Virgil Goode, a Republican rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Virginia, has his panties in a ter­ri­bly tight lit­tle knot.

He recently sent a let­ter to Virginian vot­ers regard­ing a col­league, Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat (excerpt; via):

When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not sub­scribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the vot­ers of that dis­trict and if American cit­i­zens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode posi­tion on immi­gra­tion there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demand­ing the use of the Koran.

Oh my my my. Rep. Ellison wants to use a Koran when he’s sworn in, rather than a Bible, which every­one knows is God’s One And Only Holy Word. (Everyone who isn’t Muslim, of course. Or Hindu. Or Buddhist. Or Jewish, at least the sec­ond half.)

But he doesn’t stop there. In lit­er­ally the next sen­tence he makes a baf­fling segue.

We need to stop ille­gal immi­gra­tion totally and reduce legal immi­gra­tion and end the diver­sity visas pol­icy pushed hard by President Clinton and allow­ing many per­sons from the Middle East to come to this country.

Is Goode seri­ously sug­gest­ing that Rep. Ellison is an ille­gal immi­grant? Is he seri­ously putting forth the claim that Minnesota elected an ille­gal immi­grant? Or is he instead sug­gest­ing that ille­gal immi­grants were some­how allowed to vote and elected a Muslim?

To be fair, I’m not sure Goode him­self knows what he’s sug­gest­ing. He almost seems to be say­ing that the vot­ers of Minnesota elected Ellison by some kind of bizarre and tragic mis­take, or that they don’t know what the hell they’re doing.*

What’s really hap­pen­ing, I sus­pect, is that Goode just doesn’t have much prac­tice at dem­a­goguery. He’s an ama­teur bigot, one who’s most accus­tomed to let­ting his big­otry show only when he’s in the pres­ence of the Good Olé Boys, all of whom nod and agree solemnly with one another when­ever any of them says any­thing about how those peo­ple are roonin’ Uhmurika. Which of those peo­ple those peo­ple might be varies with the bombast-​​cast of the moment pour­ing forth from radio com­men­ta­tors, but whichever of those peo­ple it is, it surely isn’t any­one whose dainty, Christian-​​baptized skin is not lily-​​white.

Put another way, Goode has no skills what­so­ever at hid­ing his big­otry, and has no idea how to phrase it in such a way that it’s nearly unde­tectable. Pat Buchanan and Lou Sheldon are much bet­ter at it than Goode is.

Here’s what the accused has to say on the subject:

Mr. Ellison dis­missed Mr. Goode’s com­ments, say­ing they seemed ill informed about his per­sonal ori­gins as well as about Constitutional pro­tec­tions of reli­gious free­dom. “I’m not an immi­grant,” added Mr. Ellison, who traces his American ances­tors back to 1742. “I’m an African-​​American.”

Heh, there’s an under­stated fact here. Ellison is descended from slave stock. At some point in the past his ances­tor was stolen from Africa and pressed into ser­vice for a white man. But Ellison appears to be a class act — not only does he side­step his own painful her­itage; he extends an olive branch.

I’m look­ing for­ward to mak­ing friends with Representative Goode, or at least get­ting to know him,” Mr. Ellison said, speak­ing by tele­phone from Minneapolis. “I want to let him know that there’s noth­ing to fear. The fact that there are many dif­fer­ent faiths, many dif­fer­ent col­ors and many dif­fer­ent cul­tures in America is a great strength.”

Back to Goode’s screed; in light of it I find Ellison’s fore­bear­ance to be a lit­tle awe-​​inspiring:

I fear that in the next cen­tury we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immi­gra­tion poli­cies that I believe are nec­es­sary to pre­serve the val­ues and beliefs tra­di­tional to the United States of America and to pre­vent our resources from being swamped.

So … let’s see here. Muslims (who are fac­ing a stiff climb and have been for five years now) come to this coun­try to … what, exactly, obtain work, get a decent edu­ca­tion, raise fam­i­lies and con­tribute to the tax base … oh, and to the elec­torate? They come here to enjoy the very American val­ues that Goode touts — the value of free­dom, hard work, indi­vid­ual integrity and hon­esty … the value of human rights, of human dignity.

Guess which of the above issues is of real con­cern to Goode.

Maybe he’d be hap­pier if there was a law against immi­grants vot­ing, or being elected for that mat­ter. Or bet­ter still, maybe we could just stop Muslims from vot­ing, since they can’t be trusted to choose val­ues such as com­pas­sion or social respon­si­bil­ity, which we all know are exclu­sively Christian.

Hey, why not, it’s been done before:

The September 1935 Nuremberg Laws abol­ished Jewish cit­i­zen­ship, vot­ing rights, and the right to hold pub­lic office.

And who was Chancellor of Germany when that law went into effect?

Back to Mr. Goode.

The Ten Commandments and “In God We Trust” are on the wall in my office. A Muslim stu­dent came by the office and asked why I did not have any­thing on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, “As long as I have the honor of rep­re­sent­ing the cit­i­zens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office.”

That seems like a strange pro­fes­sion of faith; it sug­gests that as soon as he’s out of office he’ll put up any old holy book that suits him. Makes you won­der just how iron­clad his beliefs really are.

Goode is respond­ing now to the furor his idi­otic com­ments have raised.

ROCKY MOUNT — U.S. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. will not apol­o­gize to Islamic groups for a let­ter he wrote that decries Muslim immi­gra­tion to America, his press aide said yesterday.

Oops. I guess I thought maybe he’d had a chance to sober up and was going to retract his big­oted and xeno­pho­bic ram­blings, but it seems not. Apparently he’s less con­cerned about pub­lic opin­ion than Michael Richards was, and since he’s so clearly unre­pen­tant, I don’t think he has the prob­lem Richards might have. That is, I think Goode really is a bigot, and not sim­ply men­tally ill.

He stands by the let­ter,” said Linwood Duncan, aide to the 5th District Republican. Duncan refused to say more.

If only Mr. Goode had adopted this close-​​lipped pol­icy sooner, per­haps all of this could have been avoided. But then, maybe not. One thing is sure about big­otry: No mat­ter how hard the bigot tries, he just can’t keep his vicious hatred inside. Somewhere down the line he opens his mouth and spews a tor­rent of bile.


* Which is plau­si­ble, after all. Remember Governor The Body Ventura?


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