With the House once again preoccupied by Speaker John A. Boehner’s future, the snowy hoopla of opening day looks to have been the final event that sealed Steve Scalise’s fate: He is going to survive as majority whip for the indefinite future.
Now the question becomes what alternate moves, if any, the Louisianan and his GOP colleagues make in hopes of improving their lousy standing with African-Americans.
There are many reasons Republicans have tacitly decided to stick with the guy they installed as their No. 3 leader less than seven months ago — despite last month’s revelation that he once addressed a white supremacist group affiliated with David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and perennial GOP candidate.
The incident happened a dozen years ago, when Scalise was a state legislator six years away from getting elected to Congress. His remarks were all about Louisiana tax policy and did not touch on race. He’s said he nonetheless regrets going before the group and has condemned its views. His state’s most prominent black politician, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, was among the first of the Democrats to comment on the story — and he came to Scalise’s defense, declaring his colleague doesn’t have “a racist bone in his body.” (Roll Call)