Who’s ‘the party of civil rights’? That’s the wrong question

Kevin Williamson, writing in National Review, expresses contempt and disgust for what he calls “the outright lie, the utter fabrication with malice aforethought” in modern politics. He then proceeds to indulge in something pretty close to the fabrication that he claims to despise.

Williamson’s thesis is that the Republican Party is and always has been the party that fought hardest for civil rights in this country, and that the Democratic Party has been the party that has fought hardest to sustain white privilege. And he is angry that the reputations of the two parties do not reflect what he perceives as historical reality.

“That Republicans have let Democrats get away with this mountebankery is a symptom of their political fecklessness, and in letting them get away with it the GOP has allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, who represent an expression of conservative ideals as true and relevant today as it was in the 19th century,” Williamson writes.

Let’s stipulate that on the narrow terms in which Williamson attempts to define the issue, and within a particular time frame, he has an arguable case. Fifty or 60 years ago, much of the Republican Party did indeed support civil rights reform. That’s why the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., along with many other black Americans, considered themselves proud Republicans at the time.

Conversely, as Williamson documents well, a very large chunk of the Democratic Party — much of it located here in the South — fought bitterly against civil rights and desegregation and in favor of white supremacy. For years, the Democratic Party in Georgia and elsewhere even conducted “whites only” primaries, meaning that black voters such as King Sr. could not have participated even if they wanted to do so.

But once you get past 1960 or so, that history gets much more complicated. You’ve got GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater defending segregation in his 1964 campaign, while President Johnson, a Democrat, fought valiantly for passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

You’ve got George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, and by 1968 you’ve got Richard Nixon and his Southern strategy. As Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips described the thinking back in 1970:

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

In other words, trying to debate who deserves the title of “The Party of Civil Rights” can quickly get pretty ugly and confusing. So rather than sink into a morass of charge and countercharge, along with attempts to count the various racists on each side in various eras, let’s simplify things dramatically. Instead of discussing this in terms of Democrats and Republicans, let’s address it in terms of liberals and conservatives.

Looked at that way, the issue crystallizes immediately.

Yes, members of both political parties supported the civil rights movement. They were liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats.

Yes, many Democrats chanted “segregation now, segregation forever”; they were conservative Democrats. And that distinction can be traced through every institution of society.

Liberal churches as a rule supported the civil rights movement, as did liberal Jews and liberal clergy such as Will Campbell. Conservative churches such as the Southern Baptist Convention, on the other hand, bitterly opposed desegregation. When the issue split a denomination, as it did the Presbyterians for a time, it was the liberal faction that supported civil rights and the conservative faction that opposed it.

The liberal NAACP and ACLU pushed Brown v. Board of Education to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the liberal Thurgood Marshall argued the case and found a sympathetic ear in Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was so reviled by conservatives that they launched a long-running campaign to impeach him.

Conversely, conservative political groups such as the John Birch Society routinely condemned the civil rights movement as communist-inspired and -led.

Liberal newspapers in the South — the Greenwood Delta Democrat-Times in Mississippi and the Atlanta Constitution here in Georgia, among a few others — angered many white readers with support for desegregation, while conservative newspapers such as the Richmond News Leader, edited by James J. Kilpatrick, staunchly defended segregation on the grounds that “the Negro race, as a race, is in fact an inferior race.”

“When the Negro today proclaims or demands his ‘equality,’ he is talking of equality within the terms of Western civilization,” Kilpatrick once wrote. “And what, pray, has he contributed to it? Putting aside conjecture, wishful thinking and a puerile jazz-worship, what has he in fact contributed to it? The blunt answer, may it please the court, is very damned little.”

And while liberal media outlets advocated strongly in defense of civil rights, conservative outlets such as Williamson’s own National Review argued just as strenuously that because of the “cultural superiority of white over Negro,” whites were “entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where [they do] not predominate numerically.”

At this point, let me make it clear that the conservatives of today are not the conservatives of 40 or 50 years ago; I have every confidence that many many conservatives today would strongly repudiate what earlier generations of conservatives espoused. Nor am I attempting to argue that they are permanently stained with the mistakes of their ideological predecessors, because that would be ridiculous.

But let’s also make it clear just what Williamson is attempting to accomplish in his essay. He believes a political legacy is important and useful. He believes that today’s conservatives deserve some vague sort of credit for something that previous conservatives in fact got tragically wrong. He also believes that on issues of race, it is possible to inoculate today’s conservative movement by linking it to a crusade that their ideological forebearers fought bitterly. And history will simply not sustain that claim.

I would further suggest that if today’s Republican Party has “allowed itself to be cut off rhetorically from a pantheon of Republican political heroes, from Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony,” it is at least in part because today’s Republican Party has not exactly been in a rush to reclaim that part of its heritage.

– Jay Bookman

490 comments Add your comment

josef

May 23rd, 2012
9:25 pm

BOTH

“My great grandmother’s mother was born a slave in Columbia.”

Now wait a minute, you know good and d*mned well the only place slavery ever existed was in the Confederate States of America…were you asleep during history class…

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
9:27 pm

josef:

He meant South America ………………… :o

You know ……. where those Secret Service Agents got in trouble …………… :o

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:27 pm

OH NOES!!!!!!!!!!!! Del is on. That means (I learned yesterday) I have to go run and hide. but before I do Del this one is for you. Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJbtFAmXPkY&list=PL34747F023F11372B&index=21&feature=plpp_video

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
9:28 pm

Headline: “Secret Service Issues New Regulations”

“The Secret Service has issued new rules of conduct for agents. They can no longer get drunk, procure hookers, have affairs or go to strip bars. The rules say that from now on, if agents feel compelled to engage in such behavior, they can run for public office like everyone else.”

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 23rd, 2012
9:29 pm

Has Romney commented on this yet?

Headline: Man breaks into Kansas TV station, stabs 2 workers…

Soothsayer

May 23rd, 2012
9:30 pm

Recon 0311 2533

May 23rd, 2012
9:31 pm

Good one Fred.

Brosephus™

May 23rd, 2012
9:31 pm

Recon

People who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. Humans are different from most every other life on this planet because of our ability to shape our futures by learning from our pasts. You’re correct in saying those things ended a long time ago, but you can’t prove that the mentality died with it. If we can’t learn to defeat that mentality here at home, how do we expect to defeat the Al Qaida mentality abroad?

Simply focusing on one thing causes you to miss the opportunity to positively affect many other things around you. We can’t change our past history, and it saddens me that we can’t even teach it correctly as it really happened so that we can truly bury it once and for all.

You may not think you consider history when voting for someone, but how many times have you voted or not voted for someone because of their past performance? It goes above and beyond the racial aspect of things.

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:31 pm

OK One for both Del AND Scout. No one else can watch this……..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wyjHt4ZA0Q&feature=related

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

May 23rd, 2012
9:32 pm

Has Romney commented on this yet”

Headline: Man, 101, killed by car driven by woman, 91…

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
9:33 pm

josef

Thats is the facts……………..

Real Civil Rights Changers

May 23rd, 2012
9:37 pm

Freedom Riders 1961..someone had to challenge the racist hearts of the South. This movie will open your eyes to the hatred that was going on just 50 years ago.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/

Recon 0311 2533

May 23rd, 2012
9:39 pm

Fred, the BAM was semi cute.

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 23rd, 2012
9:41 pm

Right, Recon. :(

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:42 pm

Crap. Sorry. That last one was REALLY stupid. Please forgive me. I didn’t watch before I posted. I just ASSUMED that it would be almost as funny as this one of Ackmed the Terrorist which got like almost a BILLION views………. note: This one is ten minutes and now I’m REALLY going to bed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwOL4rB-go&list=PL34747F023F11372B&index=24&feature=plpp_video

Red

May 23rd, 2012
9:43 pm

<<accepting donations to go to Hawaii and investigate the President.

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:44 pm

Sooth; That was funny. Dave isn’t what he used to be, but every now and again he gets a funny in.

Dems_R_Idiots

May 23rd, 2012
9:45 pm

George Wallace = Democrat. Enough said!

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:46 pm

Real Civil Rights Changers : Someone else posted that before. good stuff. I didn’t save it before but I snatched it this time and saved it on one of my Youtube playlsits. Thanks.

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:47 pm

Well Real Civil Rights Changers, no I didn’t. i thought it was also on Youtube. It’s not.

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
9:47 pm

George Wallace = Democrat. Enough said!

Southern Strategy equals Republicans………. enough said

you want to play broad brush?

Dems_R_Idiots

May 23rd, 2012
9:47 pm

Obama made fun of Jay by calling out residents of PA “clinging to their guns & Bibles”. If a white republican said garbage like this, pansy libs like Jay would have been all over that.

Dems_R_Idiots

May 23rd, 2012
9:48 pm

Southern Strategy equals Republicans………. enough said.

Tell it to all the northerners moving here clown.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
9:50 pm

Kammie:

I am so glad (seriously) I got you started on those headlines. It keeps you busy !!!

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
9:50 pm

DEMS

STFU

You dont even know what it is?
As far as “pansies”……. Welcome to yourself

Real Civil Rights Changers

May 23rd, 2012
9:51 pm

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
9:46 pm

Yes it is on PBS. I have watched this movie several times and it always seems to amaze me how people were separated by race when using public facilities!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
9:52 pm

Kammie :

P.S.

…………. and I will continue to post them when it involves black on white crime just to keep the playing field level with El Jeffe !

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
9:55 pm

Scout

Post all you like…………. Good for everybody. Id say you and I agree on little, but do what you think is best

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
9:56 pm

Scout

On the other hand, we may agree on more than we know, but since we are on a political blog it can get bleary and hard to tell at times

barking frog

May 23rd, 2012
9:59 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801,
Recon
The Marines called, You
can unscrew your hats
now. Tell USMC if you see
him.

Dr. H.

May 23rd, 2012
9:59 pm

It is funny that James J. Kilpatrick’s question still has the same answer more than 45+ years later, particularly if you look at the contributions on a population-adjusted basis. Care to respond to that, Bookie?

JamVet

May 23rd, 2012
10:03 pm

Dems_R_Idiots AND George Wallace – both arch-conservative bigots.

Nuff said.

JamVet

May 23rd, 2012
10:04 pm

“and I will continue to post them when it involves black on white crime just to keep the playing field level with El Jeffe I have had these same racial demons for fifty years !”

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
10:06 pm

Jamvet

Guess it is the Christian thing to do……………… Who knows?

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
10:10 pm

they BOTH suck:

I hear you.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
10:12 pm

JamVet:

“I have had these same racial demons for fifty years !”

Except for the black friends I shared fighting holes with, sweat with, pulled leeches off with, drank out of the same canteen with (we often had to share what little water was left for the day), bled with and was willing to die with ………… or for.

You left that part out.

They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
10:14 pm

Scout

Outside of religious issues, which I mentioned I will forgo with you, I do enjoy dialogue with you.

Even though we disagree a great deal on politics, it is very evident that you are an intelligent guy with a lot of experience to draw from. Politics and religion (no offense I do know it means a lot to you as an individual) are only two variables of so many that make up who we are………..

have a great night

JamVet

May 23rd, 2012
10:14 pm

BOTH, well countless members in southern Baptist and other conservative churches, as Jay correctly noted, were very heavily involved in the Klan and other racist organizations.

Again, it cannot be overstated, the conservative elements can accept ZERO credit for helping blacks, and for that matter, women and other racial/ethnic minorities, gain any semblance of equality in this nation.

From those nosy Jewish northerners, who were murdered in Mississippi, to those first 13 riders – black and white – on those Freedom Rides, to other courageous men and women, they were virtually ALL LIBERALS.

THERE WERE NO CONSERVATIVES WHO FOUGHT AND DIED FOR CIVIL RIGHTS.

Selah.

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
10:22 pm

Well, well, well ………….. just like slavery “the times they are a changin’ ”

” ‘Pro-choice’ Americans at record low”

“A new poll finds those who approve of legalized abortion has hit an all-time low of 41 percent.”

Yawn

May 23rd, 2012
10:23 pm

YOUR ALL STUPID IDIOTS!!!!!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
10:23 pm

they BOTH suck:

Thank you ……….. catch you tomorrow.

That Black Guy

May 23rd, 2012
10:24 pm

PJ

May 23rd, 2012
8:15 pm

That Black Guy @6:58 pm
PJ

May 23rd, 2012
5:44 pm
Thulsa Doom @5:32 pm

Thulsa asked why someone would’t vote Republican. When I want to know why you do I will ask you otherwise I don’t care what you think especially when you play tag-a-long with your answer. — When you set the rules then you can determine who can and who can not answer a question on this blog. Get over yourself.

Silly Rabbit, tricks are for kid. — So is partisan politics, kid.

What does “PJ” stand for?

Partisan juvenile

or

Politically Jaundiced

barking frog

May 23rd, 2012
10:24 pm

Yawn
You are redundant

Don Abernethy

May 23rd, 2012
10:32 pm

The subject of race and civil rights is always brought up by liberals and Democrats when they want to distract voters from the real issue namely the economy. They know this is the issue that will defeat them because of their poor record on the subject. Most voters are no longer impressed or intimidated when the race card is played. The way our country is going it may be the Whites who will play the race card in the future.

That Black Guy

May 23rd, 2012
10:33 pm

Fred ™

May 23rd, 2012
8:41 pm

I’d like to be a racist but i’m just too stupid. I just can’t remember who I’m supposed to hate and why………
_____________________________________________________________________
Fred, you are supposed to hate those who don’t agree with you politically. But it’s ok if they are “those people” because they don’t know their place.

Kimono

May 23rd, 2012
10:44 pm

I love when the racist and bigots aka conservatives Say they were for civil rights and the democratic party had strom Thurman Jess helms and other Dixie crats You can’t go by the party u have too go by conservative and progressive Conservatives thru us history have been and still are racist and bigots against civil rights for all groups except one. Evangelical white Christians

jconservative

May 23rd, 2012
10:47 pm

Lets drop the term “civil rights” and adopt the term “constitutional rights”.

getalife

May 23rd, 2012
10:49 pm

White powder!

barking frog

May 23rd, 2012
10:55 pm

getalife
penicillin ?

Kimono

May 23rd, 2012
10:56 pm

Too. (They both suck ) George Wallace was a Dixie crat a conservative Not a progressive He was an evangelical christian Just like u ( They both suck). This group has always been scared the black. Brown people or now gay people are taking over his country. So please just admit u are a racist and bigot Ur not foolin anybody

That Black Guy

May 23rd, 2012
11:04 pm

Thanks Scout for this wonderful gem you asshat.
_________________________________________

Becky, THAT’S Fred calling someone a name. :lol:

That Black Guy

May 23rd, 2012
11:15 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 23rd, 2012
10:12 pm

JamVet:

“I have had these same racial demons for fifty years !”

Except for the black friends I shared fighting holes with, sweat with, pulled leeches off with, drank out of the same canteen with (we often had to share what little water was left for the day), bled with and was willing to die with ………… or for.

You left that part out.
______________________________________________________________

It’s so much easier to “spit” on vets rather than understand them.

Jm

May 23rd, 2012
11:17 pm

I guess Cheney is a liberal then

Would also explain that “deficits don’t matter” line too :)

G Mare 71( got the living' the red state BLUES!)

May 23rd, 2012
11:48 pm

Oh, it is too obvious here that we all just can’t get along. This hurts my heart. I had SO hoped that things would be better in this millennium. Well, at least we are talking about the things which divide us. So maybe that’s progress?

That Black Guy

May 23rd, 2012
11:53 pm

Jm

May 24th, 2012
12:00 am

Hilarious and spot on. Reasonable minded people have had it with liberal BS. Obama will lose because of nonsense perpetrated by the extreme liberals.

To Whom It May Concern:

Erskine Bowles and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on the West Coast and received an excellent reception from folks — at least those who are using their heads and have given up using emotion, fear, guilt or racism to juice up their troops. Your little flyer entitled “Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!” is one of the phoniest excuses for a “flyer” I have ever seen. You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel. My suggestion to you — an honest one — read the damn report. The Moment of Truth — 67 pages, and then tell me if we’re not doing the right thing with Social Security. What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the “greedy geezers” like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap. You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bulls**t. Read the latest news from the Social Security Trustees. The Social Security System will now “hit the skids” in 2033 instead of 2036. If you can’t understand all of this you need a pane of glass in your naval so you can see out during the day! Read the report. Get back to me. My address is below.

If you don’t read the report, — as Ebenezer Scrooge said in the Christmas Carol, “Haunt me no longer!”

Best regards,

Alan Simpson

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

May 24th, 2012
12:00 am

That Black Guy :

Thank you sir.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
12:20 am

New poll

Romney about 10 points ahead in FL

Uh oh

Jm

May 24th, 2012
12:21 am

One last:
I wonder why this debt ceiling debate is coming up again?

I mean, mr conservative spending Obama didn’t have anything to do with it obviously…..

Oscar

May 24th, 2012
12:32 am

Six points in Florida. Not ten. More like about five.

davetv

May 24th, 2012
2:35 am

I believe that the majority of the people in this country judge a person by their character. It’s too bad that our first black president didn’t have the necessary character to fill all his promises. I believe he was put into the position simply because he was black and we felt that would prove we had put all this racial animosity behind us. No reasonable person can honestly say that he had the qualifications or experience necessary for the office. He has set himself up to fail by taking on a job that is beyond him. He’s failed because he does not have the knowledge of or the belief in the way regular people succeed in life.

He was taught by everyone in his life that free markets are bad, personal responsibility is bad, profits are bad and that the rich/white people are out to destroy him and his people. All one has to do is read his own book to understand this. He was given an easy ride through school. He didn’t have to have good grades to get into college. He didn’t have to work to pay for his education. He slipped through politics in Illinois and right into the white house. He receive special privilege not because he comes from a rich family, not because he succeeded in business or because he was a great leader of men. He’s gotten where he is because the timing and the mood was right to put a black man into the office.

He was doomed to fail. Anyone with a shred of rational thought has to see that is true. His ideas & plans & dreams to fundamentally change America never had a chance to work. You simply can’t continue to steal from the taxpayer to pay your cronies indefinitely. You can’t continue to regulate businesses into the ground without it coming back to bite you. You can’t continue to trample the liberties of the American People without us standing up and saying “Hell, No!”. You can’t continue promoting a wedge of hatred between party, race, sex, religion and income brackets. We, as a whole, are better than that and we know it.

He absolutely inherited an economy in terrible condition. If the economy wasn’t in bad shape, people would not have been so susceptible to hope and change. However, since the economy was bad- his concepts of borrow and spend and spend were detrimental to both the country and his presidency.

He was doomed from the beginning. His idea of total federal control have not worked here. They will never work. He will be voted out of office in November because the majority of the people understand that another four years of his leadership will ruin us. Will it be excepted that he was simply not what we need in a President or will race be brought up as the reason? A majority voted him into office because he is black. A majority will vote him out of office because he’s been measured and found lacking.

craps

May 24th, 2012
4:32 am

regardless of your politics, Jm……….. you are a RICHARD

big #ss baby……… all you do is cry

Jack

May 24th, 2012
5:45 am

Civil rights are available to anybody that doesn’t think the world turns around them. Act and present yourself as someone who is willing to become educated and willing to work without receiving special privileges; then it matters not what politicians or opinion writers think.

Misty Fyed

May 24th, 2012
6:01 am

Hmmm, such little credit given to the key movers of civil rights such as Lincoln. To read this article, they were only Republican by mistake.

Again, Jay’s selective story telling obscures truth…(such a good democrat). I particularly like the classification of republicans who supported civil rights as “liberal” republicans. Really….Nobody would ever classify my family as liberal….but they always supported it. Jay does a good job of diverting the attention away from the fact the democrats are not the movers of civil rights but….with no evidence whatsoever, attributes civil rights to liberals; a reference used to describe democrats.

We see this same journalistic excellence in the blaming of everything bad on Bush and giving credit for anything good to Obama.

Mary Grabar

May 24th, 2012
6:16 am

Why don’t you READ Barry Goldwater’s speech on the 1964 Civil Rights bill before you make your false claim about his defense of segregation? Goldwater, like other Republicans, voted for the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights acts. Lyndon Johnson and other Democrats got on board solely because they needed black votes. Goldwater’s family business affirmatively hired blacks, and as a senator he hired blacks. Goldwater worked to integrate schools, was a member of the NAACP, and I could go on. Obviously, Jay is either ignorant or lying. In any case, he has no business writing in a newspaper. Readers should go to the history books and ignore this newspaper.

JamVet

May 24th, 2012
6:18 am

BTW, it is very gratifying that the theme of this article is one I have written about repeatedly on this very forum in the past.

The D vs. R construct is a stupid cover for southern white males to hide behind. As was very obvious yesterday evening and last night. It is when it is framed in terms of conservative vs. liberal, that they and their ideological forebears are fully exposed for who they really were, and in many cases, still are.

And for what they did and are still doing.

And the reality is that given this current awful guise, the hijacked conservative movement/the neocons are never going to attract but a smattering of minorities to their Pup Tent of Intolerance, Negrophobia, Homophobia and Xenophobia.

Which is exactly how they want it.

Want proof?

Just watch this upcoming convention in Tampa later this year. Strictly from a racial makeup and strictly in practical terms, it’s going to look like every other Republican National Convention of the past fifty years – like a Ku Klux Klan gathering; all white, all the time.

And then, as is their Party of Personal Irresponsibility’s wont, they will scratch their collective heads in feigned wonder as they blame the lazy, stupid, mooching black people themselves for not supporting the best friends that black people could ever have…

Wrong Question

May 24th, 2012
6:31 am

The cross-cutting real question for November 2012 is — can you say you and/or your family are better off today then you were four years ago?

Add Romney’s position yesterday regarding education and teacher’s unions and he just earned my vote!!!!!

Bud Wiser

May 24th, 2012
6:35 am


They BOTH suck

May 23rd, 2012
5:10 pm

“to point out your feckless stupidity,”

You must not have any mirrors in your house?

That all you got, punk?

The ability to answer or counter a post without resorting to an attempted insult just shows your own ignorance, punk.

If that’s all you have, then you have nothing.

I am laughing at your ‘feckless stupidity.’

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

May 24th, 2012
6:39 am

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
6:42 am

“Just watch this upcoming convention in Tampa later this year. Strictly from a racial makeup and strictly in practical terms, it’s going to look like every other Republican National Convention of the past fifty years – like a Ku Klux Klan gathering; all white, all the time.”

Alan West, Mark Rubio, Herman Cain, JC Watts, Tim Scott and others say hello. Fuuny that the Blacks label fellow blacks above Uncle Toms when they leave the Democratic fold.

JamVet

May 24th, 2012
6:44 am

Milton, yep.

Five guys out of five thousand.

Sounds about right.

Toodles, duty and evil liberal capitalism call!

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
7:04 am

JamVet, 6:18 am

“The D vs. R construct is a stupid cover for southern white males to hide behind. As was very obvious yesterday evening and last night. It is when it is framed in terms of conservative vs. liberal, that they and their ideological forebears are fully exposed for who they really were, and in many cases, still are.

And for what they did and are still doing.”
===========================================================

Very true, JamVet, and well said. I would only add that many Southern white women also continue to think in these ways, although probably not as many as the majority of white Southern men.

Having been born in south Georgia, and having spent 62 of my 69 years in Georgia, I find it very sad that so many have lived out their lives thinking of themselves as labels of who they are instead of searching deeper into how they think as unique individuals. That takes arriving at a higher consciousness. We must at least start to value trying to develop higher consciousness. As I have often said, I have never considered myself to be any label assigned, either from birth chance or any other factor over which I have had no control such as “Southerner,” “Female,” “White,” “Senior Citizen,” “English/German,” as well as labels over which I have had some control such as “New Yorker,” “Episcopalian,” or “Democrat.”

To think in those terms is essentially shallow, and that will limit our thinking and our responses to others. To continue to think of ourselves and others in terms of general categories will only continue to divide humanity. Yes, we are different but we should celebrate the positives of those differences, looking deeper at what those substantive differences are, which spring from our unique cores and not from labels. When we look to the cores of individuals, we become seekers of truth not simply generalities. In truth, the South was wrong in its perceptions of slavery and of civil rights. I believe if more Southerners had followed who they were and how they thought as unique individuals slavery would have ended sooner, perhaps even without war, and civil rights would have been established earlier. Few want to go against their peers. When we can, however, we have matured.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
7:16 am

” Lyndon Johnson and other Democrats got on board solely because they needed black votes.”

Read Robert caro’s biography of Johnson. Democrats actually got on board so they could get northern republican votes in order to put LBJ, the first southerner since the civil war, in the whitehouse.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
7:16 am

I have every confidence that many many conservatives today would strongly repudiate what earlier generations of conservatives espoused.

But by and large they won’t admit that it was conservatives espousing it, and that’s what’s screwed up about this discussion that, to be honest, I barely want to have with conservatives because they’re mostly in deep denial about their past.

Jay

May 24th, 2012
7:18 am

Well, Mary G., maybe you should do some reading of your own.

For a taste of how Goldwater ran his ‘64 campaign here in the South, you might want to see the pamphlet featured in a blog post at http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2010/05/27/how-rand-pauls-libertarian-streak-ran-afoul-of-history/ .

You might also benefit from reading MLK Jr’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech shortly after the ‘64 election in which Goldwater was defeated:

“The American people revealed great maturity by overwhelmingly rejecting a presidential candidate who had become identified with extremism, racism, and retrogression. The voters of our nation rendered a telling blow to the radical right. They defeated those elements in our society which seek to pit white against Negro and lead the nation down a dangerous Fascist path.”

And as King said in 1967:

“On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.”

Sorry for the inconvenient truth.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
7:18 am

(with a layover at the naval observatory of course)

Mary Elizabeth

May 24th, 2012
7:21 am

Having lived in both the South and the North, I think that Moderate Line posted astute observations at 6:09 pm last evening on this issue.

Jay

May 24th, 2012
7:28 am

I should also note that I appreciate the generally adult and responsible way that folks have handled the debate on this topic. While there may be exceptions, even those exceptions are not as bad as I might have feared.

Thanks folks.

Bud Wiser

May 24th, 2012
7:28 am

Cute Bookman, how you back-handedly ‘compliment’ Goldwater (…. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist….), yet you remain stone silent about LBJ and his “morally indefensible” attitude toward blacks, giving them what they want with the civil rights act with the sole purpose of having them “vote democrat for the next 200 years.”

Enslavement to a political party was LBJ’s primary objective, because he knew that if he could have them feed at the democrat govt provided trough, he had them in debt to keep providing like a good nanny state overseer does.

That, btw, is just about as close to a definition of a “plantation liberal” as you were inquiring yesterdau I believe, to find.

That’s being a good little media stooge if ever there was. Good boy, good boy. Reward yourself today with a Varsity dog and onion rings for lunch.

I’m outta here, golf awaits.

Jay

May 24th, 2012
7:30 am

On the other hand, there’s always the Budmeister ….

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
7:32 am

“A new poll finds those who approve of legalized abortion has hit an all-time low of 41 percent.”

Utter nonsense, per usual, from Scout.

Here’s the actual polling:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/154838/Pro-Choice-Americans-Record-Low.aspx

Nowhere in there is there any indication that Americans’ attitudes on the legality of abortion have changed at all over the decades.

What we see here is a successful marketing of a pleasant-sounding name (”pro-life”) that is essentially meaningless when it comes to actual public policy:

Gallup’s longest-running measure of abortion views, established in 1975, asks Americans if abortion should be legal in all circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances. Since 2001, at least half of Americans have consistently chosen the middle position, saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, and the 52% saying this today is similar to the 50% in May 2011. The 25% currently wanting abortion to be legal in all cases and the 20% in favor of making it illegal in all cases are also similar to last year’s findings.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
7:33 am

On the other hand, there’s always the Budmeister ….

Credit where it’s due–most of the conservatives here seem to find him pretty disgusting, and generally ignore him.

GT

May 24th, 2012
7:43 am

Character, man we have redefined that word. I watch your man Ari Fleischer who is the greatest liar I have ever seen. To think this guy was a former White House Press Secretary for U.S. President George W. Bush explains a lot on what Republicans call character. Fleischer reminds me of these losers, SNL did skeets on, who hung out in bars in the 80s and threw pick up lines at women they had no respect for. When you lie to people you have no respect for them. Lack of respect is the first hole in the dike that will deteriorate the rest of your character.

What I don’t understand is the hogwash of the CNN people and that “keeping them honest”. They sponsor these raving loonies to come on their network and take off like a fire hose with total and premeditated lies and never challenge them. Then they lay out some average defenseless person on the street trying to make it home like that is appealing to anyone. This Anderson Cooper is like the nerdy kid next door telling on his big sister, in a immature nasal toned stammer.

I think the truth is CNN is afraid of Fleischer and Newt. The debate in South Carolina was carried by Newt bullying the CNN commentator. I have never seen a professional news person fold like that and lose complete control of the classroom to a bully. They throw absolute lies out there like red meat and dare you to question them on it, while they suck up the air time with breathless machine gun speeches. By the time they finish no one can even remember the question which helps the lie. I began to wonder if they were asked to tell the biggest lie in the longest sentences they know. If that is character the GOP are loaded for bear. I just got the feeling Obama won’t sit there like a deer in the headlights when his turn comes to question these delusional people. If the press can handle them I just hope they have the good sense to get out of the way. A frighten press is not a good thing to watch and it clogs up real information as they get defensive defending themselves against the bully trying not to lose face they never had in the first place.

stevie ray....Clowns to the Left of me Jokers to the Right...here I am...

May 24th, 2012
7:53 am

JAY,

I weaved thru the posts this morning and coincidentially, I just finished 11/22/63 by S.King…I’m generally not a fan of anything but historical fiction and non-fiction but it was enjoyable read…the representation of the Kennedy/Johnson era is alluring compared to the polarized society of today as represented on this post…..sounds like a good era to live…of course I’d be dead now…which may please several on this forum.

This was a very thoughtful topic.

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
7:53 am

Be careful Jay, or you’ll get called a punk by Buddy Buttons as well…

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
7:54 am

Milton, yep.

“Five guys out of five thousand.

Sounds about right.

Toodles, duty and evil liberal capitalism call!”

Yep and all 5 of them will be prominently on display and seated right where the camera pints…

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
7:56 am

“A frighten press is not a good thing to watch and it clogs up real information as they get defensive defending themselves against the bully trying not to lose face they never had in the first place.”

A biased press is just as bad or worse.

Fred ™

May 24th, 2012
7:57 am

Jay@7:30: I’ve been noticing lately that the early morning dose of stupid at the end of a thread is astonishing. They do their drive by’s of talk show bumper sticker phrases and then call mission accomplished and thankfully leave and leave the new blogs for the adults………… well at least until they sober up.

Fred ™

May 24th, 2012
7:59 am

Gee Miltie, JC Watts got his manhood back and jumped ship from you folks in 2003.

Rightwing Troll

May 24th, 2012
8:00 am

Forgive them Fred, that’s what the thought of racial or gender, or any sort of equality does to them…

They come unhinged.

Jay

May 24th, 2012
8:04 am

Stevie, I suspect it looks that good only in hindsight. Remember that the era from ‘63-’72 was one of the most contentious in US history, with assassinations, riots, demonstrations and a bitterly, angrily divided political scene. In most ways, it was considerably worse than what we experience today.

kayaker 71

May 24th, 2012
8:04 am

We just think differently than you do. I could not possibly live my life as a liberal. It would strongly offend the only soul that I have. Liberals are stuck on the collective, conservatives praise the individual. Conservatives want as few constraints on their liberty as possible, liberals are pleased with the “greater good”. Liberals pander to those that they support in the name of “decency”, while conservatives balk at the “something for nothing” segment that has morphed into a giant government support system. Conservatives are people of laws, liberals govern with “feelings”. If it is for the collective good, liberals jump at it,as long as someone else is paying for it.
But to keep this voter group under wraps you have to fill them with a bunch of nonsensical rhetoric about how much conservatives hate them and want to take away their government support. That is always good for a few votes. If you keep the yoke on a group out there and pander to them, they will support you every time. So, yeah, we are distinctly different.

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
8:09 am

“Milton, yep.

“Five guys out of five thousand.

Sounds about right.

Toodles, duty and evil liberal capitalism call!”

Yep and all 5 of them will be prominently on display and seated right where the camera pints…”

…and what part of “and others” do you not understand??? The democratic “War on Women” garbage failed like Roy Barnes running for governor over and over again.

Now you libs are happy that the majority of live births today are to current minority women??? Yes, let’s just skip by the fact that most of theses babies are introduced into a “fatherless” family and celebrate that these infants will be great democrats one day.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
8:15 am

The democratic “War on Women” garbage failed

oh, they held the general election already? I must have missed it.

By the way, I’m calling BS on your claim about a majority of nonwhite babies being born into a fatherless family. Feel free to back it up with actual data; I very much doubt you can.

And if you can’t, well, we all know what motivated you to post something like that, don’t we?

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
8:17 am

I will take a Allen West over Hank “Guam is sinking” Johnson or Keith “I do not know how many times my driver license has been suspended and I don’t pay my federal income taxes” Ellison anyday.

kayaker 71

May 24th, 2012
8:18 am

I wonder who those 30 children of that dude named Desmond Hatchett are going to vote for when they grow up.

stands for decibels

May 24th, 2012
8:18 am

Conservatives are people of laws, liberals govern with “feelings”

and I’ll patiently point out that this is nonsense. Conservative stands on any number of public policy issues–I’ll single out gun regulations, the death penalty, voting rights, marriage equality, and especially reproductive rights, but there are plenty more–are based almost solely on emotional tugs and have little or nothing to do with what serves this republic best as a whole.

Fred ™

May 24th, 2012
8:21 am

kayaker 71

May 24th, 2012
8:18 am

I wonder who those 30 children of that dude named Desmond Hatchett are going to vote for when they grow up.
++++++++++++++++++++++

No one. Convicted felons can’t vote. :lol:

MiltonMan

May 24th, 2012
8:23 am

“Gee Miltie, JC Watts got his manhood back and jumped ship from you folks in 2003.”

Gotta love Watts – knocking up a couple of girls in high school while being raised in a Democratic family. Saw the light & turned from the dark ways. Jumped Ship??? Hardly my man. The guy contemplated voting for Obama but instead donated to old man McCain’s campaign – waste of his money in my opinion. The guy is doing pretty well right now & continues to support republlcan canididates.

Jm

May 24th, 2012
8:25 am

My 7:16 should have said ” northern democrat”

Oy