Still reeling from Barack Obama's win last November, right-wing extremists were dealt another blow when former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was elected to become the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Still reeling from Barack Obama's win last November, right-wing extremists were dealt another grievous body blow when former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele was elected by the Republican Party faithful in early February to become the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Extremists view Steele's ascension to the helm of the GOP as a betrayal by the party that many considered, in their words, "the lesser of two evils." On blogs and online forums, they excoriated the Republican Party for supposedly pandering to minorities.
No one professed more outrage than David Duke, the ex-Klan boss, ex-con and former Louisiana state legislator. Duke blasted "GOP traitors" for appointing "Obama Junior as Chairman of the Republican Party."
Grasping for a silver lining, Duke bravely predicted "a huge revolt" in the Republican base. "As a former Republican official, I can tell you that millions of rank-and-file Republicans are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore! We will either take the Republican Party back over the next four years or we will say, 'To Hell with the Republican Party!' And we will take 90 percent of Republicans with us into a New Party that will take its current place!"
For now, though, white supremacists are doing more whining than revolutionizing. The Council of Conservative Citizens headlined their anti-Steele screed, "GOP continues shooting bullets into it's [sic] own corpse."
The League of the South, a racist neo-Confederate hate group that has proposed that the South secede anew, blasted Steele for reaching out to moderates in a blog post titled, "New GOP chair to Southerners and conservatives: drop dead." It concluded: "Remind me again why I should vote Republican?"
The anti-immigration hate website VDARE.com (named for Virginia Dare, the first white child born in the English New World colonies) branded the election of Steele a "disaster" for nativists and called white Christians "the new Slave class."
"Apparently Chairmanship of the Republican National Committee has become another of those positions, like being head of an Ivy League School or Governor of the Federal Reserve, to which white men of Christian heritage Need Not Apply," fumed the writer of the post, Patrick Cleburne.
Perhaps the only bright spot in recent mainstream political events for the anti-immigration sector of the extremist movement came in late January, when outgoing President Bush commuted the lengthy sentences of Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, two Border Patrol agents imprisoned for shooting an unarmed, fleeing drug smuggler in the buttocks and then attempting to cover up the episode. Nativists from Lou Dobbs to the vigilante Minutemen groups had demanded their release.
Celebration of the commuted sentences in white supremacist circles was considerably less enthusiastic, considering that both agents are of Latino descent. As "Aryan Warlord" put it in his Jan. 19 post to a Ramos-and-Compean discussion thread on the white nationalist online forum Stormfront: "Okay, so they can't hold authority over whites any more but they get out of prison [for shooting a Mexican]. I can live with that."