Home / General / Finally, the Paper of Record Discovers America’s Loneliest Civil Rights Crusader, Mitch McConnell

Finally, the Paper of Record Discovers America’s Loneliest Civil Rights Crusader, Mitch McConnell

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This was an actual headline of an article published in the New York Times in 2015:

Mitch McConnell’s Commitment to Civil Rights Sets Him Apart

I wonder what this civil rights crusader thinks about Shelby County?

The Kentucky Republican said the heart of the historic anti-discrimination law remains intact, and the Supreme Court correctly ended the need for certain states to get federal permission before making any changes to their voting procedures.

“What was struck down were the provisions that absurdly treated the South differently,” McConnell told USA TODAY. “They don’t apply anymore. It’s 50 years later.”

His comments seem to doom any chance Congress will act this year to update the law and restore the strict federal oversight of cities and states with a history of discriminating against minority voters.

Yes, it certainly seems unpossible that a southern legislature today would pass disenfranchisement measures that targeted African-Americans with “almost surgical precision.”

And then, that Senator whose civil rights achievements nobody recognized would steal a Supreme Court seat to ensure that Shelby County remained good law and that civil rights statutes would get the narrowest possible interpretation, while enabling an openly racist Republican president. But, to be Scrupulously Fair, I have no record of Mitch McConnell having used a private email server.

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  • Srsly Dad Y

    That was a weak headline (most headlines are written by copy editors on the night shift, to fill a precise amount of physical column space) but a well-reported article in 2015. A better headline would have been “Mitch McConnell’s Past Commitment ….”

  • S. Oelek

    Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. is on the short list for the title of “Worst Living American”.

    • Thom

      It is VERY hard to choose among the candidates.

    • I second McConnell’s nomination. Not many can say, “I defied the will of 66 million people, AND GOT AWAY WITH IT.”

      • Brad Nailer

        “But I sure do appreciate the will of the 800,000 Kentuckians who returned me to Washington.”

    • dmsilev

      Sadly, even the short list has many many entries.

  • Matt

    “What was struck down were the provisions that absurdly treated the South differently,” McConnell told USA TODAY. “They don’t apply anymore. It’s 50 years later.”

    He’s got a point there, though he doesn’t realize it – 50 years later, states who are *still* deliberately disenfranchising their voters shouldn’t be coddled by the courts, they should be stripped of EVs as described in the 14th Amendment. Fuck ’em.

  • DrDick

    That headline belongs in The Onion, not the NYT. While he may not be a frothing at the mouth klansman, Mitch, and every other Southern Republican, and most Republicans outside the South, is still a flaming racist. Racism is the reason the South turned Republican in the first place.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      FFS. He voted for civil rights legislation in the past. He spoke against the slave state battle flag on the SC Capitol. “While Mr. McConnell’s aye in favor of [Loretta] Lynch [for AG] may have startled many of his Republican colleagues, it was consistent with his nuanced, sometimes surprising, sometimes contentious record on civil rights that has placed him apart from some Republican colleagues and from some voters in his home state, Kentucky.” Is that so hard to understand? They weren’t reading his mind.

      But yeah, craven dude, regrettable headline, ooh ha ha ha ha ha ha, my sides, stop it please.

      • vic rattlehead

        Oh shove the sanctimony up your ass.

        • Srsly Dad Y

          You might want to crack a dictionary.

  • Dilan Esper

    As far as I know, McConnell’s one principled stand is on flag burning. He has repeatedly defended free speech there on an issue where even some Dems (and a lot of Repubs) are craven. And I do give him credit for it.

    1 issue, however, is not a civil rights record.

    • AMK

      Of course he doesn’t have a problem with anyone burning the American flag…

      • Dilan Esper

        I don’t think snark is appropriate.

        His position is right and requires real political courage.

        • farin

          He as a person and politician, however, is a loathsome anti-American pustule whose only consistent position is that the Republican Party ought to have as much power as possible. Snark is always appropriate.

          • Dilan Esper

            No it isn’t. If conservative politicians know that they won’t get credit even when they do the right thing, that’s not a dynamic that serves liberal political ends.

  • efgoldman

    Yertle McTurtle’s civil rights record seems a distorted mirror image of the stand many elected Catholic Democrats take on choice (personally against it but doesn’t think government has the right to restrict free choice).
    His position on civil rights and race seems to be: I believe in it, I voted for it in the past, but now my party’s orthodoxy demands stepping on their faces, and that’s what counts.

  • liberalrob

    This was an actual headline of an article published in the New York Times in 2015

    This is great and all, and worth remembering…but why are we reaching back to 2015 for something to talk about? Slow news day?

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