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It might not seem like it at first, but politicians have a lot in common with the women of reality TV. Similar to Evelyn Lozada hammering Jennifer Williams in a tit-for-tat over sexual escapades, this week on “Basketball Wives,” Allen West is trying to deflect criticism over his sordid past by invoking President Barack Obama‘s previous drug use. During a town hall meeting in Boca Rotan, Fla., West urged the crowd to revisit “the president doing blow.”

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The request came in response to West being questioned by a constituent over charges that he’d assaulted an Iraqi police officer while serving in 2003. Instead of addressing the matter at hand, Allen wanted to talk about Barack’s blunt from three decades ago.

The exchange went as follows:

QUESTIONER: Please release your Article 15 conviction.

WEST: I was not convicted of anything. I think everyone knows what happened. I mean, if you guys have a problem with the fact that people were out there planning to kill my soldiers and I found a guy, I put a pistol, shot over his head, and they weren’t killing my soldiers anymore.

If you guys have a problem with that, you need to go talk to someone else, because if I’m in that exact same situation, I’m making the same decision for those men and women. […] So if you guys want to go back and talk about what happened nine years ago for me, let’s talk about the president doing blow, and smoking dope.

I’m surprised he didn’t finish this whine up with “na-na-na-boo-boo, you can’t see me! You can’t see me! You can’t see me!” or a “Basketball Wives”-like cry of “you ain’t about this life!”

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Maybe someone forgot to explain this to Allen West in his developing years, but what someone else does has no real bearing on your behavior. Which means then that college student Barack Obama could’ve sniffed crack off cement and you’d still be the man, who in 2003, was a lieutenant colonel accused of watching on as soldiers beat an Iraqi officer. And not just that. Allen was also accused to have placed the officer’s head in a barrel and fired into it, aiming away from the soldier’s head.

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As Think Progress notes, West threatening a detainee’s life violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He was fined $5,000 for the incident and retired the next summer from what was deemed “a successful 22-year military career that seemed destined for further advancement.”

How exactly is any of that comparable to mistakes made 30 years ago in school?

Obama wrote eloquently about his drug experimentation in his memoir, and by doing so, explained an issue millions of people — both old and young — can relate to.

A vice isn’t the same as torture. The president has never ran away from his past, but apparently, Allen West continues to sprint away from his.

Suffice it to say, West can try to paint Obama as a drug user based on activity 30 years ago in vain all he wants, but all it does is prove what a coward he can be when it comes to addressing his own transgressions.

Sound off!


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Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick


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