Monday, September 21, 2009


More Democratic Wilful Historical Ignorance

Here is the column from Friday of NYT columnist Bob Herbert. Here is the end of the column... which is just the beginning of his historical ignorance:

After all these years of race-baiting and stirring the pot of hatred for political gain, it’s too much to ask the leaders of the Republican Party to step forward and denounce this spreading stain of reprehensible conduct. Republicans are trying to ride that dependable steed of bigotry back to power.

I'll have to forgo comments on the serious lack of evidence in the piece about the purported bigotry of the Republican party, but, back on track, one could ask, Mr. Herbert, why should we avoid the so called race-baiting and stirring the the pot--what could happen? Mr. Herbert has the answer:

Think about the Oklahoma City bombing, and the assassinations of King and the Kennedys. On Nov. 22, 1963, as they were preparing to fly to Dallas, a hotbed of political insanity, President Kennedy said to Mrs. Kennedy: “We’re heading into nut country today.”

First off--what is bigotry if not attributing a certain bad aspect to a general segment of society? There, it was 'Texans are nutbags' from cheatin' Jack via bigot Bob. Second, despite some misgivings, I'll continue to cop to Timothy McVeigh being right wing. He certainly belonged to the not the brightest bulb in the marquee crowd. But the rest of the paragraph provides no support for worries about the political incivility on the right, as all that remainder of the so called evidence provided is lefty violence.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. His confessed* assassin, career criminal James Earl Ray, was a Democrat and a fan of white supremacist Gov. George Wallace. Although there was clearly a never fully discovered conspiracy, at least to get Ray out of the country, it's very unlikely that it was Republican based and far easier for me to believe that the murder was the result of racial animus from the party of the KKK and "Bull" Connor rather than from the party of abolition and Abraham Lincoln.

Herbert is not the only one repeating these historical lies, wrongly, but he is perhaps the latest. As I've discussed before, John Kennedy was killed by a Communist, Lee Harvey Oswald, who hated the right wing, and Robert Kennedy was killed by a socialist Palestinian, Sirhan Sirhan, to whom the Weather Underground dedicated their manifesto.

Lefty violence is that out for which we need to watch. For all the vapors the Democrats have been having over the sheer, non-violent passion at the town halls last month, the only victims of actual violence were Republican Kenneth Gladney, beaten up by SEIU thugs in South St. Louis, MO, apparently and the poor 65 year old in Thousand Oaks, CA, whose finger was bitten off by a knuckle craving lefty during the former's protest of a pro Obamacare rally.

Final note--as a so-called example of the racial animus of the right recently, Bob Herbert trots out this example:
Among the posters at last weekend’s gathering of conservative protesters in Washington was one that said, “The zoo has an African lion and the White House has a lyin’ African.”
Except for the repeated word "African," what's racist about that poster? Short answer: Nothing.

Did I mention that the Democrats have been having a case of the vapors, lately, along with their usual projection and important historical ignorance?

*Ray entered an Alford plea in which he agreed he was complicit in the murder, although he claimed that he did not personally murder Reverend King. He spent the rest of his life in jail unsuccessfully trying to withdraw his plea.



Do I remember correctly that when given the news that President Kennedy has been assassinated, members of your 5th grade class (on the Gulf coast of MS, I think) applauded? Presumably, their parents were not Democrats.

Meanwhile, I think we are headed into nut country, metaphorically, at least led by talk radio and the roster from "the fair and balanced" network although in my own mind, I think of them as fairly unbalanced.

The new GOP motto seems to be "Rush to Justice."

As ever,

I was in a military school in Mobile, Alabama and there were cheers--not overwhelming, everyone with one voice cheering, but plenty, and no, probably not from Democrats, at least not from good Democrats.
I disagree that the right has ever been much of a threat of political violence (here and there, of course) and it has been a quick slide from 'Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism' to 'Dissent is dangerous.'
I don't watch much Fox, but I doubt it is for the same reasons as you. I like Krauthammer and miss Brit.
I take it from your lack of disagreement, that my presentation of the facts of history is correct?
Was it the "left" finger that got bit off?
No, the pinkey on his dominant hand.
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