Moira Bagley Smith, a spokeswoman for Mr. Scalise, said on Monday that the congressman had “never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question.”… Some Republicans joined Democrats in expressing skepticism at Mr. Scalise’s claim that he had been unaware of the group’s racist leanings.How could you not know, Steve? The group was founded by David Duke, a divisive, racist, former Klan leader well known in Louisiana for his politics. I call bullshit on that explanation. Duke is toxic to contemporary politics and has been for many years. If you didn't know.... well, you've got no business being the Majority Whip.
Some will say that the event happened 12 years ago, and we should give Steve the benefit of the doubt. That he's not a racist, that the Democrats are making a big deal out of this. Others will say that the President himself associates with known racists, self-aggrandizing liars and well-known tax cheats. It seems that Al Sharpton has been to the White House quite a bit lately. That's true as well, and I would prefer that the President not associate with known racists, but that's not the question.
There is no doubt that there is a double standard for Republicans and Democrats. We've got to work with the situation that exists, not the one that we'd like to exist. It is what it is, and David Duke is so toxic that a minor event twelve years ago could derail Sclise's career. That's too bad. But, Scalise's career is not as important as the gains that the Republicans have made recently, and any taint of racism will invariably hurt their chances of success.
Steve Scalise might be a nice guy, a capable legislator, and an upcoming power in the House, but he's got to go. We simply can't let the taint of David Duke derail the gains we've made. It's a double-standard, I know, but it's the reality we live in.