So when I called for Steven Scalise to step down as House Majority Leader, I didn’t expect to have this company–Erick Erickson at RedState:
Mr. Scalise needs to step down as Majority Whip. He has the political equivalent of a sucking chest wound. He’s a net liability for the GOP in any leadership position. He should have the maturity and judgment to realize that.
Huh. Earlier this week Molly Ball did a big, friendly profile of Erickson at the Atlantic suggesting that ol’ Eric might be mellowing, perhaps due to the seminary classes he’s taking. Whether or not that is generally true, his intolerance for Scalise’s mistakes is probably more attributable to intra-GOP factional malice:
We already know that Mr. Scalise brings nothing to the House leadership team that benefits conservatives. At best he’s lukewarm to conservatism and is much more likely to be a creature of K Street (see my comment about meeting with disreputable people) than a servant of the American people….
[I]n Mississippi, Chris McDaniel was deemed to be beyond The Pale because he’d spoke at a county fair where a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans had a booth selling Confederate memorabilia. One would think that accepting an invitation to speak to a white supremacist group would at least be as bad, right?
But whatever his motives, I give Erickson credit for mocking the idea that Scalise didn’t know what he was doing in speaking to a group associated with a racist figure who had been wildly popular in his own home town not that long before during one of the most loudly contested and controversial elections in Louisiana history.
In that connection, I’d like to make it clear I’m not calling on Scalise to resign from the House. It’s entirely possible his constituents want to be represented by someone who while probably not a racist is capable of being friendly with racists when it is politically expedient. But he has no business in leadership, and if Republicans keep him there, it’s another sign that they’ve conjured racism right out of existence in their own minds.
UPDATE: As I should have noticed, the RedState post above that I linked to and quoted was actually authored by sttreiff, not Erickson. But Erick did do an earlier post making a lot of the same arguments and suggesting Scalise should step down as majority whip or maybe even resign.