I’m sure this will do wonders for the GOP’s outreach efforts with minority voters. Rusty DePass, described as a longtime Republican Party activist in South Carolina, stirred up a bit of a media controversy when he mused in a Facebook posting that a gorilla escaping from the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia was probably related to Michelle Obama.

“I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors — probably harmless,” DePass wrote (he later confirmed to a TV newsman that he was referring to Obama). DePass also said his comment was “clearly in jest.”

The DePass comment was very much in the spirit of Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland’s remark last summer that Barack Obama was too “uppity” to be running for president. It’s a theme that’s been echoed for more than a century among the white segregationist types who still play a large role in Southern politics: if we don’t keep those negroes in their place, they’ll get the crazy idea they can get elected president (or sit next to our daughters in integrated schools).

I don’t know how much attention DePass’s remark will get in the media next week, but I’ll make this prediction: conservative blogger Erick Erickson will try to argue that since many Democrats referred to George W. Bush as “Chimpy,” that’s proof positive that DePass is really a leftist Democrat. It’s going to be difficult to make a convincing argument that a prominent member of the Republican Party establishment in South Carolina is actually a left-wing Democrat, but I’m confident Erick is up to the task.

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3 Responses to Gorillas in our midst

  1. Mel says:

    J.M. my apologies for the problems. We’ve made several changes to the code (as recently as this afternoon) to allow older users to log in with TypeKey on the new blogs. Can you please try again and email me at goux@mac.com if it’s either a) fixed, or b) worse. Thanks.

  2. J.M. Prince says:

    This has already happened to me more than once in my small town. Last week most recently. And I tell everyone that it’s Everyone’s heritage too. Less funny, but still true nevertheless.

    Site issues: BTW: Paula? The new comment system is not working at all for me. So it’s still very buggy. I’ve had to find an ‘older’ post & sign in there to actually comment. It’s the same log on & same Password, but it no longer works in the new MT or in the newer posts. For whatever reason. I figure this might become more apparent sometime next week when fewer & fewer people are able to comment. And Yeah, I fully expect to be punked by some well known people here telling me that ‘Well this just does not happen to them!’ So be it. I thought someone might like to know. The last update to the site removed any of the contact info that I could see too. So hopefully this might be read by someone. JMP

  3. Paula says:


    My prediction is that they will try to argue it’s some sort of joke about how evolution.