Young on Wednesday was back in the Valley, this time talking with about 100 people at the Palmer senior center run by Mat-Su Senior Services. Asked about the "lack of support" comment, Young expanded on it and added that suicide in Alaska didn't exist before "government largesse" gave residents an entitlement mentality, according to an audio recording of his senior center appearance.
As we discussed yesterday, Rep. Don Young (R) recently spoke at an Alaska high school, less than a week after a student had committed suicide, and managed to offend nearly everyone. Yesterday, he managed to make matters much worse.
In his high school appearance, the Republican congressman used "salty language," told a story "that involved flying to Paris to get drunk," compared marriage equality to "bull sex," and said the boy who committed suicide must have lacked support from his friends and family. The school's principal later said, "We really spend a lot of time at our school talking about how we treat each other. We just don't talk to people that way."
But Don Young does. In fact, the Alaska Dispatch News reports today that the GOP lawmaker actually added insult to injury yesterday, expanding on his offensive remarks about suicide.
According to the audio recording made available to the Alaska Dispatch News, the state's largest newspaper, the congressman told voters yesterday, "When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting wood and catching the fish and killing the animals, we didn't have the suicide problem."
Suicide comes from federal government largesse "saying you are not worth anything but you are going to get something for nothing," he added.
Emile Durkheim, he isn't.
Forrest Dunbar, Young's Democratic challenger, said the Republican lawmaker has "gone past the point of bizarre," which seems quite fair under the circumstances.
At a certain point, it's hard not to wonder if there's just something wrong with the elderly congressman.
He was, for example, recently caught manhandling a Capitol Hill aide who bothered him. Young was also seen clowning around on the House floor while a Republican colleague delivered remarks honoring a fallen American soldier. Just this month, before his offensive antics at a local high school, the Alaska Republican was overheard threatening his Democratic challenger and suggesting that he'd killed a man.
Last year, Young referred to Latinos as "wetbacks," and when he was called out for having used a racial slur, the congressman said he didn't know "this term is not used in the same way nowadays."
There are still 12 days before Election Day. It's hard to even imagine what Young might say next.