Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is making headlines for an attack on his Democratic challenger, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, that was as inaccurate as it was racist. And he’s not backing down. His campaign’s statement in response to outrage at his racist comment did not acknowledge he’d been wrong about her family background—he said “I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington” when her father was an Anglo whose family had been in the United States since the Revolution—let alone apologize. So what does the Human Rights Campaign, Kirk’s big LGBT rights group endorser, think of all this?
In other words, HRC stood by Kirk not only through a racist attack on a political opponent but through his refusal to apologize or correct his factual error. They’re giving him yet another chance.
And it’s not like Mark Kirk making a racist comment is some giant departure from his usual behavior. This is just the latest in a string of offensive remarks from Kirk. HRC also did not withdraw its endorsement when Kirk said President Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief.”
Then again, by the time HRC endorsed Kirk, he was already on the record saying “we drive faster” through black neighborhoods. And that Sen. Lindsey Graham is “a bro with no ho. That is what we’d say on the South Side.” And that a letter sent to the Iranian government “will just bounce off their turbans.” So apparently the Human Rights Campaign is willing to endorse someone with a long record of racist statements in order to maintain its bipartisan cred.
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Oh, look. Give Mark Kirk all night, all morning, and an implicit threat from a major endorser and he finds a way to do a little better than “Senator Kirk has consistently called Rep. Duckworth a war hero and honors her family’s service to this country. But [attack attack attack].”
Um, it looks a little less sincere when you had to be forced to say it and refused to apologize on the first pass.