A year and a half ago, Michigan Republican Party Chair got the scare of his life when tea party hero and “Freedom Caucus” favorite Todd Courser nearly defeated him in a narrow 833 to 768 vote for the Chair position. At the time, Courser made it very clear that he was working toward a tea party takeover of the Michigan Republican Party:
[Courser] expressed supreme confidence that his side was poised to “take over” the party from the establishment, which he described as “not committed to conservative convictions vs. convenience.” In so doing he questioned the governor’s conservative pedigree, suggesting that when Mr. Snyder ran the first time, “had it been a Democratic year, he would have run as a Democrat.”
After he lost, Courser, in an act of sheer hubris and spite, refused to cast a vote for a unanimous ballot for Schostak.
Courser didn’t stop there, however, and decided to run for the state House in Michigan’s 82nd House district in the Lapeer County area. He won his primary and is now running against Democrat Margaret Guerrero DeLuca in the very conservative district.
I was contacted this week by Benjamin who asked that I not reveal his last name. Benjamin attends Oakland University and, while on break from one of his classes, he got a call from a number he did not recognize. What transpired takes us back six or seven decades to a time when racism and homophobia were socially acceptable. What he told me, simply put, blew my mind:
“I answered the call and the woman on the other end of the line identified herself as working for Todd Courser’s campaign,” Benjamin told me. “She asked me who I would be voting for in the general election. I responded to her by stating, quite plainly, but politely, that I am a registered Democrat would be voting for Margaret Guerrero DeLuca for State Representative, hoping that would get her off the line and end the unsolicited call.
“But that didn’t happen. The woman then asked me, and this is a direct quote, ‘Would you change your vote if you knew that Margaret Guerrero DeLuca had faggots and blacks working for her?’
“I was shocked. I mean what year are we in?! This is like something from the 1950s.
“I told her, no, I would NOT change my vote because Ms. DeLuca has LGBT people and African Americans working for her, and then hung up on her.
“Needless to say, I am more appalled with Todd Courser than I was before. Quite frankly I didn’t think I could dislike him more, but here we are.”
Tea partiers love to talk about how open they are to everyone and how their hatred for President Barack Obama has nothing to do with racism. It’s situations like this that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that tea party conservatives wrap themselves in the American flag to hide their seething bigotry, racism, and homophobia.
And nobody represents the tea party in Michigan these days more than Todd Courser and his campaign for state House.
[Peace Monument photo credit: Anne Savage, special to Eclectablog]