How much do I love that this guy is also a former ambassador? Good God. We exported this:
The finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, who also was Michigan’s former GOP chairman, was captured on video telling a tea party meeting that voters in Detroit get picked up at pool halls and barbershops and bused “from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.”
Ron Weiser also said at the Aug. 9 meeting in Milford that someone not from Detroit would not want to go to the polls there at 6:30 a.m. “without a side arm.”
The video of Weiser’s comments, recorded by a Democratic operative shadowing GOP congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio to a meeting where Weiser also spoke, was given to the Free Press and posted on YouTube by the Michigan Democratic Party. Weiser emphatically said Friday that he meant no offense to Detroit and was speaking about past, not current, campaigns. But his comments immediately drew sharp criticism from a civil rights activist and a Detroit lawmaker.
In a phone interview Friday evening with the Free Press, Weiser, an Ann Arbor businessman who was running for a seat on the University of Michigan Board of Regents when he appeared at the tea party gathering, initially said he didn’t recall making the comments and didn’t think he would have used that kind of language. He later acknowledged making the remarks.
He made the comments in the video while explaining why he thought the GOP had a strong chance of winning Michigan in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
First, Detroit’s population, which heavily votes Democratic, has shrunk, Weiser said in the video.
“Secondly, no Coleman Young machine. No Kwame Kilpatrick machine. There is no Dave Bing machine. There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses, and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.
“And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.”
He never intended any harm, by the way. It’s standard practice for the finance committee chair of the GOP to blithely announce that African-American voters routinely commit felony voter fraud, you know, if you can drag them out of the pool halls and bars and get them on a bus.
I’m still getting used to the fact that conservative politicians and paid political operatives regularly attack voters. Just think about how strange that is. A big part of their politics now is smearing certain voters. Not just Democratic elected officials. Not just powerful Democratic donors. Voters themselves. How is this punching-down smear campaign directed at voters even “politics” as we may have previously understood it? Obviously, they’re not interested in persuasion or making a case or appealing to anyone outside their base, because, like with Mitt Romney and the 47% comments, this is how they talk about us when we’re not in the room. Is this still “politics” or is it something else entirely?