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
- Why all drugs should be legal. (Yes, even heroin.)
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 7 ideas from ancient thinkers that will improve your modern life
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Blame Obama and U.S. evangelicals for the persecution of Iraqi Christians
- The forgotten victims of the war in Ukraine
- How to trim $500 from your monthly spending
- Comic-Con 2014: Everything we learned about Avengers 2, Batman v. Superman, and more
Subscribe to the Week