Monday, December 29, 2014
How in the hell does one participate in a talk for a group headed by David Duke and not know it is a white nationalist front? Because if House Whip Scalise knew Duke was involved, it seems impossible not to know that Duke was a former Klansman and still a big-time racist. It's kind of on the unavoidable side. As of 2002, when this gathering took place, Duke had already participated in two presidential primaries (the first as a Democrat, the second as a Republican--and he got no love from either party, basically) and a run for US Senate, at which junctures, the fact of his racist associations had definitely come up.
Let's call this the Erick Erickson Rule--where if Erick Erickson and I agree on a thing, that thing is probably pretty solid because we don't agree on nearly anything. (This supplants the "Andrew Sullivan Rule", since as time has worn on, I've actually found he and I do have a few deep-seated shared values.) It just isn't possible to not know what Duke or his affiliations were.
It seems like he and Duke were in accord, though.
It's quite possible that he was looking to cast a very wide net for support at the time--questionable as some of the support may have been. (It brings to mind Tony Perkins' purchasing of a Duke mailing list for use in a US Senate campaign against Mary Landrieu. What exactly is in the water down in LA?)
It's tempting to play "Six Degrees of Separation", and note that Duke himself was influenced by William Luther Pierce, who wrote The Turner Diaries under a pseudonym, which is a book considered to have been influential in the radicalization of Timothy McVeigh.
But I'm just going to leave that there, you know, after bringing it up and all. Just because dots can be connected doesn't mean they make a given picture. Does it?
Anyhow, it was a thing that will invite speculation about where he really stands.