Democrats must be in trouble if The Daily Beast is running a headline White Supremacist Stampede, with this opening line:
Add to the growing list of candidates considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 America’s most famous white-power advocate: David Duke.
Ah yes, the David Duke card gets played.
Duke is an anti-Semitic kook who is far more likely in recent years to be hobnobbing with anti-Israel European leftists and Islamists than with anyone associated with the Republican Party or the Tea Party movement.
Yet The Daily Beast trots out a possible (inevitable?) Duke run for President to try to back up a false meme, that there is a “stampede” of Neo-Nazi candidates running in elections as Republicans.
But the facts elicited in the article defeat the headline. Only nine candidates who expressly spout white supremacist ideology were identified by the SPLC in the article, out of thousands of candidates who run in races nationwide (emphasis mine):
“We’ve seen increasing numbers of white supremacists and others on the radical right running for electoral office for several years now and we likely had more in the last election than in any other in recent memory,” says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Although extremely few of these people are elected, especially if their views become known during the campaign, the fact that there are so many openly running for public office reflects the growth of white nationalism over the last 10 years.”
Potok’s group tracked 23 candidates in 2010 with radical right-wing views, nine of whom they described as white supremacists or white nationalists. (The others had extreme immigration and world-conspiracy views but did not specifically have links to white organizations.)
Nine white supremacist candidates? In the whole country? With its multi-hundred million dollar endowment, SPLC only could find nine candidates?
The Daily Beast is going to have to do better than the David Duke card.
Update: Joshua Green Strikes Out.