I probably haven’t agreed with former Republican Party of Virginia Executive Director (and blogger at right-wing Virginia blog Bearing Drift) Shaun Kenney on much of anything…ever, but this time (see below) it looks like we’re on the same page. As Kenney writes: “Either Republican Party leadership takes a clear stand against nativist sentiment, or it aids and abets such rhetoric for mere political gain.” (BTW, I’d note that when Kenney was Executive Director of the RPV, there were numerous comments made by Rpeublican elected officials that were…uh, questionable…but were not condemned by the party)
In this case, that “nativist sentiment” is spewing from an unsurprising source, the far-far-far-right-wing blogger (and self-professed “good friend” of RPV Chair John “Anti-Semitic ‘Joke” Dude” Whitbeck) Jeanine Martin. Martin runs “The Bull Elephant,” arguably the top pro-Republican blog in Virginia (at least according to former AG, 2013 GOP gubernatorial nominee, and all-around extremist nutjob Ken Cuccinelli), which spends a lot of time spreading the latest right-wing urban legend, railing against Planned Parenthood, the usual in other words. As for Shaun Kenney’s Bearing Drift, I rarely link to it, but this time it’s well worth it, for an epic, intra-Virginia-Republican civil war/super-“pie fight” over immigration – legal OR “illegal” – and racism that would be entertaining if it weren’t so appalling.
It all started with Martin referring in derogatory fashion to “Hmongs,” who as Kenney explains, are “a distinct ethnic group of Asians, prevalent in Southern China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.” Kenney adds about Martin’s “Hmongs” comment: “It’s also a racial slur, along the lines of macaca, that can be used to apply to any Asian (see the ‘mung’ comment here). It was just that way in Gran Torino, a Clint Eastwood movie that dealt with racism as one of its themes, and the movie took heat for its portrayal.” I saw that movie, and it’s disturbing because there’s so much truth to it. Perhaps the RPV might consider screening it for all its members, then holding a discussion afterwards about why racism, xenophobia and bigotry should not be acceptable in what many MANY years ago was the “Party of Lincoln?”
Sadly, those “Party of Lincoln” (or Eisenhower for that matter, or even Ford or Dole) days are loooong gone, with the takeover of the GOP by the racist “Dixiecrats,” who thankfully (good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out and all that…) left the Democratic Party back in the 1960s and 1970s, hopefully never to return. At this point, though, what’s frightening is that the GOP is infested with bigotry, extremism and lunacy of all types, from homophobia to Islamophobia to xenophobia to anti-Semitism (e.g., RPV Chair John Whitbeck) to endemic racism towards African Americans to…it goes on and on, including to Asians like the Hmong people.
The question is, will the Republican Party ever condemn/disown the Donald Trumps – and the millions of people who think like he does – or will it continue to be a modern-day mashup of the John Birch Society, Know Nothings, Dixiecrats (George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms…), etc? And will the Virginia GOP condemn comments like Jeanine Martin’s, like Steve “Child’s Host” Martin’s, like Buddy Fowler’s, like Eugene Delgaudio’s, like Bob Marshall’s, like Dick Black’s, like Bill DeSteph…it really never ends.