The media is ablaze with the revelation that Congressman Steve Scalise of the 1st Congressional District back home in Louisiana spoke at a EURO (European-American Unity and Rights Organization) conference 12 years ago. The leader of EURO was David Duke.
It seems like everyone is commenting, and the details are appearing in a wide variety of sources so there is no need for me to elaborate. I do recommend reading the original source for more information which is linked here.
I do not know the blog’s author. Since moving from the state, my involvement in Louisiana politics has diminished significantly. If assisting family or friends back home, my better contacts have been people who have not held any public office for years. To the best of my knowledge, Lamar and I have never met although I know that we have some mutual friends in academia. I have, however, been a reader of his blog for quite some time.
Regardless of one’s opinions, the fact is that Steve Scalise while serving in the state legislature chose to address this group at this locale. He chose to speak before a variety of groups, and it was 12 years ago so what is the big deal?
The “big deal” is that one cannot claim ignorance as to the positions of any organization to which David Duke was a leader. Agree or disagree with what the man believes, but everyone who has lived in Louisiana knows David Duke’s feelings on a number of basic issues.
Scalise isn’t the first politician to seek out Duke supporters. Other Louisiana politicians have purchased mailing lists, donor lists, and who knows what else to court that particular base. Faulty judgment at the time or not, Steve Scalise was either aware of who he was standing before or he is the most clueless and incompetent individual to ever hold political office in the history of the state.
In various articles I read of people countering with Barack Obama, Robert Byrd, or other politicians. How are they relevant to Steve Scalise and the decisions he made? How are (take your pick) any of the crimes for which Edwin Edwards served time connected? Vance McAllister and his kissing? Bob Livingston and his affairs? David Vitter and his madame? Mary Landrieu and her residence? What Steve Scalise did is not the same as Michael Grimm of NY. Scalise has not be charged or convicted of any criminal act with his speech before EURO.
The important part of this “scandal” is that Steve Scalise is a politician just like those individuals who preceded him in representing the 1st District of Louisiana. He’s a politician like Grimm, Obama, or the late Senator Byrd.
Sadly that shocks some people caught up in this partisan BS of Republicans versus Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals.
Whatever happened to Americans?
How about human beings?
Isn’t it sad that many rather not think of themselves as Americans or as human beings but as a member of some political party or ideology?
This news about 12 years ago does not change my opinion of Scalise, and I hope it doesn’t change yours. All this story means is that Steve Scalise was either clueless about David Duke’s ideology, or that Steve Scalise had no problems seeking the support of a group with that viewpoint.
It’s that simple.
Whether you trust or support Steve Scalise today is entirely up to you.