S.C. politician: Escaped gorilla is 'Michelle’s ancestor'



As if South Carolina politicians didn’t have enough problems being seen as backward knuckle-draggers, well-known S.C. Republican activist and former state elections commission chairman Rusty DePass had to step in a big pile of his own crap over the weekend. DePass elicited howls of outrage when he posted a comment on a political blog regarding the brief escape of a gorilla from the Columbia, S.C. zoo this way: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle [Obama]’s ancestors — probably harmless.” Democrats in the state, including Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, lit into DePass with relish, condemning the remarks as “racist,” “disgusting,” “repulsive” and, as a friend in S.C. phrased it, “fucking unbelievable.”

DePass apologized in the standard politician way, saying he’s “sorry if he offended anyone” and that his statement had been "in jest." Well, yeah, Rusty, that's the problem. Today, SC political watchers are indicating that the ire over DePass’ statement is pretty intense and that the apology may not be enough to save DePass’ role as a GOP activist – to which this SC native says, “You must not know the South Carolina GOP very well. This will actually make him a hero to that bunch.”

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