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It takes a special kind of stupid to invite Ralph Reed, that Ralph Reed, the Ralph Reed of the Abramoff scandal, to your conference to talk to you about the latest thing he's pitching. So you know what, conservatives? You deserve this guy!
"Fifty years ago George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door and said that African-Americans couldn't come in," said Reed, the founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, in response to the Department of Justice's attempt to block Louisiana's school voucher program. "Today, the Obama administration stands in that same door and says those children can't leave. It was wrong then and it was wrong now and we say to President Obama, 'Let those children go.'"
Holy Hell in a Happy Meal, fellas, is this another one of those drunken bar bets that ends with the loser having to stand up and say the stupidest, most credibility-wrecking thing they can think of? Was the only message you got out of the sparsely attended "how to be inclusive" panel a suggestion to "mention George Wallace more often"? Or are you just trying to kill us all outright?
Remarkably, Reed wasn't the first speaker at CPAC to compare the Obama administration's policies to the Jim Crow South.
On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made the same comparison in his address to the conference. "We've got Eric Holder and the Department of Justice trying to stand in the schoolhouse door," he said.
That's the conservative movement, where speaker after speaker can demand the religious right for businesses and governments to discriminate against Americans who they deem inferior one minute, then can wrap themselves as the true opponents of Jim Crow the next.
School voucher programs to shuffle kids into private, for-profit charters at taxpayer expense is one of the biggest grift schemes going right now. All you need to do to determine the thing is a scam, just like a long line of similar for-profit scams before it, is to look at the people pushing for the thing. It's a wonder the people pushing to privatize the prisons, the military, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the national parks and the goddamn Arizona statehouse didn't think to compare the efforts to stop those to Jim Crow as well, but I suppose we first had to reach the point where conservatism had melted into a pool of ridiculousness large enough to keep such statements from making much of a splash.
Hucksters, every last one of these people. In 20 years CPAC will be replaced by a carnival where you walk into a tent, throw all your money down a dark hole and walk back out again. And the people will love it, so long as they can still be convinced their "freedom" depends on it.