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Wild, wild West

<p>It's been about a week since Rep.</p>

It's been about a week since Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) insisted that members of House Progressive Caucus are secretly "members of the Communist Party." The unhinged congressman began fundraising off his tirade soon after.

Some pesky journalists continue, however, to ask West what in the world he was thinking. Here was an answer the right-wing politician offered yesterday (thanks to our pal James Carter for posting and passing along the clip):

The video is worth watching, in part because it's a peek into the mind of someone who's simply gone around the bend. West's explanation for why congressional progressives are part of a web that features Woodrow Wilson and the Communist Party has all the sophistication and coherence of a comment left on a Glenn Beck message board.

What's more, as far as the Florida lawmaker is concerned, if you question his twisted view of history and ideology, then you've failed to do sufficient "research." He actually seems to believe this nonsense.

But my favorite part came towards the end, when West presented a new argument I hadn't heard him make before:

"This whole argument that the liberal left is trying to take you down, talking about women's contraception is really about a federal government that is reclassifying religious organizations -- for them to be able to manipulate them however they wish. So that's what I wish people would focus on."

Got that? There's a health care law that guarantees free preventive care for Americans, and the Obama administration wants contraception to be considered preventive care. But in Allen West's strange mind, this birth control measure is really a fiendish plot that would allow big government to "manipulate" America's churches. It's this conspiracy that people should "focus on."

My friend Steve M. argued the other day, "[T]he unreported story of our times is that birtherism isn't an isolated example of paranoid lunacy taking hold of a disturbingly large segment of the population -- in fact, modern conservatism is driven by multiple lunatic theories that are precisely as delusional as birtherism."

Steve M. wasn't talking about Allen West, but he might as well have been.