Friday, December 11, 2009
Most of us were shocked recently, if that's still possible, with Harry Reid's comments comparing those opposed to a government run health plan which would pay for abortion on demand to those who opposed slavery and civil rights for African-Americans. This misspeak was aimed specifically at the Republican Party. Really! I wonder if Harry received an "F" in U.S. History. It was Harry's party that resisted these rights for over 100 years! (Don't believe me, Click here:) I'm not surprised that politicians are getting by with comments like this since we no longer teach true History in our public school system. The following from Wallbuilder's reveals what really happened in recent years regarding the two parties:
"When Democrat John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960, he had been less willing than Eisenhower to utilize executive orders to promote civil rights. He even delayed for more than two years the signing of an executive order to integrate public housing. However, following the violent racial discord in Birmingham in 1963, Kennedy sent a major civil rights bill to Congress – a bill based on the findings of Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Commission. Kennedy worked aggressively for the passage of that civil rights bill but was tragically assassinated before he could see its success. Democratic presidential successor Lyndon Johnson picked up the civil rights measure, but like his predecessors, he faced stiff opposition from his own party. In fact, Democratic Senators Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Richard Russell of Georgia led the opposition against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, including lengthy and extended filibuster speeches. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen resurrected language proposed by Eisenhower’s Attorney General in 1960, thus breaking the filibuster of the civil rights bill and allowing Johnson to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These two important civil rights acts were signed into law under a Democratic President, but it was the Republicans in Congress who made possible the passage of both acts, for Democratic President Johnson had been unable to garner sufficient Democratic support to pass either bill. At that time, Democrats had 315 members in Congress, holding almost two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate. President Johnson needed only a majority – only 269 votes – to get those bills passed; but out of the 315 Democrats, only 198 voted for passage. Democrats had it completely within their power to pass those bills and did not do so. The bills passed because Republicans overwhelmingly came to the aid of Democrat President Johnson: in fact, 83 percent of Republicans voted for those bills, a percentage of support almost twenty points higher than that of the Democrats. If not for the strong support of Republicans, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would never have become law – not to mention the fact that the heart of both bills came from the work of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The 1964 Civil Rights Act had banned discrimination in voting, public accommodations, education, federal programs, or employment. The 1965 Voting Rights Act had banned literacy tests and authorized the federal government to oversee voter registration and elections in counties that had used such tests. Those two Acts – along with the 24th Amendment to the Constitution – were the final culmination of a century of civil rights legislation, and of even a longer period of attempts to secure equal rights and racial justice for African Americans. What was the effect of these three measures? The positive impact of these changes was immediate. For example, within a year, 450,000 new southern blacks were successfully registered to vote and voter registration of black Americans in Mississippi also rose sharply – from only 5 percent in 1960 to 60 percent by 1968. The number of blacks serving in federal and state legislatures rose from only 2 in 1965 to 160 by 1990. The disenfranchisement laws and policies long enforced by southern Democratic legislatures had finally come to an end."
And now, as the Late Paul Harvey would say,"You know the rest of the story."