The angry name-calling email sent by Congressman Allen West to his South Florida colleague, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was just the latest in a long-running feud that really got kick-started in an unlikely place: A raunchy bikers? magazine.
Remember the NBC News story on Allen West alleged ties to the Outlaws motorcycle gang? Well, in addition to having been photographed shaking hands with members and defending the gang in an email, West also wrote a column for a South Florida magazine, Wheels On The Road, which advocated for the gang.
In the October issue, West decried ?character assassination? in politics in the column. In that same issue, another of the magazine?s writers, one Willie Woo, lashed out at ?demoncrats,? ?a-hole do gooder libs,? and the president, whom he called ?Barry Obongo.? Then he unleashed on ?Debbie Wasserman Shitz,? as he called her, and wrote the following vulgar lines:
?That yenta annoys the crap out of me just with her whinning [sic] voice,? Woo wrote. ?Guys, can you just imagine banging her (UGGGGGGGGGG) and she?s screaming at the top of her lungs!!! Some visual, huh guys????
When Wasserman-Schultz learned of the magazine and West's connection to it, she led a protest at West?s campaign headquarters on October 22 that was attended by about 70 people, most of them holding signs for West?s opponent, Ron Klein. She criticized West not for his own writings but his connection to the magazine itself, which she called ?degrading, sexist and misogynistic.?
?He thinks it?s okay to objectify and denigrate women,? Wasserman-Schultz said at the protest. ?He thinks it?s okay to take away our reproductive freedom. He thinks it?s okay associate with people who refer to women as ?oral relief stations.? Well we?re here to tell him it is not okay. ? Tea Party extremists have some real issues with women.?
West never liked Wasserman Schultz and vice versa ? they are on opposite sides of the aisle and both are loved by their bases and lightning rods for criticism from the opposition. West is a hero of the Tea Party while Wasserman Schultz was its chief target. Two months before Wasserman Schultz threw the protest, West remarked that Wasserman Schultz ?wakes up every day out of line.? But the protest apparently really got to him, so much so that in the Tuesday email he fired off to Wasserman-Schultz calling her vile, despicable, and "not a lady," he mentioned it.
?[U]nderstand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior??which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach,? he wrote.
Even got the month in there. Since West's email -- prompted by Wasserman Schultz calling him out on the House Floor over Medicare legislation -- has become one of the biggest national political news stories of the week, both sides are using it to drum up campaign cash. Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith sent out a fundraising letter yesterday with the subject line, "Reprehensible."
"As we work towards making the lives of Floridians better, in the midst of people like Allen West who try to block progress with angry rants and temper tantrums, we need your help," he wrote.
The Huffington Post reported that West said he had apologized to Wasserman Schultz for the email, but that apparently never happened. Instead West reiterated his remarks in a fundraising email of his own, which he headlined "Vile, Despicable and Unprofessional."
"Those three words sum up my feelings about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz," he wrote. "... Yesterday, on the floor of the House, I publicly expressed my support for "Cut, Cap, and Balance" -- the leading conservative proposal to help us get our spiraling debt and spending under control. Once I left the floor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DNC Chair) -- who it seems does little except act as an attack dog for the "vast left wing conspiracy" -- attacked me personally for supporting the legislation.It's not a coincidence that she is the Chairwoman of the DNC and that the Democrats are making me target #1 for defeat. In a discussion of grave importance to this nation's future, she somehow finds time to try to score political points. And she doesn't have the guts to do it to my face! ... And it's times like this that I need friends with me. Please make a donation of $25 or more at my website right now."
Both of West's opponents -- Lois Frankel and Patrick Murphy -- also issued fundraising pitches based on West's angry email as well, further setting up that race as one of the most divisive -- and expensive -- in American history.