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Boehner, Cantor Turned Down Invitation To Speak At MLK Anniversary

mlk

Two of the nation’s highest ranked political leaders, both Republicans, were invited to speak at yesterday’s 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, but turned the invitations down:

Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s two most senior Republicans, were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington — but declined.

That wasn’t a wise choice, said Julian Bond, a renowned civil rights activist, in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday afternoon.

“What’s really telling, I think, is the podium behind me, just count at the end of the day how many Republicans will be there,” Bond told news anchor Alex Wagner. “They asked senior President Bush to come, he was ill. They asked junior Bush, he said he had to stay with his father.

“They asked a long list of Republicans to come,” Bond continued, “and to a man and woman they said ‘no.’ And that they would turn their backs on this event was telling of them, and the fact that they seem to want to get black votes, they’re not gonna get ‘em this way.”

According to Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel, the Ohio Republican “was invited, but spoke at the Congressional ceremony instead, as did Sens. Reid and McConnell, and Rep. Pelosi.”

Cantor, meanwhile, was asked 12 days ago to participate in Wednesday’s event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivery of the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, according to an aide. The Virginia Republican, however, is currently traveling in North Dakota and Ohio, touring energy sites with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and participating in “nonofficial events,” according to an aide.

Cantor’s decision to turn down the invitation to speak is especially striking given his stated commitment to passing a rewrite of the Voting Rights Act in the 113th Congress, and the many opportunities he has taken over the past several weeks to publicly reflect on the experience of traveling with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., to Selma, Ala.

“The Leader hopes it’s an outstanding event fitting of the incredible legacy of Dr. King and is honored to have had the ability to honor that legacy earlier this year” with Lewis, said Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper.

In the days leading up to yesterday’s event, I saw many conservatives online pointing out that conservatives such as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas were apparently not invited to speak at yesterday’s event, but here we have two of the top elected Republicans in the country both of whom apparently decided they had better things to do than appear at this event. Given that both living former Republican Presidents were apparently unable to attend for health reasons — Bush 41 for rather obvious reasons at this point, and Bush 43 because he is still recovering from surgery to repair an arterial blockage — it seems that it would’ve been wise to have at least one Republican there. It does seem to send a message about just how important minority voters are to the GOP these days, doesn’t it?

In any case, complaining that a first-term Senator and a Supreme Court Justice who rarely speaks at public events weren’t invited seems somewhat hypocritical when other top Republicans were invited and turned the invitation down.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    The right-wing entertainment complex has been busy spreading lies about this.
    Drudge…O’Reilly…others.
    If you got nothing real to offer…lie.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 6

  2. Scott says:

    The first thing I noticed when I read the news this morning was that there wasn’t any Republicans. My first instinct was “Really”. Has it come to this? Have we gone down the road so far that we cannot agree on basic cultural and national touchstones such as MLK and civil rights. I just don’t understand much anymore.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  3. Well, at least Fox viewers got to see Ben Carson spread hate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 5

  4. Tony W says:

    All part of the Republican big-tent outreach program.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  5. Rob in CT says:

    There is a part of me that get this. They probably figure they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    Besides, POTUS hit a number of Conservative themes for them. ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  6. michael reynolds says:

    It’s not just indifference to minorities, it’s fear of their own voters who would be angered by any evidence of interest in civil rights. If you’re running for re-election in a racist party you don’t do MLK.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 51 Thumb down 11

  7. legion says:

    Well, really, what would any of them have to say? “My number one priority is making sure you all can’t vote in the 2016 election”?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 7

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In any case, complaining that a first-term Senator and a Supreme Court Justice who rarely speaks at public events weren’t invited seems somewhat hypocritical when other top Republicans were invited and turned the invitation down.

    Barack Obama was a first-term Senator when he ran — successfully — for president. And for the only black man in the United States Senate to be specifically not invited to speak?

    As far as Boehner… well, one could say that he’s “colored,” but traditionally that term refers to black or brown, not orange. And Cantor’s Jewish, but conservative minority members tend to lose their “minority” status when they stray from the liberal plantation.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 36

  9. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: You’re mixing your insulting ethnic dog-whistles, Jenos. Jews don’t “stray from the plantation”, they “sneak out of the ghetto”.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 4

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As far as Boehner… well, one could say that he’s “colored,” but traditionally that term refers to black or brown, not orange.

    Right, because it was an event only for black people, right?

    Oh, you slipped there, Jenos. Quick now, backtrack and try to cover.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 6

  11. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s not just indifference to minorities, it’s fear of their own voters who would be angered by any evidence of interest in civil rights. If you’re running for re-election in a racist party you don’t do MLK.

    In fact, I’d guess that at least a few GOP politicians (some of the fiscal conservatives for instance) aren’t personally against minorities, but are too concerned with their base’s reaction to risk anything like that.

    This is the main difference between the Democrats and the GOP. Both parties have fringe elements (Truthers, Birthers, hardline ideologists etc), but while the Democrats are influenced by theirs, they don’t let them pick where the bus goes. The GOP has put the nut cases in charge of the bus, and even their sane leaders have become unquestioning (at least in public) chaffeurs.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

  12. Barry says:

    @Scott: “The first thing I noticed when I read the news this morning was that there wasn’t any Republicans. My first instinct was “Really”. Has it come to this? Have we gone down the road so far that we cannot agree on basic cultural and national touchstones such as MLK and civil rights. I just don’t understand much anymore. ”

    It’s not ‘come to this’; the right opposed MLK and Civil Rights vociferously, and really never accepted it any more than they had to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  13. pylon says:

    Why would they assume Thomas would want to speak when he never opens his mouth in court?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  14. C. Clavin says:

    This seems like a total non-issue…up until Republicans and their propoganda machine start complaining…then the truth comes out…their lies are exposed…and we are left with Republican hypocrisy being the only real issue.
    Kinda typical of the way things work these days…no suprise at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  15. MarkedMan says:

    Of course all Republicans are not racist, not even close. The problem is that the reverse is much closer to being true: the majority of racists feel most at home in the Republican Party. And Boehner and Cantor can’t afford to alienate even the smallest section of their aging white male voters, much less a group that size. If the racists stay home, the Republican Party would be destroyed at the polls.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  16. Pinky says:

    I can’t imagine a member of the Republican base having a problem with someone speaking at the event. It was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, but part of being in the leadership is walking into a situation like this and taking a hit for the team. I remember when Rand Paul spoke at Howard University, he was denounced all kinds of ways for it, but he did it. Ditto Romney and GWB at the NAACP.

    I don’t know who was invited, but Tim Scott and Condoleezza Rice would be obvious possible speakers, along with Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele, Ben Carson, and a bunch of others. Rod Paige was the Secretary of Education behind NCLB. Wallace Jefferson is the first black Texas Supreme Court justice, now Chief Justice. The Republicans could have found black potential speakers if they wanted to / were encouraged to.

    I’d also think that Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley could say a thing or two about race, and they’re both governors of high-percentage-black states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  17. john personna says:

    If Boehner or Cantor had guts they’d speak, endorse the MLK vision, and then drop a line about moving away from quotas. Best of both worlds, from their perspective. And so the strange thing is that they are both avoiding angering their base, and avoiding pleasing it. It’s avoidance in the general sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  18. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    The Republicans could have found black potential speakers if they wanted to / were encouraged to.

    But this is part of the problem with the simple way that the Republican party approaches race relations — the only ones who should speak on the topic are Republicans of color.

    Democrats are by no means perfect on race issues. But the simple fact is that you are more likely to see a white Democrat talk about race to a mixed race crowd than a white Republican.

    I appreciate the point that this might have been a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, but the fact is that any outreach to a community that is currently perceived as being undeserved by your party is always exactly that. And I agree with you that this was a failure on the part of party leadership to step up when an opportunity was offered.

    And while there’s room to negotiate as to who you send, the fact is that when you’re being *invited* to attend an event, you are not in the position to dictate the rules for your participation..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 4

  19. C. Clavin says:

    “…I can’t imagine a member of the Republican base having a problem with someone speaking at the event…”

    I remember when Rand Paul spoke at Howard University, he was denounced all kinds of ways for it, but he did it. Ditto Romney and GWB at the NAACP.

    Both of those sentences cannot be true.

    I’m scizophrenic. No, I’m not. Yes, Iam. No, I’m not…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  20. Scott says:

    @john personna: No one needed guts to speak. It would be very simple to make a very banal little speech. In this case, showing up is 90%. Not showing up speaks volumes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  21. anjin-san says:

    It was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation

    If you are a Republican first, and an American second, sure.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  22. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: Clavin – Not denounced by the base. That’s my point. Booed or greeted with silence at the event, criticized online and on editorial pages afterward, but not denounced by the base. The criticism will come from the left, for any word poorly chosen or any perception of condescension. You’ll find some in the base who think that the right shouldn’t give a group like the NAACP the time of day, but you won’t find people in the base denouncing a politician for talking to black people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  23. al-Ameda says:

    What small-minded trolls. This is more confirmation that these people are midgets.

    In a related irony, Republicans are always telling us that, circa 1963, Democrats were the racists and Republicans were the enlightened ones who were responsible for LBJ getting a landmark Civil Rights Act passed. And here we are now – the 2 most prominent Republican leaders are begging out of a celebration and commemoration of King’s iconic speech in Washington 50 years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  24. Rob in CT says:

    but you won’t find people in the base denouncing a politician for talking to black people

    Though it’s not exactly the same thing, the reaction I recall is a tendency to celebrate if a GOPer talks to black people and they greet it with silence or boos. This is treated as “ah, see, we tried, but the fools just won’t listen. Stuck on that Democrat plantation…”

    The problem is ideological as much (or more!) than it is racial at this point. Let’s say there’s a Republican politican out there who doesn’t have a bizzaro version of US history rattling around in his/her head, and actually gets what was done and the consequences of it all. Ok, that’s nice. Now what? The problems that exist… are they to be solved? If so, how? The present-day Republican line is that governmental solutions are bad by definition: the government will mess up anything it touches (except wars, at least when they’re started by Republicans). So the politician is left with what? Self-help (pull yourselves up by your boostraps, stop doing XYZ wrong…) which tends to sound like scolding, particularly when it’s the only message being delivered.

    And get this, Obama hit that note himself as part of his speech:

    And then, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us, claiming to push for change, lost our way. The anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots.

    Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled. That’s how hope was diverted. It’s how our country remained divided.

    There is definitely an only Nixon can go to China element here. Obama/The Left has more leeway to deliver this message, partly due to History and partly due to the fact that The Left tends to also advocate for specific things to help black folks out (or at least fight things clearly targetting them, such as the recent voting rights shennanigans).

    But offering to help out, governmentally, is off the table for a Republican politician. This puts them in a no-win situation in front of a black audience.

    My $.02, YMMV.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  25. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: If I didn’t mention black Republicans, someone would be saying that there are no black Republicans. I did mention black Republicans going, in between the paragraph about why white Republicans should go and the paragraph about why Indian Republicans should go, and I get criticizes for talking only about black Republicans.

    What I really had a problem with was how few religious speakers there were. The 1963 March was packed with them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  26. anjin-san says:

    Sure Pinky, the GOP base just wants peace and brotherhood. It’s the mean Democrats who are stoping them from reaching out to black folks.

    SABATTUS, Maine — A man who once pushed the town to adopt a law requiring every household to own a gun and ammo, and who is now running for selectman, has posted the comment “Shoot the N*****” atop a picture of President Barack Obama on Facebook.

    http://bangordailynews.com/2013/08/27/news/lewiston-auburn/sabattus-candidate-threatens-president-on-facebook-uses-racial-slur/?ref=latest

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Thank you, my apologies. For a moment there I was actually buying into the myth that the Democrats own the civil rights movement, and that the Republicans were the ones who fought it tooth and nail, instead of the other way around.

    Remember, it was the Kennedy administration that bugged and wiretapped Dr. King…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  28. Gustopher says:

    Compared to showing up, speaking some platitudes about equality, and then going back to work undermining the rights of minorities to vote… This not-even-showing-up plan seems refreshingly honest and leaves the event itself unmarked by hypocrisy.

    I applaud their decision to skip this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  29. Pinky says:

    @al-Ameda:

    circa 1963, Democrats were the racists and Republicans were the enlightened ones who were responsible for LBJ getting a landmark Civil Rights Act passed

    Yup. And why was the bill necessary? Because LBJ gutted the 1957 one. As president, though, he made what appears to be a tactical decision, that the Democrats were losing the white vote in the South, but should be able to do well with the black vote and the Northern whites. What he didn’t count on was the peace movement, which completely alienated the remaining white vote in the South. It wasn’t the racists who changed from Democrat to Republican in the South, it was the hippie-haters and the middle class, the latter of whom had been trending that way since the early part of the century. If you look at, for example, the Southern Manifesto, that was mostly Democratic, and of the Democrats who signed it and switched parties, only one of them managed to hold onto his office. The Bull Connors and William Fulbrights were fine where they were.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    someone would be saying that there are no black Republicans

    So now you are being forced to respond to comments that exist only in your imagination? Because in a roomful of political junkies, no one knows about Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele…

    Of course. Makes perfect sense.

    Sorry, but it is the right wing media that is telling the lie here – that no Repblicans/conservatives were invited to the event.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  31. C. Clavin says:

    C’mon Pinky…

    “…Booed or greeted with silence at the event, criticized online and on editorial pages afterward, but not denounced by the base…”

    You act like the base isn’t being led by the nose by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity and Drudge and Palin.
    Please direct me to this mythical free-thinking Republican base.
    Fer chrissakes the entire Tea Party is a manifestation of the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey.
    All you have to do is read the comments above…Jenos repeating the right-wing talking points like a well-trained parrot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  32. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: You don’t consider objections to your comments while you write them? That must make your comments mindlessly partisan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  33. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin: Yeah, there’s a lot of parroting around here. So what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    Well, I voted for Reagan twice, and Bush 43 once. I was a registered Republican for far longer than I have been a registered Democrat. My praise for Republicans such as Eisenhower, Goldwater, and Bush 41 is fairly frequent, and it is no secret that I dislike Boxer and Pelosi, both of whom I have long experience with as a bay area resident.

    But by all means, think of me as a mindless partisan. It will free up valuable time for you to continue your online career as an apologist for racists.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Pinky:

    If you look at, for example, the Southern Manifesto, that was mostly Democratic, and of the Democrats who signed it and switched parties, only one of them managed to hold onto his office. The Bull Connors and William Fulbrights were fine where they were.

    It is true, the strongest “no” votes were from Southern Democrats (the same folks who later led the Southern exodus to the Republican Party).

    It is more interesting and instructive If you look at the votes of Northern Democrats and Northern Republicans – you’ll see that Northern Democrats voted in favor of the Act by a 95% margin, and Northern Republicans by an 85% margin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    You don’t consider objections to your comments while you write them?

    I consider reasonable objections that are grounded in reality. I don’t consider utter BS such as “someone will say there are no black Republicans”

    Sadly, conservatives who make well reasoned, fact based arguments are a rare breed these days. What we have is the gang that lives under the bridge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  37. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Remember, it was the Kennedy administration that bugged and wiretapped Dr. King…

    Remember, it is Blacks who have come to vote Democratic by a nearly 90% to 10% margin. Am I wrong in surmising that this is because Blacks do not recognize that they are making a big mistake by not voting for Republicans (who routinely speak of Black voters as being on the plantation)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  38. Rob in CT says:

    If we’re going to relitigate the 60s, the vote on the CRA broken down on North/South lines, not GOP/DEM lines. Southern congresscritters voted against, regardless of party. Northerners were overwhelmingly pro, regardless of party.

    The sorting took place later.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  39. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: Are you telling me that no one would have taken the shot? No one would have said “they didn’t send any black Republicans because he was busy”? No one would have said that the Republicans are the All-White Party if I left that door open? Come on, people probably said that anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Rob in CT says:

    Look, the GOP ain’t the party of Eisenhower anymore. They were only briefly the party of Eisenhower, really. And the Dems aren’t the party of Bull Connor.

    If you were to put the two parties on trial for the totality of their actions/statements on race over the course of US History, the Democrats would lose by a country mile. This is what Republicans seem to want recognized. Well, anyone who’s read up on it knows it full well. But it doesn’t actually matter today, because History did not end in 1965.

    I’ll give you a little bit from Spaceballs:

    We’re in now now.
    What happened to then?
    We missed it.
    When?
    Just now?
    When will then be now?
    Soon!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. Gavrilo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    It is more interesting and instructive If you look at the votes of Northern Democrats and Northern Republicans – you’ll see that Northern Democrats voted in favor of the Act by a 95% margin, and Northern Republicans by an 85% margin.

    Also interesting and instructive, Northern Democrats had no problem caucusing with Southern Democrats either before or after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. All the Southern Democrats, except Strom Thurmond, who participated in the filibuster remained Democrats after the bill passed and the Democratic Party became the Party of Civil Rights. Democrat Robert Byrd, former Klansman and filibuster participant, didn’t change his racial views until 1982, yet was elected by his colleagues to be Senate Majority Leader in 1977. Yes, that’s right. When Ronald Reagan committed the egregious racial sin of mentioning states rights in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the Senate Democrats were led by an avowed segregationist.

    Very interesting, indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  42. anjin-san says:

    @ Pinky

    Are you telling me that no one would have taken the shot?

    Keep dancing. But do try to get some better moves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  43. anjin-san says:

    Very interesting, indeed.

    It is interesting that conservatives would much rather talk about about bigotry in the Democratic Party a half a century ago than bigotry in the GOP in the year 2013.

    Very interesting, indeed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  44. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Yes, as usual it’s our fault that you’re a ninny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  45. Caj says:

    John Boehner is just ignorant. He like his fellow Republicans would prefer things go back to the good old days of the ‘white is right’ era. That is the Republican Party. Their words and actions bear that out over and over. Just a sad pathetic party who will NEVER set foot inside the White House anytime soon if ever. The country is diverse and accepting, they on the other hand aren’t and never will be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  46. Gavrilo says:

    @anjin-san:

    Try and pay attention. This thread is about the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Discussing the bigotry of a half-century ago is kind of the point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  47. anjin-san says:

    @ Gavrilo

    Discussing the bigotry of a half-century ago is kind of the point.

    I see. Well, clearly you are in charge of the discussion, and we should all defer to you. Though some might say that the point is to take an honest look at race in America in the 21st century, and give some thought to what we have learned in the last fifty years and how we can do better on the road ahead.

    But if you want to think that King had a dream that half a century people would be rehashing Robert Byrd’s record for partisan advantage, go for it. (personally I think his vision was slightly larger than that)

    I prefer to spend a few moments giving thanks to King and countless others who put their asses on the line to expand freedom and justice in America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Rob in CT:

    If you were to put the two parties on trial for the totality of their actions/statements on race over the course of US History, the Democrats would lose by a country mile. This is what Republicans seem to want recognized. Well, anyone who’s read up on it knows it full well. But it doesn’t actually matter today, because History did not end in 1965.

    Indeed.

    The GOP had heroic beginnings, a less stellar but respectable middle, and then, in the 60′s, under the control of Richard Nixon, it drove right off the road into a ditch, where Ronald Reagan left it, and where it was until recently, when it decided the ditch wasn’t quite bad enough, so it set the car on fire.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  49. Gavrilo says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’ll stop bringing up the uncomfortable history of the Democratic Party when Democrats stop lying about it. I’ll stop when people like @Barry: stop making statements like, “It’s not ‘come to this’; the right opposed MLK and Civil Rights vociferously, and really never accepted it any more than they had to.” I’ll stop when Democrats stop bringing up the 1972 Southern Strategy. I’ll stop when Democrats stop pretending that they flipped a switch in 1964 and all of the previously racist Southern Democrats instantly became Republicans, instead of remaining as valuable members of the Democratic Party until they died off. I’ll stop when Democrats stop equating voter id laws and opposition to affirmative action to fire hoses and police dogs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

  50. KM says:

    @Rob in CT: If you were to put the two parties on trial for the totality of their actions/statements on race over the course of US History, the Democrats would lose by a country mile. This is what Republicans seem to want recognized.

    I’ve never really understood the emphasis on this, actually. What is the point of saying “We used to be the good guys!” to anyone who will listen when all they have to do is look at you and ask “Then what the hell happened?!”

    Like the aging former high school quarterback – “Back then I was really something.” So sad….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  51. C. Clavin says:

    Interesting to note that Cantor turned down the invitation because he had to meet with fossil fuel industry lobbyists. In Cantor’s eyes it’s important to keep shoveling $$$ at the oil companies….but god forbid a black kid gets a free hot lunch at school.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ Gavrilo

    Sorry, listening to you is making me kind of sleepy. Off to get some coffee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  53. john personna says:

    @Scott:

    I actually proposed a policy speech, and not a banal one, so that’s where “guts” came from.

    If you think a banal speech would have been without blowback … well, I think the whole thread is running against the likelihood of that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. C. Clavin says:

    “…I’ll stop when Democrats stop equating voter id laws and opposition to affirmative action to fire hoses and police dogs…”

    This makes absolutely no sense to me.
    Are you claiming that abridging the rights of people to vote is OK? Or are you saying that it’s not OK…but it’s still not as bad as fire hoses?
    Because here’s a clue…neither of those is correct.
    I mean…voter suppression may not be the exact same as fire hoses and police dogs…but the intent is the same…even if the tactics are more subtle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  55. Rob in CT says:

    @KM:

    Sometimes its misdirection (look over there! Or rather look back in time here!). Sometimes, though, it’s grievance. Modern Conservatism is substantially animated by grievance.

    As so:

    I’ll stop bringing up the uncomfortable history of the Democratic Party when Democrats stop lying about it. I’ll stop when people like @Barry: stop making statements like, “It’s not ‘come to this’; the right opposed MLK and Civil Rights vociferously, and really never accepted it any more than they had to.” I’ll stop when Democrats stop bringing up the 1972 Southern Strategy. I’ll stop when Democrats stop pretending that they flipped a switch in 1964 and all of the previously racist Southern Democrats instantly became Republicans, instead of remaining as valuable members of the Democratic Party until they died off. I’ll stop when Democrats stop equating voter id laws and opposition to affirmative action to fire hoses and police dogs.

    Most of that is grievance. Some of it is just plain dishonest (Dems purportedly lying about the “uncomfortable history of the Democratic Party” and the bit about flipping a switch – most Dems do not claim that. There was definitely lag time – time during which, btw, many Republicans remained largely on the right side). 1972 Southern Strategy? That actually happened, but Gavrilo has a sad because mean Democrats bring it up.

    Note also the whining about people pointing out Reagan’s blatant dog whistle. It’s not that it didn’t happen. It did! But we should shut up about it because it makes Gavrilo sad.

    And the last bit is about how we should shut up about present day GOP disenfranchisement efforts because they’re not as bad as fire hoses and police dogs and shutupthatswhy.

    Grievance, nearly all the way down.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  56. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Heh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  57. john personna says:

    Other than that, the OTB pattern nowadays seems to be a left of center echo chamber … which is actually mostly reasonable and rational … but lacking anything serious in response. The best counter arguments are absent, and so the place is a little boring.

    (Unfortunately the “best” response from the rational right on this issue might just be that Boehner and Cantor know what should be said and done … but this isn’t the best time. That is a wink and a nod acknowledgement of “base problems” of course.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @Gavrilo:

    So, in short, you object to the truth being spoken?

    I have yet to see a single Democrat try to justify or ignore the Dixiecrats, or the Democratic Party’s hideous record on Civil Rights prior to the 60′s. Bring it up all you like. It does not in any way alter the act that today it’s the Democrats who support liberty and equality and the GOP that stands for the rich and the white.

    We accept our past. Now you accept your present.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  59. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    The reason there’s little equality in the debate is pretty simple. The GOP is no longer in the business of being rational. It’s pure id, which is why the people who support it here tend to be clowns.

    I for one would love to meet people who could offer a reasonable counterpoint. They don’t seem to exist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  60. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I don’t accept your premise that voter id laws abridge anyone’s right to vote. Nor has anyone produced any evidence that requiring photo id does anything more than add an extra burden on people that don’t already have id. A burden, by the way, that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined is legitimate and constitutional. And, is supported by the vast majority of Americans of all races.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  61. Rob in CT says:

    One other thing, in response to Gavrilo’s sad:

    The *Right* did oppose Civil Rights every step of the way, including the genteel Right (Buckley). The *GOP* did not. Only recently did the parties really sort along Left/Right lines.

    So when people say the Right opposed Civil Rights, they are stating truth, and it makes Gavrilo sad. Don’t state truth, think of Gavrilo!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  62. Rob in CT says:

    requiring photo id does anything more than add an extra burden on people that don’t already have id

    Right, disproportionate impact. And those disproportionately impacted tend to vote D. Shocking.

    I think this is much more of a partisan advantage thing than a racism thing, personally. That’s still shitty. Just like gerrymandering is shitty. But yes, SCOTUS helped ya’ll out. Does that make you feel good?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  63. Gavrilo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Democrats have a long and proud history of defending Civil Rights and expanding opportunity for all Americans. From the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, Democrats have fought to end discrimination in all forms—including discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability.

    Yep, that’s a stunning acknowledgement of the Democratic record on Civil Rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  64. Pinky says:

    @Rob in CT: I honestly think there’s no (or very little) good will in the whole voter id discussion. I don’t think it’s about partisan advantage, though. The Republicans hear that voters don’t need id’s in most states, and they have a sense of history (machine politics) and they assume that the other guy’s trying to cheat without much real evidence. The Democrats hear that Republicans are calling for voter id’s, and they have a sense of history (minority vote suppression) and they assume that the other guy’s trying to cheat without much real evidence. Both sides assume that they’re fighting for honor and that their opponents are cads. A few cynical people may be jockeying for position, but most everyone else is adamant and moral about this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  65. Rob in CT says:

    @Gavrilo:

    http://www.gop.com/our-party/our-history/

    This omits quite a bit too, and more recent stuff.

    And that’s the crux of it. Most (not all, but most) of the really bad sh*t the Dems did on civil rights is deep in the past. Some of it is more recent.

    Most of the really good stuff the GOP did on civil rights is deep in the past.

    And you want these to be viewed with equivalence.

    Sorry, but no.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  66. john personna says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Dude. Smoking gun:

    Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

    Now, at that point all you can say is “I will ignore direct evidence and prefer my own belief.”

    @michael reynolds:

    I think rational conservatives (right of current center) are out there, but the problem is that they are working a “change” angle within their own party, and recognize that all their capital is tied up in that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  67. C. Clavin says:

    “…I don’t accept your premise that voter id laws abridge anyone’s right to vote…”

    Of course you don’t…because that would require you to admit that you are in favor of abridging the rights of others…others who probably don’t look like you ar talk like you…to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  68. KM says:

    @michael reynolds: I for one would love to meet people who could offer a reasonable counterpoint. They don’t seem to exist.

    My best friend and most of my family are recovering Republicans – she was a SouthPark Republican when that was a hip term. It’s interesting that we have better discussions now then we ever had (to a certain extent). Sure, I’m not doing as well as I’d like in breaking them of that nasty reflexive n-word habit but now at least there’s understanding of why it’s so frowned upon. Things I’ve been expounding on for years are suddenly getting new clarity. Romney and the 47% remark was the final straw but it was a long time coming.

    There is growing awareness at the most basic of levels that the GOP ain’t what it used to be. Now… if that’s a good or bad thing is up to the viewer, but its getting to the point where no one can deny that things are definitely not the way they were. I like hearing from a sane conservative. It makes me have to think about and defend something I might otherwise take for granted. The loyal opposition needs to come back. The debates alone are worth it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  69. Rob in CT says:

    @Pinky:

    I think that’s largely fair, except the bit about partisan advantage. I just think the data supports the Dem position more than the GOP’s position, and the historical concern the Dems point out is more relevant than the one touted by the GOP.

    That said, the polls are in favor of the GOP position, and SCOTUS backed them up.

    So now the task for the Dems (as I’ve pointed out on some lefty blogs) is for them to step up and seriously invest in helping folks obtain documentation if they lack it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  70. Pinky says:

    @john personna:

    I think rational conservatives (right of current center) are out there…

    There’s little reason for them to be here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  71. Pinky says:

    @Rob in CT: But neither one has great evidence for their position. Accounts of voter fraud are sketchy – but then again, that’s exactly what you’d expect if you didn’t look for it systematically. Likewise, there aren’t any cases of systematic disenfranchisement; if there were, you’d be hearing about them. Anyone should be able to attain an id, but it would require creating a system without cracks, and we sure don’t have one of those. To your point, the civil rights movement was in large part a voter registration drive – why shouldn’t there be a voter id drive?

    (I love the last-minute-fix option. Let me fix that by saying, I mean a drive to ensure that all legal voters have id’s, not a drive to require voter id’s.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  72. john personna says:

    @Pinky:

    There’s little reason for them to be here.

    James is pretty much that, a right of center and reasonable commentator. Why *wouldn’t* his forum attract more of the kind?

    There is certainly the attraction for left-of-center folks to have minor, point of fact, point of logic, point of order, disagreements with him … but you’d think he’d have some fellows as well.

    (My answer is that those rational-right folk flock to places more centered on change in the Republican party, places like The American Conservative, and that a “don’t like it but don’t really oppose it” position is just not that compelling for the right of center.)

    ((I love going to the meta-argument))

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  73. Rob in CT says:

    why shouldn’t there be a voter id drive?

    Right, there should be. But the Dems will have to fund it, and I guarandamntee you that if/when they do, there will be much screaming on the Right about Democrats supposedly cheating.

    Actually, there used to be a nationwide organization dedicated in part to voter registration. Hmm… what was it called, again? What happened to it? Oh, that’s right: ACORN. Which was destroyed via a smear job by a glibertarian asshat with the gleeful assistance of the rest of the Right.

    So, yeah, you’re right: not a lot of trust on this issue. For damn good reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  74. Gavrilo says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Oh, like the Civil Rights Act of 1957? The one that 100% of Republican Senators voted for and 90% of Republican Congressman voted for. Is that the one that the “right” opposed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  75. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    I like hearing from a sane conservative. It makes me have to think about and defend something I might otherwise take for granted. The loyal opposition needs to come back.

    Exactly. At a selfish, personal level, they’re crippling my ongoing education by denying me a decent counterpoint. Even I don’t think I’m right to the degree that my win-loss record with Jenos or SuperDestroyer would indicate. I’ve actually tried at times to get them to up their game. Not fun outscoring a crippled opponent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  76. Pinky says:

    @john personna:

    Why *wouldn’t* his forum attract more of the kind?

    The internet encourages bullying. I can tell, this is one of the few sites I frequent that has like/dislike on it, and it encourages a black-and-white thinking. But most sites have a dynamic of one side bullying and another side trolling. This site used to have a reputation for intelligence, but that might be in the articles rather than the threads.


    a “don’t like it but don’t really oppose it” position is just not that compelling for the right of center

    I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  77. Pinky says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Not fun outscoring a crippled opponent.

    You may be surprised by the real score.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  78. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    ((I love going to the meta-argument))

    That’s fine, John, but if you go from double to triple parentheses I think some kind of wormhole opens up and swallows everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  79. KM says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Right =/= Republican =/= Conservative for all of our history. That’s been explained several times now. Unless you’re admitting that pre-60′s everyone is the South was a flaming liberal (little L)?

    Good luck explaining that to some people’s grandparents – ya know, the one’s that are still alive and remember that? Might get ya a whoopin’ in some places…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  80. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Discussing the bigotry of a half-century ago is kind of the point.

    And the point is that the Civil Rights Act was primarily passed by Northerners, and that Southerners of either party voted against it. That’s also “kind of to the point.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  81. Rob in CT says:

    You keep conflating “The Right” and “The GOP.” They are not the same thing. And on race, they’re even more strange. In the 50s, the way to be socially liberal/fiscally conservative (the combination people associate with the nearly dead breed of Northeastern Republican) would be to be progressive on civil rights and conservative on taxes/spending.

    Again: I’m fully aware of the history here. The Dixiecrats mostly fought tooth and nail against civil rights. Non-Southern Republicans and Non-Southern Democrats, with a few Southern Dems, ultimately got it through. [edited to switch Northern to Non-Southern, because there is such a thing as the West]

    The Right – particularly the strain that is now in control of the GOP in 2013 – hated it with a passion. States Rights, remember?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. john personna says:

    @Pinky:

    Writ large the Republicans are trapped in a campaign strategy at odds with governance, even governance along right-of-center lines.

    After 2008 and after 2012, right of center thinkers have proposed ways to realign for governance and new styles of campaigning.

    Nothing happened. Rick “mothers don’t let your kids go to college” Sanatorium has the handle on Republican campaigning. James and other more rational conservatives are buckled in the back seat for the ride.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  83. Rob in CT says:

    Pinky, I for one agree with you that the upvote/downvote feature is a bad thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  84. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Don’t worry, I never learned Lisp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  85. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I like the voting, because in the “toy case” where there are two posts, A and B, pointing in opposite directions, A gets 30 upvotes, B gets none (or 5 down), it signals to readers that the argument is not really “balanced.”

    Put differently, it puts the kibosh on weak he-said, she-said, argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  86. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Oh, like the Civil Rights Act of 1957? The one that 100% of Republican Senators voted for and 90% of Republican Congressman voted for. Is that the one that the “right” opposed?

    Oh, and all opposing votes were by Southerners, many of the same people who moved over to the Republican Party once the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed.

    The Republican Party of 1957 was NOT a Southern-based party. The salient fact is that Northerners voted for Civil Rights legislation while Southerners did not. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen (IL) was instrumental in getting the 1964 Act passed – he was a Northern Republican, not a Southerner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  87. Rob in CT says:

    The precise meaning of “Conservative” of course changes over time. But it generally means preservation of the status quo, protection of the privileges of the privilege, etc. This is why guys like Thaddeus Stevens was not a Conservative, but a “Radical.” Damned right he was a radical! A totally awesome radical.

    Dixiecrats were in many ways (though I grant not in all!) Conservative in nature. They wanted to preserve their system of White Supremacy. They weren’t ideologically pure by any means: many of them were all in favor of federal assistance/redistribution and the like (just for Whites Only). On the specific question of Race, however, they were Conservatives. The Northern/Western Republicans and Democrats were the ones advocating change. And I think this matters too: they were not advocating change back to a real or imagined past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  88. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    Downvote for you, sir!

    ;)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  89. Rob in CT says:

    @al-Ameda:

    And the modern-day base of power for the GOP is? *drumroll* ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Heh. That’s ok, part of the voting is that “onesies and twosies don’t really count.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  91. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    When we are talking about people near the center, right-of and left-of, I think it breaks down to who would at the margin propose a market solution, and who would offer a program.

    To put this in the context of Republicans, and their meta-problems, Chris Christie is a guy who really is right of center, and would have a shot at winning a presidential campaign.

    Except, he killed his prospects. How? His state was hit by a huge natural disaster, and for that he accepted federal assistance, from The Obama. I mean, seriously? The people driving the car in the Republican party would rather have New Jersey residents go without, just so Christie could tell Obama to stick it.

    That is why there are no rational right-of-center folks at a place like OTB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  92. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    But neither one has great evidence for their position. Accounts of voter fraud are sketchy – but then again, that’s exactly what you’d expect if you didn’t look for it systematically. Likewise, there aren’t any cases of systematic disenfranchisement; if there were, you’d be hearing about them.

    The right has been systematically looking for cases of voter fraud to back up their claims, unfortunately, they haven’t found any. The evidence does not support their position at all.

    Secondly, the point of requiring Voter ID is to make it harder for the wrong people to vote, not completely prevent them from voting.

    It’s not complicated, this is one issue where there is no question that the GOP does not have the evidence on it’s side, even if it has public opinion and unfortunately the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  93. Pinky says:

    @Rob in CT: I think that’s why writing the anti-war movement out of the discussion is so costly. The South had been trending Republican for decades, but the 1968 Democratic Convention was just huge in its impact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  94. Gavrilo says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Ok, fine. The “right” in the 1960′s (of which there were only a handful in Congress) opposed Civil Rights because of state’s rights. The Southern Democrats (I won’t refer to them as the “left” even though many of them were liberals on many issues) opposed Civil Rights because of racism.

    One is a policy disagreement. The other is an evil in which there is no legitimate disagreement and non-racist Democrats who, nonetheless, made a home for the racists in their party are not exempt from. (And, yes, the GOP deserves some scorn for embracing Strom Thurmond.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  95. anjin-san says:

    The only sitting black senator (a Republican) had more important things to do than attend the 50th anniversary event.

    A source connected to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only sitting black senator, was not invited to speak at the event because his office had declined an invitation to attend the commemoration as a spectator, Roll Call reported.

    An email exchange obtained by Roll Call showed that an invitation to the 50th anniversary commemoration appeared to be sent to all members of Congress, as the form letter identified the recipient as “Representative” rather than by name.

    The exchange showed that a staff assistant to Scott, Rachel Shelbourne, sent a reply to the invitation that read in part, “Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting,” as quoted by Roll Call.

    The source explained to Roll Call that the speaking program was largely drafted according to who was able to confirm availability to attend the event.

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reportedly were invited to speak at the ceremony, but declined.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/tim-scott-didnt-speak-at-mlk-event-because?ref=fpb

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  96. wr says:

    @john personna: “Other than that, the OTB pattern nowadays seems to be a left of center echo chamber … which is actually mostly reasonable and rational … but lacking anything serious in response. The best counter arguments are absent, and so the place is a little boring.”

    You’ve got a point there. But from the point of view of the LOC echo chamber, it’s hard to come up with a serious, substantive, interesting and fresh argument to counter a steady stream of Tea Party gibberish. There’s nothing coming out of the right here these days that isn’t based either in pure resentment or in lies, and so It’s hard to respond seriously without falling back on “that’s pure resentment” or “that’s a lie.”

    When the great intellects on the other side are busy insisting that Bithead isn’t really a racist when he shouts ni**er or opining that the government is hiding aliens at Area 51 or, worse, are Jenos, the colloquy somehow never gets off the ground…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  97. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    I honestly think there’s no (or very little) good will in the whole voter id discussion. I don’t think it’s about partisan advantage, though.

    Oh dear. Again, Thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

    It is in both cases animated by partisan politics. It’s just one side is attempting to gain an advantage by suppressing voters — which BTW has the added advantage of being able to claim that all of the other side’s victories are illegitimate because of vote rigging.

    The fact is that voter ID has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Period. Especially since it has absolutely no effect on absentee balloting which is where most provable voter fraud takes place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  98. Caj says:

    Republicans can’t win an election honestly so they have to resort to tactics like suppressing votes! It’s a clear as water that’s what they are doing and only a complete fool would think otherwise. It won’t work. That will only anger voters even more. The party of NO is really the party of NO SENSE! People can see straight through them and their pathetic games. Hope to God they NEVER EVER set foot inside the White House again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  99. Matt Bernius says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The “right” in the 1960′s (of which there were only a handful in Congress) opposed Civil Rights because of state’s rights.

    I am always stunned by people’s power to look in the hearts and minds of people in the past and discern exactly why they voted for anything. Some like Goldwater were apparently motivated by a States Rights argument. But to claim *every one* was motivated by states rights is asinine.

    For example, I’m sure all the Southern Republicans — of which there were actually some at the time — who ALL voted against the bill were doing so for State’s Rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  100. Pinky says:

    @anjin-san: I might respond differently whether I was invited to attend a party as “resident” or I was asked to be a host.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  101. gVOR08 says:

    @Pinky: We are not making a bad faith assumption about Republican motives. Every now and again a GOP slips and says they’re doing it for partisan advantage. You are aware that the Texas AG has argued in court that their vote suppression schemes are legal because they’re targeted at suppressing Democratic voters generally, not minorities?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  102. Matt Bernius says:

    @Gavrilo:

    (And, yes, the GOP deserves some scorn for embracing Strom Thurmond.)

    Ah yes. Some scorn. For “Things would have been better if you had won Thurmond.” Not like there have been lots of other racially problematic… oops, I mean “states right’s” Republicans.

    Ummm and let us not forget that Republicans also embraced such lovable State’s Right’s fan’s as David Duke (who left the Democratic party and found success as a Republican — hell he was their candidate for Governor of Louisianan in 1991 for which he had to win not *one* but *two* primaries for).

    Look, neither party is perfect when it comes to race by any means. But the level of willful ignorance you are engaging in to try an establish some sort of moral high ground is just plain laughable.

    BTW, generally speaking, I will definitely contend that the issue of racism, is, in general far more of a region (or rural/urban) issue than it is specifically a political party issue. But pretending that a significant amount of the Southern Base of the Republican party isn’t tied to areas historically known for racism is also willfully ignoring the facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  103. Pinky says:

    @john personna: You ask why the right-of-center isn’t bringing its A-game to this site. Then someone posts the following:

    Republicans can’t win an election honestly so they have to resort to tactics like suppressing votes! It’s a clear as water that’s what they are doing and only a complete fool would think otherwise. It won’t work. That will only anger voters even more. The party of NO is really the party of NO SENSE! People can see straight through them and their pathetic games. Hope to God they NEVER EVER set foot inside the White House again.

    I think your question applies to both sides. I mean, the Republcans can’t win an election honestly? I guess that means that nearly half the senators, more than half the House, over half of all governors, and more than half of the state legislators all cheated. If that comment doesn’t get down-votes from the left-of-center, where’s their integrity? Where’s their A-game?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  104. Matt Bernius says:

    @gVOR08:

    You are aware that the Texas AG has argued in court that their vote suppression schemes are legal because they’re targeted at suppressing Democratic voters generally, not minorities?

    Similiar statements were also made in Pennsylvania by Republican Representatives pushing for Voter ID.

    Again, I’m not inherently opposed to Voter ID as part of a broader vote reform package. But the devil is in the details and any solutions should be driven by actual facts versus perceived fears (which have no basis in provable fact).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  105. OazrkHillbilly says:

    My mother (RIP), a life long Republican said in 2006 just months before she died that she no longer recognized the GOP. That in all good conscience she could never again vote GOP. I have no doubt that my father (RIP) who by then was deep into Alzheimer’s would have felt the same if he could have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  106. Smooth Jazz says:

    “In the days leading up to yesterday’s event, I saw many conservatives online pointing out that conservatives such as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas were apparently not invited to speak at yesterday’s event…It does seem to send a message about just how important minority voters are to the GOP these days, doesn’t it?”

    I appreciate your Liberal spin, but there is nothing you can say that would explain away why, Tim Scott, the only African American Senator with the fact that is is from one of the old dixie bellweathers, for added emphasis. This event was organized by a liberal race baiter, Al Sharpton, who had no other interest but to mpush his greivance agenda. Tim Scott wasn’t invited because he didn’t fit. Case closed. Trying to distract with what Boehner, etc did or din’t do is a ruse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  107. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    I guess that means that nearly half the senators, more than half the House, over half of all governors, and more than half of the state legislators all cheated.

    Generally speaking I agree with your critique. However, I would point out that both in the cases of the House and State Legislatures, while the Republicans might not be “cheating” one would be remiss not to note how gerrymandering has come to be used to protect partisan position where representatives are elected by district.

    Admittedly, Democrats have benefited from this as well. But there is a significant amount of evidence to suggest that thanks to a combination of Republican wins at the State level in 2010 and the timing of the census, Republicans will most likely maintain control of the House through the geographic structure of Districts versus a reflection of voter interests. Hence in 2012, House Democrats won the popular vote by a significant margin, but the Republicans maintain a significant margin of control in the House.

    This is not a wholly Republican thing. This use of Gerrymandering is problematic no matter which party engages in it. But the fact is that currently the Republicans are benefiting from it and look as if they will continue to benefit from it until the next census.

    Is it “cheating”? No, because it’s legal. But it isn’t exactly fair either.

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  108. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    The Northern/Western Republicans and Democrats were the ones advocating change. And I think this matters too: they were not advocating change back to a real or imagined past.

    Hear, hear …..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  109. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    And yet that’s not as wrong as the claim that both sides of the voter id debate have evidence to back up their positions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  110. al-Ameda says:

    @Rob in CT:

    And the modern-day base of power for the GOP is? *drumroll* ….

    The South, and parts of Alaska, Area 51 and Mars (I’m thinking of Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and Michele Bachmann).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  111. anjin-san says:

    @ Smooth Jazz

    Tim Scott wasn’t invited because he didn’t fit. Case closed.

    You are lying. Case closed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  112. Pinky says:

    @Matt Bernius: That’s way too broad a brush. If Republicans were winning primarily due to gerrymandering, they wouldn’t be picking up governorships. The Republicans wouldn’t have had big wins in 2010 to get the control of state legislatures to engineer the gerrymandering.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  113. rudderpedals says:

    @Pinky: Downvotes are for spammers and str0mfnord escapees only.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  114. Grewgills says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Oh, like the Civil Rights Act of 1957? The one that 100% of Republican Senators voted for and 90% of Republican Congressman voted for. Is that the one that the “right” opposed?

    As others have pointed out the Right/Left, Conservative/Liberal, Republican/Democrat dichotomy of today is not the same is it was 50 years ago. It is instructive to look at the constituencies that voted for the people that voted for and against the Civil Rights Act and other civil rights legislation and to see where those constituencies reside today. By and large the people that voted for civil rights legislation are now Democrats and those that voted against are Republicans now. The few anti-civil rights proponents of that time that remained in the Democratic party renounced their earlier positions (ex/ Byrd). Those against civil rights legislation made their way over to the Republican party. That is why states like Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi that were reliable “yellow dog democrat” states prior to civil rights legislation became reliably republican and have stayed that way.
    This isn’t about just Strom Thurman or a couple of other rather despicable racists jumping over, it is about a mass movement of racists that were welcomed into a party for partisan advantage. That the party had a good record on civil rights up to then fades in relevance each passing year that the party continues to embrace the racists in its midst for partisan gain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  115. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    I remember when Rand Paul spoke at Howard University, he was denounced all kinds of ways for it…

    The criticism will come from the left, for any word poorly chosen or any perception of condescension.

    Did you watch the vid of Rand Paul speaking at Howard? He spoke to a select group of politically engaged students at the premier historically black college in the US as though they had little to no knowledge of the political history of race relations in this country. It was cringe-worthy and he should have been ashamed of his performance and angry at whoever helped prep him. In short, though he deserved some measure of respect for going, but that was effectively eliminated by his performance once there. He deserved the criticism he received for his pathetic performance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  116. superdestroyer says:

    A Republican speaking at a liberal black event is in the same position politically as the idiots who make the opposing party response to the State of the Union message.

    It would just be very easy to admit that blacks have virtually nothing in common politically, culturally, or economically with most of the voters who make up the Republican Party. If a Republican panders to the blacks enough to avoid being booed off the stage, then they will torn apart by conservatives. If a Republican tries to talk about conservative ideas, they will be booed off the stage and called a racist.

    Even the idea that a Republican speaking at such an event is meant to appeal to suburban whites fails when one understands how the MSM will use what is said to accuse all Republicans of being racist. Any Republican who speaks at such an event would just be committing political suicide.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  117. Matt Bernius says:

    @Pinky:

    f Republicans were winning primarily due to gerrymandering, they wouldn’t be picking up governorships. The Republicans wouldn’t have had big wins in 2010 to get the control of state legislatures to engineer the gerrymandering.

    First, if you are attributing the “big wins” in 2010 to the strength of the Republican platform, you are already painting with too broad of a brush. The same thing would be true of you were to associate the Democratic gains of 2006 to the strength of their platform.

    Again, I wasn’t questioning the ability of Republicans to win governorships (though it will be interesting to see how many of the class of 2010 will be able to maintain their positions).

    My point, is that the nature of gerrymandering means that parties in power tend to stay in power “artificially” — in other words, for longer periods than they would have if Districts were drawn without attention to party. Republicans, for the factors that I described, were able to, generally speaking, control redistricting on the State and Federal level. The result was, again, that Democratic House members won the popular vote in 2012, and yet Republicans only lost 6 seats.

    Pretending that minimal loss was based on the strength of the party or the platform is foolish.

    Or to put it a different way, one should be asking: why the Senate, who’s members are elected by state-wide election, and the presidency, where votes are assigned (with a few exceptions) by state wide elections, continue to remain in Democratic control and the House only adds six new Democratic seats and remains firmly controlled by the Republicans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  118. David M says:

    @Pinky:

    The 2010 election results were influenced by the recession, but those gains are likely to last for a decade because of gerrymandering and redistricting. It’s not something people should see as a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  119. superdestroyer says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    The gerrymandering that the Republicans benefit the most from is the majority-minority districts that were drawn to ensure that a very liberal black or Latino would be elected. Having a district that votes 80% or more for liberal Democrats helps the Republicans in all of the surrounding districts. If Democrats really wanted to win more districts now instead of waiting decades for demographic changes, they would throw some of the CBC and CHC candidates under the bus and draw more districts that would help elected moderate white Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  120. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The problem is Republican gerrymandering, where the GOP drew the districts to their own benefit. The fact that Democratic voters are in more densely populated areas does mean that GOP gerrymandering is likely more effective than Democratic gerrymandering. (Not to mention the fact that a good number of Dems oppose it on good government grounds. California is a good example of this)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  121. john personna says:

    @Pinky:

    I think the best answer to that is that right of center, rational, men have been “primaried” out of those districts.

    Let’s not pretend that this is a blank slate argument, and that the Republicans have not been visibly eating their own.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  122. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    California does not have to worry about Gerrymandering because the total number of Reublicans is going down and virtually all the increase in population is due to immigration.

    What is happening in California are the whites trying to gerrymander their district to maintain their elected office in the face of a masively growing Latino population. Of course, that is what the U.S. is going to face in a couple of decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  123. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You clearly don’t understand the issue at all. What you described only exists in your head, and is in no way is pertinent to the discussion of gerrymandering differences between Republicans and Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  124. An Interested Party says:

    Try and pay attention. This thread is about the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

    You should really follow your own advice…actually, this thread is about how current GOP leaders declined to speak at the anniversary of the MLK speech…I know it may be difficult for you, but try to keep up if you can…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  125. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    You may want to ask former Congressman Howard Berman what happens when the district lines are redrawn to ensure that a Congressional District elects a Hispanic Congressman. He lost his seat in an election against another liberal Democrat due to redistricting.

    As the percentage of the population of California that is white decreases, more majority-minority districts will be drawn and there will be fewer seats for moderate white Democrats. Just because the Republicans are now irrelevant in California does not mean that there will be more jobs for the elite white kids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  126. David M says:

    @superdestroyer:

    California had non-partisan redistricting in 2010 and before that was gerrymandered to protect incumbents from both parties. Seriously, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  127. Doug says:

    @Barry:

    Better find a unedited history book because even though Dems owned a majority back then it was almost defeated by there majority and a president LBJ that was reluctant to sign it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  128. labman57 says:

    Conservatives don’t mean to convey total disinterest, disregard, and disrespect for the concerns, needs, and desires of ethnic, religious, and cultural minorities — they simply can’t help themselves, as it’s in their nature.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  129. superdestroyer says:

    @David M:

    And how many incumbents lost their seats in 2010 and 2012. California has one of the lowest turnovers for all state Congressional delegations. As California becomes a one party state and the Democrats dominate redistricting, incumbents will end be being very safe.

    Combine the district lines in California along with the top two primary system where a challenger really needs to be the incumbent twice and California will probably have almost no turn over in its federal offices. The only thing that will cause any turn over will be criminal indictments, retirements, and unforeseen accidents. Most seats will change once a generation and many of those changes will probably be incumbents handing seats to chosen. successor.

    In the long run, elections will have almost no impact on governance or policy because elections will have so little effect on incumbents.

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  130. Rob in CT says:

    If a Republican panders to the blacks enough to avoid being booed off the stage, then they will torn apart by conservatives.

    See, this is where I basically agree with superdestroyer.

    Republican ideology is at a point where Republicans have nothing to say to black Americans (except empty platitudes). If they actually offer to help, they will be “torn apart” by conservatives.

    That’s correct, and was the point of my post from 12:24 yesterday. Republican ideology rules out government intervention (to assist black Americans or others – or indeed to much of anything at all if you take it all the way), including already existing programs (those must be defunded or repealed, or *at best* not talked about). This has largely been the case since just after the civil war: the GOP has and will work against de jure discrimination, but that’s it. De facto discrimination, on the other hand, they really don’t want to touch, as that requires government putting its thumb on the scale. The reason the Civil Rights legislation of the 60s remains controversial to (some) Republicans is that it went beyond de jure: it mandated things like equal treatment by private business. Think of “picking winners and losers” from the economic context. Same problem.

    Black Americans, by and large, don’t find that ideology very appealing. There are, in my opinion, very good reasons for them to see it that way (this is where sd and I part company decisively). Accordingly, unless Republican ideology becomes more flexible, the best they can do is avoid being actively offensive to black Americans. That’s their Home Run, for the time being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  131. anjin-san says:

    the “big wins” in 2010

    It’s noteworthy that the GOP loves to tout “big wins” in 2010, but is utterly dismissive of Obama crushing his opponents in 2008 and 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  132. Gavrilo says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Nonsense. Find me one racist statement Barry Goldwater ever made. I have never heard anyone make the argument that Goldwater voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act because he was a racist. Of course we can’t look into the hearts of the individual legislators to determine why they voted against the CRA, but we can examine the statements they made throughout their careers to get a sense of what they believed. Statements like:

    “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” Robert Byrd D-WV, 1946

    “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.” Richard Russell D-GA, 1964

    “The Southern institution of racial segregation or racial separation was the correct, self-evident truth which arose from the chaos and confusion of the Reconstruction period. Separation promotes racial harmony. It permits each race to follow its own pursuits, and its own civilization. Segregation is not discrimination… Mr. President, it is the law of nature, it is the law of God, that every race has both the right and the duty to perpetuate itself. All free men have the right to associate exclusively with members of their own race, free from governmental interference, if they so desire.” James O. Eastland D-MS, 1954

    Please, cite for me any quote like the ones above from any Republican Senator that opposed the Civil Rights Act.

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  133. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.” Richard Russell D-GA, 1964

    “The Southern institution of racial segregation or racial separation was the correct, self-evident truth which arose from the chaos and confusion of the Reconstruction period. Separation promotes racial harmony. It permits each race to follow its own pursuits, and its own civilization. Segregation is not discrimination… Mr. President, it is the law of nature, it is the law of God, that every race has both the right and the duty to perpetuate itself. All free men have the right to associate exclusively with members of their own race, free from governmental interference, if they so desire.” James O. Eastland D-MS, 1954

    Oh look, Southerners. What a surprise.
    Robert Byrd? Yes, he was a racist then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  134. Matt Bernius says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Nonsense. Find me one racist statement Barry Goldwater ever made.

    Please locate where I called Goldwater a Racist. I explicitly agreed with the argument that he felt this was a States Rights Issue. Again here’s what I wrote:

    Some like Goldwater were apparently motivated by a States Rights argument. But to claim *every one* was motivated by states rights is asinine.

    Please, cite for me any quote like the ones above from any Republican Senator that opposed the Civil Rights Act.

    Interesting move there. Restricting it to the Senate… I wonder why you might have made that move…

    BWT, the other thing your “states rights” line of thought misses is that many people used States Rights to justify their racist positions. One need look no further than the writing of William F. Buckley in the National Review which both held that (a) segregation is critical to maintaining the power of the White Minority AND that this was a states rights issue.

    BTW, you should be pleased to note that this race AND states rights was also used by any number of Southern Democrats to try and scuttle the act.

    But the fact is that there was a 100% resistance of the Civil Rights act amoung Southern Republicans in the house AND senate. To pretend that they were all opposing it on States Rights issues is just simply false. An further, if they were, they sure absorbed a lot of explicitly racist former Dems into the party in the years after that vote.

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  135. Gavrilo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    No. Racist, Southern Democrats who believed in segregation. Racist, Southern Democrats who were given leadership positions and chairmanships with the support of Northern Liberal Democrats. Face it, for 100 years the Democratic Party made a deal with the devil in order to form and maintain a congressional majority, and for most of those 100 years, it worked. The Republican Party never did that.

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  136. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Again, the issue breaks along regional voting – virtually all Northern politicians voted for the Civil Rights Act, and virtually all Southern politicians voted against the Civil Rights Act.

    Also, as you know, once the Act was passed, Southern Democrats migrated over to the Republican Party, and Black voters began the pattern of voting strongly Democratic. Why do you think that was? Today’s Republican Party is a very inhospitable place for Black voters, unlike how it was prior to the Civil Rights revolution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  137. Gavrilo says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed the House fairly easily. The Senate was where the racist Southern Democrats mounted a 54 day filibuster. If you want to try and dig up racist quotes from Republican House members that voted against the Act, go for it. When Barry Goldwater said he opposed the CRA because of it was unconstitutional, you can take him at his word because of his overall record. When Robert Byrd or the other Southern Dems with a history of making racist statements said they opposed it because of states’ rights, you can call bullsh!t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  138. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    When Barry Goldwater said he opposed the CRA because of it was unconstitutional, you can take him at his word because of his overall record.

    One of the few non-Southerners to oppose the landmark Civil Rights Act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  139. Matt Bernius says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed the House fairly easily.

    Correct, but you are continuing to present a simple “Republicans = Good/States Righst” and “Democrats = Racists” story. I’m pointing out that the story is far more complex and doesn’t bear out your simple account.

    Votes on the original House version:

    Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
    Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)

    Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
    Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

    Are you suggesting that those 10 Sourthern republicans all rejected the issue on “State’s Rights” Grounds.

    The number continual bear out that beyond democrats v. republicans this was very much a South versus the rest of the country.

    Without a doubt, the act would not have passed without Republican support. But that doesn’t make the Republicans entirely the heroes in this.

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  140. Gavrilo says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    The Democratic Party built its congressional majority with racist, southern Democrats! For 100 years, Democratic Presidential candidates could rely on the electoral votes of the Southern states. You cannot separate the Southern Democrats from the national coalition. Without the solid South, Democrats likely never would have won a congressional majority or a Presidential election. Northern liberals partnered with Southern racists in order to gain and maintain power and the Southern racists thwarted progress for nearly 100 years.

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  141. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    You keep agreeing with Rob from earlier…except you think youi’re proving something.

    If you were to put the two parties on trial for the totality of their actions/statements on race over the course of US History, the Democrats would lose by a country mile. This is what Republicans seem to want recognized. Well, anyone who’s read up on it knows it full well. But it doesn’t actually matter today, because History did not end in 1965.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  142. Grewgills says:

    @Gavrilo:
    One is left to wonder why you so studiously avoid the past 50 years of US history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  143. al-Ameda says:

    @Grewgills:

    @Gavrilo:
    One is left to wonder why you so studiously avoid the past 50 years of US history.

    It’s a condition of self-induced denial or amnesia mechanism. I suppose they derive some comfort from the fact that prior to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 most racists were Southern Democrats. After that the political-electoral history was just fine with Republicans as long as they were winning elections based on a Southern Strategy which counted on race resentment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  144. anjin-san says:

    Find me one racist statement Barry Goldwater ever made.

    I would be surprised if even a single Democrat here would disagree that Goldwater was a principled man whos character is not in question. We may have had many differences with him on policy and the direction for the country, but he never stopped growing in his public life and enjoyed a great deal of well deserved respect.

    Would that there were men like him in today’s GOP. But how could there be? He would be run out on a rail, just a Chuck Hagel was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  145. mantis says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Face it, for 100 years the Democratic Party made a deal with the devil in order to form and maintain a congressional majority, and for most of those 100 years, it worked. The Republican Party never did that.

    Yes they did. Nixon led it, and it is ongoing. Hell,any of today’s Republicans want to repeal the Civil Rights act even today.

    The Democratic Party does indeed have a shameful, racist past. The Republican can has a shameful, racist present.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  146. Gavrilo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    “After that the political-electoral history was just fine with Republicans as long as they were winning elections based on a Southern Strategy which counted on race resentment.”

    Total B.S. The South kept voting for Democrats after 1964! Every former confederate state was electing Democratic U.S. Senators well into the 1990′s. Bill Clinton was winning southern states in 1992 and 1996. You’ve really convinced yourself that when Republicans win in the South it’s because of racism, but when Democrats win it’s because of something else. Talk about self-induced denial.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  147. superdestroyer says:

    @Rob in CT:

    What is amazing is that a demographic group that was opposed by the government for decades are now the biggest supporters of more govenrment, more spending, more entitlements, and more programs.

    Why conservatives will never be able to appeal to blacks is that black culture has morphed into a culture where they believe that they are clever enough to get the benefits from a massive, invasive, powerful government while avoiding footing the costs of such a government or actually having to comply with many of the regulations themselves. Look at both the push against government IDs and the push to raise taxes on the rich both are designed to pander to such a culture.

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  148. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Blacks were already Democratic Party supporters well before the passing of the Civil Rights Act. Those Southern Democrats were generally populist who wanted more govenrment spending and loved the New Deal and the government controlling everything. It was not until the Carter Administration that the Democrats decided to back off of the idea that they could manage the government.

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  149. bill says:

    well, why would you go to an event where the crowd is already inclined to boo at you?
    i love how this has nearly 150 comments in just 2 days! did it beat the gun control/ trayvon threads?

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  150. anjin-san says:

    @ bill

    well, why would you go to an event where the crowd is already inclined to boo at you?

    Because it might lead you to ask yourself why you are being booed?

    Nah. Conservatives would rather stay in the Fox bubble, and have someone like Hannity kiss their ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  151. grewgills says:

    @Gavrilo:
    In 68 the South went for Wallace, after that the Deep South has been reliably red in presidential politics with a couple of exceptions: 1) immediately after Nixon’s resignation in disgrace when a Northern Republican faced a Southern Democrat, 2) in 92 and 96 the South was split despite having a charismatic Southern governor running against rather bland Northerners.
    Congressional elections are a bit harder to read given the strength of incumbency and bringing home pork. Starting earlier, but escalating in the 80s there was a strong push, primarily by Republicans to focus on social issues that helped them finish pealing away the Southern Democrats into the Republican fold. By the end of the 80s the South was reliably Republican other than some local elections where Southern Democrats held on to that party affiliation due to the local history, but on policy were more closely allied with the national Republican Party than to the national Democratic party.
    My family goes back in Alabama for generations. My parents, aunts and uncles all remember their high school classes in Birmingham cheering at the news of Kennedy’s assassination. When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s MLK was still thought of by most as a trouble maker and the Democratic national party were, to put it mildly, not thought well of.
    I don’t know what alternative history of this country you are seeing, but it doesn’t comport with the data I have seen, nor does it match my personal experience growing up in the South.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  152. bill says:

    @anjin-san: the republican party is open to all, they don’t coddle people into the party. we don’t see any white democrat districts voting in black reps do we? some people are just stuck in the 50′s or something!? anyhow, it’s a learning curve- blacks haven’t fared well under obama’s reign – maybe they’ll “learn” something?
    you gotta stop watching fox commentators, it’s bad for you.

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  153. An Interested Party says:

    The Republican Party never did that.

    Actually, the GOP is trying to do that now…

    the republican party is open to all, they don’t coddle people into the party.

    Umm, yeah, right, that must be why they are taking steps to make it harder for minorities to vote…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  154. bill says:

    @An Interested Party: stop, what’s so hard about voting anyway? this is just another lame ruse to avoid reality- minorities are not as stupid as you all want them to be, they know how to vote and you should be proud. coddling doesn’t make people better, it hurts them in the long run.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  155. An Interested Party says:

    …minorities are not as stupid as you all want them to be…

    Well of course they aren’t stupid…that’s why most of them don’t vote for Republicans…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  156. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    it’s a learning curve- blacks haven’t fared well under obama’s reign – maybe they’ll “learn” something?

    That’s right, we’re recovering slowly from the 2008 crash of the financial markets – the worst economic failure since the Great Depression, and as usual Blacks were also very negatively affected. No doubt what Blacks know is that a Republican president was in office in 2008 when the economy crashed, and that Republicans have done everything possible to obstruct a Black president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  157. bill says:

    @An Interested Party: yeah, funny- we all wish that was true…..the jails would have very low occupancy rates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  158. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: oh god, the “blame bush” bs is still going on….
    in reality blacks just haven’t fared all that well since 60′s for some reason- and it wasn’t a republican in the house. but really, 5 yrs later and nobody really expected a (half) black guy who never had any connection with “black culture” to really do anything for people who would’ve voted for whatever democrat ran. i assume the kennedy’s would all be considered republicans these days- since they had MLK spied on and were pretty tight with mccarthy before they had to throw him under the bus. you probably don’t want to recall what LBJ said about blacks back then……it wasn’t funny but pretty prophetic as we see now. yes, what was that about “overcoming” something?

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  159. Monala says:

    @bill: we don’t see any white democrat districts voting in black reps do we?

    Minnesota’s 5th congressional district is 73.5% white. It is represented by Keith Ellison, who is not only black, but Muslim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  160. Monala says:

    @bill: in reality blacks just haven’t fared all that well since 60′s for some reason

    Not true. In reality, black income, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates and many other signs of progress have increased dramatically since the 1960s. Many signs of so-called dysfunction, such as poverty rates and crime rates, have fallen. And Ta Nehisi Coates has provided some excellent documentation that even the number of out-of-wedlock births have fallen in the black community – but because the number of children born to married black women has declined faster, the rate of children born out of wedlock (NOT women having these children) has grown.

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  161. Rob in CT says:

    What is amazing is that a demographic group that was opposed by the government for decades are now the biggest supporters of more govenrment, more spending, more entitlements, and more programs.

    This is one of those things you say when you only look at part of a picture (the part that lets you feel aggrieved and smarter than those silly blacks all at once).

    It’s indeed true that the government was used for a long time to keep black Americans down, from the original black codes, to slavery, to the later-day black codes (around the time of the civil war), to what we call Jim Crow. The United States was openly a white supremistist state for quite some time. Of course, these governmental measures were a reflection of the views of the voters. It’s not as if, absent such laws, everything would’ve been great. After all, the period prior to the Civil War represents the closest approximation of the libertarian dream of a bare-bones “night watchman” state, and that relatively weak government was perfectly sufficient to keep millions of black Americans in bondage and, where they weren’t enslaved, prevent them from practicing various trades, owning property, testifying in court, or voting.

    And it’s also true that the government – specifically the federal government – was critical in removing various barriers, both governmental and non-governmental (and in the gray area between. Consider testifying in court. Governmental! Yes, but how do you enforce private contracts if you cannot testify in court? You don’t.).

    Most of the harm done to black Americans was done by state and local governments (and private citizens & businesses). Early on, the Federal government was in line with that, with the best example being the Fugitive Slave Act (passed by people screaming about “states rights” I might add). But that changed. For a long time now, if black Americans needed backup against hostile local & state authorities, the Federal government was their only potential ally. That it can also be a terrible enemy is something I strongly suspect is not lost on black Americans. The War On (some) Drugs (when sold/used by certain people) provides a clear lesson on that point, day in, day out. But black Americans have generally concluded that they are better off with a strong Federal government than they would be under a resurgent states rights concept of governance.

    So, shockingly enough, black Americans aren’t so keen on states rights, and tend to view those advancing such arguments with suspicion. From the founding of this country onward, states rights has meant nothing but trouble for them, whereas strong federal action has been a mixed bag.

    Finally, it’s not like the idea that black Americans shouldn’t bother looking to the government for help hasn’t been advanced before. Many Republicans held that view from 1866 onward, to say nothing of the Democrats (1868 slogan: “This is a White Man’s Country. Let the White Man Rule!”). Booker T. Washington and other black leaders have also periodically advanced that view, basically arguing that black Americans should concentrate on education and advancement in trades. Black doctors, lawyers & businessmen would accomplish what politicians had not. My read of history is that this approach largely failed. My view is that concentrating exclusively on either approach (government action or self-improvement) would be a mistake.

    Finally, I do find it amusing that the folks who castigate black Americans for seeking governmental assistance don’t seem to feel that way about White Americans in the 19th century. When the Federal government handed out homesteads (on lands often taken by force from the Indians), that was apparently a shining example of Pioneer Spirit ™! But when freedmen asked for land after the Civil War, this was widely denounced as an uneared handout. When they or their descendents sought governmental aid, they were/are portrayed as lazy grifters (Young Bucks buying T-bones! Welfare Queens driving Cadillacs! Obama phones!).

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  162. MarkedMan says:

    @Rob in CT: Very well said.

    As a side note, I don’t think there is much up-side to trying to explain the shortcomings of libertarianism. My experience with Libertarians is that they can spend endless hours developing ornate sand castles about why in a true Libertarian society slavery wouldn’t exist. You can point out that we have had societies that approach the libertarian ideal (the Wild West, the laissez faire mid 19th century, etc) and slavery thrived in those environments. But they won’t even argue. Their eyes glaze over and they look through you like you were some Sixth Sense spirt they can barely perceive. The sad fact is that someone building sandcastles doesn’t acknowledge the tide.

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  163. Rob in CT says:

    Thanks, MM.

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t really taking shots at libertarianism, specifically. While I suspect you and I agree on some of libertarianism’s shortcomings, that wasn’t really the point I wanted to make.

    I wanted to point out that the government (or, rather, governments: local, state, federal) in, say, 1840, was relatively small and unintrusive. The argument that a more activist state (programs! entitlements! spending! Oh, my!) opens the door to abuse is one that is rather unlikely to be a winner with black Americans who know their History. This is not, as sd clearly believes, due to some defect in black Americans or the nefarious, lying Democrat [sic] party. Viewed from the perspective of black Americans, the argument is ahistorical nonsense.

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  164. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    oh god, the “blame bush” bs is still going on….

    Oh for god’s sake, please point out where I mentioned Bush here:

    That’s right, we’re recovering slowly from the 2008 crash of the financial markets – the worst economic failure since the Great Depression, and as usual Blacks were also very negatively affected. No doubt what Blacks know is that a Republican president was in office in 2008 when the economy crashed, and that Republicans have done everything possible to obstruct a Black president.

    Whereas you distinctly called out Obama:

    it’s a learning curve- blacks haven’t fared well under obama’s reign

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