Memo to GOP: Dropping Steve Scalise is a no-brainer

Keeping their majority whip after he palled around with David Duke isn't just impolitic. It's an own goal.

Steve Scalise
(Image credit: (Alex Wong/Getty Images))

If the people of the Louisiana 1st Congressional district want Steve Scalise to represent them in Congress, they can have him. But after the revelation that Rep. Scalise (R) spoke to a group organized by former Ku Klux Klan leader and all-time racist gadabout David Duke in 2002, the party should dump him as majority whip. Not because the liberal media demands it, but because it is just political common sense. And decent.

A number of conservatives have raged at the idea that Scalise should resign his leadership position in the party. They offer a pu-pu platter of arguments. Scalise worked on the political campaign of his cousin Ben Bagert against Duke in 1990. They say that Scalise does not have a pattern of saying racist things. That the GOP in Louisiana had a difficult time rehabilitating and purging figures that supported Duke's run for governor against Edwin Edwards, a known crook. They say he's also been critical of Duke in other contexts. Scalise chose to speak on tax reform at that 2002 event, not something like phrenology. And, after all, sometimes politicians get roped into speaking at events they don't understand.

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