Romney’s Foreign Policy Acumen Doesn’t Impress Allen West

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/allenwest/5827219606/in/photostream">Allen West</a>/Flickr

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Rep. Allen West, a tea party congressman who believes the House Progressive Caucus is filled with communists, may be the most polarizing of the 93 GOP freshmen, but he’s revered by conservatives—some of whom have floated him as an (implausible) vice presidential choice. His status as the right wing’s national security guru makes West’s comments in Robert Draper’s new profile of the 112th Congress, Do Not Ask What Good We Do, kind of damning. West, a 22-year-military veteran, was concerned about Mitt Romney’s basic grasp of foreign policy:

It amazed him how some of his fellow Republicans remained clueless when it came to the basics of foreign policy—including Afghanistan, where America had spent the past decade at war. He had winced when he heard presidential candidate Mitt Romney referring to “the Afghanis.” Afghanis were the country’s currency! “Hugely embarrassing,” West said. (Months later, when GOP presidential contender Herman Cain dismissed his own ignorance of the country he referred to as “Uz-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan,” a disgusted West muttered, “Not funny at all.”

Draper’s sketch of West focuses on the congressman’s complicated relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus (he’s the only GOP member), and his unflinching military ethos (West analogizes his arrival in Washington to Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon). West does not suffer fools—or at least people he considers to be fools, whatever the basis in fact—gladly. The entire book is worth a read.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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