How low can they go?

A former Republican Congressmen, now chairing the Giuliani campaign in South Carolina, has son with Downs Syndrome. He once publicly referred to the NAACP as “that organization known as the National Association for Retarded People.”
Words fail.

If the press didn’t keep telling me that Rudy Giuliani was a “moderate” and a “centrist,” I might not be sure. He just replaced Thomas Ravenel, his SC campaign chair &#8212 facing Federal cocaine charges &#8212 with Thomas’s father Arthur Ravenel, who once asked the crowd in a rally against removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol:

Can you believe that there are those who think that the General Assembly of South Carolina is going to . . . knuckle under, roll over and do the bidding (of) that organization known as the National Association for Retarded People?

Ravenel now says that the remark was a slip of the tongue. But that seems to be only the latest spin. Back in 2000, he was quoted by the Charleston Post and Courier this way:

“I didn’t apologize to the NAACP. I apologized to the retarded folks of the world for equating them to the national NAACP,” said Ravenel, the father of a son with Down’s Syndrome. “No apologies to the NAACP or the national NAACP.”

Forget the racism for a second: The guy has a Downs Syndrome son and makes fun of “retarded people” for political laughs? Gag me with a spoon.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: