This is kind of a bigger deal than the soft racism of most rightwingers. As House majority whip, Scalise is a playah.
Evidence that he is a racist: In 2002 he spoke to EURO, the rebranded Klan in Louisiana. It is difficult to imagine any politically active person in Louisiana (Scalise was a member of the Legislature) being unaware of EURO, which was hardly a reticent group.
Even if he was "young and disorganized."
I have to say that Republicans pick funny ways to defend themselves from charges like this: Our dear leader was disorganized and didn't have a clue what was going on around him.
Maybe Republicans should read newspapers.
The Post story is a classic. Scalise didn't know about what was going on in his own backyard but the minor league baseball team the Iowa Cubs did? (To be fair, the Cubs are owned by a retired newspaper editor, and he reads the papers.)
Even better was the defense by Rep. Steve King (an Iowa Dub):
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a leading conservative in the House, said in an interview Monday that he stood by Scalise and believed that many conservatives in the House’s hard-right bloc would do the same.So tax collectors are the moral equivalent of racist agitators? Got it.
“Jesus dined with tax collectors and sinners,” King said.
Scalise's own defense was even lamer, hard as that is to believe:
In a statement, Scalise’s spokeswoman, Moira Bagley Smith, emphasized that the then-state lawmaker was unaware at the time of the group’s ideology and mission. “He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question,” Smith said. “The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.”
The idea that a Catholic would not be a racist is beyond funny, especially in Louisiana.
Also, if you are a guest speaker for a group, you are affiliated with it, even if you don't carry the card. Remember "fellow travelers," "pinkos" and guilt by association? I sure do, and it was rightwingers who used such tactics to ruin the lives of ordinary Americans by the thousands.
UPDATE Little Green Footballs rounds up much more about Scalise's longstanding racism and connections to David Duke. Keep scrolling.