Allen West, Liberal CONvert
Sorry Tea Partiers, Rep. Allen West has decided he is a liberal. He wants us, him, government maybe, to focus on the mentally ill in the country. On his Facebook page West opined:
[blockquote] “The shooter was a very disturbed individual and it appears there were so many warning signs that he was going to do something horrible. We should be focusing on the mental health crisis in our country, not politics.”[/blockquote]-replacing [and] with <and>
West’s first act of leadership was to appoint a shock jock as his chief of staff. Joyce Kauffman believed undocumented workers should be hanged if they committed a crime and their lifeless bodies sent home. Deportation after death would seem like an unnecessary rubbing in of your victory, but she thought it was a clever thing to advocate. West admired that type of cleverness.
His closeness with Kauffman demonstrates that West may know a thing or two about the possibly mentally ill who have a fondness for violent imagery. West has had a change of heart and Kauffman won’t be joining his staff. I guess he no longer wishes to encourage the possibly mentally ill with their violent fantasies.
Now to further demonstrate his turning over a new leaf in light of the events in Tucson, West instead wants to focus on the mental health crisis in the country.
His support for government action while his party is crying for less government, comes none too soon for his Sunshine State constituents. Florida has consistently ranked 48 or 49th when it comes to mental health spending. The National Alliance for Mental Illness has given Florida a <a href=” http://www.nami.org/gtsTemplate09.cfm?Section=Grading_the_States_2009>”D”</a> in its approach to mental illness.
Florida has much preferred <a href=” http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/pub_info/documents/11-14-2007_Mental_Health_Report.pdf”>imprisoning</a> the mentally ill than treating them. The Supreme Court estimates that some 30,000 prisoners are mentally ill and another 40,000 mentally ill are supervised by the criminal justice system. Of the juvenile offenders, some 150,000 are in need of mental health care.
Now that he wants to focus on the mental health crisis maybe West probably will not support the repeal of the health care bill. After all, the health care bill promotes parity for mental health services with other health services for those lucky enough to be insured.
West also might be helpful in persuading Florida’s new Republican governor to share his focus on the mental health care crisis. Governor Voldemort wants to <a href=” http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/gov-elect-rick-scotts-advisers-suggest-cutbacks-1136696.html>privatize</a> the three state mental health hospitals. This will of course allow friends of the governor to perfect the rip off techniques he was so familiar with over at HCA/Columbia. Maybe West, now a newly minted liberal who believes in the power of government to focus on problems, could tell Governor Voldemort that privatization is not the focus that the mentally ill were hoping for.
At a time when Sainted Sarah invokes the Gipper’s testament on personal responsibility for the mentally ill, West’s becoming a liberal who believes in the power of government officials to focus on and bring solutions to problems has got to be one of the bright spots of the New Year.