The Battle of Budget: If Winston Churchill Were a Tea Partier

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In the throes of the budget battle Thursday afternoon, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) blew his stack. Calling out his own leaders in the House of Representatives for their failure to pass stand-alone appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Tea Party freshman (and former soldier) said:

Mr. Speaker: Will we be Chamberlain or will we be Churchill? Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1937 and 1940, will forever be known for his foreign policy approach of appeasement. Prime Minster Chamberlain, even with Germany's increasing aggression in Europe, turned a blind eye to the impending danger and did not prepare his nation for war...

Some would argue that comparing World War II to the debate on the budget for Fiscal Year 2011 is not an appropriate comparison. However, I would argue that Winston Churchill was prepared to lead his country courageously, in the way that would ensure England's future. Today we are also faced with the question of protecting America's future...

Chamberlain or Churchill? Always an easy question no matter what the circumstances, right? But having made the inapt comparison, Rep. West should at least have had the courage of his own convictions to see it through to its logical end. WWWD. What Would Winston Do? He would have gone for it:

Even though the Defense of Marriage Act has fallen or may fall into the grip of all the odious apparatus of liberal politicians and activist judges, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on until the end. We shall fight in Wisconsin, we shall fight with growing confidence over CHIMPS, we shall fight on the airwaves and on the 3G networks, we shall fight on Facebook and Twitter, we shall fight on talk shows and satellite radio. We shall defend our principles on C-SPAN, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight over health care and abortion, we shall fight over immigration and tax credits, we shall fight over spoons in federal cafeterias and over approximately 12 percent of a budget that solves none of the Empire's vast debt problem, we shall never surrender...

Now, that would have been Rep. West's finest hour of the week.

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Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, 60 Minutes' first-ever legal analyst, and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice. He is also chief analyst for CBS Radio News and has won a Murrow Award as one of the nation's leading legal journalists. More

Cohen is the winner of the American Bar Association’s 2012 Silver Gavel Award for his Atlantic commentary about the death penalty in America and the winner of the Humane Society’s 2012 Genesis Award for his coverage of the plight of America’s wild horses. A racehorse owner and breeder, Cohen also is a two-time winner of both the John Hervey and O’Brien Awards for distinguished commentary about horse racing.

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