Disowning the Democrat bigots
posted at 9:42 am on August 31, 2010 by Meryl Yourish
William Saletan has a pompous, condescending piece in Slate about how liberals should not keep trying to get up in arms about how Glenn Beck is trying to co-opt Martin Luther King Jr.’s message by having a big rally, decades later, where King did, and on the same day of the year. (It was a coincidence. It was the only day in that time period that was free.) So here’s his advice to liberals:
The resemblance doesn’t mean that Beck wants to take us back to the days of segregation. It means the opposite. Crying “socialism” is what conservatives do before they yield to change. It’s a stage in the process of defeat. But the process doesn’t end with defeat. It ends with absorption. It ends with the political descendants of George Wallace embracing the legacy of Martin Luther King. Beck today is just catching up to where King was 50 years ago. That’s because King was in the front of the civil rights bus, and Beck is in the back. And it’s a really slow bus.
It’s amazing how the left refuses to acknowledge the bigots in its own history. The above shows how Saletan is trying to pawn off Wallace’s inheritance on conservatives and Republicans.
Say, Bill? Wallace was a Democrat. His political descendants voted for Obama. They’re not Republicans. In fact, Republicans were instrumental in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed over Democratic obstruction.
The most fervent opposition to the bill came from Senator Strom Thurmond (D-SC): “This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress.”
After 54 days of filibuster, Senators Everett Dirksen (R-IL), Thomas Kuchel (R-CA), Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), and Mike Mansfield (D-MT) introduced a substitute bill that they hoped would attract enough Republican swing votes to end the filibuster. The compromise bill was weaker than the House version in regard to government power to regulate the conduct of private business, but it was not so weak as to cause the House to reconsider the legislation.
On the morning of June 10, 1964, Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) completed a filibustering address that he had begun 14 hours and 13 minutes earlier opposing the legislation. Until then, the measure had occupied the Senate for 57 working days, including six Saturdays. A day earlier, Democratic Whip Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the bill’s manager, concluded he had the 67 votes required at that time to end the debate and end the filibuster. With six wavering senators providing a four-vote victory margin, the final tally stood at 71 to 29. Never in history had the Senate been able to muster enough votes to cut off a filibuster on a civil rights bill. And only once in the 37 years since 1927 had it agreed to cloture for any measure.
If you want a really unbelievable look at who the party of racists was, check out the stats of who voted for and against the bill. Republicans were generally 80/20 in favor. It was a Republican who used parliamentary procedure to get the bill away from the Democrat-led Senate Judiciary Committee so that it could be voted on.
But God forbid Saletan go against the narrative that conservatives and Republicans were the real obstacles to civil rights in this country. Because everyone knows it’s they who are the real bigots. Well, everyone in the liberal media, anyway.
Cross-posted on Yourish.com