On January 19, 2010 after the election of Scott Brown (R-MA) to the second senate seat in Massachusetts, Keith Olbermann from MSNBC enlightened us about the reasons why. He and Howard Fineman from Newsweek spent the evening speculating that Massachusetts is populated by a majority of card carrying KKKers. SEE THEIR EXHCANGE HERE.
Mr. Olbermann (admittedly a member of the propaganda ministry of the Democrat Party) also tried to draw a parallel with the mid-term elections in 1966. Specifically, he said that Republicans won a significant number of seats because there was a racist backlash against the Democrats for passing the Civil Rights Act. His implication is that the passage of the Act was exclusively an enterprise of the sainted Democrats and we, as a nation of bigots, punished them. He implied also that republicans either did not participate in passing the legislation or actively resisted it.
Here is his quote:
One last aspect, and this is not necessarily pretty. 1964, 1965 the greatest years of civil-rights change in this country since Emancipation and in the 1966 midterms the Republicans took 47 seats from the House from the Democrats, and most of those elections had clear racial undertones, man had overtones.
The Republicans and the Tea Partiers will tell you what happens with Scott Brown tonight whether he wins or comes close is a repudiation of Obama policies. And surely one of Obama’s policies from the viewpoint of his opponents is it’s OK to have this sea-change in American history–to have an African-American president. Is this vote to any degree just another euphemism, the way ‘states rights’ was in the ’60s?
Please set aside the derisory implication that anyone voting for a Republican is a racist. The more important point is that Mr. Olbermann either does not understand the history of the Civil Rights Act, or decided that facts do not matter. So, on behalf of our republic, here is a little history lesson for Mr. Olbermann.
1) Specifically, he fails to point out that the Democrats, not Republicans, filibustered in an attempt to kill the bill. No less that Robert Bird (D-WV) was involved in the filibuster:
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 votes to end the filibuster (Source: Wikipedia).
Notice that two Republicans helped strike the compromise.
2) As far at the vote, the outcome is telling:
The original House version:
• Democratic Party: 152-96 (61%-39%)
• Republican Party: 138-34 (80%-20%)
Cloture in the Senate:
• Democratic Party: 44-23 (66%-34%)
• Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)
The Senate version:
• Democratic Party: 46-21 (69%-31%)
• Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%)
The Senate version, voted on by the House:
• Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%)
• Republican Party: 136-35 (80%-20%)
Am I reading this wrong or did Republicans vote in greater majorities for the Civil Rights Act?
3) In addition to race, here is an interesting aside about gender equality. It appears the Republicans had equal rights on their platform for 20 years before the Civil Rights Act.
The prohibition on sex discrimination was added by Howard W. Smith, a powerful Virginian Democrat who chaired the House Rules Committee and who had strongly opposed the Civil Rights Act. The addition of “sex” to title VII is commonly described as a cynical attempt to defeat the bill by inserting objectionable amendments. Smith knew Republicans, who had included equal rights for women in their party’s platform since 1944, would vote for the amendment along with southern Democrats and get it in the final bill. Smith thought that northern Democrats would not vote for the bill due to the inclusion of gender, because the clause was opposed by labor unions which the northern Democrats aligned themselves with (Source: Wikipedia).
If one were to twist history the way Mr. Olbermann does, one could conclude that the Democrats lost in 1966 not because the electorate was racist, but because the electorate was throwing the racist, filibustering bums out. Of course, the politics of the time were much more complex than that. It was also a time when racism really was a tragically larger part of the fabric of our society. What the evidence does suggest is that the revisionist history created by the modern progressives clearly needs a light shined on it. One would have thought Mr. Fineman would have had enough character to do just that, since unlike Mr. Olbermann, he is purportedly a journalist. But that is just too much to expect anymore, apparently.
Simply painting Republicans as racist then and now is both a disservice to history and a disservice to the public today. However, because the Democrats have effectively controlled the federal legislature for eighty percent of the time since 1932, our history is now made up of all the lies they agree upon (to paraphrase Napoleon). They try to fill their own intellectual void that should have filled with lessons about the ineffectiveness of government overreach with imaginary visions of a benevolent, imperial central monolith. If you disagree, you are categorized as stupid, or racist, or misogynistic, or paranoid, or closed minded, or uneducated, or a mouth breather, or a tea bagger… You get the picture.
The election of Scott Brown had nothing to do with race, and no amount of wishful thinking on the part of progressives will make it so. Polling data appear to indicate that voters repudiated the current policies of the perpetually ruling party. Similar to the idea behind the Civil Rights Act, the election was about returning the country to governance in accordance to our founding principles: limited government, individual liberty, and equal opportunity for all. The hegemony of the state over the individual is clearly not mentioned in the constitution. In fact, the opposite is true. It appears that the propaganda organs for the ruling Democrats, when confronted with the failures of their own terrible policies and repudiation by voters, resort to the delightfully infantile art of the playground: name calling. What else can one do when one has a vacuum of ideas?
© Edward Hunter and Thanks for the Laughs, 2010