Megan Carpentier, the executive editor of Raw Story, said on The Young Turks Wednesday that claiming Democrats are members of the Communist Party was not particularly outrageous in today's political climate, considering how often unsubstantiated smears get thrown around.

Rep. Allen West (R-FL), a tea party favorite, said Tuesday that there were between 78 to 81 members of the Communist Party in the U.S. Congress. It was unclear if he was joking.

"You're talking about somebody who has a history of inflammatory remarks, particularly about liberals," Carpentier told Young Turks host Cenk Uygur. "And you’re talking about an environment in which conservatives have been calling the president a communist, a liberal activist -- in scare quotes -- and a Muslim who’s not from this country. At that point, calling 81 members of Congress communists actually is kind of sane by comparison."

Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone explained that the 78 to 81 number West came up with was a reference to the Progressive Caucus.

West has previously said Democrats should "get the hell out" of the U.S., that Obama supporters are a threat to the gene pool, that he was helping black voters escape slavery of the “21st-century plantation” overseen by black liberals, and called Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz the "most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the U.S. House."

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:

[Ed. note: Updated after publication]