Gov. Mike Huckabee made the following unambiguously racist and demagogic appeal in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week:
You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole; that's what we'd do.
This is a straightforward racist appeal for the following reasons:
1) The South Carolina flag is a perfectly nice flag, featuring the palmetto plant, about which no "outsider" has ever offered any free advice.
2) The Confederate battle flag, to which Gov. Huckabee was alluding, was first flown over the South Carolina state capitol in 1962, as a deliberately belligerent riposte to the civil rights movement, and is not now, and never has been, the flag of that great state.
3) By a vote of both South Carolina houses in the year 2000, the Confederate battle flag ceased to be flown over the state capitol and now only waves (as quite possibly it should) over the memorial to fallen Confederate soldiers.
January 21, 2008
I must say that it has been a while since I agreed with this man, but Chris Hitchens nails it: