Lest we forget that not all insane Republicans are found in Washington, D.C., Corey Stewart's campaign is underscoring the extremism of both Stewart's agenda and how the Republican Party of old is dead and gone. Specifically, Rick Shaftan, a spokesman and leading consultant for Stewart called "establishment Republicans" by the derogatory term of "house Negros" and then went on to attack leaders in the civil rights movement. Like Stewart who is challenging Democrat Tim Kaine for one of Virginia's U.S. Senate seats, Shaftan makes little effort to hide his racial bigotry or his willingness to subscribe to far right conspiracy theories. Here are highlights from CNN:
A top consultant and spokesman for Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Virginia, has used the term "house negro" to criticize the GOP establishment and disparaged prominent Civil Rights figures John Lewis and Rosa Parks.
Rick Shaftan made the comments in tweets newly uncovered by CNN's KFile. The previously unreported tweets come on the heels of a report from the Daily Beast that he described majority-black cities as "sh**holes" and told his followers not to open businesses in black neighborhoods.
Shaftan's consulting firm, Atlantic Media & Research, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Stewart's campaigns for governor and Senate, according to election records. He previously worked on Stewart's gubernatorial campaign and for a super PAC that backed Paul Nehlen, a candidate for Paul Ryan's congressional seat who has made racist and anti-Semitic posts on social media.
Stewart, who has faced scrutiny of his own for defending Confederate symbols and publicly associating with white nationalists in the past, is challenging Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in November.
Neither Shaftan nor the Stewart campaign returned a CNN request for comment. In response to the Daily Beast story, Shaftan wrote on Facebook, "I must have said something worse than that in all these years! They need to look harder."
A closer look reveals that in a tweet on October 2014, Shaftan wrote, "There are a lot of parallels between the 'House Negro' and the GOP Establishment."
In September 2015, Shaftan again used the derogatory term, which refers to slaves who worked in the house of their master as opposed to in the fields, implying that the slaves' loyalty lay with the master rather than with their fellow slaves.
In September 2015, he suggested that he did not admire civil rights figure Rosa Parks, tweeting, "Rosa Parks. Give me a effing break. How about PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY?" Schlafly was a conservative political activist.
Shaftan wrote of Democratic Georgia Rep. John Lewis in January 2017, "So what has John Lewis done besides get beat up 50+ years ago? #PompousAss." In 1965, a then- 25-year-old Lewis was beaten badly by state troopers while marching for voting rights in Alabama.
In other posts, Shaftan referred to Michael Brown, the black teenager shot by white police officer Darren Wilson, as a "thug", saying that he "received justice at the hands of Officer Wilson" in August 2014. In response to the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following Brown's shooting, Shaftan tweeted, "Animals. #Ferguson" in November 2014.
In July of this year, Shaftan referred to New Jersey's attorney general, the first Sikh to hold the office, as "Turban Man," a term for which two local radio hosts were suspended last week.
In April 2017, Shaftan also hinted at the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, joking on Facebook, "You all know we never saw the REAL Obama Birth Certificate because it had Politically Incorrect 1961 language on it."Responding to a comment saying that he thought the birth certificate might have said "illegitimate," Shaftan wrote, "Or 'bastard', or 'colored', or 'Negro', etc."
Sadly, Stewart and Shaftan now represent the face of much of the Republican Party base. It is crucial that anyone who finds this version of the GOP offensive get out and vote for Tim Kaine in November. Stewart needs to lose by the widest margin possible.