Having wasted no time after John Boehner’s announcement that he is stepping down as Speaker of the House, several Republicans have already announced their desire to fill the position.
In an unsurprising yet characteristically unsavory development for the GOP, one of the four strongest candidates within the party happens to be current House majority whip Steve Scalise. If this name rings a bell, then you probably remember that it came out last year that in 2002 the Louisiana Representative spoke at an event held by a white supremacist group founded by who else but known Klan leader and holocaust denier David Duke.
Of course, when this story broke late last year, he feigned ignorance in his statement since there was no way he could get out of acknowledging that he was there. How a grown man could spend time at a conference of white supremacists, speak to them, and not have any idea they are white supremacists is beyond me. Being a grown man myself, I reject such nonsense, and it is alarming that he could get away with this lie without repercussions. The fact that he is even in a position to be a viable candidate for Speaker of the House after this is deplorable.
I will not exactly miss John Boehner, but it would obviously be a step in the wrong direction to have someone assume the leadership role of Speaker who “embraces many of the same Conservative values as Duke,” a quote attributed to Scalise from 1999. His voting record as an elected official also contains a clue as to his thoughts on race: in 2004, the Louisiana House voted 90-6 in favor of recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. Needless to say, he was not one of the 90. 2004!
It being 2015 and all, we should be assured that our mainstream politicians are NOT affiliated with white supremacists. Is this the best the Republican Party can do?
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