The time has come for the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to confer and decide their leaders. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the House Majority Whip, is one of those potential leaders. However, the White House had some back-handed, yet brilliant, words for House Republicans, reported The Daily Banter.
Scalise had reportedly compared himself to former Louisiana Republican politician David Duke. According to the New York Times, Louisiana reporter Stephanie Grace said Duke “was explaining his politics and we were in this getting-to-know-each-other stage.” Grace continued saying that “he [Scalise] told me he was like David Duke without the baggage.”
Scalise went on to imply that although he “was like David Duke,” he didn’t harbor any of racist thoughts and feelings as Duke. Duke was once a Grand Wizard, one of the highest ranking members of the Ku Klux Klan. However, despite Scalise’s words, his former associations show something completely different. Scalise also has ties to white supremacist groups.
In 2002, Scalise associated with and spoke at rallies that were pro-white supremacist. This blemish on Scalise’s past actually negates any distance that he tried to place between himself and Duke. They both associated with racist hate groups. The only difference in that Duke moved through the ranks.
During the first White House Daily Briefing of this year, Press Secretary Josh Earnest discussed Scalise’s past and his position within the House Republican ranks. Earnest said that any decision whether to retain Scalise as House Majority Whip or move him up the ranks is entirely up to the House Republican conference.
“Who they [Republicans] chose to serve in their leadership says a lot about who they are, what their values are, and what the priorities of the conference should be,” said Earnest. “It will ultimately be up to individual Republicans in Congress to decide whether or not elevating Mr. Scalise into leadership will effectively reinforce that strategy.”
The strategy mentioned by Earnest alludes to the strategy that the GOP must effectively implement and stick to if they are to have long-term appeal to women, gays, ethnic minorities, and younger people. However, the GOP remains as the party built by the old, white guy for the old, white guy.