I use “think” generously—almost as generously as the Koch brothers’ charitable donations:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: [...] This is people admitting that we’re in the business of making sure minorities don’t vote. They’re saying it.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, WASHINGTON POST: [... A] pantheon of people talking about how what they’re doing is to keep basically Democrats from voting, African Americans from voting. What’s different here is they’re talking about it outloud.
CAPEHART: It used to be wink and nod and little code words. But now, yeah, it’s about helping Mitt Romney. It’s about keeping “lazy blacks” from getting up off the couch and going to vote.
I can reliably report from behind the enemy lines of conservatism that I have never heard a single Republican say anything like this. Liberals say it all the time—so often, they must really believe it. Why do they feel blacks are lazier than non-blacks? They say it, over and over, but they never defend it. They just expect us to agree (like so much of their ignorant dogma). I don’t.
But I don’t even understand this:
CAPEHART: You know, Ronald Reagan is the saviour of the Republican party, but I remember Ronald Reagan as the guy who went to Philadelphia, Mississippi — his first event after getting the Republican nomination.
MATTHEWS: And that says what?
CAPEHART: Well, Philadelphia, Mississippi, that’s where the civil rights workers were killed.
CAPEHART: In ’64. And so that sends a message to those white Dixiecrats that he’s one of us… and it says to African Americans and folks who fought really hard, not just African Americans, but folks who fought really hard for the right to vote, this guy and this party isn’t exactly for us, or thinking about us, or with us. And so now you’ve got people within the Republican party, a generation and a half, two generations later, who are actively trying to stop people from exercising the franchise.
First, I had to fix the transcript to read “Philadelphia, Mississippi” and not “Philadelphia and Mississippi”. That was confusing enough, but if you watch the clip, it’s clear they’re talking about the “Mississippi Burning” murders of 1964 which took place in that town. (Two Jews and one black man were murdered by the Klan.)
It is true that Reagan gave a speech there in August, 1980—sixteen years later—in which he said these words:
I still believe the answer to any problem lies with the people. I believe in states’ rights and I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. I believe we have distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended to be given in the Constitution to that federal establishment.
Why, that racist! How dare he believe in “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Next, he’ll claim to believe in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Or even the Bill of Rights:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
President Obama appeared in Berlin, the capital of Communist East Germany in 2008—nineteen years after the wall fell—and declared himself a “citizen of the world”. Words practically lifted from the socialist anthem, “The Internationale”:
Will be the human race.
Does that make him a crypto-Communist? (Well, sort of. Maybe this doesn’t help my point.)
Two last points. One, Reagan’s speech was 34 years ago, and the Civil Rights Act was 50 years ago: what possible relevance does either event have to today?
Lastly, as I’ve shared with you at least a dozen times over the years, Republican supported the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts at a greater percentage than Democrats. Unlike the rest of the bilge above, it’s a fact. You can look it up.