Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Like Other Conservative Purists, Steve Scalise Doesn't Consider Whom He Sleeps With

Duke's political views are closely aligned with those of The Thinking Housewife
a white supremacist and Traditionalist Catholic.

Compendium Of "Pax" Posts On "The Thinking Housewife," Laura Wood

Alan: Lacking a sense of irony -- and refusing to believe in psychological projection (a belief would condemn them and demonstrate the validity of good science) American conservatives are so GD holier-than-thou that they consider themselves "the smiting hand of God on Earth) incapable of doing any wrong when, in fact, they live in a perpetual state of doing wrong. 

"Thomas Aquinas On American Conservatives' Continual Commission Of Sin"

And what does it say about the intelligence of this powerful politician that -- if his claim is true -- he was too stupid to realize he had signed up to speak at a conference sponsored by David Duke, America's premiere bigot, on whose shoulders the mantle of George Wallace rests.

At bottom, liberals want to make things better. 

Conservatives, on the other hand, are certain that they -- and only they -- can make things "perfect."

Therein lie the seeds, not only of imperfection, but of fascism as well.

"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice.  The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization.  We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal.  Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good.  The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”  
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” by Trappist monk, Father Thomas Merton

A David Duke flashback

Glenn Sargeant

The big news of the morning, via the Washington Post, is that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise spoke to a “gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002″:
Scalise…confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO. But the adviser said the congressman didn’t know at the time about the group’s affiliation with racists and neo-Nazi activists.
“For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” Scalise told the Times-Picayune on Monday night. The organization, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has been called a hate group by several civil rights organizations.
Duke, for his part, tells the Post that the House GOP leader is a “nice guy,” and says he doesn’t know whether Scalise did or didn’t know what the group really stood for, which should help matters. Also, Steve King is standing by Scalise, too, and predicts many House conservatives will do the same.
Founded in 2000 by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke (who served as a Louisiana state representative from 1989 to 1992), EURO seeks to fight for “white civil rights.” The group is recognized as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As the SPLC notes, the group is largely inactive, serving primarily as a vehicle to promote Duke’s books.
“EURO already was well known as a racist hate group at the time that Steve Scalise apparently spoke to its workshop, and it is hard to believe that any aspiring politician would not have known that,” Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement to The Huffington Post. “In any case, it’s worth noting that Scalise apparently did not leave even after hearing other racist speakers spouting their hatred.” While Scalise’s office says he was unaware of EURO’s politics at the time of the convention, other groups knew the background of the group.
On this, I’m inclined to agree with Ezra Klein. As Klein notes, 1999 comments from Scalise about Duke suggest he was “not pro-Duke, but not anti-Duke, either,” questioning the practicality of supporting Duke and not taking a hard line against his views. But it’s at least conceivable Scalise saw this as the only viable way of undermining Duke, given the realities of Louisiana politics. It won’t take much in the way of more reporting to get to the bottom of that either way.
Like Klein, I’m willing to believe it’s possible Scalise didn’t know what the group really stood for, even if this may reflect a studious effort on his part to avoid finding out. But that’s only on the basis of what we know now, which could change very rapidly:
Scalise might well have ended up at the David Duke-backed European-American Unity and Rights Organization without knowing who they were or really bothering to find out. He might well have been trying to destroy Duke by questioning his electability rather than his views. But that’s only because he was practiced at appealing to the kind of people who really did support David Duke and really were sympathetic to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. And, now that Scalise has risen through Louisiana politics to become a nationally influential figure, that’s the problem.
The biggest question for Scalise’s future is whether there’s anything else. Now that Scalise’s speech to EURO has been found, and his comments about David Duke unearthed, political reporters are going to go looking for more. If this is the end of it, Scalise might be fine. If it isn’t, then his career is in jeopardy.
If you look closely at the quotes from Democrats, they would appear to be setting a standard under which they won’t call for his resignation if there are no further revelations. For instance, Dem Rep. Joaquin Castro, a rising star in the party, says only that “if” more evidence emerges that Scalise was “aware of Duke’s associations with the group and what they stand for,” then at that point Speaker John Boehner should urge Scalise to step down.
Of course, given what we know now, it looks very plausible that more evidence might indeed emerge that Scalise did know what the group stood for.

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