Conservatives have done everything possible to evade responsibility for racism, even though the entire party embraces it as central to their white ethnic nationalist platform. Even black conservatives (at least the ones Fox News can latch onto) would rather blame Obama.
Ben Carson has refreshingly stepped out of this quagmire and told the truth. What comes from this remains to be seen. More common, unfortunately, is Bryan Fischer’s approach to the problem, which is to continue to blame everything on Democrats.
On his radio program yesterday, Fischer showed himself as immune to facts as ever by claiming the Confederate flag is a Democrat thing so the Democrats ought to be the ones to figure out what to do with it:
You know, I get a little peeved at the Republicans. They stumble around, they accept the premise that this is somehow a Republican issue. They accept the premise that the Democrats are pointing the finger at the Republicans and saying ‘this is your problem and you’ve got to fix it. This is a racist symbol and you Republicans aren’t doing anything about this racist symbol.’
This is not a Republican issue. They didn’t invent the flag. They didn’t design the flag. They didn’t fly the flag. They didn’t march behind the flag. They didn’t got to war with this flag at the head of their troops. This is a Democratic issue. The Democrats are the ones that are responsible for the existence of the Confederate flag. My counsel to Republicans is hey, this is a Democratic issue. This is a Democrat symbol. This was invented by Democrats. It was flown by Democrats.
Yes, that would be great if it were Democrats waving the flag around. But it’s not. It would be great if Democrats controlled South Carolina, but South Carolina is a Red State: it has a Republican governor and two Republican senators. The South Carolina general assembly is controlled by the Republicans.
In trying to be clever, Fischer concludes with what can only be described as comedy gold:
We as Republicans, we’re nice guys, we’re gracious guys, we believe in working together to solve problem together. What do you guys want to do with your Confederate flag? We as Republicans will be happy to work with you, will be happy to cooperate with you, what do you want to do with your Confederate flag. It’s your flag, it’s your issue, you need to decide what you want to with it…you bring your proposal to us and we’ll be happy to talk with you about whatever you want to do with your symbol, the Confederate flag.
Lincoln was a Republican, and 1860s Southern Democrats voted against him and supported slavery. That’s part of the historical record. Unfortunately for Fischer, so is everything that has happened since 1860.
That was a century-and-a-half ago. It’s almost as if, in Fischer’s mind, time has stood still. Did he miss the Republican Party’s own “Southern Strategy”? Did he miss all the racist white Democrats migrating over to the Republican Party in the 1960s?
Did he miss, as a result of that shift, 90 percent of all black voters being Democrats after 1965? A century-and-a-half after the Civil War, the Democratic Party was no longer the party of slavery.
Today’s Democrats are the 1860s Republicans in outlook, and today’s Republican Party has become the party of 1860s Southern Democrats. It is the GOP of the 21st century that looks fondly back on slavery, and tells blacks they were better off as slaves than under Democratic governance today.
It is the Republican Party that has become a white nationalist hate group, the party of neo-Confederates and secessionists.
Fischer’s own party, not to put too fine a point upon it. It is Republicans who are now calling Governor Nikki Haley a RINO for calling for the Confederate flag to come down.
Typical is Mark Vogl’s response in The Gilmer Mirror:
With her announcement against the Confederate Battle flag today, Governor Nikki Haley demonstrated she has no real concept of what South Carolina is to so many Americans. South Carolina, the Palmetto State, is to many Americans the champion of states’ rights and the epitome of a state with a people who would not cower to Washington.
We thought Senator Lindsey Graham was an anomaly in South Carolina. But the Carpetbaggers are back. Someone once told me the Yankees could never really occupy the South until Air Conditioning was invented! Well, today we see the Yankees running the state that led revolution against a perceived threat to liberty..Washington, D.C. and the Yankees.
Deplorable as this sentiment is, at least Mr. Vogl, unlike Fischer, has kept up with history. Because she chose to be cognizant of facts rather than fantasy with regards the Confederate flag, Haley is no longer a Tea Party darling says The Daily Caller.
The Republican Party is today’s defender of the Confederacy and its flag. It is the GOP that is refusing to take down the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina, not the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party can hardly be expected to do anything about it when Republicans control the statehouse.
Fischer isn’t being just disingenuous. He is being completely, flamboyantly dishonest. In other words, he is being typically Republican in an era when Republicans can no longer afford to insulate themselves from our shared reality.