October 11, 2008


John Lewis, invoking George Wallace, says McCain and Palin 'playing with fire' (Jonathan Martin, 10/11/08, Politico)

Civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis is accusing John McCain and Sarah Palin of stoking hate, likening the atmosphere at Republican campaign events to those featuring George Wallace, the segregationist former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate. McCain's campaign has responded with a statement in the candidate's name, urging Barack Obama to repudiate Lewis's comments.

"What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history," Lewis said in a statement issued today for Politico's Arena forum. "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

Who can forget the eloquence with which Mr. Lewis denounced the NAACP's $10 million campaign -- in conjunction with the Al Gore and the Democrats -- to compare then candidate Bush to the racist murders of James Byrd in 2000?

As Richard Cohen wrote in the Washington Post:

[The] Democratic Party . . . has found it impossible to move off the racial dime, often staying silent or complicitous when others waved the bloody shirt of ol' time racism -- usually just to propel African Americans to the polls.

This is precisely what happened in the last presidential campaign when the NAACP all but placed the body of James Byrd Jr., the victim of a racial murder, at George W. Bush's doorstep. Byrd's daughter, Renee Mullins, narrated the commercial and said, "So when Gov. George W. Bush refused to support hate-crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again."

This tasteless ad, run just before the presidential election, was not denounced by a single prominent Democrat.

We'd just as soon McCain supporters not truckle in race-charged stuff like...well, like using the Democratic nominees given name, but you'll have to forgive us if we don't feel much sympathy for the party of professional race-baiting.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 11, 2008 7:20 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus