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Why Nobody Who Knows Louisiana Believes Steve Scalise

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Why Nobody Who Knows Louisiana Believes Steve Scalise

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House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has admitted that he delivered a speech to a so-called “white rights” conference in 2002 that was held by an organization known as EURO, headed by the neo-Nazi leader David Duke. Scalise has also insisted that he shares American society’s abhorrence of such “hate groups” — and that he did not know what kind of group he was talking to.   He is asking the public to believe that he did not notice any of the virulent racist and anti-Semitic talk by the Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and assorted white nationalists in attendance at this gathering.

But Louisiana Republicans have had a David Duke problem since 1989, when Duke won a state assembly seat. He had been a neo-Nazi ideologue since his youth; he had paraded one night in full Nazi uniform with a swastika armband at the state university; and he had made the “international Jewish conspiracy” central to his Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. Even after he was elected, Duke was still selling Holocaust denial books from his state legislative office.

Yet the Louisiana State Republican Party Central Committee refused to either investigate Duke’s views or pass a censure motion, despite the repeated efforts of Beth Rickey, a Central Committee member. When Duke said he had changed his beliefs, his fellow Republicans and many white Louisianans decided to believe him.

Then in 1990 and 1991 Duke ran in two consecutive statewide elections in Louisiana — for U.S. senator and governor — and won a majority of the white vote both times. The state was saved by black voters, whose ballots defeated him. Again, the state Republican Party refused to investigate Duke’s actual positions. Nevertheless, his worldview became the central issue in those campaigns. And after Duke equated affirmative action with the extermination of European Jews, President George H.W. Bush stepped in to denounce him. Once more, local Republicans remained silent. Scalise, who was 25 years old in 1990, could not have missed this debate, which made national news.

A few years later, Duke finally gave up his Republican “my views have changed” smokescreen.   He published an Aryan primer as an autobiography in 1998, was convicted of tax fraud and went to federal prison in 2002, and began a prolonged public rant and rave about Jews that continues to this date. At the time of the EURO meeting with Scalise, Duke was overseas, attempting to avoid indictment, and addressed the gathering in Metairie, LA, via long-distance video hookup.

It is hard to believe that Steve Scalise, a sentient adult, missed all this, particularly as he was running for re-election to the state legislature in 2002. It is much easier to believe that he had the typical, old-fashioned, indulgent Louisiana Republican attitude toward David Duke. The question remains: Are there any national Republican leaders who will stand up, as President George H. W. Bush did in the 1990s, and speak the truth?

Published with permission from the Institute for Research & Education On Human Rights.

Photo: House GOP via Flickr

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60 Comments

  1. Butch Ekstrom December 30, 2014

    Helpful and informative piece. As a 30-year, past resident of New Orleans, this article brings back many (mostly very bad) memories. Mr. Conason asks, “Are there any national Republican leaders who will stand up, as President George H. W. Bush did in the 1990s, and speak the truth (about Scalise and his Duke and Supremacist leanings)?” I am willing to bet that the answer is a firm and resounding no.

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila December 31, 2014

      …and you would be 100% correct. The truth is that, in spite of Republican claims to the contrary, President Obama would not take a stand, or even comment, on issues like this because of fear of exacerbating social and political divisiveness.

      Reply
      1. Butch Ekstrom December 31, 2014

        Obama is obviously going to look critically on Scalise’s misstep(s) and prejudices. Why would the Pres jump into this mess? The ones who should step up to decry the Scalise sacrilege are the Rethuglicans who stretch for some type of justification for his ugly, racist judgment.

        Reply
        1. Dominick Vila December 31, 2014

          President Obama should stay away from this issue. As you said, it should be up to the Republican leadership to reprimand people like Scalise. I expect them to do just that, if nothing else because incidents like this are political poison in the wake of a presidential election.

          Reply
          1. Butch Ekstrom December 31, 2014

            Correct. You are a wise man, Mr. Vila. But let’s watch (via the ‘side eye’) to see just how many of the red state crazies try to justify Scalise’s reprehensible action(s) and character. Happy new year to you.

            Reply
          2. Dominick Vila December 31, 2014

            Happy New Year to you, and to all the posters and editors in The National Memo, including those whose opinions I disagree with.

            Reply
          3. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            When is Obama and Holder going to be held accountable for allowing voter intimidation by the Black Panther’s in Philly in 2008?

            Reply
          4. charleo1 December 31, 2014

            Seven years, and still beating that fictional dead horse I see. Do you hill folk not get T.V. back in the holler?

            Reply
          5. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            The article is about something 12 years ago, works both ways when the Left slings their poop!

            Reply
          6. charleo1 December 31, 2014

            So tell me, these two idiots in their Black Panther get ups are now Congressmen, representing what districts in Congress? Supporting a disgrace in Congress, and having the unauthorized actions of two nameless nobodies, used as a false equivalency, is very lame. Scalise’s voting record, and where he decided to speak, do not contradict. And supports the case of his being a racists. But look, Just come out, and support him. It’s not pretty, but it’s not illegal. I say, be a proud racist, or don’t be a racist at all.

            Reply
          7. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            What the idiot politician liars who I consider all dishonest, regardless of political affiliation, do 12 years ago, that seem bad and are brought out by the government propaganda machine need to be exposed because they forget about the same antics of the current politicians that seem to be ignored. Both sides of the political spectrum in the media do this. So, in response, I call them out, not you personally, but the whole lot who fall for the utter crap we are all fed everyday by the Lame stream media. It’s not about you or I, but the baseless dividing messages that far too many take as factual.

            If Dr Gruber has not taught anyone anything, that would be a shame. He is a narcissist, they don’t lie because it’s not in their nature. His video’s speak volumes about our government, and I’m speaking about both parties, not just the Democrats. Republicans are just as repulsive and dishonest.

            Reply
          8. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            As a personal rule, I have found that those who play the race card are either just acting out in anger because they disagree with something said, or just plain f-ing idiots. The Left wing has totally diluted real racism it’s a shame for those who become victims of acts of violence because of skin color. I can link plenty of white people who are victims of racism at the hands of blacks this year. At the same time, I’m sure I can find acts of racism against blacks, Asians and Hispanics as well. Racism is not limited to just black people.

            Reply
          9. charleo1 January 1, 2015

            Well look, Gary. You seem like a bright guy, who is at
            least paying attention. And, I’m not about insulting you either. Like the majority of us, you aren’t pleased at all with the current goings on. But, here’s something I want you to consider, and think about. If you’ve been convinced all the politicians are lying, and dishonest, that most of the press is also lying, and in league with the gov. and trying to manipulate, and divide the population. Disseminating misinformation, and pro gov. propaganda. Or, that you, and Americans can no longer depend on the courts to protect our liberties. And that the endgame of all this effort involves gov. tyranny, and loss of our civil Rights. And, lacking any better plan, or institutions of redress, figure perhaps your gun is your best hedge against all this. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s just not good enough. Either we’re all in one heck of a mess. Or, the sources you’re listening to have talked you into a one heck of a conundrum. And, by sowing mistrust in all of our foundational public institutions, seems to have left you with only one place to turn for the truth. People who bash politicians, bash the gov. the courts, and the press. And never offer any solution that doesn’t include a minimum 15% tax cut, across the board for corporations, and capital gains. And so, where does that leave you at the end of the day? Exactly where they want you. Mad, as hell, and uncertain of who to trust, or what to believe. Except pretty sure corporate taxes are too high. So they placate you with nonsense, and people like the wise cracking Professor. Who makes a remark about the American Public being stupid. That got your attention. Gruber said, when it came to knowing not only how Obamacare works, but health insurance in general works, Americans are stupid. Ignorant would have been the correct word. Gruber went on to cite the deals cut with the various lobbies to get them onboard. And that was characterized as finally some insider telling the real truth about Obamacare! When it ought to have been presented as an example of what everyone in gov. and business knows is necessary to get anything done in this Country today. Give big money it’s cut of the action. I listened to the entire panel discussion. He also went on to say, he thought people were no doubt better off after healthcare reform, than before. And predicted the measures would slow the pace in the increases of the costs of healthcare. And it has. And, Gruber later apologized to Congress for being flip, and giving the wrong impression.

            Reply
          10. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

            Let first wish you and your family a Happy New Year. I hope you and yours have a healthy, happy and prosperous year!

            You are correct, I have zero faith in the Federal government, the main Stream Media and politicians in general. It has nothing to do with what I read or what websites I frequent, it has everything to do with their actions. I am lucky in that I’m insulated from most of the problems of this country. I live far out in the country, very well armed, I grow/raise/hunt for all of my food. I raise chickens for eggs and meat. If this country falls into a major civil unrest situation, it won’t affect me at all.

            On the subject of healthcare. I read all the time how bad the ACA is and I see the questions of what is the GOP gonna replace it with if the manage to make it go away. That should be telling, as it means that government is now firmly entrenched into everyones healthcare and they are planning on staying there. I would venture to guess that this would make those on the Left quite happy and exposes those on the Right as being equally ignorant as those Gruber spoke of. I’m a vet and get 100% healthcare coverage from the VA. I’m not the norm, as not all vets get 100% coverage. We both know of the problems with the VA healthcare system, it’s been well documented. It’s these problems that the rest of America will soon begin to experience. Fortunately, my medical issues are mostly minor and easily treated with a few pills (14 a day). I have managed to reduce it from 24 due to diet and vitamins.

            I hope that explains part of my dislike of government involvement in healthcare. Oddly, I think Gruber is mostly correct except he relies on Keynesian economics, which more often than not, fails to predict the actual outcome economically. Now, I’ve heard the calls for single payer as well. But, that has already proven to be impossible economically as this link will show: http://visiontoamerica.com/20210/vermonts-attempt-at-single-payer-healthcare-blows-up-in-govs-face/

            I also had a recent discussion about the Wounded Warrior Project. Nothing angers me more than the need to have these charities for vets, because the government is not honoring their agreement to care for the vets that need the most help. Once again, another example of what the rest of America will soon experience. Gruber is also correct that to keep costs down, care will have to be denied, aka, death panels. It is no longer a conspiracy theory but a fact under the ACA.

            Thanks for the kind comments at the beginning of your post. I’m no genius, but not ignorant either. I prefer humbly skilled in many ways! PEACE!

            Reply
          11. idamag January 2, 2015

            At least he should be honest about it. It shows.

            Reply
          12. charleo1 January 2, 2015

            Yes, I believe if one is a racist, they shouldn’t weasel around in the bushes about it. It is after all a deeply held conviction of theirs. My thinking is, if I have an opinion I’m too ashamed to own up to, then, maybe I ought to reconsider. But all this has been very instructive, has it not? I mean, maybe this guy, Scalise, is not a racist. Since we’re talking Louisiana. And one can’t swing a cat in Louisiana without hitting some Klan offshoot, or a Nazi sympathizer of some sort. So maybe this was another group among many other groups on his list. But one would think these commenters would, in defending their GOP Guy, take the opportunity to say how much they themselves detest what racists groups like EURO stand for. One might think, if one didn’t already know better. No, they take great umbrage with that actually. And go on to speak for the racist’s position, and against every Black person they can name, for every reason they can come up with off the top of their pointy little hoods. Like I said. Instructive, in a, we already knew that about them, kind of way.

            Reply
        2. idamag December 31, 2014

          Those who should speak out are the decent Americans.

          Reply
          1. plc97477 December 31, 2014

            That leaves the repugnics out then.

            Reply
          2. idamag January 2, 2015

            From what we see, from them, on these board, yes.

            Reply
      2. idamag December 31, 2014

        And the double-digit I.Q.s would yell “racism”if Obama commented.

        Reply
        1. Dominick Vila December 31, 2014

          The will say that even if President Obama says nothing, or calls for calm.

          Reply
          1. Daniel Jones December 31, 2014

            Look at the top of this comment section, Dom–they already are.

            Reply
  2. Joe Blunt Ltp December 30, 2014

    They don’t have to stand up any longer when they get stuck in mud such as this. They have a media that will whistle past the graveyard on this story now. Their megaphone is so large now, whatever they say is the truth is bigger than the actual truth in the minds of their audience.

    The number of folks who know Lousianna is quite low in comparison. The aggregate believes Scalise and Boehner.

    Reply
  3. 1standlastword December 30, 2014

    He’s more handsome without the hood

    Reply
  4. Lynda Groom December 30, 2014

    In the land of Jim Crow they understand full well the type of group this clown is trying to run from today. Caught with is foot in his mouth and spinning nonsense can not erase his stupidity. Of course the voters who sent him into office share the blame today for his presence.

    Reply
    1. Dominick Vila December 31, 2014

      The scary part is that millions of Americans vote for people like Scalise, and support his mentor, David Duke.

      Reply
  5. Legirons December 30, 2014

    Barack Obama sits in a racist church for decades, buys land from a convict, eats at a confessed attempted murderers house and the left has it’s underwear up it’s hind end about this? BFD, he didn’t have Duke as his campaign manager, he didn’t let the racist sharpton hang out with him and his kids. Who cares.

    Reply
    1. charleo1 December 31, 2014

      There you are! The splinter’s not in my eye. It’s that plank in your own we need to talk about. Listen, to point out racism, injustices, or the institutionalized versions of both, cannot be characterized as racist, racism, playing the race card, dividing the races, or any of the other such claptrap you’re using to divert the attention from the obvious. To be a Republican doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a racist. But if you are a racist, you probably support the Republican Party.

      Reply
      1. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

        Can you prove your utter nonsense about who racists support? Frankly, today’s racist’s are Obama supporters and prove it with their racist attacks on whites. Would you like the links to the thousands of news reports on these attacks?

        Reply
        1. charleo1 December 31, 2014

          Ah yes! The poor victimized White man. Save it,
          I heard it already. 50 years ago.

          Reply
          1. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            http://ulstermanbooks.com/h-r-40-another-part-obamajarrettsharpton-plan-divide-america/

            This would effectively cause a civil war, hope your happy.

            Reply
          2. charleo1 December 31, 2014

            Are you trying to insult my intelligence, with this claptrap nonsense? Or, do you truly not know any better? Okay, tough guy. Tell you what. You stay in your 2nd amendment solutions world, and I’ll live in my reality based one, and see who’s hair gets gray first.

            Reply
          3. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            ROFLMAO! My hair is gray and have managed to survive a war. I’m certainly not attempting to insult you at all, as that would be quite rude. We all are free to live as we choose, as I do and I’m sure that you do as well. Being as the we both entertain ourselves on the internet, it appears we are both law abiding citizens in good standing with the law authorities. That makes us both good people and most likely wanting the same thing….freedom from tyranny. I often post things in response to articles showing the hypocrisy that is constantly being shoved down all of our throats, from BOTH sides of the political isle. If you would like, I will honor you by engaging in polite discussion on any issue you choose. All I ask is the same in return.

            May you and your family have a safe, healthy , prosperous and Happy New year!

            Reply
          4. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

            I have never been victimized by any minority in my lifetime. I exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights and will NEVER be a victim of black racism!

            Reply
      2. idamag January 2, 2015

        Good point. It will probably go over his head.

        Reply
    2. stcroixcarp December 31, 2014

      pure bs

      Reply
  6. idamag December 30, 2014

    Way to go, Louisiana, first David Duke and now scalisa. Strange everyone, across the nation, knew what duke was. If he is that ignorant, he shouldn’t be in government.

    Reply
  7. idamag December 31, 2014

    He probably has his own pointy headed white sheet in his closet.

    Reply
  8. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

    LMAO! Obama speaks before the NAACP (a known racist hate group) and let’s the New Black Panthers (another racist group) off the hoof in Philly and all is well. This idiot makes a speech in front of more idiots (in 2002, which is 12 years ago) and somehow it makes the news. Yet not one person can explain why Obama’s entire past is a question mark and his Social Security number is a Connecticut number. Then people wonder why the government is totally corrupt and 18 trillion in debt.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Jones December 31, 2014

      The NAACP is not a hate group. Stop fucking lying.

      Reply
      1. Gary Miles December 31, 2014

        They are a 100% black supremacist group, unlike what they were in the 80’s. If the white people had a NAAWP the left wing would be screaming racism till they vomited. The NAACP is no different today!

        Reply
        1. Jenjen January 1, 2015

          The distinction…
          Black power: We’re not inferior!
          White power: We are superior!

          Reply
          1. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

            I’ve never met one black person who felt inferior nor know any white people (except liberals) who feel superior. The Progressive propaganda machine has you brainwashed.

            Reply
          2. Jenjen January 1, 2015

            Black people have had to fight for equal rights. Get it, fight, because people, opposed it.

            Reply
          3. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

            Yes, I’m well versed in the history of the United States and the Civil Rights movement as I was growing up during that period of time. The #1 enemy of the Civil Rights Laws that eventually were passed were Southern Democrats. It was also LBJ, a Democrat who ensured that blacks would vote Democrat for the next two centuries as he enacted the “Great Society” social programs that we all know of as welfare. Do yourself a favor and check out where a majority of blacks currently reside, the crime level, the poverty level and who has controlled the politics in those areas since the 1960’s. What you will learn is that LBJ was right, and blacks are still fighting for their civil rights. Their problem is they have been lied to for so long they don’t see who their true enemy is, their political leaders.
            Do you get it?

            Reply
          4. Jenjen January 1, 2015

            Re southern democrats…The democrats were the conservatives at that time.
            I also disagree with the rest..obviously 🙂
            Happy new year to you and yours.

            Reply
          5. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

            Utter nonsense. The Northern Democrats were not near as bad as the Southern ones, but none were conservatives in the 60’s. Where are you getting your info, MediaMatters? As far as your disagreement with the rest, that is a common response to facts that destroy the entire Left Wing mantra. Much like the LIE of “hands up, don’t shoot” has twisted a non-racist event into more utter nonsense. One thing that the protests and police murders have accomplished, racial profiling will be a fact of life and will no longer be hidden for political correctness. All the hard work by so many people to try and squash racial profiling has been destroyed…..by a LIE. I’m sure when the race pimps like Obama, Holder and Sharpton come to this realization, they will look in the mirror and see a fool.

            Thank you for your kindness. I’m not trying to be mean or nasty, but at some point the left wing lies have got to stop. PEACE!

            Reply
          6. Candice White January 1, 2015

            No it is you who is brainwashed and stupid.

            Reply
          7. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

            Wow, you managed two posts that have zero basis of facts involving the subject. Attacking the individual is third grade thinking, try harder, if you can!

            Reply
          8. idamag January 2, 2015

            And not even embarrassed by his lack of knowledge.

            Reply
          9. Kitalaq January 3, 2015

            Is that you call, “W.W.D.C.D???”

            Reply
          10. Gary Miles January 3, 2015

            Excuse my ignorance on your intended point, but what is “W.W.D.C.D? Us older folks need some help with the younger terms these days, LOL!

            Reply
    2. Candice White January 1, 2015

      No we wonder why you are so stupid.

      Reply
      1. Gary Miles January 1, 2015

        So far, your IQ equals the number of words you managed to type.

        Reply
      2. idamag January 2, 2015

        I am a member of the NAACP. I am not Black. In the many years I have belonged, I have never heard any hateful rhetoric from that organization. Two Mideast wars cost us trillions and where was the money supposed to come from to pay it off in two weeks? Those who carry tales, put out by hate groups, are more guilty than those who put the stuff out in the first place. If GM graduated from high school, he didn’t go much further. He is not a well read person. Just another member of a hate group spewing total nonsense. When the United States is going to need intelligent people to compete in the world, it is not coming from people like him,

        Reply
  9. Kitalaq January 1, 2015

    No current Republican Party will ever speak out and speak the TRUTH like former President George H. W. Bush did. GOP are too scared shitless and too dick less to stand for truth, justice and freedom from injustice. IT WOULD BE POLITICAL SUICIDE. WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ELECTED HIM TO THEIR HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP IN THE FIRST PLACE?!? Dah!?! Think, Steve Scalise IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF THE AMERICA’S REPUBLICAN SPIRITUAL HATE SOUL MATE!!! Along the lines of what the Devil would have the initials in his wrist band… W.W.D.C.D??? (What Would Dick Chaney Do???) To torture Democracy!?!

    Reply
    1. idamag January 2, 2015

      You can see the hate dripping from some who post on here and never address the topic at hand, just throw out more hate for Obama.

      Reply
    2. Elliot J. Stamler January 29, 2015

      Kiralaq is writing the absolute truth. The Republican Party is now a fascist party with the tea party as its SS/SA stormtroops. It has nothing in common with the honorable and thoughtful conservatism of men like Taft, Dirksen, Goldwater, etc. This is why it is absolutely IMPERATIVE for us Democrats to be absolutely coldblooded, analytical and realistic in whom we nominate 2016. Remember: Hitler came to power legally and constitutionally. We MUST nominate the winningest candidate we have and concomitantly we must reject the ravings of the leftist radicals who will doom us to a McGovernite defeat if they ever dominate our party and convention. I think 2016 literally can be a referendum of saving democracy and civil liberties in America…if you think that statement is extreme bear in mind Mike Huckabee, echoing John C. Calhoun, George C. Wallace, Orval Faubus, Strom Thurmond is recently loudly declaring state’s don’t and shouldn’t enforce any laws they don’t like regardless of Supreme Court decisions.

      Reply
  10. option31 January 1, 2015

    And apparently we are supposed to believe that Barack Obama wondered into Jeremia Wrights church for 20+ years. Wright is a racist much like Duke. So where is the outcry over this?

    Reply

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