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Democrats: A Lott of Trouble
by Ann Coulter
December 18, 2002
I'M JUST GLAD Strom Thurmond isn't around to see this.
Statisticians believe Trent Lott is now on track to break Bill Clinton's single-season record for public apologies. During his recent B.E.T. appearance, Lott said he supported affirmative action, regretted voting against the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and that he'd give "The Bernie Mac Show" another try.
What the Lott incident shows is that Republicans have to be careful about letting Democrats into our party. Back when they supported segregation, Lott and Thurmond were Democrats. This is something the media are intentionally hiding to make it look like the Republican Party is the party of segregation and race discrimination, which it never has been.
In 1948, Thurmond did not run as a "Dixiecan," he ran as a "Dixiecrat" Ð his party was an offshoot of the Democratic Party. And when he lost, he went right back to being a Democrat. This whole brouhaha is about a former Democrat praising another former Democrat for what was once a Democrat policy.
Which is why a couple of segregationists like Lott and Thurmond were so quick to join?
Republicans made Southern Democrats drop the race nonsense when they entered the Republican Party. Democrats supported race discrimination, then for about three years they didn't, now they do again. They've just changed which race they think should be discriminated against. In the 1920s, the Democratic platforms didn't even call for anti-lynching legislation as the Republican platforms did.
Do we need to go into all this? If Coulter really wants to deny former Democrats full Republican status, she'll have to give up George Bush's electoral victory. It is the switch of southern whites from the Democratic to the Republican party--whites like Lott and Thurmond--which has given the Republican Party its dominance in national elections in the South. This switch was initiated, in part, by the shift of the Democratic Party to support Civil Rights legislation. The more the Democrats supported Civil Rights, the more white voters switched parties. When President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 into law, he said "We just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come." (The Democrats gained black voters, who had formerly been loyal to the Republicans, but as whites outnumbered blacks, this was an insufficient counterweight.) Does this all mean that the Republican Party is racist? No. After all, many Republicans voted for Johnson's Civil Rights Bill. But it is true that Republicans, from Nixon onward, have encouraged a belief among southern whites that they will stand as a shield against 'unreasonable' demands by African Americans. It is a fact that most whites vote Republican and most blacks vote Democrat. And there is certainly racism on both sides which helps to perpetuate this sad reality. It is wrong and historically blind of Coulter to say that only Democrats are racists.
Thurmond's Dixiecrat Party was not the only extremist spin-off from the Democratic Party in 1948. Henry Wallace, formerly FDR's vice president and agriculture secretary, left the Democratic Party that year to form the communist-dominated and Soviet-backed "Progressive Party." Much as Thurmond's Dixiecrat Party was expressly pro-segregation, Wallace's Progressive Party was expressly pro-Soviet.
So Coulter is saying that the Democratic party favors discrimination against whites? This is news to me, a white guy. Another memo I must have missed. (And yes, in the 1920s the Democratic Party had nothing to hold its head high about. In fact, if I'd been around, I'd probably have voted Republican. Times, and parties, change.)
Also, skip to the end of the essay for added commentary by one of my readers.
Indeed, this was the apex of Moscow-directed subversion of U.S. politics. The Progressive Party platform excluded even the mildest criticism of Soviet aggression. It will come as no surprise that many American celebrities supported Wallace. The Progressives received 1 million votes nationwide, about the same as Thurmond's Dixiecrat Party.
Thurmond went on to reject segregation, become a Republican, and serve his country well as a U.S. senator. By contrast, running a communist-dominated presidential campaign was Wallace's last hurrah. Yet only an off-the-cuff remark at a birthday party praising Thurmond's presidential campaign is the career-destroyer. Not so fawning references to Wallace's Soviet-backed presidential campaign.
Yes, the Progressive Party was foolishly blind to Soviet evils. And this proves what? Is Coulter trying to suggest that the Democratic party contains the roots of both racism and Communism? Interesting thesis. Next week she'll hold them responsible for alien visitations and the common cold.
Just two years before Lott's remarks, a hagiographic book on Wallace's life was released, titled "American Dreamer." How about a book about a segregationist titled "American Dreamer"? Wallace's version of the American "dream" was communism every bit as much as Strom Thurmond's dream was segregation. Aren't dreams of murderous dictators, gulags and death camps at least comparable in evil to segregated lunch counters?
There are at least 3 comments on record of Lott praising Thurmond and the Dixiecrats. There is also a history of connections to segregationists and their causes. This is not a one-time deal.
The dust jacket on "American Dreamer" featured a nauseating statement of praise by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kennedy said that the book deserved "to be read by all who care about the American dream." The American dream: communist totalitarianism. Why wasn't the lecherous liberal asked to retire for his flattering remarks about a proven Soviet fifth columnist?
In 1999, the Clinton administration dedicated a room at the Agriculture Department to Wallace. At the dedication, former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern gave a speech explicitly praising Wallace's pro-Soviet positions, such as the idea that the Cold War was "overdone" and that "problems" between the nations "could not be resolved by military means."
Wallace was not a Communist and he did not dream of a totalitarian state. This is a gross distortion. Wallace thought the Soviet threat was being overplayed as a distraction from issues like poverty and racism in the United States. Was he naive in his willingness to see the Soviets in a less hostile light? Yes, but he was also right that issues like racism and poverty were getting too little attention. He was flawed, like many people, but he was not a Communist. (Although he was a former Republican, having left that party only in 1928.)
McGovern fondly recalled that he himself had voted for Wallace. He chipperly reminded the audience that he had run for president in 1972 "on a similar platform" Ð with the help of a young Yale law school graduate named Bill Clinton. Inasmuch as Trent Lott was in kindergarten in 1948, he did not vote for Thurmond. He did not run on a "similar" platform to the Dixiecrats. He did not write a jacket-flap endorsement calling a segregationist an "American Dreamer."
Positions held by Republican Dwight Eisenhower when he supported Communist Yugoslavia against Soviet threats and Republican Richard Nixon when he made peace with Communist China and Republican George Bush Senior when he worked to help Communist Mikhael Gorbachev. My god, the Republican Party has been a Commie front all along. Do you think Coulter knows?
Seriously, saying that the Cold War was overdone is not the same as being a Communist or pro-Communist. If it were, then we'd really have to believe in Richard "Red" Nixon.
The idea that Lott took the occasion of an old timer's birthday to introduce a new policy initiative to bring back segregation Ð a Democrat policy Ð is ludicrous. Lott is a fine fellow; he just has some sort of liberal-Tourette's syndrome that makes him spout Democrat ideas at random. A few years ago, Lott practically wanted to give the adulterous Air Force pilot Kelly Flinn a silver star for her service. Remember that?
Up until two weeks ago, conservatives were clamoring for Lott's removal precisely because of his annoying habit of saying dumb things. (Showing their inferior intellect, liberals have only recently figured that out.) Republicans should ask Lott to step down as leader, but only for all the nice things he's said about Teddy Kennedy.
Ok, so at least we agree Trent Lott should step down.
Now here's a more extended bit of historical commentary on the Republicans and race etc. from one of my readers. I can't vouch for all the facts (American History is not my area) but it all rings true with what I already know. Thanks Mark!
From: Mark G.
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 17:55:18 -0800
Subject: A little history for Ann
Ann took the time to point our that in the early 20's there was an anti lynching statement in the Republican Platform. Well, as she often is, she is "sort of right" these was a statement that lynching was not a way to meet out justice. It was not a plank to promote a change of laws, but was a weak attempt to placate the progressive wing of the party led by Teddy Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette. It was removed in the next platform and the party never promoted any legislation towards its passage. This was merely one of the reasons that the progressive wing bolted the party and formed the progressive party of LaFollette and the Bull Moose of Roosevelt. By the 1930's, most of the Republican progressives had become assimilated into the Democratic party, which was shifting its focus towards fighting the corrupt business practices and tax policies of the more conservative wing of the Republican party. Through promotion of farm bills during the Hoover administration and the promotion of legislation to eliminate poor working conditions in the cities, the Democratic party soon was being seen as the party of the lower classes. [It was the same, now democratic progressives (former Republicans) who pushed through some legislation to counter the common business practices which were obvious in such things the Triangle Shirt Waist factory fire in NYC. All of which were repealed when some Republican governor of NY took over. I think his name was Dewey, Ann. As well, it was not the all inclusive Republican party which aligned itself with women's suffrage.]
Year after year, from his first election into the senate, Hubert Humphrey wrote legislation which was a forerunner of the civil rights act of 1964. Adelai Stevenson, the first and his family bolted the republican party over its pro business platform and disavowing of the anti-lynching language of the early 20's.
Now on to the Dixicrats. By the middle of the FDR administration, it was becoming clear to the deep south that the majority of the party was no longer in support of segregationist legislation. However, the Democratic New Deal programs [developed by FDR and a number of FORMER REPUBLICANS who decided the old GOP was too pro business for its own good] were too beneficial in terms of winning elections in the white rural areas. This uneasy alliance held on until fully repudiated by the administration of Harry S Truman. The integration of the army, the executive order declaring lynching a violation of federal laws, and other basic changes is integrating what could be integrated through executive order is what caused the Dixicrats to splinter off. Within 6 years of this split, most of the major Dixicrats had changed their affiliation to the Republican party, as they no longer were welcomed by the Democrats. In short, Ann of little historical knowledge,they left because they no longer had the power to dictate their policies from within the democratic platform. (Recall the Dixicrats left because of the passage of a strong pro-civil rights plank under Truman. The Republican party did not include a strong Civil Rights nod until the election of 1968, a full 20 years later.)
By the time the civil rights act of 1964 was being debated in the senate, the only attempt to filibuster the act was by? Yep, Senator Thurmond. He even went to the length to having an aid bring a bucket to the senate floor so he could urinate while keeping one foot on the senate floor so he could keep the gabfest going. To end the history lesson, Thurmond repudiated his anti-civil rights stance ONLY when it was becoming clear that he was losing political ground and clout when the senate went Democratic in part because of large black turnouts. Well, he did see the light, but I suspect one of the main reasons he continued to hold his seat after 1972 was because there were just enough good ol' boys to keep him in.
But the real reason the Republican party has gained in the south is the pandering to segregationists. Lets look at some of these moments:
"Problems" became the code word for segregation as the Republicans in the south sought to blame crime and all at the feet of the blacks. While voting right could not longer be denied for reasons of race, nor could literacy tests be used as a means of keeping blacks out, a large number of state found other ways to deny voting rights. Cases, such as the Birmingham church bombing were routinely sent to all white juries and assigned to judges with well known records of being segregationists. Recall, they were convicted on FEDERAL charges, not state charges.
When the Klan was under fire, new groups, such as the Concerned Citizens group sprung up. They were not that well kept of a secret: open public segregationists. If Lott was not proud his past of going from Dixicrat to civil rights advocate, he has a weird way of showing it. But then again, a few keynote speeches at the conventions or articles for its publications don't count for support. The same group, by the way Ms Coulter, received thank you notes from George Bush One and Two for their fundraising support. GHWB and GWB both donated to the ball given by Daughters of the south. It is held annually in an old slave trading warehouse. They dress in Antebellum garb and "celebrate" the old south. Sorry Ann, actions speak volumes. We don't even have time to discuss the support from the right wing christian churches, which supported misogynation laws well into the 1960's which have become the financial support for the Republican party. Oh, they funded anti-civil rights activites as well.
In Philladephia and parts of Florida, a large number of black voters received fliers and information on the elections giving the wrong date or polling information. It was traced back to a republican fundraiser in California. GWB gives a speech at Bob Jones University to garner support prior to his close fight with McCain. Only to say after, geez, I did not now they were segregationist and anti-catholic! In the Louisiana run-off election, the republican party rounded up a number of homeless blacks to carry pro-republican signs (actually anti-democratic signs) by paying them $75-100/day and clothes and a meal.
The rise of the power of the Republicans in the south is primarily caused by the rise of the former Dixicrats into position of leadership, the failure to repudiate the segregationist past, the pandering through code words to the segregationists (why did the republican party NEVER challenge David Dukes?). Ann, your own writing are xenophobic. Afraid someone will cause you to squirm in your little rich WASP world?
BTW, if I had the room to footnote all of the statements I made, they would be fewer in number than your notes in "Slander" but far, far more accurate! Finally, what mind altering substances do you take to be so fanciful in your concept of history?
Carl Skutsch. All rights reserved.
All opinions expressed herein are those of the author unless otherwise
(and it goes without saying that they make more sense
than Coulter's opinions.)
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