While explaining his surprising claim that 80 or so House Democrats are "members of the Communist Party" yesterday, Florida Congressman Allen West seemed to identify America's 28th president, Woodrow Wilson, as yet another communist that people didn't know about:
“No, I don’t regret it whatsoever,” West said. “And I think that if you would take the time to study the political spectrum of ideologies, you’d understand that at the turn of the [20th] century, American Communists renamed themselves as progressives. If you study the Woodrow Wilson administration, people referred to the Woodrow Wilson administration as a progressive administration."
Allen West is a super smart and reliable dude, obviously, so we were going to take him at his word here. But then we stumbled upon this passage from conservative author and professor Paul Kengor:
Wilson dubbed the Bolsheviks "barbarians," "terrorists" and "tyrants." He said they were engaged in a "brutal" campaign of "mass terrorism," of "blood and terror," of "indiscriminate slaughter" through "cunning" and "savage oppression." The "violent and tyrannical" Bolsheviks were "the most consummate sneaks in the world," and Bolshevism was an "ugly, poisonous thing." Wilson warned that the Bolsheviks were pushing an "expansionist" ideology that they wanted to export "throughout the world," including into the United States.
Most significant, Wilson and his State Department insisted that America should not have diplomatic relations or try to find common ground with the Bolsheviks ...
President Wilson was so concerned about international communism that he actually aided the forces fighting the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War. He supported a naval blockade of a Red-controlled area inside the USSR, and even joined a multinational Western coalition in sending troops — a huge contingent of over 10,000 American boys — to battle the Bolsheviks.
So it kind of sounds like President Wilson wasn't a communist. Now we're really confused.