Oh, man. Sometimes the GOP just can’t catch a break. Apparently, the House majority whip, Republican Steve Scalise from Louisiana, spoke at a white nationalist convention in 2002:
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the newly elected House majority whip, acknowledged Monday that he spoke at a gathering hosted by white nationalist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002, thrusting a racial controversy into House Republican ranks days before the party assumes control of both congressional chambers.
Scalise has been quick to defend the action since his admission. He basically said he wasn’t aware of the groups leanings and beliefs, and that, in those days, he rarely checked up on such things before agreeing to speak.
For a public official, such an excuse doesn’t cut it. Don’t House reps have aides or assistants who can look into this stuff? The white supremacist group, somewhat innocently monikered the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), was founded by former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. That in itself should have been an enormous red flag. David Duke has the dubious honor of being one of the most famous white nationalists alive, and the most cursory googling of EURO should have indicated that something was amiss.
But what does one do about it now? Scalise is adamant that the speaking engagement was the result of an oversight, and I almost pity the man for the all-around tongue-lashing he’s getting.
But there are only two options available here. Either Scalise was totally and irretrievably imprudent and short-sighted. Or Scalise actually agreed with the white nationalists he joined at the convention. Either option is not exactly flattering. Obviously the first option might be preferable, but it casts serious doubt on whether Scalise should be entrusted with any responsibilities of leadership.
This new GOP majority is already disappointing us. If you can call it disappointment when a group of newly empowered “leaders” acts the way you suspected they would. I’m frankly tired of it already. Is it really so hard to find a Republican, or a politician for that matter, who is both good and shrewd. Seems never the twain shall meet.