I just wanted to flag for your attention that Majority Whip Steve Scalise has now announced his bid to become House Majority Leader. It’s not automatic by any means. But it’s fairly standard that when someone leaves the leadership the others move up the ladder. That’s what current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is trying to do. And it’s what you’d expect Scalise to do. But remember, Scalise is the guy who got in a heap of trouble at the end of last year for his earlier ties to David Duke. Yes, that David Duke.
Remember first of all that there some pretty conservative areas in Louisiana. And a generation ago Duke garnered 39% of the vote in a run for Governor. That was in 1991.
Back in 2002, Scalise spoke before Duke’s European-American Rights and Unity Organization.
Back in 1999, when he and Duke were both considering a run for the same House seat, he said that even though Duke had strong conservative views he’d shown he was unelectable. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”
I said yesterday that while the chaos that will follow in Boehner’s wake may not be good for the country, it will be quite good for the Democrats’ 2016 election prospects. And here is another example on steroids. One of the GOP’s top elected leaders going into the 2016 race may be a man with very real connections to David Duke and who has quotes on the record suggesting no disagreement with Duke’s views, only his electability.
It’s amazing that the GOP would allow that to happen. But there seems to be a very good chance that it will.