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Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 27, 2009 | Go to article overview

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GOP took lead on slavery, civil rights

On Dec. 7, while pushing for Obamacare medicine, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid declared: "All the Republicans can come up with is this: Slow down, stop everything, let's start over. If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When the country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down, it's too early, let's wait, things aren't bad enough."

Oops, Senator. You just flunked the history exam. You are just dead wrong. The Republican party was formed 1854 as the anti-slavery party. Abraham Lincoln elected on the Republican antislavery ticket. Remember him? He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. The party that opposed Lincoln was Harry Reid's Democratic Party.

The same is true for civil rights. In 1957, Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, created the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and he sent the National Guard into Little Rock to integrate their schools.

The civil rights bill was passed in 1964 with the legislative skill of Lyndon Johnson. This bill had the overwhelming support of the Republican Senate: Only six GOP senators opposed it and 21 Democrats opposed it, including Albert Gore Sr.

The Democrats put on a 54-day filibuster led by Robert Byrd, who is still the senator from West Virginia. I can remember TV showing cots being carried into the Senate chamber so the Democrats could take short naps and then get back to filibustering. John Adams wrote: "Facts are such stubborn things." When it comes to the history of the abolition of slavery, and civil rights, Republicans took the lead. If Sen. Reid can't understand well-documented history, which most fifth-graders learn, then makes such fabricated statements on the Senate floor, why trust him with much else? …

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