Sen. Frank Artiles, Mitt Romney
Republican Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles is facing calls to resign after an ugly incident over drinks at the members-only Governors Club in Tallahassee earlier this week in which he used racial slurs and obscenities to describe several of his Senate colleagues:
Sen. Frank Artiles dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a "f------ a------," a "b----" and a "girl," the two senators said.
Over drinks after 10 p.m. at the members-only Governors Club just steps from the state Capitol, Artiles told Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale that Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart had risen to his powerful GOP leadership role because "six n-----rs" in the Republican caucus had elected him.
Artiles later told Gibson and Thurston that he'd used the word "n----as," suggesting the slang term was not meant to be insulting, Gibson and Thurston said. It's unclear whom Artiles was referring to, since the only black senators in the state Senate are all Democrats — and none of them backed Negron's bid to lead the chamber.]
[The discussion began Monday night after Artiles approached Gibson at the Governors Club to suggest that a series of questions he'd asked of one of her bills earlier in the day were payback for questions she'd asked before of one of Artiles' bills.
At one point, Artiles referred to Gibson as "this f------- a------" and "this b----," Gibson said.
Artiles later "apologized" on the Senate floor:
“I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended,” Artiles began, reading from prepared remarks.
He offered a direct apology to Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat he had called a “bitch” in an alcohol-laced tirade two days earlier.“My comments to you were the most regretful of all, because they injured you personally,” Artiles said. “No one deserves to be spoken to like that.”
“Absolutely not,” a defiant Artiles told reporters, calling his Southwest Miami-Dade seat “targeted” by Democrats.
He pledged instead to file soon for his 2018 reelection — and win.
In 2014, he was secretly recorded at a Miami-Dade polling place using the word “hajis,” a derogatory term directed at Muslims, Arabs and Middle Easterners.
"I can tell you right now that I think that both candidates are the most horrible candidates that have ever been put up for the president of the United States," Artiles said.]
[Artiles said that when he talks to independent voters, he tells them: "Look, you have a choice to make between who’s the best and the worst, because I quite honestly believe these are the worst."
But he added, "I will be voting for Donald Trump."
And Artiles stood in support of Trump even after the the 2005 Access Hollywood tape surfaced in which Trump made his "grabby" comments about being able to get away with sexual assault "when you're a star." Here's what Artiles had to say about Trump's comments back then:
Artiles called Trump's lewd comments about women that were caught on tape during a 2005 Access Hollywood appearance "deplorable."
"I’m not here to defend his comments because I think they’re terrible comments," Artiles said, "but it was made in private, he was mic’d up. The reality is I’ve heard worst comments coming from enlisted officers as well as women, in reference to the comments that were made."
"The reality is, I've heard worse." Take it from Artiles, he would know.
Artiles excused Trump's comments because they were "made in private." Even if that were a valid excuse, Artiles' own comments certainly weren't private. So what of that? In light of his own "apology" it seems that slurs and offensive language, whether used in public or private can be excused. In other words, Artiles would like everyone to just get over it and move on whenever he says things like this.
Not only does Artiles have a pattern of using this kind of language, he also has a pattern of excusing it and blowing off the idea that such language matters. His moments of supposedly moral high ground are always followed with "but."
As we've seen in the age of Trump, people like Artiles seem to have been emboldened. They think they have license to say and do what they please without consequence. Worse, politicians like Artiles seem to think we owe them some slack for their transgressions. After all, Artiles certainly looked the other way for Trump. Now he says he will "absolutely not" resign, he will run again, and he will win.
You think, Sen. Artiles?
Who's the "deplorable" one now?
(Photo credit: Frank Artiles, Facebook)