Opinion: GOP Chair Shouldn't Call Madigan “Leprechaun”

We know House Speaker Michael Madigan is Irish. It’s not just his name. It’s his red hair, fair complexion, snub nose, pointed ears and his success in Chicago politics. If you saw Madigan walking down the street, you might ask him to for directions to the South Side Irish Parade.

Still, it’s racist for Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady to continually refer to Madigan as a “leprechaun.”

“We are under the thumb of a controlling, vindictive, ethically challenged, self-serving leprechaun, and I mean no disrespect to leprechauns, Speaker Mike Madigan,” Brady said recently.

The Sun-Times then picked up on Brady’s leprechaun meme, opining that, with his millions of dollars in campaign contributions and legal fees, Madigan “has gathered up quite a pot o’ gold.”

Soon, Brady will be screening Darby O’Gill and the Little People for Republicans in Springfield, as a lesson in how to outwit leprechauns. I’m assuming Brady is Irish himself, but that’s no excuse for comparing politicians to their ethnic group’s most embarrassing fictional characters. Would he compare Rep. Luis Gutierrez to Speedy Gonzalez? Or Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to Br’er Rabbit? Or Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Shylock? Not even Republicans would stand for that.

Just because the Irish are the oppressors of Illinois Republicans, rather than the oppressed, doesn’t give Brady license to attack Madigan with lame ethnic stereotypes.

You know, there’s a Pat and Mike joke in here somewhere…

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