David Duke emerged from the darkness back in the early 1970's. He showed up on a late night NBC television show hosted by Tom Snyder. You could tell from the very first he was a smarmy little Eddie Haskell type looking for attention. He was, in his own mind anyway, the new and improved face of the Ku Klux Klan.
On the program the young Grand Wizard talked about black racism, hinted that many of the white players on the LSU football team were a part of his Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and bragged there were more Klan members in the north than the south. All of it seemingly shocked and appalled Snyder and amused David Duke to no end.
He graduated from Louisiana State and eventually got a "Doctorate," from something called the Ukrainian Inter-Regional Academy of Personnel Management. Wikipedia reports his doctoral thesis was titled, "Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism."
Later he served one term in the Louisiana state legislature. His time there was described by one person as being short and uninspired. He also ran for congress, then later for president, once as a democrat and a second time as a republican. Right before he went to jail for filing a false tax return and mail fraud, he founded a group called the European-American Unity and Rights Organization.
Given all that it is safe to say pretty much everyone knows who this vile clown is and what sort of people he associates with.
If you believe the new majority whip in congress, Steve Scalise, who also happens to be from Louisiana, he isn't one of them. Back in 2002 he spoke to Duke's group during his campaign for the house. Now that the revelation has gone public the congressman is taking heat from all sorts of people both republican and democrat.
His response has been he didn't know what sort of group Duke was running. He was quoted as saying, "I didn't know who all those groups were. I detest any kind of hate group."
If the representative is really telling the truth you might reasonably think he would have realized he was in the wrong sort of place after he saw all the confederate battle flags and white pride banners hanging in the room he was speaking in.
Scalise maintains he, "...spoke to a lot of groups during that period." He claims he was such an equal opportunity speaker he even delivered a talk to the League of Women voters, an organization he says is a, "pretty liberal group."
Well compared to Duke's outfit, pretty liberal is probably an apt description of the League, which has always been considered nonpartisan by everyone with a functioning brain.
The congressman is not to worry though. His old pal David Duke came to his defense during an interview with Fusion. The Huffington Post reports during the interview Duke said Scalise is a, "fine family man," and one he often agrees with.
Duke was also quoted in the article as saying, "If Scalise is going to be crucified--if republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the wolves then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders."
In other words I have a list of names of people, from both parties, who have cozied up to me in the past and if you ass holes keep hounding my main man I'll make them all public.
In certain quarters this is known as extortion. When it comes to Congressman Scalise, however, it could be the kiss of death. That's right, when you have David Duke, quite publicly, in your corner there are very few escape routes.
Speaker John Boehner and majority leader Kevin McCarthy both have Scalise's back, at least right now. They claim he simply screwed up and it is nothing to worry about, because the congressman from Louisiana is a decent guy who really does despise the people whose support he actively sought. Both of them failed to mention Scalise voted against making Martin Luther King's birthday a state holiday when he was in the Louisiana house. It was a vote which took place nearly two decades after Ronald Reagan made it a national holiday.
Yes some skeletons are best left in the closet. Why roil the waters even more?
The hope here is Duke releases all sorts of names. Indeed, let's find out who these fuckers are and then we can work to rid ourselves of them.
Ultimately what it comes down to is this: Steve Scalise--a tea party sort of guy--is either a racist, wanted the help of racists, or is an idiot.
He is also the third ranking member in the majority party of the United States House of Representatives.
So much for an optimistic start to the year of our Lord, 2015.
If you wish to reach me I'll be at the far end of the bar.