No bar is too low for Matt Gaetz.
A Republican congressman has hired a speechwriter whose ties to white supremacists were too embarrassing even for the notoriously bigoted Trump administration.
“Very proud to have the talented Dr. Darren Beattie helping our team as a Special Advisor for Speechwriting,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), wrote on Friday morning.
It's odd that Gaetz is "proud" to hire someone who was fired by the Trump administration in 2018 after his ties to white supremacists were revealed by CNN.
The network uncovered that in 2016, Beattie was a featured speaker at the H.L. Mencken Club conference — an annual event that, as the Southern Poverty Law Center notes, "has hosted some of America’s most prominent white nationalist ideologues in the past" and “serves as a safe space for professors to vent their racist views.”
Past speakers at the event have included the white supremacist Richard Spencer, who once called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a “fraud and degenerate.”
Paul Gottfried, the founder of the Mencken Club, coined the term “alt-right,” a strain of conservatism that advocates white supremacy. Many within that movement have championed Trump and his open racism, and Trump’s former campaign chairman and advisor Steve Bannon operated the website Breitbart as a “platform for the alt-right.”
Beattie lost his job in the Trump administration as a result of the damaging report. That removal was likely done more for appearances than anything else, however, since many of the views expressed by speakers at the Mencken Club overlap with Trump’s own bigoted rhetoric.
But Gaetz apparently has no such qualms about hiring someone with such an unsavory background for what would be a taxpayer-funded position.
Gaetz has shown similarly poor judgment in the past. He invited a Holocaust denier as his guest to the 2018 State of the Union, a move that the Anti-Defamation League called “an insult to the memories of those killed in the Holocaust, to their families, and to the Jewish community.”
The Florida congressman is a devoted Trump loyalist who admits that his entire congressional career is all about promoting Trump and his ideas. And now he's hiring people who were too racist even for Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.