Yesterday was the birthday of Lincoln and Darwin, and Virginia GOP chairman Jeff Frederick couldn't pass up the opportunity to go all Cro-Magnon on the father of modern biology.
Frederick obviously put a lot of thought into his assault on evolution and created a foolproof (or so it seemed) plan -- put Darwin up alongside Lincoln and let the people see Darwin for the monster he was.
First he talked about Lincoln; it went haltingly but we got his point:
"Abraham Lincoln is best know (sic), as you all well know, for freeing the slaves by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation affirming in his Gettyburg (sic) Address in 19, I'm sorry, 1863..."
Then on to that bad, bad man:
"Darwin however is best known for the theory of evolution, arguing that men are not only, quote, are only, not, not created, but they are not equal, as some are more evolved... Darwin's theory was used by atheists to explain away the belief in God."
I can only imagine what this guy has up his sleeve for Galileo's birthday, but it's really a shame that Frederick knows so little, perhaps nothing, about the man he's attacking.
He could have learned a lot from this recent piece marking Darwin's bicentennial:
"While many of his contemporaries approved of slavery, Darwin did not. He came from a family of ardent abolitionists, and he was revolted by what he saw in slave countries[.] 'It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.'"
But anyone who's familiar with Frederick knows that this kind of thing is par for the course -- Karen Tumulty captured him in his element last fall:
He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." [...] "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born."
It's pretty clear in which direction Frederick is taking the Virginia GOP. No wonder the party has continued to lose ground under his tenure.
But maybe I'm being too hard on Frederick. He is after all facing a strong challenge to his chairmanship from this gentleman:
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