**note** For some reason, this article keeps getting a lot (well, that’s a relative term) of airplay, even though it’s now almost three years old and entirely irrelevant. Reading it now, I’m in complete shock over how cynical and bitter I sound. And the writing don’t even be too good. I hesitate to delete it because I want to maintain my blog history as a snap shot of what I was feeling; but do know that my emotions were pretty strong at the time and I actually think she’s “likable enough”. A pretty decent lady, really.
Also, I heard Karl Rove read the article and got a little upset. Something about working too hard his whole life to let Hillary define dirty politics. To Mr. Rove, I apologize. It was never my intent to hurt you.
I am in complete awe of the ignorance and hypocrisy of the Clinton campaign, and the absolutely disgusting tactics they used this weekend. I am talking about the Martin Luther King comments Clinton made last Monday which many thought seemed to diminish the role of Martin Luther King in the equal rights movement.
Now, there have been a lot of articles quoting this line, but I had to look a little to find the complete quote. I finally found it in a blog from the New York Times:
I would point to the fact that that Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the President before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done. That dream became a reality, the power of that dream became real in people’s lives because we had a president who said we are going to do it, and actually got it accomplished.
First off, let me say that this statement is grossly historically inaccurate. First, the Civil Rights Act was introduced by Kennedy, but was passed by Johnson because Kennedy was shot. It’s not like Kennedy wasn’t able to get it passed, he wasn’t alive to do it. Secondly, she acts like Eisenhower had no sympathy for the civil rights cause. But Eisenhower nominated Earl Warren as Supreme Court Justice to break a deadlock in the Brown v. Board of Education case which lead to the elimination of “separate but equal,” and then he ordered the integration of Washington schools the next day. It was Eisenhower who issued an executive order placing the Arkansas National Guard under his authority so it would force the integration of black students into a formerly-all white school when they had been dispatched to do just the opposite. But in fairness, how could she have known that? It’s not like her husband was governor of Arkansas or anything. And she didn’t say he wasn’t in support of civil rights, just that he didn’t try to pass a civil rights law.
Funny thing about that, though. Eisenhower introduced, and then signed into law, not one but two civil rights acts; the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960. So I guess she just doesn’t have the slightest idea what she’s talking about.
But I digress. Let us ignore Clinton’s obviously lacking understanding of U.S. history and the inevitable question of her qualifications for President when she knows so little about former office holders (after all, W. didn’t know much about this stuff and look at how well he’s done!). This whole thing started when Clinton accused Obama of “false hope,” to which Obama replied that Kennedy did not have false hope when he asked America to reach the moon, and King did not have false hope when he protested for equal rights. Clinton’s response seemed to imply that King’s brand of hope was not false only because a President had assured that would not be the case.
The Obama camp spent most of last week refusing to comment on her little statement, but black leaders across the country, including Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) chastised Clinton for implying that Johnson had a much greater role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act than King.
So what was Clinton’s response? She said Obama’s camp was clearly responsible for these attacks and then accused him of invoking race against her.
So let me get this straight; Obama makes a comment about both JFK and MLK giving hope to many that would result in great steps for our country. Clinton ignores JFK but focuses on how King was successful, not for the hope he aspired, but only because a white President accomplished his goals. Then she accuses Obama’s campaign of organizing black leaders against her, because, you know, black people evidently can’t think for themselves so they could only be upset if Obama told them to be, and then claims Obama is instigating race in the campaign??
I’m going to be sick. I mean it. This makes me physically ill.
For the record, Obama’s campaign has made one, ONE, comment about her statement. On Sunday, six days after the comment and after Clinton accused Obama of using race, Obama said the comment was “ill-advised.” That’s it. Just that it was “ill-advised.”
Of course, the Clinton campaign said that her comments were completely misunderstood and manipulated. They claim she meant that speeches alone didn’t make the civil rights movement, but King’s work with Johnson was instrumental in the Civil Rights Act passage. However, one has to ask themselves how that statement should make people vote for her instead of Obama. I guess she thinks that one person has to give the speech and another has to enact its stated goals? I’m not sure. But to say that King did a lot to further the hope but needed a President to complete it would tend to make me think that the best thing to do is elect the hope-giver as President.
Of course, the question I pose to you is, after reading her complete statement, can it be interpreted as anything less than King was not able to accomplish his dream, only President Johnson could? I don’t think it can.
But because Clinton can’t just say something stupid without another stupid statement to support it, here’s what she said to defend her ludicrous comments:
“And then he worked with President Johnson to get the civil rights laws passed, because the dream couldn’t be realized until finally it was legally permissible for people of all colors and backgrounds and races and ethnicities to be accepted as citizens.”
Okay, her being a lawyer and all, I’m in complete shock that she was not aware that “people of all colors and backgrounds and races and ethnicities to be accepted as citizens” was not made legally permissible with the Civil Rights Act, it was legally mandated by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Civil Rights Act made segregation illegal, it had nothing to do with granting citizenship.