Nancy Pelosi hammered John Boehner for not standing up to the extremists in his own party after it was revealed that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise gave a speech to a racist hate group.
Pelosi’s office released a statement that called out Boehner for refusing to stand up to Republican extremists,
Whip Scalise’s involvement with a group classified by the Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group is deeply troubling for a top Republican leader in the House.
However, actions speak louder than whatever Steve Scalise said to that group in 2002. Just this year, House Republicans have refused to restore the Voting Rights Act or pass comprehensive immigration reform, and leading Republican members are now actively supporting in the federal courts efforts by another known extremist group, the American Center for Law and Justice, which is seeking to overturn the President’s immigration executive actions.
Speaker Boehner’s silence on this matter is yet another example of his consistent failure to stand up to the most extreme elements of his party.
Boehner eventually did release a statement where he supported Scalise, “More than a decade ago, Representative Scalise made an error in judgment, and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate. Like many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I know Steve to be a man of high integrity and good character. He has my full confidence as our Whip, and he will continue to do great and important work for all Americans.”
Democrats have pounced on the fact that the third ranking House Republican addressed a group of racists and white supremacists. DCCC National Press Secretary Josh Schwerin said, “Steve Scalise chose to cheerlead for a group of KKK members and neo-Nazis at a white supremacist rally and now his fellow House Republican Leaders can’t even speak up and say he was wrong. While David Duke defends Scalise, Speaker Boehner and Leader McCarthy are refusing to condemn Scalise’s choice of allies. Republicans in Congress might talk about improving their terrible standing with non-white voters, but it’s clear their leadership has a history of embracing anti-Semitic, racist hate groups. Republicans are off to a banner start for their new Congress – on the path to break their own record for least popular Congress in history.”
The news that a top Republican member of the House has been palling around with David Duke is confirmation of what most Americans already knew about the Republican Party. Democrats have chosen to focus their attacks on the meaning of Boehner’s silence. Boehner’s refusal to condemn a member of his leadership team suggesting that the Speaker remains a weak leader who can’t be expected at any time to do the right or necessary thing.
Republicans are showing their true colors, but the problem is made exponentially worse by Speaker Boehner’s refusal to push back against the extremism in his party.