This is the new low that the Republican Party has found itself at, taking the word of a known white supremacist leader over the word of the House Majority Whip, who admitted to speaking to a Klan/white power conference back in 2002.
A little over a week ago, my friend Lamar White Jr released his findings which included posts by a longtime, respected member of the Neo-Nazi website Stormfront that praised Steve Scalise, who was a member of the Louisiana state legislature back in 2002 when he addressed a white power group named EURO led by none other than David Duke. One of the leaders of that organization is Kenny Knight, who now says that he invited Scalise to speak to another group, not the actual racist conference.
In defense of Steve Scalise, many conservatives have done everything possible to make counter accusations against his detractors, although I have to give props to Redstate.com for actually running a piece saying that it was important for him to step down. Even She Who Shall Not Be Named (AKA Caribou Barbie) jumped into the fray for a chance to remain relevant in conservative circles, along with James O’Keefe, the one-hit-wonder behind the doctored ACORN videos some years back.
Anyhow, so this is where the people supporting Steve Scalise are at, making excuses for Scalise and using the words of an admitted, documented member of a hate group as proof that Scalise really wasn’t at a racist conference – because the racist who invited him says he wasn’t. Seriously.
Kenny Knight, an organizer for the group and a close associate of Mr. Duke’s, said that he invited Mr. Scalise to speak that day, but to a local group, not the full conference.
But Corey Ortis, who was a Louisiana representative for the organization from 2000 to 2004, said he attended the 2002 conference to hear from leaders of their movement, not Mr. Scalise. Still, from what he recalls of the event, Mr. Scalise gave a 10-to-15-minute presentation that was “the typical mainstream Republican thing” and not “too far right.”
“He touched on how America was founded on Christian principles, Christian men who founded this country, and how it was believed it would go forward as a Christian nation and how we’re getting away from that,” Mr. Ortis said. (Source)
What’s more, some have gone to David Duke who posts angry rants about the “Zio-Media” (hey, that’s me!) to defend Steve Scalise, who stated to Roll Call in 1999 that he embraced many of the same “conservative values” as Duke who had unsuccessfully run both for governor and for Congress. Duke appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show last night and also claimed at the end of the segment that Scalise wasn’t at the conference after hemming and hawing as to whether or not the scheduled appearance had actually occurred.
David Duke is basically telling the Republican Party that if they force Steve Scalise to resign his leadership position, he’s going to expose other politicians who allegedly share the same views on race. David Duke and people who share some of his beliefs are also apparently currently calling the shots in the Republican Party, and conservatives are defending Scalise based on the words of Duke’s associate and fellow racist, Kenny Knight. Yes, let’s let that sink in.
Does it really matter whether or not Steve Scalise admitted to speaking to a white supremacy group in 2002? To some degree it does, but at the same time, that’s an unfortunate part of Deep South conservative politics. If he had simply said that he did it, he regretted it and the conservative media hadn’t tried to make false comparisons to Al Sharpton or Rev. Jeremiah Wright, we’d probably be talking about some other news item by now. The mistake that Scalise and his supporters made was to try to discredit the story, which has made the whole scandal far worse than Lamar could have possibly dreamed of.
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