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Barb's got a great pick-up here on the Republican Party platform's "English Only" plank.

But it's not just funny because it's an "English Only" plea in support of a Latin motto.

And it's not just funny because that Latin motto isn't actually our national motto.

It's also funny because Sen. Jim "DuhMint" DeMint (R-SC) once threw a total shit-fit that the brand new Capitol Visitor Center dared make this same mistake, identifying "E Pluribus Unum" as the national motto:

Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, had threatened to delay Tuesday's opening of the marble-and-stone center that took seven years to build at triple the original cost.
"The current Capitol Visitor Center displays are left-leaning and in some cases distort our true history," DeMint said. The center's "most prominent display proclaims faith not in God, but in government."

DeMint, rated the most conservative senator by several think tanks and advocacy groups, also protested an engraved statement near the center's entrance: "We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution."

That quote was uttered by Rufus Choate, a Massachusetts lawyer who represented his state in the House of Representatives in the 1830s and in the Senate the following decade.

"This is an intentional misrepresentation of our nation's real history and an offensive refusal to honor America's God-given blessings," DeMint said.

Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, along with Republican Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, joined DeMint in the protest.

The bill for DeMint's demanded changes? $150,000.

Was he right? Sorta. That's the national motto now, but not because of "our nation's real history and an offensive refusal to honor America's God-given blessings." Rather, it's because nobody ever bothered to officially enshrine "E Pluribus Unum," probably because it pretty much beyond question, leaving the door open for capitalizing on post-McCarthy demagoguery that likely was just too tiresome to contemplate fighting, even if you were so inclined.

Kind of like... today.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Mar 17, 2009 at 07:04 PM PDT.

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