Could This Finally Be the End for Agema?

Dave Agema, the former Michigan state legislator and current Republican National Committee member with a long history of bigotry and stupidity, may finally have met his Waterloo. Some of his fellow RNC members are trying to find a way to kick him out over it while the committee’s winter meetings are going on.

There’s an elephant in the room as the Republican National Committee prepares for its annual winter meeting in San Diego this week—one that could undercut the group’s minority-outreach message and instead saddle the GOP with another racially charged crisis.

In a New Year’s Eve Facebook post, Michigan RNC Committeeman Dave Agema republished an essay from American Renaissance, a white-supremacist newsletter. The article, which Agema said he found “very enlightening,” argued that “blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike.”

Agema has since deleted the Facebook post, but refuses to apologize—or to resign from the GOP’s governing body…

The latest incident sparked fresh calls for Agema’s resignation—and others want him forcibly ejected from the committee. The RNC’s bylaws don’t specifically govern the removal of members, but some committee officials think Agema’s latest infraction is deserving of unprecedented punishment.

Virginia GOP Chairman Pat Mullins is circulating a letter to RNC colleagues recommending that Agema be expelled from the meeting in San Diego and then permanently removed from the RNC, National Journal has learned.

It’s unclear at this point whether Mullins’s proposal is permissible or whether it would have the requisite support for approval. Priebus issued a statement Tuesday that simply reiterated his desire for Agema to step down. “I’ve previously called for Dave Agema to resign and my position remains the same, he should step aside,” Priebus said. “The tone and rhetoric from Agema is consistently offensive and has no place in politics or any rational conversation.”

And a bunch of Republican state legislators from Michigan are also demanding that he be removed from the RNC:

A group of Oakland County Republicans in the Michigan Legislature are asking national committee members to “end our party’s long nightmare” by ousting Dave Agema, and others are calling on him to resign.

“While we are disappointed it has come down to this, we believe this course of action is the only way to stop Mr. Agema’s hateful rhetoric from further tarnishing our party,” reads a letter to the Republican National Committee signed by Sen. Mike Kowall of White Lake, Sen. Jim Marleau of Lake Orion and Rep. Jim Tedder of Clarkston.

“We urge RNC members, our colleagues and like-minded Michiganders to join us in stepping up and acknowledging that enough is enough.

Will this be enough to force him out? Time will tell.

Update: The RNC voted to censure Agema and are also demanding his resignation, though it isn’t clear that they have the ability to force him to do so:

The Republican National Committee’s top officers formally censured Michigan member Dave Agema today for what they called “harmful rhetoric” and demanded his resignation.

National Party Chairman Reince Priebus announced the censure of Agema, a former state representative from Grandville, who has been roundly criticized for remarks and posts on social media considered insensitive to gays, Muslims and blacks.

“Agema’s history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party, which is why the RNC Executive Committee acted in the swiftest way possible to avoid giving him a platform,” Priebus said tonight as the RNC’s Winter Meeting was set to get under way outside San Diego.

“We have voted to censure him and we are urging the Michigan GOP and their voters to explore options to discipline Agema for his actions. Today, we used all available tools to remove him from the committee.”

He was elected to his current RNC term with about 70% of the votes of Michigan Republicans.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • eric

    “Agema’s history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party,

    Translation: dude, you gotta use more dogwhistles. You can’t out and out say what the rest of us are thinking!

  • some bastard on the internet

    He was elected to his current RNC term with about 70% of the votes of Michigan Republicans.

    Well sure, they massively voted him in, but they were sweet-talked into doing so!

    It’s like when you go to a dealership looking for a Miata, but then the dealer talks up the highly affordable Ford Pinto he’s had on the lot for two decades. Now, you’ve heard about Pintos, and you did want the Miata, but the dealer assures you that this Pinto isn’t like those other Pintos out there, and it’s such a low price!

    So it’s not really the voters fault when this particular Pinto turned out to be just as fatal as all the others. They were misled, I tells ya!

  • Michael Heath

    From the article(s) Ed quotes above:

    [Republican National Committee Chairman Reince] . . . “The tone and rhetoric from Agema is consistently offensive and has no place in politics or any rational conversation.”

    [. . .]

    “While we are disappointed it has come down to this, we believe this course of action is the only way to stop Mr. Agema’s hateful rhetoric from further tarnishing our party,” reads a letter to the Republican National Committee signed by Sen. Mike Kowall of White Lake, Sen. Jim Marleau of Lake Orion and Rep. Jim Tedder of Clarkston.

    [. . .]

    “Agema’s history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party, which is why the RNC Executive Committee acted in the swiftest way possible to avoid giving him a platform,” Priebus said . . .

    [Heath bolded]

    Notice how the GOP articulated its censure of Dave Agema. They didn’t condemn him for defaming others – lying in a way that causes suffering to others, but instead for being offensive. They’re trying to get rid of him due to a lack of style rather than their being polar opposites of Agema regarding public policy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these Republicans who are working to boot Mr. Agema are also disgusted with much of his defamatory attacks. Instead I suspect these Republicans are not condemning Agema for lying because by that standard they too have no credibility; e.g., their position on global warming, their math failures when discussing even rudimentary economics, and even more relevant here – how they too readily defame non-conservatives such as President Obama, House Minority Leader Pelosi, and Sen. Warren.

    As evil as Mr. Agema is, he doesn’t touch the evil racism of Chief Justice John Roberts and the other conservative justices who struck down federal laws that worked to better protect the voting rights of black people. Agema’s small potatoes compared to the harm done by that Supreme Court decision and the commitment by the Republicans in Congress to oppose legislation to optimally protect black people’s voting rights.

    In some ways Agema serves as a useful foil. Better to beat him up then have to engage on racist public policy initiatives that the GOP successfully advances.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Are his peers complaining about the message posted by Agema, or the bad publicity it created? (I think I know)

  • busterggi

    “The RNC voted to censure Agema and are also demanding his resignation”

    That’s what happens when a Republican makes the mistake of talking like his Republican supporters.

  • demonhauntedworld

    #notallrepublicans

  • magistramarla

    I wonder how long it will be before he shows up running for office in Texas?

  • sinned34

    Your move, David Duke.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    The end? Not a chance. He’ll just go on the rubber-martyr circuit and get paid lots of money by outrage junkies looking for their next fix. The field is wide open. He could start a PAC or become a Fox commentator. My seat-of-the-pants (i.e. pulled from a nether orifice) estimate is that getting canned from the RNC will mean at least a 50% boost in his income.