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Monday, May 21, 2012

The GOP: Party of Civil Rights

I've seen plenty of Democrats accuse the GOP of being the party standing in the way of the civil rights movement, ending slavery, etc. That simply is not true. There have been books written on the subject - Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh come to mind. Now the National Review Online has a detailed article debunking this liberal myth that liberals were standing on the 'right' side of history.

Here's the introduction to the detail:
There is no radical break in the Republicans’ civil-rights history: From abolition to Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, from the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, there exists a line that is by no means perfectly straight or unwavering but that nonetheless connects the politics of Lincoln with those of Dwight D. Eisenhower. And from slavery and secession to remorseless opposition to everything from Reconstruction to the anti-lynching laws, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, there exists a similarly identifiable line connecting John Calhoun and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Supporting civil-rights reform was not a radical turnaround for congressional Republicans in 1964, but it was a radical turnaround for Johnson and the Democrats.
 And the very next paragraph puts the meat on the bones:
Never mind civil rights or voting rights: In Congress, Johnson had consistently and repeatedly voted against legislation to protect black Americans from lynching. As a leader in the Senate, Johnson did his best to cripple the Civil Rights Act of 1957; not having votes sufficient to stop it, he managed to reduce it to an act of mere symbolism by excising the enforcement provisions before sending it to the desk of President Eisenhower. Johnson’s Democratic colleague Strom Thurmond nonetheless went to the trouble of staging the longest filibuster in history up to that point, speaking for 24 hours in a futile attempt to block the bill. The reformers came back in 1960 with an act to remedy the deficiencies of the 1957 act, and Johnson’s Senate Democrats again staged a record-setting filibuster.
Oh, it goes on and on. You probably won't believe (indoctrinated as you have been from liberal's rewriting of history) what history actually shows about the Democrats and Democratic Party, what they've said and done, not that this article contains a comprehensive list. You'd better just read it yourself. The article explores both parties in light of changes in voter blocs over time.

The conclusion of the article is what Republicans have been saying for decades: Democrats 'buy' black votes through welfare. And as Herman Cain said, he left the plantation.
Democrats might argue that some of these concerns — especially welfare and crime — are “dog whistles” or “code” for race and racism, but this criticism is shallow in light of the evidence and the real saliency of those issues among U.S. voters of all backgrounds and both parties for decades. Indeed, Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures.

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