From Pine View Farm

Rebranding 0

Tony Norman is stunned by the speed with which some Republicans–he specifically quotes Rush Limbaugh–are moving to claim Nelson Mandela as one of their own, even as others deride him as a Marxist.* He finds precedent:

According to Rush, Mr. Mandela’s presidency was successful because he wasn’t concerned with “skin color and oppression,” which Mr. Limbaugh contends is different from Mr. Obama and American liberals. Mr. Mandela’s only concern was that South Africa live up to the promise of its constitution, according to the conservative commentator. In other words, if a U.S. Constitution “originalist” like Clarence Thomas wore a dashiki, he and Mr. Mandela would be twins.

It used to take a few decades for this kind of ideological revisionism to surface. Though former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and the right-wingers of his day were convinced Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist, he was retrieved from the dust bin of history by a younger generation of Republicans. These days, you can’t invoke King’s name in passing without a chorus of conservatives shouting, “He was a Republican, you know.”

While they’re at it, party elders would like to convince us that King practically delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the floor of the 1964 Republican convention just before Barry Goldwater was nominated for president. When it comes to redeeming King and making him safe for public consumption, the level of opportunism and cynicism on the part of those who once hated him is boundless.


*Follow the link. Just do it.


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