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Yesterday, Keener and yours truly wrote separate diaries highlighting a new YouTube video of Charlie Bass (RubberStamp-NH) making remarks he thought would be heard by a Republican only audience.

Here's what he said about Bernie Sanders and his supporters:

"Oh, it's going to be nice not to have Hugo Chavez across the Connecticut river,representing Vermont at large.  Bernie Sanders and his Sandernistas, go back to taxi driving in the Bronx of New York City, where they came from to begin with".

But now that the MSM (via The Hill) are starting to pick up the story, Charlie is spinning like a top to get ahead of his macaca moment:  

"I guess it's just a reflection on the fact that you can't really have fun anymore in a campaign," Bass told The Hill on Thursday. "I had no ill will of any sort against anybody or any place or anything. It was all said as a couple of introductory lines in jest. I apologize if anybody was offended, but quite honestly I just think we've reached a point where you can't make a joke.

Poor little BassMaster.  What has politics come to now that you can't denigrate the lower classes and slur a sitting Congressman by calling him the name of an anti-American dictator?  Boo-hoo for Bass.

Now, as a former New Yorker who has lived in the Granite State for eight years, please allow me to clarify something. Sure it's a commonplace for New Hampshire Natives to look down on those that come up from NYC.  They're called leaf-peepers and such, and if they have the audacity to live up here they get called (as I have been) "flat-landers", in a sort of innocuous, good-natured way.  They laugh at you trying to drive in a January snowstorm for the first time, they make fun of you for not knowing about "mud season", etc... But in all my time here I have never felt anything less than welcomed with open arms.

Until now.

Bass' remarks here are something else altogether.  Taxi cab drivers in the Bronx? This is a clearly a smear, classist and anti-immigrant, meant to rally the xenophobes among us.  Coming from an immigrant family that came from the Bronx, I know what he's implying.  Basically, he's saying that if you like Bernie, you're not a real New England patrician like Charles Foster Bass, so go back to your blue-collar inner city non-WASP existence.  It's pretty offensive, IMHO.

I am not amused, and neither is Charlie's opponent, Paul Hodes:

"Paul finds them offensive--I think voters find them offensive," Hodes spokesman Reid Cherlin said. "It's just not the kind of thing that as an elected official or as a decent citizen you say about another elected official or decent citizen."

Now, this isn't the only shocking thing about this for-Republican-eyes-only video, and today the Hodes campaign issued a press release on Charlie's dismissive and hypocritical remarks on Mark Foley:

Even though the facts make it clear that top Republicans covered up for Foley, Bass prefaced these remarks by portraying the scandal as a figment of Democrats' imaginations: "Everybody's talking about Maaaaaark Foley . . . Mark Foley made a mistake--a big mistake--and he resigned.  Now Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat, says that we covered it up, that we're the party of corruption."  [Video]

Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hodes released the following statement:  "Charlie Bass is putting on a public show of concern about the cover-up in Congress, but get him alone with Republicans and he's cracking jokes about who's `ahead' in jail terms.  Bass is just keeping score when he should be insisting on real accountability.  But that's part of a pattern: he won't call for Hastert and Reynolds to resign; he won't call for the President to change the course in Iraq; and he won't give back campaign contributions from Tom DeLay and Bob Ney.

Originally posted to Republic Not Empire on Thu Oct 12, 2006 at 06:14 PM PDT.

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