A Local GOP Leadership No Longer in Lock Step (Voice of OC)
Just how rude this awakening could end up being for the party's establishment became apparent in mid February when Pauly stood outside of a Muslim charity event in Yorba Linda and said to cheering protestors: "Make no mistake my friends, these who are assembling are enemies of America."
She added: "I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise."
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At least one major Muslim advocacy group has demanded that Orange County's Republican party's condemn the protest and comments from elected officials who were present.
"Time and again Republican leaders have shown a lack of leadership and irresponsible behavior in upholding the oath that they took," said Munira Syeda, a local spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It's time for the Republican party to come out and say this is un-American.
The local controversy comes against the backdrop of last week's congressional hearing in Washington D.C. focusing on Islamic extremism. Supporters of the hearing say it is a courageous stand for national security. Critics compare it to McCarthyism and say it is the latest example of growing Islamophobia throughout the country.
The response by Orange County's party leadership to Pauly's comments has been muted, even a bit disjointed. In an interview with a reporter, OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh defended Pauly's right to speak out, but was clearly uncomfortable doing it.
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However, even some Tea Party activists are acknowledging that outbursts like Pauly's could significantly damage efforts by the local GOP to broaden its base.
"You have a lot of people (in the GOP) that want to kill – it seems to me – they want to kill all Muslims," said Central Committee member and fellow Tea Partier Allan Bartlett. "I don't criticize her right to be there, but it has generated publicity that I don't think – our party could do better as far as messaging right now….
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