Congressman Inglis (R-SC) charges that his own party is being led by demagogues like Palin and Beck. Well, he felt it on his own skin after losing a primary because of his critique of Beck. Still, this interview with AP is rather stunning.
GOP congressman does not pull any punches.
From condeming GOP leaders:
He cited a claim made famous by Palin that the Democratic health care bill would create "death panels" to decide whether elderly or sick people should get care.
"There were no death panels in the bill ... and to encourage that kind of fear is just the lowest form of political leadership. It's not leadership. It's demagoguery," said Inglis, one of three Republican incumbents who have lost their seats in Congress to primary and state party convention challengers this year.
"I think we have a lot of leaders that are following those (television and talk radio) personalities and not leading," he said. "What it takes to lead is to say, 'You know, that's just not right.'"
To warnings about the consequences:
Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away.
"It's a real concern, because I think what we're doing is dividing the country into partisan camps that really look a lot like Shia and Sunni," he said, referring to the two predominant Islamic denominations that have feuded for centuries. "It's very difficult to come together to find solutions."
To admitting harassing of Democratic congressmen by Tea Party thugs:
Inglis said he was shocked during the health care votes as he watched protesters jeering Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who was beaten as a leading civil rights activist in the 1960s.
Inglis said he was too far away during the jeering incident to hear whether the protesters shouted racial epithets, as Lewis and other black lawmakers have claimed. But Inglis said the behavior was threatening and abusive.
"I caught him at the door and said, 'John, I guess you've been here before,'" Inglis said.
To admitting racism as one of the moving forces behind today's GOP:
Inglis, 50, who calls himself a Jack Kemp disciple because he has emphasized outreach to minorities as the late Republican congressman did, thinks racism is a part of the vitriol directed at President Barack Obama.
"I love the South. I'm a Southerner. But I can feel it," he said.
A stunning interview.