You can almost hear the sirens going off over at Fox News over the Scalise/David Duke story, can't you? Ailes, from on high, issuing an edict to all Foxites to immediately deploy the distraction bombs, false equivalence grenades, and whatever else they have on hand to immediately spark an outraged sense of wrongful accusation toward Scalise.
Also, they're really great at watering down the point, so I'm going to sharpen it up a little bit.
The issue here is not association. It would be pretty difficult to be a Louisiana politician in the 90s and 00s and not have some form of association with David Duke. The issue at hand is that Scalise tailored his speech to Duke's group specifically to cater to the white supremacists in the room.
Let's review the glowing praise for his speech from EURO themselves, courtesy of Stormfront.org:
EURO’s recent national convention held in the greater New Orleans area was a convergence of ideas represented by Americans from diverse geographical regions like California, Texas, New Jersey and the Carolina’s. This indicates that concerns held are pervasive in every sovereign state and Republic alike, within an increasingly diminishing view of where America stands on individual liberty for whites.
In addition to plans to implement tactical strategies that were discussed,the meeting was productive locally as State Representative, Steve Scalise, discussed ways to oversee gross mismanagement of tax revenue or “slush funds” that have little or no accountability.Representative Scalise brought into sharp focus the dire circumstances pervasive in many important, under-funded needs of the community at the expense of graft within the Housing and Urban Development Fund, an apparent give-away to a selective group based on race.
Now Krauthammer, Ailes and Co cannot allow this to take hold in the public psyche, because even Fox viewers at least pretend to be repelled by speeches which not only are given to racists, but are racist themselves in nature.
Enter the false equivalence, and so predictably too. Krauthammer and his pals dragged Reverend Jeremiah Wright out as the "Obama equivalent." Steve Hayes led off the round with his indignation over the media's double standard.
HAYES: There's a pretty clear media double standard here. I mean, you know, President Obama was listening to Rev. Wright for years. He spoke at an event for Rashid Khalidi and was involved with some pretty unsavory characters and those questions, a lot of people thought those questions were sort of off limits and shouldn't be discussed.
I'm not going to get into the reasons why what Rev. Wright said wasn't scandalous. Not again, because this is an annoying distraction intended to create the false impression that there's anything remotely equivalent between the two.
Scalise is the third most powerful member of the House of Representatives right now. He's not just another racist like Steve King or Louie Gohmert. He's the House Whip, which means that he has the power to shape legislative policy coming out of that body according to his own ideology. An ideology which, by his own admission, aligns with Duke's in certain areas.
There is no equivalence. None. When Krauthhammer chimes in with his weaksauce effort to join the chorus, he's barely able to keep up the pretense.
HENRY: So if it's guilt by association, it's going to be difficult for both parties?
Oh please strike down the idiot for this bothsiderism. Please.
KRAUTHAMMER: There should be and I think these aren't even comparable. I do think as a political issue Scalise might have just stepped aside, but given that he hasn't, Republicans are stuck with this which is unfortunate and they'll get hit over this a few times, but I can't see how they change their minds now.
If you can sort through Krauthammer's argle-bargle, he really can't quite make the association stick in his own mind, which is why he goes through the exercise of saying Scalise should have stepped aside.
That is the right answer, by the way. Scalise should have stepped aside. CREDO Action has a petition calling for Scalise's resignation as whip. Let's put together as many signatures as possible and deliver a message -- a strong one -- saying we won't stand for false equivalence and we won't put up with the distraction.