America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Congressman Scalise Confesses Accepting ACLU Fee
By Neal Starkman
10 January 2015
Republican Congressman from Louisiana Steve Scalise is in deep trouble with colleagues after it was revealed that in 2012 he spoke to a local chapter of the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union.
Moira Bagley Smith, a Scalise spokeswoman, said the congressman “has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. 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.”
In an interview with Fox News, Scalise himself alluded to the speech as a “dumb mistake” and vowed that he “would never do that again.”
When pressed as to why he ever agreed to appear at the event, Scalise said that he thought he was going to be speaking at a conference of the ARLU, which is the Ayn Rand Liberties Union, a totally different group.
“It was just an innocent mix-up,” said Scalise. “The intern who arranged the speech was immediately terminated. It could have happened to anyone. Never in my life would I willingly associate with an organization that represents such ideas.”
House Speaker John Boehner, who supported Scalise after it became known that he had addressed a group of right-wing racists, was more equivocal after this latest revelation. “We’ll have to see how it goes,” said Boehner. “He accepted their fee. Some things just really cross the line.”
Despite one member of the ACLU stating that he’s worked with Scalise in the past and that Scalise “wasn’t as troglodytic as you’d think,” many Republicans in the House are saying that enough is enough.
“Racism is one thing,” opined California Republican Kevin McCarthy, “but forcing the courts to consider Constitutional issues rather than letting the people decide, well . . .” He shook his head. In an unprecedented action, 17 commentators from Fox News signed a statement condemning Scalise’s actions as “not worthy of a Republican, or an American, or a human.”
The incident comes at a time when Congressional Republicans are trying to put up a united front. Already some House members are urging Scalise to resign, saying that his “support” for the ACLU—intentioned or not—is giving Republicans a bad name.
“What’s next?” asked one Representative. “Dinner with Brad Pitt?”
Neal Starkman is the owner of Flashpoint Development, a consulting company located in Seattle, Washington; his website can be found at www.nealstarkman.com. Neal holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology; is the author of numerous books, videos, prevention programs, and magazine articles; and has memorized many of the words in the dictionary, but not in sequence. To help himself focus, he occasionally pretends he’s someone else.