Bobby Schostak, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, is like the bartender trying to get an unwelcome customer out of the place without causing too much of a stir.
But the bartender knows the customer is the kind of guy who is always ready for a fight and this time he seems to be especially in the mood for a brawl.
Dave Agema is that customer. And Schostak’s right. This guy is not going quietly. And this guy is not just any customer. Agema is one of Michigan’s representatives on the Republican National Committee.
The former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot hasn’t said anything in response to the censure.
But anyone who is familiar with the Michigan Republican Party committeeman knows Agema has not lost any of his military muscle, hasn’t gain a pound of civilian fat and, as for swagger, he has always had plenty.
The Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee have been trying to get rid of Agema for years.
The problem they have with him is that Agema has always been very opinionated and has never been shy about sharing those opinions on his Facebook page.
Agema’s opinions have been described as phobic, as in “Islamophobic” and “homophobic,” and he has never hesitated to criticize the Republican Party when he thought it was creeping to the center of the political spectrum.
His most recent Facebook posts may have pushed the GOP over the edge.
Agema’s Jan. 3 post on his Facebook page referenced a story about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) engaging in “ethnic cleansing” to purge tea party supporters from the Arizona GOP.
“The same thing has and is occurring with groups like GLEP and the Freedom Fund run by devoted homosexual Greg McNeilly who desire to move our party left with moderate to liberal candidates. When you try to make a bigger tent with liberals you lose your base and your brand,” Agema wrote.
That wasn’t the first time Agema went on Facebook to try to block a Republican Party move to the center.
On Dec. 31, Agema wrote: “Our last election was a referendum against Obama and his policies of Obamacare, amnesty and gross spending. If our newly elected Congress does nothing to stop these travesties, they deserve to be removed from office. It seems we win an election overwhelmingly and then act like losers and sheepishly back down. Now is the time to be bold and force the issues. If we don’t, we don’t deserve the majority because we are a big part of the problem.”
Of course, he also criticized President Obama and the Democrats. This post from Nov. 19 is an example.
“Every morning I wake up to more dictatorship via President Obama. Illegal immigration was what I ran on in 2006. To give legal status to law breakers is, in my opinion, breaking the oath of office Obama took when he swore in. He and the democrats have fostered policies that have made America weak fiscally, morally, constitutionally and militarily, and yet many Americans support them. We now are at war with radical Islam and Obama seems to caudel [sic] our enemies.”
As much as those posts might seem to speak to what is described as the base of the GOP, those in charge of the Republican Party hit the breaking point in mid-January.
The Facebook post by Agema that pushed the RNC over the edge was a repost of an article that claimed blacks don’t have the same communication skills of whites and other races, and African-Americans are inherently different from the author and the rest of the world.
Agema responded to criticism of that reposted article Jan. 13.
“Once again I find the same people making false statements concerning a repost of an article I got from Col West’s ( former congressman) news letter as my words and opinion. I make no accusation that I agree with the statements supporting the author he posted. I do support Col West’s commentary concerning the authors article and not the content of the article itself,” Agema wrote.
The Republican National Committee announced the next day, during the party’s leadership convention in Orlando, Fla., they had had enough and demanded Agema’s resignation.
“Dave Agema’s history of harmful and offensive rhetoric has no place in our party, which is why the RNC Executive Committee acted in the swiftest way possible to avoid giving him a platform. We have voted to censure him, and we are urging the Michigan GOP and their voters to explore options to discipline Agema for his actions. Today, we used all available tools to remove him from the committee,” RNC Chair Reince Priebus said in a statement.
“It is important that we lead by example. Over the past couple years, we have worked to engage more Americans, including minority communities where we hadn’t been in too long. We have to be a party that welcomes people and engages voters of all backgrounds, and we cannot allow one man’s fringe views to undermine the work that is ahead of us. I want to speak clearly that we are a party that works to expand opportunity for all Americans.”
Amen to that, Bobby Schostak said in a statement released by the Michigan Republican Party.
“I support today’s action both as a member of the Republican National Committee’s executive committee, and as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. It is clear that Michigan’s current Republican National Committeeman is not an effective party leader or representative, and has demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to change his behavior,” Schostak said.
“My position remains unchanged from a year ago, I hope Mr. Agema will voluntarily resign, but if he does not, the Michigan Republican Party will continue exploring all possibilities to address his actions.”
Although various published reports put Agema at the scene of the GOP conclave in Florida, he has not replied to request from PJM for a conversation, and has not posted any statements on the matter where it matters most: on his Facebook page.
And the Michigan Republican Party continues to explore ways to get rid of him.