The Florida Republican’s Facebook page has become a destination for West-bashing. “Allen West, please go home, reminisce about what your rhetoric was when you ran,” one person wrote. ”I never ever thought he would vote like this — I can only wonder what is to come from West at this point,” wrote another. “I feel like Col. West stole from me,” wrote one donor. “Can I get a refund?”
“We’ve expressed that we’re disappointed in him,” said Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party. “The knee-jerk reaction was, ‘Let’s replace him.’”…
To others, however, West’s willingness to break with the tea party over the debt ceiling has less to do with 2012 than a desire to play a broader role in the Republican Party.
“Certainly because of his visibility and fundraising power he’s become a leader in the House. Is there a shift in his ideology? No. Is there a shift in his view of himself as a leader? Yes. He views himself as a leader in Congress, someone who the outside world can trust to govern,” said Feaman. “I see him as a leader in the broader Republican Party. When I introduce him as Republican caucus meetings, he gets a standing ovation.”