“And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out…”
Here’s some good news from the GOP just in time for the run up to 2016:
The Republican National Committee voted today to censure one of their own for making racist and homophobic comments and Facebook posts. Dave Agema, the Michigan National Committee member in question, has also been told in no uncertain terms that he must resign:
“Dave Agema’s history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party, which is why the RNC executive committee acted in the swiftest way possible to avoid giving him a platform,” Chairman Reince Preibus said shortly after the vote. “We have voted to censure him, and we are urging the Michigan GOP and their voters to explore options to discipline Agema for his actions. Today, we used all available tools to remove him from the committee…. We cannot allow one man’s fringe views to undermine the work that is ahead of us.”
One might quibble with Preibus’s claim that the RNC is “[acting] in the swiftest way possible,” of course. After all, last year Agema went on record as believing that homosexuals were “filthy,” committed 50% of all murders in the country, and were largely pedophiles. He has also used social media to promote that age old question, “Have you ever seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life?”
In fact, for about as long as Agema has Tea-Partied himself onto the committee as an anti-GOP establishment crusader, that same GOP establishment has been pretty damn horrified by him. Preibus himself rebuked Agema’s comments on homosexuality as “deplorable.” The chief of staff to former Republican Gov. John Engler wrote an open letter to Agema after his anti-Muslim comments, mincing no words in the process: “When you spew stupid words about all Muslims,” he noted, “you attack my friends and members of our Party. Shame on you. Shame.” Still, prior to today the fear of alienating the voter-weilding Tea Parties has prevented any official actions or statements by the party.
What finally broke camel’s back, as it turns out, was more of a redwood than a straw. On New Years Day, Agema posted a link to an essay titled Confessions of a Public Defender, with this pulled quote:
However, my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason well. They cannot communicate well. They cannot control their impulses well.
“Very interesting article by a public defender,” added Agema.* “We are in a cultural battle. Very enlightening for anyone who is concerned about crime in America.” Two days ago, the Virginia GOP Chairman wrote to the RNC, saying that “it is time for us to take a stand against Dave Agema, the national committeeman from Michigan, who continues to disgrace our Republican Party.” Yesterday Scott Walker, preparing for a White House run, publicly seconded the sentiment. In less than 24 hours after Walker’s condemnation, the Committee had spoken. (RNC rules do not allow the committee to expel a current member, so their censure and and public demand for resignation really are the biggest hammer allowed to them.)
I actually clicked over and read the American Renaissance piece, and it is indeed quite shocking in its racism. And I’m not talking a Subtle, Dog Whistling level of racism here — I’m talking about an Out-Debyshiring-Derbyshire, David-Duke-And-Steve-Sailer’s-Intelectual-Love-Child level of racism. Go read it yourself if you wish,** but for brevity’s sake suffice it to say that if you are not white you really, really, really do not want to draw the guy who wrote this as your public defender. If you’re African-American, he’s not entirely sure why no one has had the good sense to throw you in prison already. (I should note that even though the piece focuses almost entirely on how terrible black people are, hispanics get the best line as he explains that the trouble with them is their propensity for “sexual assault against children and driving under the influence.”)
Confessions of a Public Defender is so bad, in fact, that if I hadn’t come to this story via the RNC’s actions I would have been convinced that Agema himself was the fictional creation of liberal trolls. It’s the kind of thing that I always read that all conservatives believe in the Balloon Juice comments section, despite the fact that I have never in my life met even one conservative that believe such nonsense. So seeing a standing RNC committee member’s favorable spotlighting of Confessions of a Public Defender is really quite shocking.
Far more shocking to me, however, is the RNC’s actions today. Since Obama entered the White House, after all, it has seemed to be SOP to refuse to take action against any party member, regardless of how unhinged they might be. And as depressing as it was hear bout Agema existing, the committee’s deciding to take harsh action against him are equally bouying. Shortly after the debacle that was the GOP’s run for the White House in 2012, Preibus himself declared that these kinds of stands against racism and homophobia had to begin if the Republicans were going to ever have a chance at securing 1600 Penn. Shortly thereafter, however, the demands of politics forced him to tone that s**t down — just as they made Michael Steele backpedal before him. That the RNC now feels like it can so publicly skewer Agema suggests that the GOP establishment is winning the internal battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and that’s a good thing.
And thus I am able to end this post with a heartfelt declaration that I feel like I have been desperately waiting six years to utter:
Way to go, RNC. Way to fishing go.
* It is unclear in the screen shots I have seen whether Agema himself penned these lines, or if he merely cut and paste them to stand for his own reactions.
** You can find it here. All of the obvious trigger warnings apply, or course.
[Picture: “Scientific racism,” via Wikipedia]