Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was asked to comment on Fox News this morning about Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) accurately blaming right-wing GOP brinkmanship for contributing to the S&P downgrade. West, apparently, wasn’t pleased.

“I find those comments to be absolutely the most insidious thing I’ve ever heard. I think that what you continue to see from the left is looking for someone to blame. It’s very simple. When we go back to 2007, when the Democrats took over the House and the Senate, the debt at that time was 8.6 trillion. Now today we see the debt at $14.5 trillion. They have to look at themselves and they have to understand that they are the ones that are totally to blame. It has nothing to do with increasing revenues by tax hikes. It has everything to do with cutting spending.”

Let’s unwrap this a bit, because it’s a doozy.

First, I don’t think West knows what “insidious” means. Second, it’s hilarious West blames the deficits of 2007 and 2008 on Democrats. If the right-wing Floridian really wants to talk about the drivers of our debt, I’ve got a great chart for him.

But it’s West’s understanding — or in this case, lack thereof — of the downgrade that’s truly amazing. Democrats, he says, are “totally to blame,” while S&P’s decision “has nothing to do with increasing revenues.”

It doesn’t take very long to actually read the S&P analysis, and even Republican congressmen should be able to understand it.

While West may choose to believe this “has nothing to do with increasing revenues,” S&P said its decision is driven in part by the assumption that “the majority of Republicans in Congress [will] continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.”

So, here’s the question: did Allen West go on national television and blatantly lie about a critical national issue, or did Allen West go on national television to discuss the critical national issue without even bothering to read a simple report issued more three days ago?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.