Wednesday, November 05, 2008
On this day:

Demagoguery must run in the family

Here's Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace:

George Wallace and other Southern governors of his ilk stood defiantly in the 1950s and '60s in support of racial segregation, a culture of repression, violence and denial of basic human rights.

Their actions and the stark images of their consequences that spread across the world galvanized the nation and gave rise to a cry for an end to the American apartheid. The firestorms that were lit in Birmingham, Oxford, Memphis, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Little Rock and Selma were a call to arms to which the people responded.

And now a new call to arms has sounded as Americans face another assault on freedom. For if the stand in the schoolhouse door was a defining moment for George Wallace, then surely the aftermath of Katrina and the invasion of Iraq will be the same for George W. Bush.

The trampling of individual freedoms and his blatant contempt for the rights of the average American may not have been as obvious as an ax-handle-wielding governor, but Bush's insidiousness and piety have made him much more dangerous.

Healing must come, hope will be our lodestar, humility will reshape the American conscience, and honesty in both word and deed will refresh and invigorate America, and having Barack Obama to lead will give us back our power to heal.

Healing must come, huh? NRO's Mark Hemingway responds to this blather here:

I don't object to her right to make these standard issue criticisms of Bush, but more dangerous than George Wallace? Yes, clearly African Americans would say they face a much more dangerous enviornment for preserving individual freedoms after eight years of Bush than when the state of Alabama was unleashing dogs on them for daring to sit at a lunch counter.

Katrina was a tragic failing of Bush's presidency, but it was one of governance (and probably the blame should be shared by New Orleans incompetent mayor) not a deliberate attack on anyone's civil rights — unlike George Wallace. Similarly, you may view the invasion of Iraq as a major blunder, but that's a tough argument to make in the same breath you're celebrating the election of a Vice-President who supported it and a President elect who wanted to cut and run at a time when it would have set Iraq up for a competitive round of ethnic cleansing.

But I'm sure typing that made Peggy Wallace Kennedy feel better about her father being an absolute monster most of his life and that's what really matters.

And yes, Mr. Hemingway goes overboard himself in labeling George Wallace "an absolute monster." But that's a different topic.