At one time in his checkered past, MSNBC commentator and program host Joe Scarborough was a Republican congressman from Florida, and from the political ashes of that rather conservative past, Scarborough has risen to become a voice of moderation in the media. Republicans would serve themselves well to listen to what he has to say - particularly on the subject of the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
This week "Morning Joe" Scarborough went after some right-wing websites and a few individual conservatives for their defense of the vigilante shooter, George Zimmerman, and statements questioning the innocence of the 17-year-old Martin. Scarborough, who has spoken out for the arrest of Zimmerman, said that he found the behavior and remarks of the shooter's defenders to be "disgusting."
Joe Scarborough noted that the conservative publication, National Review, had correctly summarized what the shooting of Trayvon Martin represented:
"As National Review said almost immediately after it happened, this has nothing to do with gun rights, this has nothing to do with the Second Amendment, this has nothing to do with stand your ground laws, this has nothing to do with the NRA. This has everything to do with a guy that's trying to play security cop, who is unhinged, who chased down and shot a 17-year-old kid armed with Skittles and iced tea."
Scarborough noted that some racist websites and some more mainstream conservative web sites are going through the victim's social networking pages looking for photos that would portray him in a bad light, while completely ignoring "pictures of him holding up a birthday cake smiling, him fishing with his dad, him standing outside of his home proudly dressed in a tux ready to go to prom."
Every picture tells a story, and the right-wing fringe wants to story to be that a young black hoodlum got what was coming to him.
"This is beneath contempt," Morning Joe said. "These people on the far right are being fools to try to make this a political issue."
Enter Ann Coulter, right on cue.
The ever-angry Ms. Coulter joined Laura Ingraham on her radio show last Friday where the two women proceeded to have a snarl-down over the despicable treatment that NBC and some celebrities are supposedly giving to George Zimmerman.
Ann is concerned that all of the negative publicity surrounding this incident may place Zimmerman or his family in danger - from vigilantes, one would suppose. "This is beyond irresponsible," she railed. "It's a lynch mob. This isn't how we try cases in this country and the last time you saw this sort of thing on a regular basis was of course again from the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party's outgrowth - the KKK."
Did the angry Ms. Coulter study history under Professor Gingrich - and was Sarah Palin in the same class?
Here's how it went down, Annie. Yes, the Democratic Party was fairly racist at one point in its past, and yes, members of the Ku Klux Klan of yesteryear undoubtedly cast many Democratic ballots. But let's be intellectually honest here. Even you know that the Democratic Party of the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century is not today's Democratic Party. That same group of angry white people began to drift away from the Democratic Party during the presidency of FDR, and by the time LBJ was running the country they were stampeding to become Republicans.
The racist crackers of the Old South were once Democrats, but their descendants, at least those who have chosen to be true to their twisted dogma of white superiority, are Republicans, birthers, and teapot crackpots. They're your people, Annie, and they are definitely not Democrats.
If Lincoln were alive today, he would most asssuredly be a Democrat and he would probably be sitting in the Rose Garden on a fairly regular basis having a beer with Barack Obama. Lincoln had a lot in common with Obama, including a healthy respect for humanity and all of its beautiful colors. That's today's political reality, Annie. Deal with it.