The Denver Daily News has announced that Tom Tancredo has received the presidential endorsement of ...
(Drum roll please ...)
"Klan Politician Watch, a blog dedicated to endorsing or rejecting politicians that either support or hinder the white-supremacist movement in America..."
According to the News' Peter Marcus - who was also kind enough to mention this blog in his article - Klan Politician Watch "recently endorsed Tancredo for president," with the following stirring message:
"These are politicians we support around the nation that we know will save us from the Jew, black and brown plague infestation and their lawlessness."
I swear I am not making this up.
This endorsement may not work that well for Tancredo, since Klan Politician Watch does not have the best track record in endorsing political candidates. Their last high-profile endorsement was former Virginia Sen. George "Macaca" Allen.
The usually feisty Tancredo seems to merely sigh and throw his hands in the air at such questionable support. Naturally, he issues statements that he "wholeheartedly disavows and discourages the despicable organizations ... and their twisted political ideas." And TW has no doubt that he does.
But Tancredo also meekly adds that his racist supporters "cannot be stopped." After all, it's the First Amendment right of groups like National Vanguard, Imperial Klans of America, Stormfront White Nationalist Community, American Renaissance, and the League of the South - all cited in the News article - to rally around their favorite congressman.
That's true, actually. These persons, pathetic and disgusting as they are, do retain their First Amendment rights to spew their venom. Just as Tancredo has his own First Amendment right to choose to speak to Southern secessionists in a South Carolina hall specially decorated with Confederate battle flags for the occasion, and to join his audience afterward in a rousing rendition of that old crowd-pleaser, "Dixie."
And there's the rub about Tancredo. Most everyone agrees that illegal immigration is a serious problem in this country. And reasonable people can differ on whether and to what extent border control versus a "gateway to citizenship" should be the answer, and what the terms of such a gateway should be. There are certainly mainstream politicians - including fellow Republican presidential candidates Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul - who share Tancredo's views on what ought to be done about illegal immigration. But they don't garner nearly as much enthusiastic support from the same fringe groups.
Where Tancredo differs is that he's always the human bullhorn, making wild statements about bombing Islamic holy sites, stopping the "barbarians at the gate," Miami being a "Third World country," etc. And affiliating himself and getting major funding from outright weirdos like John Tanton. Tancredo makes himself a lightning rod for racist support.
He can't stop them, that's true. But you have to ask: Can't he at least stop himself?