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Fun with the Times

The Grey Lady hits the nail on the head, repeatedly and with great force, in today’s editorial “Fire Trent Lott.” The key graf, brilliantly written:

No one has put more effort than George W. Bush into ending the image of the Republican Party as a whites-only haven. For all the disagreement that many African-Americans have with his policies, few can doubt Mr. Bush’s commitment to a multiracial America. But unless the president wants to spend his next campaign explaining the majority leader’s behavior over and over, he should urge the Senate Republicans to get somebody else for the job.

I would never have suspected the New York Times to articulate the way I feel about my party, but there you. Fate is tricky.

Luckily, the same page boasts a truly wretched Bob Herbert column – or “a Bob Herbert column” for short.

The Republican Party has become a haven for white racist attitudes and anti-black policies.

There is a difference between a “place that some people end up” and a “haven.” Eleven years ago the Republican party, led by George Bush, beseeched Louisiana Republicans to vote against David Duke and support Democratic felon Edwin Edwards. You tell me if that’s a party that welcomes racists.

The party of Lincoln is now a safe house for bigotry. It’s the party of the Southern strategies

which were about opposing busing and affirmative action, not bigotry. Maybe the difference is too broad for Bill to grasp.

and the Willie Horton campaigns

which were 1.)inspired by Al Gore and 2.)about Horton’s crimes, not his race. Again, painting with a broad brush does not make this logical mah jongg true.

and Bob Jones University

Ok, given.

and the relentless and unconscionable efforts to disenfranchise black voters.

If I had a nickel for every time I’d heard this allegation proven, I’d be broke.

And there are precious few voices anywhere in the G.O.P. willing to step up and say that this is wrong.

Outright lie. If we’re talking about Lott, ask Rush Limbaugh what he thinks. Ask the National Review. Ask the Weekly Standard. Ask the four Republicans on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who called it a “particularly shameful remark coming from a leader of the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln.” And if we’re talking about race issues in general, the examples are too numerous for me to entail while studying for finals.

One of the things I remember about Mr. Reagan’s 1980 presidential run was that his first major appearance in the general election campaign was in Philadelphia, Miss., which just happened to be the place where three civil rights workers � Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney � were murdered in 1964.

During that appearance, Mr. Reagan told his audience, “I believe in states’ rights.”

Enough said.

Yes. Because he was pissing on their graves, obviously. Was it an endorsement of what “states’ rights” meant in the 1950s? The phrasing didn’t suggest that. Carter suggested it in mid-September, according to the Washington Post:

President Carter steered his way along a road of invective that has already become well-rutted in this young fall campaign, suggesting today to an all-black audience that Ronald Reagan had injected hatred and racism into the contest by using “code words like ‘states’ rights.”

In the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. preached for years, Carter cautioned his audience that if the Republican is elected, there probably will never be a national holiday in memory of King’s slain son.

Right. That would explain why there’s no national holiday for MLK jr. Oh, wait …

I say let [Lott] stay. He’s a direct descendant of the Dixiecrats and a first-rate example of what much of his party has become.

Well, Lott’s first job was as clerk for segregationist Democratic Rep. Bill Colmer – who retired in 1972. When Lott switched parties he, in Michael Barone’s words, “he moved … from Colmer’s support for racial segregation to the small town Republicans’ backing for civil rights.” Maybe this isn’t Herbert’s point, but it shows his ignorance.

Keep him in plain sight. His presence is instructive. As long as we keep in mind that it isn’t only him.

Gotta love slander.

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