Well, I suppose you could but unfortunately you won’t have to.
The Republican Party is one of the most talented groups of people I know. I can’t think of a single organization more capable of turning a massive election victory into an embarrassment in such a short period of time. Following the primary defeat of House Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va), House Republicans chose as his replacement Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La), a man who it now appears has been associated with a white supremacist group and has now received an endorsement from none other than former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.
According to news reports, Scalise spoke at an event for organization founded by Duke called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO in 2002. Scalise had acknowledged addressing the group, but says he was unaware of the views held by the group prior to accepting the invitation.
I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.
In 1999 however, Scalise told a Washington newspaper that he agreed with many of Duke’s conservative views. David Duke told the Huffington post that Scalise “is a fine family man and a good person”, an endorsement I am quite sure Rep. Scalise would rather have avoided.
I have no reason to believe Scalise in any way holds the kind of racist, hate-filled views promoted by Duke and others in his organization. I believe he was sincere in his denunciation of EURO and of Duke; that is not the issue here. What bothers me is the lack of judgment shown by Scalise twelve years ago when he agreed to be the keynote speaker for an organization he was that unfamiliar with, and for ever being foolish enough to express agreement with someone like David Duke on any issue. All of that is in the past however, and hopefully the Congressman has learned some lessons along the way. Some of those lessons I believe, are being learned as we speak.
The most troubling part about this issue is the fact that the House GOP elected Scalise to a position of leadership without bothering to do the kind of research into his background that would have turned up this troubling event in his past. Did they not think the Democrats would do so? The truth is this first came to light when a political blogger in Louisiana dug up the information on a white supremacist website called Stormfront. If a blogger in Louisiana can dig up this information, surely people in Washington who live and breathe this kind of political intrigue could have done the same.
The memory of former KKK leader Sen. Robert Byrd isn’t so far gone that I don’t recognize the fact that if Scalise was a Democrat this wouldn’t be an issue, but he is a Republican and for that reason I believe he should immediately resign as House Majority Whip, or if he does not he should be removed by the House GOP.