Slate: Opinion: Jamelle Bouie: John Fund's Distorted History of the Democratic Party
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
What right-wingers of today and John Fund of the Wall Street Journal and National Review is one of them, don't seem to understand is that even though it is true that Congressional Republicans supported the civil rights laws more than Congressional Democrats in the 1960s, the Democrats who were against those laws in Congress especially in the Senate are Republicans today are and would be Republicans today. They would be part of the Tea Party and Religious-Right wing of the Republican Party today and perhaps part of both factions and those two factions overlap.
Lyndon Johnson and to a certain extent Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon rewrote the political map in America. Back in the 1960s the Democratic Party represented the South and Mid-Atlantic and to a certain extent the West. The Republican Party was New England and the broader Northeast, Midwest and parts of the West as well. The civil rights laws completely changed that around that by the 1990s the South was solid Republican because those anti-civil rights Southern Democrats were now Republicans. Republican Trent Lott from Mississippi who was Leader of the Senate at one point use to be a Democrat.
The Northeast because of civil rights by the 1990s or even before that became the solid Democratic North. There are now maybe ten Northeastern Republicans in Congress. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Susan Collins from New Hampshire and Maine respectfully. And a handful of Representatives mostly from small blue-collar towns like in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania like Representative Mike Kelly. And politically and culturally small towns in the Northeast do not look much different than the Bible Belt in the South.
So when John Fund, Anne Coulter and Larry Elder on the right try to suggest that it is the Democratic Party that is racist and that it is Democrats who are racist. Because they voted against the civil rights laws and supported Jim Crow. You should ask them "which era are you talking about?" Because if they are referring to the 1960s, 50s, and even before that they would be right. But the fact is those Democrats who supported Jim Crow and blocked the civil rights laws in the 1950s and 60s today are Republicans and would be Republicans today.