Have you heard? Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Steve ScaliseHouse Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard76% burned a cross on MLK Jr. day while riding on David Duke’s shoulders waving a Confederate flag soaked in African American and Jewish blood. Oh, and he is in the Republican Leadership as the token Conservative.
Actually, everything in that first paragraph was a lie. Well, all except for the part about Scalise being the token Conservative in leadership. Despite the fact that the above is a lie, it is the narrative being set by the media and others for various differing reasons.
The actual claim which came out this week, while contextually different but substantially the same, is that in 2002 Rep. Scalise, then a mere State Representative in the Louisiana legislature, spoke to a neo-Nazi organization founded by David Duke. If this were true, I’d be leading the charge for Scalise to step down immediately, and that has been the reaction of plenty of Republicans and Conservatives.
But “if” is a huge word for only having two letters, and unfortunately it is often ignored.
As I said on twitter, I don’t actually like Scalise in leadership because he isn’t doing anything to advance conservatism. That said, I dislike political lynchings more than I dislike Scalise. If we want to replace Scalise, I wish we’d do it for him not being conservative enough rather than a trumped up charge of racist associations.
I didn’t like this sort of behavior when it was employed against conservative candidates such as Milton Wolf, Matt Bevin, or Chris McDaniel, by the Republican leadership, and I don’t like it now.
Now, I get that some believe, some friends even, that there is no strategic gain for conservatives in defending Scalise, but I don’t buy that or think that should be our only motivation in mounting a defense. First, there is always a strategic gain in not admitting that your allies, a term I use loosely, pal around with racists. Second, truth matters more than any agenda I may wish to advance.
The second point is really what drives me to defend Scalise.
It has come out since that Scalise didn’t actually speak to the EURO group. As reported by Betsy Woodruff over at Slate, the source which put Scalise at the EURO event has recanted.
According to Knight, the EURO conference was slated to start …read more