B- B- but, we're the Party of Lincoln™!
If you had to say something nice about the Republicans, I guess it would be that they at least have the decency to to recognize how vile and shameful their constant appeals to racism are.
Of course, that's only when they get caught, and they don't have the decency to stop.
The first macaca moment of the 2012 presidential campaign has been provided by the crapulent Haley Barbour, whose efforts at backpedaling could have qualified him for the circus.
It's a long and sordid history, going back to Nixon's Southern Strategy, but we can also recall the multiple explicit appeals to racism by Ronald Reagan, including his choice of Philadelphia, Mississippi to kick off his presidential campaign, his references to food stamp fraud by "big bucks" who use them to buy liquor, or his support for the racist Bob Jones University. More recently we have the racist campaign sponsored by the odious Lee Atwater, who capped off his life with a phony apology for his racist acts.
This year it's Haley Barbour and his praise for the White Citizens' Councils. Hodding Carter had a great explication of their nature and methods on NPR, but the short, although entirely accurate, version of it is that they were the clean hands, suit-wearing version of the Klan: they eschewed violence because they didn't need it as long as the Klan was there to enforce the more polite dictates of the Citizens' Councils.
Today's Republicans never miss a chance, particularly when their racism is exposed, to point out that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican (yes, the same republicans who still talk fondly about their secessionist forbears). Still, I don't think there is anyone outside of the Republican base, who buys it, so if you're a Republican reading this, just spare us.
What's the upshot of this week's brouhaha? Possibly not much, although it's important to expose today's Republicans for the racist dogs they are. That, and Barbour's shot at the 2012 campaign has taken a severe hit.
Hey, if he's not on the national ticket, I bet there's room for him on the ballot in Vermont as the candidate of the Second Vermont Republic.