The image: A Republican Party official and Tea Party activist in southern California faced scathing criticism this weekend for distributing a doctored photo showing President Obama's face superimposed onto a chimpanzee. (See the chimp's family portrait below.) The "racist hate-email" accompanying the photo reads "Now you know why — No birth certificate!" County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh said the email was "in very poor taste" and called for the resignation of the official behind it — Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the Orange County Republican central committee, who called the controversy "much ado about nothing." "I'm sorry if my email offended anyone," she's conceded in a written statement. "I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth."
The reaction: This ugly email is so "heinous," says Frances Martel at Mediaite, that Davenport needs to step down, now. It's time for all Republicans, everywhere, to stop attacking the nation's first black president with "unacceptable racism disguised as 'jokes.'" The Left's reaction is overblown, says Left Coast Rebel. Mainstream GOPers have denounced Davenport, but liberals are using a ridiculous email from one "idiot" to discredit the entire Right — exploiting their trusty "race card" to deflect attention from the horrible job Obama is doing. That might hold water if this were an isolated incident, says David Neiwart at Crooks and Liars, but "little stories like this one" keep bubbling up to the surface" of the "fetid little Tea Party cesspool." Take a look at the photo:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- Why America won't have enough money to battle ISIS
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- 11 facts yü should know about the umlaut
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
Subscribe to the Week