Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crazy like a (Virginia) Foxx, civil rights edition

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 6:21 PM

ThinkProgress.org calls Rep. Virginia Foxx “the gift that keeps on giving,” and today she gave us all a classic. On the House floor, Foxx, of “health care reform is more dangerous than terrorism” fame, claimed that the Republican Party “passed civil rights bills back in the 1960s without very much help from [Democrats].” Talk about revisionist history. The landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s was introduced by JFK and pushed through Congress by Lyndon Johnson, both Democrats the last time we looked. A substantial number of Republicans did vote for the civil rights bills, but those were the days when the GOP included a hefty number of moderate or even liberal members of Congress. If those bills were introduced today, you can pretty much bet everything you own that the vast majority of Republican members of Congress would vote against them, since the party has essentially purged all but a handful of its moderates. The primary factor splitting supporters from opponents of those particular bills was geography, i.e., if a Congressman was from the South, he probably opposed them; otherwise, he was probably for them. Thus, Southern Democrats voted en masse against the civil rights legislation, while nearly all the other Dems voted for them. If you take out the Southern Democrats from the equation, a higher percentage of Dems voted for the bills than did Republicans. The bottom line, though, is that those bills were introduced and pushed through by the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate. And Foxx, as usual, comes across as a confused loony.

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