Must Be The “Sotomayor Thing”

Responding to the former executive director of his PAC’s upcoming sentencing for karate-chopping a random black woman while calling her a “n—–,” former Congressman Tom Tancredo finds himself…in a bit of a jam. As the Denver Post reports:

The executive director of Team America, the PAC founded by Tom Tancredo, pleaded guilty last year to striking an African-American woman on a Washington, D.C., street and using a racial epithet.

Marcus Epstein’s random confrontation with the woman has become part of a skirmish in the larger war over the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, a week after Tancredo thrust himself into the debate by claiming Sotomayor “appeared to be a racist.”

Tancredo, a former Republican congressman from Littleton, returned to co-chair the political action committee in the past few weeks after several years’ absence. He said Monday that he didn’t know about the incident until it surfaced on the website of One People’s Project, an anti-racism group.

“I’m assuming that the only thing that makes (the incident) even newsworthy is the fact that it comes in the context of the Sotomayor thing,” Tancredo said…

Bay Buchanan, who has day-to-day control of Team America, called the incident “an out-of-character moment” for Epstein and noted that he was struggling at the time with personal problems and was kept on only after he agreed to treatment.

Heidi Beirich, an investigator at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said Epstein has a history of activism in “racist circles.”

Gosh, you think that having the head of your PAC going around beating up black women might make it a little harder for you to make a charge of ‘racism’ stick against Sonia Sotomayor on national television? Really, you think? We’re looking for the right word to summarize this: “unbelievable” isn’t precise enough. Because we agree–Tancredo surrounding himself with undiluted Dixie-flag flying racists isn’t really what you’d call “news.”

Perhaps, though, the truth about Tancredo and his marginal ilk will be news to CNN–and maybe, just maybe, they’ll remember it next time they consider giving him airtime in the first place.

UPDATE: If the hypocritical irony of this story wasn’t enough to pop your eyes out of their sockets, check out Marcus Epstein’s last op-ed at, linked to prominently from the Team America PAC website under the title “Immigration and Hate Crimes: The Phony Link.”

Yes, really.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Littletonian says:

    “‘I’m assuming that the only thing that makes (the incident) even newsworthy is the fact that it comes in the context of the Sotomayor thing,’ Tancredo said… ”

    Right. We obviously wouldn’t care about a public figure committing a hate crime if Tom Tancredo hadn’t already shot his mouth off on the same subject earlier in the week.

    Oh, wait… yes, yes we would. Because “Tom Tancredo” and “racism” have been connected for as long as I can remember. Also, way to show sympathy and compassion for the victim of a senseless, racially-motivated crime committed by a guy you hired.

    Stay classy, Tom Tancredo. You and your ilk disgust me.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      The NYT published this excellent op ed piece about the Republican’s hypocrisy regarding Sotomayor’s alleged racism.

      The same Newt Gingrich who once said that bilingual education was like teaching “the language of living in a ghetto” tweeted that Sotomayor is a “Latina woman racist.” The same Rush Limbaugh who once told a black caller to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back” called Sotomayor a “reverse racist.” The same Tom Tancredo, a former congressman, who once called Miami, which has a mostly Hispanic population, “a third world country” said that Sotomayor “appears to be a racist.”

      This is rich.

      Read the whole thing here. Those without NYT registration can use this shared login:

      user: silly101

      password: revenue

      • Barron X says:


        I hope that’s not an account tied to your personal info, like email.  Call me paranoid, but my mind reels at the abuse a malefactor could make of this.  Death threats, for instance, traceable back to you.    

        If it is tied to you somehow, I recommend changing the pword ASAP.


        • AristotleAristotle says:

          Someone on another blog shared it. I get the feeling it’s making the rounds. I have my own registration there that I’ve had since the early oughts (e.g., this decade…)

          Thanks for your concern.

          • Libertad says:

            passing on a log-in like this seems to be like passing on copied music … I don’t think the Dixie Chicks would approve.

            • Middle of the Road says:

              Your turn…

            • AristotleAristotle says:

              then you can complain to them and they’ll shut it down.

              Then everyone will be forced to register for free.

              Hail free enterprise!

              • Libertad says:

                a government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have …. who said that Roosevelt, Jefferson???  

                • Jersey Corn says:

                  that you have nothing to say about the Tancredo and his racist staffer — all you have to offer is the typical “liberals stink and want to take away our money and freedom” drivel.  What about the subject of this thread — the fact that Tom Tancredo is and always has been a racist POS?  No witty retort?

                  • Libertad says:

                    Let alone facts of the victims statements, whether of not TT was supervising this guy (above it calls him a former staffer of a PAC that TT hasn’t been leading for a number of years), why the prosecutor agreed or not to a deferred sentence, why the judge ruled on such a sentence, the social affects of minority on minority crime ….

                    This topic has been re-posted for 2-3 days; its tired, incomplete and old. Its whole goal is to bait and form group think to around a man that will never hold another elected office again.

                    Where is the dignity for the victim? Its not like she was a one of the world’s leading practitioners of partial birth abortion procedures.

                    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                      In your mind Ritter still committed murder in Africa contrary to all evidence, and yet you want to give Epstein a free pass because we dont have “the complete facts”.

                      Actually, gee, we never will have “the complete facts” about the Epstein assault. I mean, hell, none of us were there !  I guess we can never judge him then for something so repugnant.  How convenient.

                    • Libertad says:

                      The Guv never murdered anyone is Africa, he was a missionary.

                      I’m just stunned you have no dignity for the victim.

  2. twas brillig says:

    “I’m assuming that the only thing that makes (the incident) even newsworthy is the fact that it comes in the context of the Sotomayor thing,” Tancredo said

    Because having a violent racist as the ED of your little political slush fund would never be newsworthy if you didn’t just happen to be race-baiting on cable TV the previous week. It’s all a conspiracy. Moron.  

    • BlueCat says:

      attack by a racial epithet screaming PAC executive director on an innocent woman, doing nothing but walking down the street while black, is a ho-hum non-newsworthy event in and of itself in the mind of Tancredo and Co.  Guess he thinks this kind of thing must happen all the time.  Besides, the real victim here is the poor drunk racist sociopath. Just wow.

  3. Lafayettedem says:

    Methinks that Epstein thinks he is really a character from Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s wildly funny movie.

  4. AristotleAristotle says:

    I’m either being lazy for not wanting to navigate through the site to find this gem of an opinion, or else they’ve taken it down. Pols, can you double check that please?

  5. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    The idea that someone would write this after pleading guilty to randomly assaulting an African-American woman in the street, barely avoiding a hate crime charge himself via plea bargain, is just too incredible to be believed. This person has some serious pathological issues, like Tancredo himself.

    Hey, asshole, you’re the “link!” And it ain’t so phony now!

    • Middle of the Road says:

      And he’s the face of the modern, 21st century Republican Party–you know, the party of Libertard, Karate Kid, MesaModerate. A perfect front man, no?

    • BlueCat says:

      Here he is protesting that most of the incited hate crimes referred to were in fact not related to violent attacks of any kind while entirely leaving out the fact that he himself committed a violent hate crime with no particular incitement whatsoever.

      He must have been pretty confident no one was paying attention to his 2008 assault. Judging from the fact that this story was ignored for so long you can’t blame him. What a little creep and how unsurprising that he’s a Tancredo Team America little creep.

  6. parsingreality says:

    As to the battery upon the woman, obviously a crime has been committed.

    That he called her a name that most Americans find offensive, in poor taste, reflective of some psychosis is protected by the First Amendment.  He wasn’t screaming “Fire” in a crowded theater, or even an empty one.  

    People in Canada and the UK are being hauled into court for expressing opinions whereby they express dislike for certain others, usually on an ethnic or racial basis.  In Britain, a ten year old boy called an old immigrant woman some names, she whacked him repeatedly with a hard stick (good for her!), it was the KID hauled into court for saying unkind words.

    We cannot legislate away hatred or tiny minds.  Only as we change the hearts of men and women can we reduce things like what this jerk did to the woman.

    Thank Gawd those old dead white men gave us the protection and right to be an idiot.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      with legislating away the actions related to those hates. They’ve demonstrated an added danger beyond mere assault.

      This doesn’t affect turds who want to yell “nigger” or “faggot” from a car while passing by at 35 mph. Free speech lives!

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      It’s the use of the N-word combined with physical assult to show state of mind. Big difference.

    • twas brillig says:

      are a long-standing tool in criminal sentencing of violent acts. It has nothing to do with the speech, it has to do with the nature of the criminal act — which is revealed by the speech.

      We had a good discussion of this with The Barron not too long ago.

      Bias-related hate crimes are of a particularly dangerous nature not just for the victim, but for society as a whole–they threaten the political and social fabric, and so have a unique aspect to them that warrants sentencing enhancement.

      I used to be uncomfortable with hate crimes statutes because of the speech implications, but I’ve come around to the opposite point of view. Violence is not an act of legitimate expression. Marcus Epstein isn’t a hate criminal for the words he used; rather it’s that the words he used during his act of violence explains the nature of that violence in a way that government has declared it has an added interest in penalizing.  

      • parsingreality says:

        …that the use of language during the committing of a crime is a factor in motive and perhaps punishment.

        My concern was with some posts on a previous thread on this topic that seemed to me suggesting that certain words just need to be outlawed.  I.e., it’s a criminal offense to say or used them in public or the internet.

        Oy, there goes Mark Twain……

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