Martin Bashir | November 20, 2012
>>> you also could rest assured knowing you made an impact immediately as a one-term congressman and we'll see what the sequel is.
>> f. scott fitzgerald said there are no second acts in american lives and when it comes to allen west , we can only hope and pray that he's right. the florida congressman who sees reds under the bed has finally conceded defeat in his fight to save his seat in the house. let's bring in msnbc contributor goldie taylor and joy reid who is the managing editor of thegrio.com. joy, i know you're close to tears with regard to the demise of -- why are you laughing? you were close to tears earlier. are you -- why are you laughing as well goldie ?
>> because i am crying.
>> look, are we going to miss a man who described the president's supporters as a threat to the gene pool and also said that democrats in the house are communists?
>> absolutely. i mean, i can tell you at the grio we definitely all were hanging our heads in solemn con tem place of what in the world we're going to do to match allen west 's unique brand of -- we won't say insanity. his unique brand of politics.
>> his unique brand. goldie , it's worth saying that mr. west did serve in the military, although he also had some problems there, including a mock execution that he carried out. so hation mr. west's ludicrous rhetoric overtaken anything he might have actually given in public service ?
>> you know, i won't decry his subpick service or his service as a man of the military, but his inability to serve honorably at the end of his enlistment, his inability to serve this country well in the halls of its congress, to serve in a nonembarrassing way to his district is really what i have got to focus on here. allen west is going away, but the fact is there's going to be another allen west . if we're able to send michele bachmann home, trust and believe there will be another michele bachmann . as we see race and socialization and economic strata all take place, they play themselves out in class warfare , and allen west was just a symbol of that. he allowed himself to be used by the tea party as a symbol to help them advance that cause. and, unfortunately, you know, he got played. and he is going home .
>> yes, indeed. joy, another man of unique political genius, joe walsh of illinois, has also lost, and he's going to be going home very soon. does this indicate that the tea party in the house is literally falling apart?
>> i think it's interesting because i agree -- allen west was probably the most potent symbol of the tea party because in part because in florida i can tell you he was the tea party . he was their favorite candidate and he embodied all of the belief systems of the tea party , the idea of shrinking government, the abject hey dread of barack obama who he literally said he can't stand. his ideas were sa none news where the tea party and he and walsh losing is symbolic the tea party having risen so high and taken over the tea parelection. he won in a swing district where he came in with the wave and was washed out in 2012 . i think that's symbolic of the tea party 's diminished authority in the republican party .
>> do you agree that the 60 member tea party caucus which did manage to survive this election, survived with people like michele bachmann , steve king , they're still there, aren't they?
>> you know, what i agree with is this, the strength of social populism, from the left and from the right, historically over the context of our nation has risen and ebbed. they've ebbed and flowed. this is just another receding of the waters. the tea party itself is not dead. the movement itself mismanaged as it were, bad accouncandidates put up, but the mood and feeling that the tea party embraced is not dead. if you see another strong economic downturn where race and class and socialization is in play again, you will see it come around again. let's say every 30 years or so. we're not done with the allen wests of the year or the michele bachmanns or even the sharon angels of the world. we're also not done with the bill clintons of of the world and the barack obamas of the world.
>> we hear rand paul is talking about not a 30-year run but possibly four years.
>> he's still viable. i think it's important to remember that what allen west represented beyond just the tea party was an anti-islamic really almost jihadism and it took root in south florida . he was very stridently anti-muslim and in a way that was ironic because he is an african-american and he took that to extremes as he also voted to raise the debt ceiling. so he wasn't a purist on tea party ideology. he think he represents a lot of the contradictions and a lot of the failings of the extreme right and his having lost even narrowly was a huge symbolic victory for democrats. he was one of the top ten targets for democrats in the 2012 election. his losing has great significance. i agree with goldie that tea party ideology is the republican party 's base, it's part of them, but him losing i think was an important movement for tolerance and i think for a more moderate and hopefully more sane form of politics in the gop.