The voice of the Alabama Republican Party thinks George Floyd was a “druggie” and a “thug” whose death shouldn’t cause outrage — and that homosexuality is a choice for which an employer should be able to fire you.
Those are the bat-guano insane ramblings of ALGOP’s most vocal, most outspoken member: Congressman Mo Brooks.
The pride of Huntsville — which has suffered a surprising tumble from its six-weeks-ago image as a progressive mecca in a state otherwise dominated by Bible-and-gun conservatism — Brooks isn’t usually the ALGOP front man on any issue. Because even Republicans think he’s a crazy racist.
But of late, he’s been their guy.
Mainly because he’s the only guy willing to talk.
Gov. Kay Ivey hasn’t been seen in nearly a month.
Mac McCutcheon, the House Speaker, and Del Marsh, the Senate president, have been equally absent, proving that they are just as incapable of dealing with protests and a recession as they were at managing or planning for a pandemic.
In the vast, quiet space left by their silence, Brooks and the other GOP clowns have stepped forward to frame the ALGOP positions on race, health care and economics.
And really, it’s probably better this way. Because it lays bare the true ALGOP — the one so isolated by its 19th century economic policy that it must resort to pandering to racists and bigots and conspiracy theorists — and prevents the handful of politically savvy leaders from effectively applying lipstick to this pig.
For example, instead of Ivey painting the protection of Confederate monuments as a protection of history — as she did in her very first campaign ad in 2018 — you get Rep. Will Dismukes telling a local TV station (CBS-42) that Confederate Memorial Park — which, astonishingly, gets more than $600,000 in state tax dollars annually for upkeep — doesn’t “glorify slavery” but instead simply “remembers those who defended their homeland against the North.”
Instead of leadership in the Legislature artfully dodging the fact that “reopening” the state so soon and without proper planning and testing has been a complete and utter disaster — with the state registering more cases and hospitalizations than ever before — you get Rep. Bradley Byrne writing in an op-ed just over a week ago that public health experts were wrong about the virus’ danger (only about 120,000 Americans are dead in less than four months) and that states that reopened early are NOT experiencing a worsening outbreak.
But while others have stolen a sliver of the spotlight, it has been Brooks who has dominated it.
Brooks has been on TV, doing radio interviews, tweetin’ up a storm and sharing his hot, hot takes with the rest of the world. And really getting out the true message of the ALGOP.
Like when he said the military should be called in to use “lethal or non-lethal force on looters.” Or when helpfully defended police shootings of black men by linking to an opinion piece entitled “The myth of systemic police racism” and pointing out that “blacks committed the MAJORITY of murders and robberies.”
He criticized the media for “deifying a druggie and thug (George Floyd),” and he called the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to extend civil rights protections to gay and transgender citizens “dumbest I’ve read.”
And because he’s saying it into a very quiet space, his voice is dominating right now. And not a soul from ALGOP has bothered to correct him or to disavow his racist, homophobic and plain ol’ ignorant comments.
Here’s some free advice for ALGOP: You better start.
Take a look at those protest videos, take a good hard look at the people marching and speaking. You’ll notice quite a few of them are white. In some instances, you’ll notice that a majority of the people at rallies for equality are white.
That’s because the country is changing. All around you, people are beginning to recognize the sins of the past, and they want only to rectify them and treat others with decency and respect. And they want to stop basing absolutely every decision ever made on the profit margins that the decision might bring.
Or you can continue to coddle hate. And the party can die the death it deserves.