Thursday, October 19, 2006

what's the matter with republicans in civil rights?

Love it. The GOP is running ads noting how Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican.

Well, yes he had been, but the context was just a teensy bit different in the 1950s. Back then, segregationist southern Democrats were, well, segregationist, so it was natural for blacks, especially in the South, to be Republican. Plus, the 1950s were before the GOP's "Southern Strategy" had begun. You'll remember that strategy, started by Nixon. Appeal to southern whites thru racism (sometimes subtle, sometimes Jesse Helms blunt) to break the Democratic Solid South.

In cold political terms, it's a strategy that's worked well for the GOP, who by January 2009 will have held the presidency for 28 of 40 years, and now are the dominant political power in the South.

But MLK would have had nothing to do with this version of the Republican Party. MLK actually supported JFK in 1960 and LBJ in 1964, and doubtless would have voted for Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

The 21st Century Republicans. Reduced to stealing positive examples of their alleged commitment to human rights from 40-plus years ago because they have NO genuine examples of their own.


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