Tax crimes fatal to GOP
Political satirists could not have created two more perfect examples of the double standard for Democrats and Republicans than Representatives Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Michael Grimm of New York. They’re both going to be destroyed for exactly the same offenses that have been routinely waved off as meaningless distractions and “old news” for Democrats. Grimm’s already toast, and Scalise’s bread is being buttered as we speak.
Scalise will take a bit longer to drop into the political toaster because he’s falling from a greater height – he currently holds the position of House Majority Whip. Remember how Democrats sneered at Obama scandals like Benghazi and the IRS because, as National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said with respect to the former, “Dude, that was like, two years ago?” Remember how anyone who brought up Obama’s relationships to actual terrorists, like his mentor Bill Ayers, or fiery racist hatemonger Jeremiah Wright was castigated for “living in the past” and smearing Obama’s character through guilt by association? Well, forget all about those standards, because somebody discovered that Rep. Scalise spoke at an event linked to white supremacist David Duke twelve years ago, and it’s the freshest, hottest news in the land. It might as well have happened yesterday. Old news hasn’t been this fresh since the liberal media flipped out over a dubious story that had Mitt Romney giving another another kid a haircut five decades ago.
Hey, remember how the Democrats honored an actual Klan member, Robert Byrd, as an elder statesman of their party throughout his twilight years… even though he kept belching up racially insensitive comments, just about every time someone pointed a microphone at him? Well, forget that, too. You have to be able to forget a lot of stuff quickly and thoroughly to be a Democrat.
Well, wait a second, isn’t an active racist hatemonger, Al Sharpton, currently a top White House adviser and powerful media personality? Sharpton has actually gotten people killed. He’s currently presiding over a violent nationwide protest movement that counts some very shady characters among its organizers and sponsors. Shouldn’t white-hot links to race hustlers and honest-to-gosh Communists be as toxic as getting mixed up in a single event that involved David Duke over a decade ago? It’s kind of tough to follow standard Democrat Party protocols and simply forget about Sharpton and the Ferguson Mob, since they’re all over the news every day at the moment. No worries, because the Left and its media cohort have double standards they can activate with lightning speed, transforming a particular data point into either a front-page story or irrelevant “old news” based solely and entirely on party polarity.
If it hasn’t happened already, Sharpton will be invited onto a major network show to pontificate about the urgent need for Scaliese to resign, and the double standard will blast right through your retinas and smash part of your brain up against the back of your skull. If you haven’t already disconnected those portions of your brain to embrace liberalism, it’s going to hurt. Maybe Barack Obama can hold a joint press conference with Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, and Bill Ayers to call for Scaliese to step down, and we can all get blitzed on double-standard cognitive dissonance instead of drinking on New Year’s Eve. It’ll be cheaper than buying booze. Well, no, actually paying for those bottles of Old Double Standard has been fantastically expensive, but those bills have already come due, so we might as well enjoy the buzz.
Here’s the Washington Post reporting on the Scaliese affair:
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House majority whip, acknowledged Monday that he spoke at a gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002, thrusting a racial controversy into House Republican ranks days before the party assumes control of both congressional chambers.
Interesting how the timing on that worked out, huh? Let’s continue with more of 2002’s top news from the Post:
Scalise, 49, who ascended to the House GOP’s third-ranking post this year, confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO. But the adviser said the congressman didn’t know at the time about the group’s affiliation with racists and neo-Nazi activists.
“For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous,” Scalise told the Times-Picayune on Monday night. The organization, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has been called a hate group by several civil rights organizations.
The Post tactfully avoids mentioning that the big “civil rights organization” currently hassling Scaliese is the Southern Poverty Law Center, a dubious hyper-partisan organization whose own activities played a role in at least one potentially deadly shooting incident. The Daily Beast, on the other hand, is pleased to quote the SPLC as an impartial authority, without a single word to readers about their history or proclivities, because Double Standard:
“I detest any kind of hate group,” Scalise said. “I don’t support any of the things I have read about this group, but I spoke to a lot of groups during that period. I went all throughout south Louisiana. I spoke to the League of Women Voters, a pretty liberal group… I still went and spoke to them. I spoke to any group that called, and there were a lot of groups calling.”
Scalise’s press secretary reinforced that line of logic in a statement, saying: “Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints. In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around… He 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.”
But the idea that Scalise might have been entirely ignorant about the nature of the white supremacist organization strains belief, said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The fact that Scalise was pandering for votes and support at a white supremacy event is horrifying. This is David Duke’s organization, not someone no one has ever heard of,” she told The Daily Beast. In 1991, Duke, a convicted felon and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, had been the Republican Party gubernatorial nominee in Louisiana, drawing national derision. “You’re a Louisiana politician. You cannot plead ignorance about David Duke.”
Far from pleading ignorance about Duke, Scalise was described by Roll Call in 1999 as saying he “embraces many of the same ‘conservative’ views as Duke, but is far more viable” as a candidate for an open congressional seat.
“The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise then. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.” Electability, rather than the odiousness of Duke’s views, seemed to be pre-eminent in Scalise’s mind at the time.
What a fascinating line of reasoning! Scaliese can’t possibly claim that he doesn’t know who David Duke is, because we’ve got him on the record from 15 years ago referring to the villain by name. Therefore, Scaliese can’t be telling the truth when he claims he wasn’t aware of Duke’s involvement in a particular event! Man, it’s a good thing Democrats are protected by that Double Standard, because at least half of them would be hounded out of Washington tomorrow if their ties to unsavory groups and individuals were evaluated this way.
Rep. Scaliese’s ability to survive this 12-year-old scandal and keep his hands on the handle of that Majority Whip may depend on his ability to persuade the media (and his party leadership, which lives in terror of it) that he didn’t know what he was getting into when he addressed that EURO event. Character witnesses have come forth to testify that, among other things, Scaliese is a devout Catholic, and would not have knowingly associated with anti-Catholic organizations.
A Democrat would also be able to hunker down and wait for the news cycle to roll on, but that option won’t be available to Scaliese – the media will keep this a top story, across dozens of broadcasts and publications, until he bleeds. Remember that the next time some media hack claims his organization “covered” a Democrat scandal by running a four-paragraph story on page A23 of a single paper, possibly without mentioning the party affiliation of the controversial politician at all. Try reviewing today’s coverage of Scaliese and count how many paragraphs you have to read before the word “Republican” appears, if it’s not already in the headline. “Guess That Party” is a game you only have to play when a Democrat gets in trouble. (Leon H. Wolf has another fun game running over at RedState today, in which players are invited to guess whether a series of racist quotes came from David Duke or Democrat Party favorite Louis Farrakhan.)
Fortunately for Democrats, the Double Standard even makes them immune to tax law. That’s how the party of tax cheat Charlie Rangel – the party that currently celebrates tax cheat Al Sharpton as one of the most powerful men in America – sought and claimed the scalp of Rep. Michael Grimm of New York. When Rangel was censured for his offenses, the Democrat Party rose in unison to give him a standing ovation, extending a giant middle finger into the faces of every single honest taxpaying American. Grimm, on the other hand, is resigning from Congress just a week after admitting to tax evasion and a month after winning re-election, as Fox News reports:
Grimm, who was re-elected to a third term representing New York’s 13th District in November, said in a statement that he would step down effective Jan. 5.
“This decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply,” he said. “The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters. However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the Office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life.”
Grimm pleaded guilty on Dec. 23 in federal court in Brooklyn to one count of aiding in the filing of a false tax return. He had been accused of hiding more than $1 million in sales and wages while running a Manhattan health-food restaurant.
Under the plea agreement, he could face up to three years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for June 8.
What a hideous show of ingratitude to a man who was just trying to give job opportunities to Barack Obama’s favorite new super-citizens!
The indictment against Grimm alleged the tax fraud began in 2007 after he retired from the FBI and began investing in a Manhattan eatery called Healthalicious. It accused him of underreporting more than $1 million in wages and receipts to evade payroll, income and sales taxes, in part by paying immigrant workers, some of them in the country illegally, in cash.
In court last week, Grimm acknowledged that while operating the restaurant, “we underestimated gross receipts and used money to pay employees off the books. The tax returns were false.”
So Grimm under-reported a million in wages and receipts, and he’s being purged from the circles of power, quite possibly en route to the pokey. Al Sharpton owes over four and a half million dollars in actual taxes, and it’s no big deal. He can stroll into the White House for countless visits without having to worry about the bloated, politicized Internal Revenue Service nabbing him at the door.
Under the general rubric of “two wrongs don’t make a right,” it is fair to say that Democrats skating on similar political and legal offenses doesn’t justify Republicans doing it. One of the biggest problems facing this country is the evolution of a Ruling Class aristocracy that sets itself above the punishing laws imposed on the rest of us; not all of those aristocrats are Democrats. The future of the Republican Party lies in standing up for equal treatment, fairness, respect for taxpayers, and the rule of law, as they declare war on cronyism and corruption. That’s not a crusade anyone will take seriously if the GOP tolerates scofflaws in its ranks, or if it indulges playing political games with unsavory groups to assemble political support.
But the Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right rule also says we must clearly point out the Double Standard and demolish it. If racism and hatemongering are wrong, then they are wrong, no matter what color the racist is, or how much political influence he sells to the Democrat Party. If paying your taxes is a “patriotic duty,” as liberals love to remind us to deflect political heat on Tax Day, then Democrat tax cheats are traitors. Double Standards are a form of corruption. Let us be done with them.
Update: You know what else instantly becomes “old news” barely worth reporting if you have the right Party credentials? The sexual abuse of children. No need for any prominent Democrat to worry about his ties to top Party donor and Obama pal Terry Bean, personally hailed as a “great friend and supporter” by Barack Obama himself, after Bean was indicted on felony abuse charges, with an accomplice. The media would never dream of asking if Democrat power players were aware of Bean’s nefarious activities, any more than they asked if the unhealthy proclivities of San Diego mayor Bob “Filthy” Filner were indulged during his long congressional career, or if the Democrat Party had a problem after the FBI took down several prominent Democrats simultaneously last year.