat Hypocrisy On Fictional Racism

Categories: Broward News
joe_gehrke.jpg
"I have thoughts! Technically, I have thoughts. Probably."
Sometimes there are slow news days. Washington Examiner commentary writer Joe Gehrke must have had the slowest of his life yesterday.

He was criticizing a blog post by smirking HBO commentator Bill Maher, a nice, soft target for a conservative gentleman. Maher's post was a meandering meditation on everything from Congress not being able to pass a bill to how "the same old Washington pundits haven't said anything interesting since disco." What Gehrke decided to seize on, however, was Allen West -- and racism.

He starts in on the tired political analysis hackery in the first sentence:
Bill Maher, a comedian who donated $1 million to President Obama's superPAC, attacked the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus while describing the GOP as "the party of the apes."
Guilt by association is a great trick to give bloggers something to blabber about -- the blabbering looks pretty shallow, though, when there isn't actually an association. Take, for example, the media pants that were crapped when Rick Santorum funder Foster Friess joked on CNN that back in his day, birth control was a woman holding an aspirin between her knees. Yeah, maybe he and Santorum share ignorant, unfair views on health care, but it's not fair to attack Santorum for taking money from an asshole. Assholes give money to everybody.

Now, on to this "Allen West is an ape" thing. Here's what Maher says in the third paragraph of his post:
The idea that the blame for our government's dysfunction is equally shared by the parties just is a giant, steaming mound of horseshit and anyone who has paid attention to politics over the last 20 years knows it. Or as I like to call it, "The Rise of the Party of the Apes."
OK. No actual mention of West yet, just a joke based around a sci-fi movie. But let's keep reading. From Maher's eighth paragraph:
Or take Allen West. Seriously, take him to the padded cell and give him 20 CCs of the high test. Ornstein and Mann start off their Post op-ed by noting that recently Rep. Allen West said that there are "78 to 81" Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. And not one Republican said, "Allen, come on. You're making us look dumb."
Oh, god! The racism! Tell us about it, Joel:
The liberal comedian... targets Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., as his proof that "the apes" have taken over the GOP... Maher's indirect description of West as an "ape" -- a term historically used to denigrate black people as subhuman -- would undoubtedly provoke cries of racism if a conservative figure, such as Rush Limbaugh, made such a remark about a Democratic member of the CBC.
Sure it would. But nobody made "such a remark" about anybody. Maher isn't saying black people are stupid, he's saying Republicans are stupid, and Allen West is their enthusiastic mascot. That much should be obvious to anyone who makes money typing words, even someone who looks like his internal monologue is mostly humming.

"Given his history with the Democratic Party, though, it seems unlikely that Maher will be rebuked for characterizing West as an ape," he continued. Brilliant! Make up racism, then preemptively blame Democrats for not condemning it.

Nobody's suggesting we start calling Allen West an ape. Even if you disagree with him, even if you think he's gleefully extinguishing the last lingering embers of civil political discourse, being racist is not OK. Also, Bill Maher can be a jackass. We get it. But columnists (and bloggers and journalists and weird mashups of all three) are supposed to be holding politicians, and each other, accountable -- and columns like Gehrke's aren't helping anybody.

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6 comments
Wow
Wow

I was with you to some extent until, "Allen West is their enthusiastic mascot."  Now that is racist.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Todays right fright winger simply has no actual reading comprehension.  That and a deep desire to take things WAY out of context.  At this point, even though I normally refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person, they way these buffoons are running around screaming nonsense, there really is no alternative.  Yes, it would be great to be able to just toss these people into the looney bin where they belong and ignore them, unfortunately these are the nuts that are running things.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Rich; Is this the look of one that's undergone some "anal probing"... Should we expect Cartman's 80 foot satellite dish to make another appearance?

riverrat69
riverrat69

  Since the frightwing Washington Examiner wants to attack a comedian. Instead of using the usual frightwing blogger, why don't they really go after Maher. Use a frightwing comedian. I wonder if they'll ever find one. A frightwinger with a sense of humor? Yeah right.

WakeUp
WakeUp

Allen West has the mental capacity of an ape.   Joe Gehrke looks like an ape.

Rich Abdill
Rich Abdill

I'm not entirely sure I follow, but here's my reasoning: Think of the GOP as a football team. Allen West, legislatively speaking, has had nothing to do with anything. He's on TV a lot, he's on the blogs a lot, he's attracting a lot of attention, but when it comes to actually playing the game, it's best if he stays out of it. Making noise, getting attention, doing nothing of substance? That sounds like a mascot to me.

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