On the house floor yesterday, Rep. Virginia Foxx (Wingnut-NC), noted for her contention that the murder of Matthew Shepard was a hoax and not a hate crime and that health care reform is a bigger threat than terrorism, proclaimed:
Actually, the GOP has been the leader in starting good environmental programs in this country. Just as we were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the ’60s without very much help from our colleagues across the aisle. They love to engage in revisionist history.
Project much, Virginia?
As for the latter, the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was begun under a Democratic President, John F. Kennedy, and after votes by an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, and signed into law by a Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson
The only basis for Foxx’s claim is that, although they produced fewer aggregate votes than the Dems, they did produce a greater percentage of intra-party votes. This was due to the demographic breakdown of the Democratic Party at the time, which owed its congressional dominance in large part to its “Southern Bloc.” Said Bloc had racism written into their political DNA, the determining factor in their overwhelmingly vote against the bill; insufficient, however, to prevent its ultimate passage.
LBJ predicted that pushing civil rights legislation would result in the loss to the Dems of its Southern Bloc for a generation. Disenfranchised from their cherished racism, defecting Southern Dems subsequently formed the basis of the “Reagan Democrats” that brought the Rethugs to power in 1981.
LBJ was willing to sacrifice his own party’s political fortunes for the greater good of the nation. Fat chance we’ll ever see a sacrifice like that from Foxx and her ilk.