Saturday, January 29, 2005


Today's LA Times has a story titled "Recasting Republicans as the Party of Civil Rights," which begins by referencing Rice's invocation of Lincoln and Douglass and then goes on to focus on the 2005 Republican Freedom Calendar. Lordy, lordy, lordy.

Have I mentioned how bothersome I find revisionist history? Rice:

Standing for the cause of liberty is as old as our country itself. Indeed, it was our very first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who said, "The God who gave us live [sic], gave us liberty at the same time." America's story is the story of men and women ceaselessly striving to ensure that we as a nation live up to the ideals set forth by our forefathers. . . .

The enduring principles enshrined in our Constitution made it possible for impatient patriots -- like Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King -- to move us ever closer to our founding ideals. And so it is only natural that through the decades America would associate itself with those around the world who also strive to secure freedom for themselves and for their children.
So what's the implication here? That Jefferson would have wanted us to go to war in the Middle East and, furthermore, that our seemingly endless "war against terror" is in the tradition of freeing the slaves. Can you hear my deep and heavy sigh?

But the calendar, ladies and gentlemen, the calendar. It's an abomination really. It was put together by the House's Republican Policy Committee, and here is Rep. Cox's description:

We started our party with the express intent of protecting the American people from the Democrats' pro-slavery policies that expressly made people inferior to the state. Today, the animating spirit of the Republican Party is exactly the same as it was then: free people, free minds, free markets, free expression, and unlimited individual opportunity.

Leading the organized opposition to these ideas 150 years ago, just as today, was the Democratic Party. Then, just as now, their hallmarks were politically correct speech; a preference for government control over individual initiative (and of course slavery was the most extreme form of government control over the individual); and an insistence on seeing people as members of groups rather than as individuals.
Truly, this is appalling stuff. And it does seem to be paid for by our current administration in its continuing quest to transform our country into a one-party state. Each date commemorates a historic achievement for the Republican Party in defeating the Democratic resistance to freedom and equal rights. So March 30, for instance celebrates 1868:

Republicans begin impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who declared: "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men."
June 9, recalls 1964:

Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who still serves in the Senate.
And so forth. It has all sorts of historical pictures and quotes ranging from Condi to Lincoln. It's repulsive. You should check it out just so that I can share the disgust. I have said it here before, but I'll say it again: it never ceases to amaze me that just when I think I am totally jaded, something comes out of our government that shocks me. A current calendar implying that, if they had the political capital, the Democrats would bring back slavery sort of astonishes me.

Can the Democrats come out with some sort of "Jane you ignorant slut" calendar please? We could call it the 2005 Democratic Not Criminally Stupid Calendar or the 2005 Democratic Trying to Minimize the Carnage Calendar and include things like June 8:
Ronald Reagan on Dukakis, 1988: "You know, if I listened to him long enough, I would be convinced that we're in an economic downturn, and that people are homeless, and people are going without food and medical attention, and that we've got to do something about the unemployed."
August 15:
George H. W. Bush, on the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the U.S. warship Vincennes, killing 290 passengers, 1989: "I will never apologize for the United States of America - I don't care what the facts are."
Clearly, the Republicans are attempting to capture more of the black vote. If they're lucky, the Dems will run someone blindingly white like Kerry again. Only this time instead of slinging a rifle over his shoulder in a duck hunting opportunity he can put on some baggy pants and go to a hip-hop concert or something. Yeah.

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