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Hillary: LBJ, Not MLK Passed Civil Rights Act

From Fox News, via DailyMotion:

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964… It took a president to get it done.”

The DNC’s New York Times provides further details:

Clinton’s Civil Rights Lesson

By Sarah Wheaton

DOVER, N.H. — As they barnstorm through New Hampshire, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband are often introduced by supporters who once backed another candidate but converted to her cause.

Today, in Dover, Francine Torge, a former John Edwards supporter, said this while introducing Mrs. Clinton: “Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation.

The comment, an apparent reference to Senator Barack Obama, is particularly striking given documented fears among blacks that Mr. Obama will be assassinated if elected

Mrs. Clinton’s expression did not change noticeably when Ms. Torge made the comment.

Only a few hours later, she brought up the civil rights legislation herself in remarks to a Fox News correspondent.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama have been in a running feud arising from her suggestion at Saturday’s debate that he was raising “false hope.”

Mr. Obama responded that Mr. Kennedy did not decide going to the moon was a false hope and that Martin Luther King, Jr. did not see ending segregation as such.

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Mrs. Clinton said when asked about Mr. Obama’s rejoinder by Fox’s Major Garrett after her speech in Dover. “It took a president to get it done.” …

Later, during an appearance in Salem, Mrs. Clinton refined her remarks on Fox:

“You know, today Senator Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me. He basically compared himself to our greatest heroes because they gave great speeches.

“President Kennedy was in Congress for 14 years. He was a war hero. He was a man of great accomplishments and readiness to be president. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a movement. He was gassed. He was beaten. He was jailed. And he gave a speech that was one of the most beautifully, profoundly important speeches ever written in America, the “I have a dream” speech.

“And then he worked with President Johnson to get the civil rights laws passed, because the dream couldn’t be realized until finally it was legally permissible for people of all colors and backgrounds and races and ethnicities to be accepted as citizens.

“I’m running for president because I believe that there is not a contradiction between experience and change.”

Some might say that Mrs. Clinton was belittling Mr. King’s role with her remarks. Perhaps she was. It is a muddled statement anyway, since if Mr. Obama wins, he will be President.

However, it is interesting to recall that at the time of the voting rights act, the young Diane Rodham was an adamant “Goldwater girl.” And lest we forget, Mr. Goldwater was one of the few Republicans to actually oppose said Civil Rights Act.

Indeed, Ms Rodham actually increased her campaign work for candidate Goldwater after having heard Mr. King speak, which she now describes as a life-changing experience.

Of course Diane Hillary can blame this on youthful indiscretion. But still, there it is.

Apart from all of this, who knows what to make of this bizarre line:

The comment, an apparent reference to Senator Barack Obama, is particularly striking given documented fears among blacks that Mr. Obama will be assassinated if elected.

One suspects it’s another way for our moral betters at The Times to suggest we Americans are all a bunch of murderous racists who would kill the first black man who had the temerity to be elected President.

(Thanks to YoungJim for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, January 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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