White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest invoked former Klansmen David Duke in response to a House decision to pull the appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior. Earlier in the week, the House had accepted amendments to ban the Confederate flag in cemeteries run by the National Park Service. But the bill was taken back following concerns by some House Republicans that Southern history was being excised.
After the bill was pulled back, House Speaker John Boehner called for an “adult” debate about Confederate symbols. But asking the Obama Administration to have an adult debate is like asking Iran not to engage in anti-Semitism.
In reference to House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, Earnest said, “These are these same House Republicans who voted for a party leader who once described himself as, quote, ‘David Duke without the baggage.’”
Perhaps someone should remind Earnest that Cedric Richmond, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated that he did not believe that Scalise “has a racist bone in his body.”
Earnest would also be well served to read what Charles Krauthammer recently wrote about the Confederate flag:
The Confederate flags would ultimately have come down. That is a good thing. They are now coming down in a rush. The haste may turn out to be problematic.
We will probably overshoot, as we are wont to do, in the stampede to eliminate every relic of the Confederacy. Not every statue has to be smashed, not every memory banished. Perhaps we can learn a lesson from Arlington National Cemetery, founded by the victorious Union to bury its dead. There you will find Section 16. It contains the remains of hundreds of Confederate soldiers grouped around a modest, moving monument to their devotion to “duty as they understood it” — a gesture by the Union of soldierly respect, without any concession regarding the taintedness of their cause.
Or shall we uproot them as well?
Fine words, Dr. K. Sadly, they are wasted on the Josh Earnests of this world.