|(Baton Rouge, LA) – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has given plenty of speeches during his political career. A member of the House of Representatives since 2008, Scalise is now coming under fire for one speech given six years before first winning his current Congressional seat.Note to politicians: you should always be wary when exercising your Constitutional right to free speech.
In 2002, Scalise spoke to the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Unfortunately, this is a white supremacist group founded by former Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader and anti-Semite David Duke.
Initially denying the incident, he has since admitted that he did indeed speak to the group. However, he denies knowing EURO’s hate-group background.
“Representative Scalise is happy to talk to any group espousing real, traditional, American values,” said a Scalise spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Representative Scalise has a proven track record of standing for conservative values cherished by those average, ordinary, everyday Americans who enjoy watching Fox News.
“However, he stands against those who would preach hatred and intolerance. At least, those who would preach hatred and intolerance aimed at Republicans. If the hatred and intolerance is aimed at Democrats and atheists, that’s perfectly OK.
“Besides, how was he supposed to know about EURO’s background? I mean, yes, David Duke was in attendance. And, yes, some attendees wore brown shirts with Nazi armbands. And, yes, some attendees were dressed in hooded white sheets. But does any of this mean you’re in the presence of white supremacists? Of course not! In fact, that’s profiling, and as we all know, profiling is wrong.”
This breaking news story doesn’t do Scalise – or his fellow Republicans – any favors as the party prepares to take complete control of Congress. Many believe Republicans are now in for a rough time because this story broke right after the most recent Nazi ring incident.
On December 12, a four-year-old Oklahoma boy put money into a toy vending machine at his local Family Dollar store. The machine produced a plastic toy ring with a Swastika as its insignia. While most rational Americans were appalled by the episode, some Oklahoma Republicans came to Family Dollar’s defense.
“Family Dollar is an American company,” said a Republican Party spokesman at the time, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Family Dollar employs hard-working, average, ordinary, everyday Americans. It’s unfair to single out the company as pro-Nazi because of this single unfortunate incident. Average, ordinary, everyday Americans need to go back to paying attention to the current Socialist in the White House.”
The spokesman’s “single unfortunate incident” claim was blown to pieces as further investigations showed the machine holding at least another dozen Nazi toy rings.
Republicans found themselves in a similar situation in October when Sears offered a silver ring for sale bearing a Swastika. At the time, Republicans came to Sears’ defense, making the same arguments heard in the Family Dollar incident.
“Supporting freedom of speech is great,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But Republicans are going to have to choose sides. Do they want the Jewish and non-racist vote, or do they want the right-wing extremist vote? And by ‘right-wing extremist’ I don’t necessarily mean the Tea Partyists.”