Predictably, the last person to realize that Rep. Allen West's political career is over—for now, anyway—seems to be Allen West himself.
The Florida congressman famous for instructing a Muslim Republican to quit trying to "blow sunshine up my butt," asking his supporters to "grab your muskets," and suggesting that the Bureau of Labor statistics had fabricated the October jobs report, trailed Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by 2,500 votes when the dust settled on November 7. For two weeks, though, West challenged the results, refusing to concede while charging that there had been "a willful attempt to steal the election" by St. Lucie County elections supervisor Gertrude Walker.
West's request for a full recount in St. Lucie County was officially rejected by a judge, and because his margin of defeat exceeded 0.5 percent, he had no grounds to demand a recount under Florida law. But the county went along with one anyway, and over the course of two days, double-checked their math, after which point West found himself trailing by an additional 274 votes. Womp womp. Despite conservative howls of voter fraud and West's pledge to fight on, it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario in which Murphy isn't seated come January.
Here are some of the highlights from West's one term in Congress:
- The time he alleged that "78 or 81" members of the House Progressive Caucus—as well as former President Woodrow Wilson—were secretly members of the Communist Party.
- "It ain't happenin', that dog don't hunt, take your pro-Hamas butt and get the hell out of my country!"
- His aforementioned request to the South Florida director of the Council on America-Islamic Relations not to "blow sunshine up my butt and tell me it's warm and fuzzy."
- The suggestion that Planned Parenthood and Code Pink had "neutered" the once-proud American male.
- His insinuation that the country's first Muslim congressman represents "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."
- His lamentation, in the wake of a critical Broward-Palm Beach New Times blog post, that "next time I will put on a tie-dyed shirt and jeans, dance around singing anti-war, anti-American songs, and burn a flag."
- His first choice for chief of staff.
- The time he asked Democratic leaders to flee the country: "You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America."
The good news for West is that 2,500 votes is not an especially large margin in a presidential election year in which Democrats dominated the ground game in the Sunshine State. So maybe he'll be back in two years to take back the seat.
Well, that or he'll land a cushy job at Fox News.