“And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out…”


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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30 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I kept waiting for the gut punch of “Just Kidding! This is like that officer who was fired for reporting his co-workers!”

    Now I’m wondering how messy Agema is going to make it.Report

  2. Avatar greginak says:

    It seems odd that you see Agema or his post as so far outside what R’s might say that you could believe it is liberal trolling. Yeah Agema is a nasty piece of work but there have been plenty of other colorful statements and various pieces like the C of PD passed around.Report

  3. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    GOP : “Hey, black voters! Why don’t you check us out? We really dig your church-centered communities and want to help you build strong families and ease your path to entrepreneurial ventures!”

    Black voters: [Sees guys like Agema in party leadership] “Ewww. Um, thanks, but no thanks.”Report

  4. Avatar gingergene says:

    Question: Has Gov. Snyder or any other prominent Michigan GOP member called for this guy’s head? It seems like a two-fold good: (1) the people of Michigan need to know these views are not remotely representative of MI republicans, and (2) Maybe a word or two from those closer to him might persuade Mr. Agema to give up the fight.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to gingergene says:

      Reporting live from Michigan, yes. Snyder has publicly criticized him, and a former GOP Gov, Engler, iirc, pointedly noted that Agema was criticizing his friends and their fellow party members. Others in the GOP here have been calling for his resignation for a couple of years.Report

      • Avatar gingergene in reply to James Hanley says:

        According to Tod’s quote above, it was Gov. Engler’s COS, and Engler has been out of office since 2002. I was hoping some more recent pols had spoken up. I’m glad to hear that Snyder and others have come out publically against him.

        Honestly, I have a hard time understanding why it’s so difficult to remove this guy. That’s a wierd structure that allows someone to do so much damage and gives you no levers to pull to get rid of the guy. Can the money flow be choked off? And maybe a shadow party structure put in place?Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to James Hanley says:

        As far as I’ve been able to find, members are selected by the state party leadership and serve until they don’t want to any longer.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

        I don’t know their rules, but I did find the link to them, and they can be read here. I don’t have time right now to peruse them, but I’ll look at them later unless someone beats me to the punch.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to James Hanley says:

        Reading the document from James’s post, I’m wrong; the term of a committee member lasts from the end of one Presidential election to the end of the next. The committee members for a state are determined by the party leadership of each state, by the statewide election in the Presidential year, or by the state’s delegation to the national convention (different states use different methods.)

        So Agema will be with us until the end of the 2016 election, unless he voluntarily steps aside. Based on the language on the Michigan Republican Party website, I’m assuming that he got the position through the state’s general election in 2012.Report

  5. Avatar aaron david says:


    Way to keep the blog classy Tod.Report

  6. Avatar Pinky says:

    As I recall, neither of the parties’ national offices have any power over states – it’s why they have to concoct schemes to have other states pressure early primaries, for example.Report

  7. Avatar Jim Heffman says:

    And yes, I did read that article, and thought it was the same kind of red-meat bullshit that you see at Taki’s Magazine all the time, the usual “I’m not racist, they really *are* all like that” thing.

    I look at it the same way I look at a doctor complaining about patients who don’t believe in immunization or ask about Morgellon’s syndrome. You’re there to provide advice about the situation and possibly conduct certain actions on your client’s behalf; your feelings about your client and their beliefs and personality aren’t a part of that; and if you’re slacking off in your job because of those feelings then you’re committing a serious breach of professional ethics.Report

  8. Avatar rexknobus says:

    Funny, I initially read the title as: “And don’t let the poor hit you on the ass on the way out…”Report

  9. Avatar Kazzy says:

    A few questions…

    What exactly is this guy’s job? Does he have any actual power?

    Tod, in both the blurb and in the article you reference Obama’s election as a sort of line-of-demarcation with regards to GOP behavior. Do you really think there is a BBO/ABO line there? Or is that just a clean cutoff to keep the focus relatively recent?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Kazzy says:

      @kazzy Like the DNC, the primary job of the RNC is to frame the party platform for upcoming elections. So where as, say, someone who is a city councilor for Klamath Falls might have a limited amount of PR damage they can do to their party by having outrageous and unpopular views, someone who is a member of the RNC or the DNC can cause huge problems from a signaling perspective.

      Mind you, Agema had absolutely zero political clout to individually push through whatever (I can only imagine) his policy prescriptions stemming from his views might be. But having him simply existing as a member of the the small, inner-circle crafting the platform was like hanging a sign on the front door saying “MINORITIES PLEASE VOTE DEMOCRAT.” (See Burt’s great comment above.)

      As to your other question, I actually said that that’s when *I* started waiting for them to turn the car around from the cliff they were diving over. Where and when they actually began driving toward that cliff is debatable.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Got it. Thank you. So what changed in 2008 for you?

        (Note: None of these are meant as “gotcha” questions. I’m genuinely curious how your views on the GOP have shifted over time.)Report

  10. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    I wonder if it’s not a coincidence that he’s a public defender. Most professional-class white people don’t have a lot of social interaction with black, Muslim, or Hispanic peers. As a public defender, his interaction with members of these groups is likely to be very heavily skewed towards people who provide anecdotal evidence for the stereotypes he holds.

    That’s no excuse, of course, and he should understand that his experiences aren’t representative, but I wonder if that’s part of it.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Actually I think that’s a very good point, which i was planning to make, as well.

      His comments are based upon his experiences. The comments about the media “Television news intentionally leaves out unflattering facts about the accused, and sometimes omits names that are obviously black. ” In a lot of cases that true. Hell, my local paper includes this statement in the crime news: “Descriptions are included only when the descriptions makes identification possible.” So even when there are eye witnesses, those no description is provided. Don’t tell me that’s not intentional.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Damon says:

        scrubbing the news is the most fun, though. Ya know, when some shooting occurs in a white neighborhood, they get the news off the front page as soon as possible… (I never said most of Pittsburgh wasn’t racist as all heck).Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Keep right on braying, brandon.
      MOST folks know people of color professionally, though they may not know them at church. (Yes, I know most Muslims are caucasian).Report

    • Avatar LWA in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      This happens quite a lot, actually.
      There is such a gulf between the lived experiences of black people and white people, that both views of them by white people- as innocent victims or thuggish perpetrators- are equally possible, for the same reason.
      The public defender or cop who tells us with the voice of experience “How Those People Really Are” thinks he is speaking with the voice of authority, when usually he is speaking as a tourist viewing them from behind a windshield.

      The clients of the public defender aren’t his friends, he doesn’t live next to them, eat with them, socialize with them. The sampling of Those People are of course the very extreme examples of people whose lives are in chaos and disarray; I doubt the cop or public defender spends much time with the hard working, loving faithful churchgoing black father.

      Of course, for the white liberal, the vision is equally skewed, just toward a different direction. The movies Mississippi Burning and Selma offer plenty of evidence for that.

      What’s missing is similar to what’s missing from the dialogue about Muslims- the voices of Those People themselves describing their life with authority.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to LWA says:

        Of course, for the white liberal, the vision is equally skewed, just toward a different direction. The movies Mississippi Burning and Selma offer plenty of evidence for that.

        I’m curious as to what you mean by this. Selma is by a black director, with black actors playing all the main protagonists; why would that make it indicative of specifically ‘white liberal’ opinion?Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I actually clicked over and read the American Renaissance piece, and it is indeed quite shocking in its racism

    That’s what AmRen does. It’s like being shocked there’s anti-semitism at Stormfront.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Mike Schilling says:


      There’s a difference between understanding something intellectually, and seeing it with your own eyes.Report

    • @mike-schilling I think for me, when I read about a RNC or a DNC committee member being associated with something fringe — and not even just associating with it, but approvingly posting references to it on social media for all to see — I expect that they have have the brains to buffer the things that they choose to highlight in public. After all, you can get away with referencing “the good points” in The Bell Curve in a way you just can’t by referencing “the good points” of John Derbyshire’s Letter To My Son.

      So when I saw where the essay Agema praised was from, I was expecting to see something racist at the end of the link. I just wasn’t expecting that particular essay to be that glaringly blatant.Report

  12. Avatar DRS says:

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions too fast, Tod. If this guy hadn’t been exhibiting a level of racism that bordered on mentally unstable, would the RNC establishment have moved so “fast”? He was practically wearing a t-shirt with “Get Rid of Me Already!” on it in day-glo lettering. Let’s see how they treat the next example.

    And the fact that it’s a presidential election year in 2016 means that all those black voters will be off the “Democrat plantation” and theoretically open for recruitment. (Which is kind of assuming that blacks are memory-challenged but hope springs eternal…)Report