Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Thought on the Passing of Coretta Scott King

I never listen to Rush Limbaugh (I'm at work while he broadcasts), but today I happened to be in the car for this segment:

"You know, Coretta Scott King died today. And there's all this coverage. I mean, I'm not critical of the coverage, but I just think it's ironic. I just think it's as hypocritical as can be because here's Coretta Scott King being lionized and deified practically today, but none, zilch, zero, nada of the reporting is mentioning who it was that wiretapped her husband, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the purposes of destroying his marriage. It was good old Bobby Kennedy. Party? Democrat. Year? Sixties. Same year that Democrats in the Senate are fighting the Civil Rights Act.

"So they're wiretapping Martin Luther King. They were spying, domestic spying, Bobby Kennedy, because the rumors were that Martin Luther King had mistresses all over the place and they wanted to find them, and they wanted to discredit Martin Luther King. The Kennedy administration, for the purposes of making it all public and destroying his marriage. Today, they lionize Coretta Scott King but leave out an interesting, I'd say 75%, of the story."

Seventy-five percent? I'd say that's a serious over-exaggeration. To suggest that a full seventy-five percent of the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife revolves around a (failed) attempt to discredit him through wiretapping is to do injustice to what King himself accomplished. After all, it's not what happens to a man that makes him great, but what a man makes happen.

But while I think the wiretapping is no more than an interesting footnote in the King story, it's at least 75% of the wiretapping scandal story. If the same Democrats* who are going ballistic about Bush's use of wiretaps to monitor phone calls made to or from suspected terrorists from numbers with known al-Qaeda links were called on their support for wiretaps to bring down a black man who fought for civil rights, maybe they'd realize how hypocritical they are.

Then again, maybe they wouldn't realize that.

*Another problem I have with Rush's observation is that the Democrats of the 60s aren't the same Democrats in power now. It's dishonest to simply claim that "Democrats back then opposed civil rights legislation," and thereby imply that modern Dems are racists, because America has seen major political upheavals since then.