First, in response to an earlier comment of mine, our Republican friend posted this handy Timeline of Democratic Racism(TM):
March 12, 1956I replied with this blast from the history books:
Ninety-seven Democrats in Congress condemn Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and pledge to continue segregation
November 6, 1956
African-American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy vote for Republican Dwight Eisenhower for President.
September 9, 1957
President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republican Party’s 1957 Civil Rights Act
September 24, 1957
Sparking criticism from Democrats such as Senators John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, President Dwight Eisenhower deploys the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR to force Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to integrate public schools.
May 6, 1960
President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming 125-hour, around-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats.
May 2, 1963
Republicans condemn Democrat sheriff of Birmingham, AL for arresting over 2,000 African-American schoolchildren marching for their civil rights.
September 29, 1963
Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) defies order by U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson, appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, to integrate Tuskegee High School.
June 9, 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.
June 10, 1964
Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a staggering majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr. Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed.
August 4, 1965
Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; 94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation, while 27% of Democrats oppose. Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor.
Nice copy-paste job. I repeat: The Republican party’s base is the South, the historical bastion of slavery, conservatism and white supremacism.I’d like to say he’s been duly chastened, but he seems to be the type that will come back for more punishment. Next time, I’ll probably just tell him he’s dumb and move on.
This is not a disputable fact. Your anachronistic, cherry-picked timeline shows only that Southern white conservatives were Democrats before the national party decided to embrace Civil Rights and the GOP began pursuing their Southern Strategy to attract Southern white racists. Meanwhile, both Republicans and Democrats in the North were liberal and supportive of civil rights. This vote breakdown of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 tells the full story:
Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94% in favor)
Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85 in favor)
Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7% in favor)
Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0% in favor)
Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98% in favor) (Robert Byrd was the only nay vote)
Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84% in favor)
Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5% in favor) (Ralph Yarborough of Texas was the only yea)
Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0%) (John Tower of Texas)
Northerners, regardless of party, overwhelmingly favored the bill; Southerners overwhelmingly rejected it. Interestingly, In the North, Democratic representatives and senators alike supported the bill at an even higher rate than Republicans; conversely, in the South, some Democrats defected to support the bill, whereas Republicans were totally opposed to it. But the most dramatic split was North-South.
Southern Democrats grew disaffected with the national Democratic Party’s civil rights platform in 1948, splitting off to form the Dixiecrats. But they began migrating to the GOP after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, championed by LBJ and the national Democrats, and after Barry Goldwater, who adamantly opposed the Civil Rights Act, won the GOP nomination. Segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond switched to the GOP in 1964 to support Goldwater. That year, Goldwater won all five core states of the Deep South (the same five states Thurmond won as a Dixiecrat in 1948), the first time in American history those states went to the Republican. 1964 was the first year that Southern voters started giving Republicans more than a token vote.
Ultra-conservative, pro-segregation senator Jesse Helms switched from the Democrats to the GOP in the ’70s. Other Southern Democrats who switched to the GOP from the ’60s through the ’80s include Trent Lott, David Treen, Howard Callaway, Floyd Spence, Albert Watson, Rod Miller, Henry Grover, John Connally, Tillie Fowler, Bob Barr, Mills Godwin, Elizabeth Dole, Daniel French Slaughter, Jr, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, and more. One of the most notorious Democrat-to-Republican switchers was KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives.
It’s amusing how Republicans such as yourself like to trot out Robert Byrd. He was the only one out of 46 Northern Democratic senators (and let’s be honest, classifying West Virginia as Northern is a stretch) to vote against the Civil Rights Act. Furthermore, unlike segregationist Republicans like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, who remained segregationists until the end, and David Duke, who remains a committed white supremacist, Robert Byrd had a change of heart in the early 1980s, renouncing his earlier views and affiliations, and becoming a strong supporter of civil rights. Also, I know your list is copy-pasted because Robert Byrd doesn’t “still serve in the Senate;” he died four years ago.
As for the rest of your anachronistic list: Dwight Eisenhower was the last decent Republican; his Civil Rights Act was voted in favor of by 179 Democratic representatives (Northern, clearly) and only 132 Republicans (also clearly Northern). Segregationist George Wallace left the Democratic Party in 1968 to run for president against the Democrats’ pro-civil rights, pro-desegregation platform.
So yeah, your timeline is anachronistic and totally bogus as a supposed proof that Democrats are racist. It’s no coincidence that your timeline ends at 1965 — that’s around the time Southern Democrats started defecting to the GOP because of the national Democratic Party’s strong platform of civil rights, and LBJ’s ushering through of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. A cherry-picked, truncated and context-free history that ends 50 years ago isn’t a very convincing proof that Democrats are evil racists.
And black people know it: That’s why they vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, 90%-plus nationally. Why do you think that is? Do you think they’re stupid? Do you think they’re stupid enough to buy the distortion of history you and other right-wing Republicans like to trot out? If that’s what you think, then it’s you, and those other Republicans, who are the racists. But, we already knew that.