Democrats in the Missouri House on Thursday voted to “expel” state Rep. Bob Burns from their caucus for calling in to a St. Louis-area radio show deemed “racist” and chatting amiably with the host.
“They deprived me of my First Amendment rights,” Burns told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after being booted on Friday. “I am a Democrat. I’ve been a Democrat since the day I was born. I will never switch parties.” Up for re-election November, Burns has no Republican opposition in his south St. Louis area district.
For all the Democrats’s new found propriety, they have not voted to expel Sen. Maria Chapelle-Nadal despite her much publicized aspiration to see President Trump dead.
“I hope Trump is assassinated,” the senator posted on Facebook last August. In the months since she has gotten back into the news by comparing Trump to Hitler and demanding reparations for slavery.
Burns’ s thought crime was to call in to KQQZ-AM Radio’s Bob Romanik, of Belleville, Illinois, who, according to the Kansas City Star, “specializes in racist rants.”
“I do not condone the rants and negative comments of the radio host,” Burns said earlier in the week when pressure began to build against him. The Democrats and the media were upset that Burns has reportedly not challenged Romanik but chatted with him civilly.
Before the expel order came down, Sen. Claire McCaskill called on Burns to resign. Said McCaskill, his “public statements of support for this individual do not reflect the values of the state of Missouri. And his failure to challenge such hateful rhetoric is a disservice to the Missourians he represents.”
In fairness, McCaskill did criticize Chapelle-Nadal, but she has not kept any pressure her Democratic colleagues to expel her. As it happens, Burns once worked for McCaskill. During that time she suspended him for a week for comparing conservative activists to Nazi “brownshirts.”
Chapelle-Nadal is among scores of prominent Democrats to make similar and worse comparisons between Republicans, including the president, and Nazis.
The Democrats have a very fluid understanding of hate speech. In an election year, one does not even have to say something hateful to suffer their wrath.