Earlier this week, we continued to report on the shockingly explicit white supremacist turn that the Virginia governor's race has taken, with Republican Ed Gillespie running on “protecting” Confederate monuments, and receiving an endorsement from President Donald Trump for that specific reason.
That was the day Gillespie proudly announced this endorsement:
That's George Allen of “Macaca” fame, a bygone relic of a time when too-naked racism could still scuttle a Republican's national political career. But it wasn't all that different a time. Allen ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 (and lost), a pretty short time in the wilderness for a guy who had become synonymous with explicit racism just a few years earlier.
In fact, the wilderness was pretty welcoming to Allen immediately after the incident. Then-President and current lecturer about bigotry George W. Bush headlined a fundraiser for Allen just weeks after the Macaca moment, at the home of none other than Ed Gillespie.
That same year, Gillespie participated in the Washington's Funniest Celebrity charity contest, delivering a ventriloquism routine (yes, really) with Dennis Kucinich that contained a revealing joke. Gillespie knowingly quips that an offensive suggestion about Osama bin Laden could actually make a perfect culture war bumper sticker:
Many people have forgotten the naked appeals to bigotry during the Bush era, and long before that, as well. What makes Gillespie's campaign so disgusting, and Trump's to a certain degree, is that it isn't even a sincere bigotry. These men may, indeed, harbor racial grievances of some sort or another (especially Trump), but their harmful plays to fear are knowingly cynical.
Gillespie's hateful campaign is nothing new. It is the same old Republican playbook, with a very thin coating of varnish removed.
Watch the full (and dreadful) Kucinich-Gillespie show below.