Crooks and Liars | Stay Classy, Oregon GOP

I ran across this earlier at Crooks and Liars and was thinking over some of the head-‘splody statements in it, wondering why it is that the Right, or the people that write their copy, are so open to using such transparently obvious crap in order to get ‘er done.

For one thing, there’s either an egregious lie buried in it, or a really dumb mistake. Factcheck much?

Here’s the first one called ” Thank You”

OPEN ON A YOUNG MULATTO FEMALE DOCTOR.
Thank you for ending slavery.

A WOMAN EXECUTIVE STANDING IN FRONT OF HER DESK.
Thank you for giving women the right to vote.

A MAN ON CANNON BEACH WITH HIS KIDS AND THEIR DOG PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND.
Thank you for opening our State beaches to the public.

AN OLD COUPLE IN THE PARK.
Thank you for lowering our taxes.

A THIRTY-SOMETHING WHITE MALE STANDING OUTSIDE HIS STOREFRONT.
Thank you for helping me start my own business.

A BLACK FEMALE JUDGE IN FRONT OF A COURTHOUSE.
Thank you for passing the Civil Rights act of 1964.

A FAMILY STANDING OUTSIDE THEIR FARMHOUSE.
Thank you for making America the land of opportunity.

A WOMAN SMILING DOWN AT HER NEW CHILD . PUSH IN ON CHILD’S FACE. BURN TO WHITE.
FEMALE VO: There are so many things we have to be thankful for, thanks to the Republican Party.

SUPER: THANK YOU REPUBLICANS.LEGAL:

PAID FOR BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF OREGON.

It’s quite true that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln’s era was The Party Of No of its time: they were the abolitionist party that wanted to stop slavery. At that time, the Democrats in the South were pro-slavery, and the northern Democrats were weak bastids who kowtowed to the rich landowners from Dixie.

But who, in God’s name, would dare use the word “mulatto?” It’s much classier to say “quadroon” or “high yella,” morans. I can’t imagine why it’s used here, unless it’s supposed to be a funny little Easter egg for them to snicker over as they audition people of color and say “thank you” until they find somebody the right shade of mochacchino.

Good God.

Anyway, what really made me prick up my ears (tweeeeeet!!) was that statement thanking the GOP for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Because that Act was proposed by President John F. Kennedy before his assassination, and it was signed into law by his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson. It was held up for a while by a filibuster of conservative Democrats in the Senate, but it had general bi-partisan support except for the near-complete opposition by Representatives and Senators from the 11 Southern states that had attempted to secede at the time of the Civil War. Its strongest supporters were Northerners, Democrats and Republicans. But it was a Congress controlled by the Democrats, although the party was split along the old Mason-Dixon line, and the bill had to be guided carefully through committees chaired by Southerners.

Perhaps the scriptwriter meant the relatively weak (and unenforceable) Civil Rights Act of 1875, which was proposed and passed by Republicans? You’d think the judge would know that. Or maybe they meant the Fourteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery? That was certainly a Republican initiative, but the party was very different in 1865.

After the 1964 Civil Rights act passed, a whole bunch of Southern Democrats became Dixiecrats for a while, and then they either retired, died off like the dinosaurs they were, or they became, wait for it, Republicans. He led the charge. Around then, a lot of African-Americans apparently switched parties, too, when they realized that the party of Lincoln was becoming the party of Strom Thurmond, who also went over to the Republicans and notoriety.

And even today, there’s this tension during the election years; Democrats want everybody to be able to vote, and they generally try to make it easy and hassle-free (we’ve moved beyond “vote early, vote often” even here in Blago-tainted Illinois). Yet Republicans automatically assume voter fraud beyond the Pale Suburbs, screaming “ACORN!!,” pulling tricks like “vote caging” and demanding identification of registered voters when it’s not required. Because they simply can’t believe that all these “mulattos” could possibly be real Americans, let alone properly registered voters who know enough to only vote once… for the Republican on the ballot. And I suspect they simply cannot believe that they lost the most recent election, because “fair and square” does not exist in their lexicon, only “fair and balanced.”

Dog-whistle concepts. Code words. Slurs casually thrown down where they might not be noticed. Don’t they realize the smart people are onto them? It seems a hefty chunk of the famous “Republican Base” is very base indeed, if they’re to find this PSA at all appealing.

There was a lot of crap that went down before women won the right to vote, as it got all mixed up with the general civil rights movement around the time of the Civil War, and sometimes there were ugly tensions. But eventually, it was President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, who made a last-ditch speech urging passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, after it had been narrowly defeated a few times. Based on the ratification dates by state on that last link, the South (and probably the Southern Democrats) opposed it. So it was another bi-partisan victory, and another triumph over the elements of the old Confederacy by the forces of progress, in both parties.

At least there don’t seem to be any coded “we’re taking our ball and going home if Obama doesn’t just go away” secession messages in this PSA. Yesterday’s orgy of teabagging left a bad taste in my mouth (and yet I still can’t resist the cheap shot, because my inner twelve-year-old compels me).

My final comment is on that last image: that’s another sekrit messij to one of the other major components of the modern Republican “base,” the pro-life/traditional family values people. They can’t go all religious and devout, so to give a spiritual vibe and wrap up the piece, they just fade to white before disappearing. Because, thank you, Republican Party! With your kind assistance, women can has babies whether they wants them or not! The South shall rise again, because they lead the nation in teen pregnancy, due to that GOP base favorite, abstinence-only sexual education.

It’ll be interesting what else the Oregon GOP is looking to put on the air on their other ads – this is just one of several proposed public service announcements. I assume they’re all just as classy as this one.

And by the way, Oregon GOP, NO THANKS TO YOU for meddling with the civil rights of gay people. I had a lot of friends in the Eugene LGBT community years ago (well, okay, mostly just the L community, via a roommate). I hope you lose (again) in the next election. Morans.

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