As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) let his recently-hired chief of staff, conservative hate radio host Joyce Kaufman, resign just days after he announced her selection. There were many possible problems with Kaufman’s employment, from her history of racist statements towards immigrants to possible ethical issues, but what received the most attention was Kaufman’s violent call to arms if West lost the election: “if ballots don’t work, bullets will,” she told a Tea Party crowd. After the comments were replayed on cable news, someone in Florida took them seriously and threatened violence against post offices and schools in Florida, causing a massive lockdown. Following her resignation, West called into Kaufman’s show vowing to fight on her behalf in startlingly violent terms:
He said he wanted people, especially those “on the left,’’ to understand that Kaufman would continue “to fight on your battlefield’’ here, and he “will fight them on the battlefield in Washington, D.C., and we will meet in the middle after we soundly defeat them both.’’
The Congressman-elect said he’s now “even more focused that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that’s out there is soundly brought to its knees. You don’t have to worry about me doing the right thing in Washington, D.C.’’
West’s defiance in language soaked with violent metaphors is very curious, considering the biggest controversy surrounding Kaufman was her violent call to arms against political opponents. Kaufman, for her part, assigns partial blame to Fox News for not coming to her defense, according to the Miami Herald.