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There's no other rational explanation.  After all of the Republican House and Senate Leadership was invited, with only George W. Bush turning it down because of a medical condition, the entire GOP Caucus found a way not to be in Washington or anywhere near the mall during the 50th Anniversary of the King March, because what, they had laundry to do?

John Boehner, Eric Cantor, John McCain, and every other Republican who were asked refused to attend the March on Washington event.

According to Roll Call:

   Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the House’s two most senior Republicans, were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington — but declined.

According to a list obtained by CQ Roll Call, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was also invited to speak at Wednesday’s events, but according to a spokesman, the lawmaker was in Arizona all week with a schedule full of public events.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was also asked to attend in lieu of his brother, President George W. Bush, who reportedly had to turn down the invitation as he recovered from surgery due to an arterial blockage — not, as Bond suggested, he had to stay to attend to his also-ailing father.

This was truly a bipartisan outreach effort,” said a spokesperson for the event in an email statement to CQ Roll Call. “All members of congress were invited to attend and the Republican leadership was invited to speak. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office was very helpful in trying to find someone to speak at the event. Making this commemoration bi-partisan was especially important to members of the King family, too.

As it turns out, Every Member of Congress was invited.  That's over 200 Republicans - yet None of them could make time, none of them could adjust their schedules to make sure they could be there to commemorate one of the most significant and memorable events in the 20th Century, the moment that began to push us dramatically forward on Civil Rights after being stalled for nearly a Century after Reconstruction and the Civil War.

I'm thinking we should take this for what it truly was. A Snub. This was disrespectful and frankly, pretty much true to form in the way that Republicans have been behaving since the election of President Barack Obama.

They just can't stand that he's the President, and further they likely Blame Dr. King for it happening.  But in the meanwhile, they did have "Lunch" to commemorate it - alone - by themselves in a seperate-y, not too "inclusive" way.

Preibus: "You can't make the sale, if you don't show up to make the order.  We need to commemorate this, we need to be part of the moment.
Yeah, but you weren't there - and I don't think that should be ignored. Or forgiven. Have a Tea Party Rally and the GOP is there Lickety Split, have a once-in-a-generation rally to commemorate Dr King's Dream of Civil and Equal Rights and these guys disapparate as if they'd just seen Voldemort with the Elder Wand.

No matter how much they might complain that the President doesn't "reach out" to them, and he doesn't sit and have a beer with them, and they don't go out and play golf often enough... what we saw this week is that when the rubber meats the road of History, the entire GOP Caucus was M.I.A.

There is only one Black person in the Senate right now which is Republican (Seat Filler) Tim Scott, and even he couldn't be bothered to show up for the march. It's just astounding.

source connected to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the only sitting black senator, was not invited to speak at the event because his office had declined an invitation to attend the commemoration as a spectator, Roll Call reported.

An email exchange obtained by Roll Call showed that an invitation to the 50th anniversary commemoration appeared to be sent to all members of Congress, as the form letter identified the recipient as "Representative" rather than by name.

The exchange showed that a staff assistant to Scott, Rachel Shelbourne, sent a reply to the invitation that read in part, "Unfortunately, the Senator will be in South Carolina during this time, so he will be unable to attend the event. Please do, however, keep him in mind for future events you may be hosting," as quoted by Roll Call.

"Keep him in mind for future events"? You mean Scott just might agree to attend or speak at the 100 Year Anniversary of the King March?  Well, let's just mark that one on our calenders right now.

And let's not ignore the fact that Bill O'Reilly, who never misses an opportunity to get shit completely upside-down and sideways, came on the air after the Anniversary March to proclaim No Republicans Were Invited, but as Roll Call has shown, they were. But in the midst of his bogus complaint, O'Reilly may have revealed one of the primary reasons that the GOP were all too afraid to show up.

“Today’s event excluded black Republicans and conservatives,” O’Reilly observed. “All the speakers were Democrats. That was a glaring error and does not indicate a desire for inclusion.

Many of the speeches were uplifting and respecting to America, but not all, according to the Factor host. Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said this: “Somewhere along the way, white sheets were traded for buttoned down white shirts. Attack dogs and water hoses were traded for Tasers and widespread implementation of stop and frisk policies. Nooses were traded for handcuffs.”  

O’Reilly called it “grievance mongering” and said it doesn’t help civil rights.

Turning to the president’s speech, O’Reilly criticized his comments on the illusiveness of achieving the American dream. “Whose fault is that? The reason working Americans are having such a hard time is twofold. First, Mr. Obama’s attempt to manage the economy from Washington – that has largely failed. The private sector must drive economic expansion, not the Feds.”

Secondly, he said that the skill level of many Americans has declined. “Even if jobs become more plentiful, you have to be able to do them, you have to speak proper English, be able to do basic math and conduct yourself responsibly. Millions of Americans have not mastered the basics of the marketplace.” [...]

O’Reilly called it an important and accurate statement, but also charged that the president and civil rights leaders want the government to provide for those who fail, even if it’s their own fault. “The left wants paternalism, cradle-to-grave protections. And if you oppose that philosophy, there’s something wrong with you, and in some cases, they’ll accuse you of bigotry.

Now O'Reilly has since corrected his mistake on Republicans not being invited, but in the meanwhile what O'Reilly betrays here is that He Doesn't Believe in the Dream that King put forward.  And he certainly doesn't think government should take a stand to protect and enable that dream becoming a reality.  He thinks the "Private Sector" should do it, when as I pointed out in my last diary - that when it was solely up to them The Private Sector FAILED for a Century, prior to the Civil Rights Act, to bring about anything remotely resembling racial or social justice, what in the world makes anyone think that would change now?

The GOP doesn't believe in the Civil Rights Act, and consequently they don't truly honor Dr. King's achievement and they were afraid that if they said that publicly they be excoriated as "Racist".

Because that is, kinda Racist.

As I said the other day, we don't have a Crippling Racial Divide, we have a Crippling Partisan Divide. This probably wasn't about the crowd being mostly black, it was probably about them being mostly Democrats and Progressives because it was the Progressive Wings of both the Democratic and Republican Party that passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts in the first place. And Conservatives can't stand it.

They can't even bring themselves to come and join with their fellow Americans over something like this, yet I've had Conservatives repeatedly argue to me that They Are the True Civil Rights Leaders and that Democrats are simply the Klan in disguise, leading Blacks down a primrose path of self-destruction.  Public Conservatives don't have the guts, or the lack of brain cells, to speak this way openly.  However, Ted Nugent does.  He thinks President Johnson, who signed the Civil Rights Act, did more to hurt Black people Than the KKK and Slavery Combined.  Yes, he seriously said that.

   While the stains of institutional racism have faded into our nation's past, Dr. King's dream of economic equality remains unfulfilled for many black Americans who remain mired in poverty.

    Just one year after Dr. King delivered his memorable speech, President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society began a systematic and engineered welfare juggernaut that would do more damage, cause more harm and become responsible for more destruction to black America than the evils of slavery and the KKK combined.

    President Johnson's Great Society's War on Poverty has turned out to be, for all practical and statistical purposes, a War on Black America.

Y'see, the BPP (Black People Problem) isn't continued discrimination done in secret, or systematically embedded into our policing and hiring policies.  That's "Greivance Politics" according to O'Reilly.  The true B.P.P. comes from Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP, WIC and SNAP. Those are the things that are Holding Black People Back.  Sure, yeah, Right.  But it's not "Racist" to say so is it?

Here's some actual reporting on the impact of the Great Society by Dylan Matthews at the Wapo.

First, there was a huge fall in the poverty rate throughout the 1960s, and in particular after LBJ announced the War on Poverty in 1964 and followed up with Medicaid, Medicare, greater federal housing spending, and other programs to fight that war. In 1964, the poverty rate was 19 percent. Ten years later, it was 11.2 percent, and it has not gone above 15.2 percent any year since then. Contrary to what you may have heard, the best evidence indicates that the War on Poverty made a real and lasting difference.
Here's a chart from Media Matters just to put some visuals to those numbers.
Even though there were several factors involved, it's obvious - despite Nugent's delusions - that poverty went Up Under Reagan, then dropped and went Up again under Bush 41, then declined under Clinton and went Up Yet Again Under Bush 43, and we're still suffering under the effects if HIS Great Recession today largely because of Rank Republican Obstruction to things like a Jobs Bill, or for that matter - a Budget!

So let's just be clear here.  Republicans may claim that they are the true Champions of Liberty but what, exactly what, have they ever done to improve those stats?  Looking at the facts, they've repeatedly made it worse.  Right now they're holding up the Farm Bill just to enact further cuts to SNAP- because - too much Lobster & Sushi, not enough Beans.  The entire raison d'etre of the Tea Party is to significantly reduce Social Spending on the Poor and on the disenfranchised, on those who are the most in need because they believe that they "don't deserve it", they they "won't take responsibility for their lives", that it is "coddling them", they believe - despite the clear improvements in the poverty rate after the Great Society - that the safety net has turned into a hammock.

Yet they don't look at the impact of policing policies that destroy the employment options and future dreams  including their ability to be an effective parent - of so many young black men at an early age.  I mean, why fix a broken public policy like the dropout-to-prison-pipeline if you don't have to?  We have a new report from Oakland that shows that young black youth are being arrested at a stunningly disproportionate rate and that after that arrest 78% are freed without a charge.

African-American youth in Oakland, Calif. are arrested — but then not charged — at “vastly disproportionate” rates compared to others, which raises troubling questions about police interactions with some of the city’s most vulnerable young people, according to a report released this week by civil rights advocates.

During a five-year period between 2008 and 2012, black children represented 29 percent of Oakland’s school-age population but 78 percent of the more than 13,680 juveniles arrested — mostly by city police — and referred to the Alameda County Probation Department, according to the study, “From Report Card to Criminal Record.”

“Shockingly,” the report also says, more than half of those arrests did not lead to charges or further involvement by probation officials. Black kids represented 78 percent of the youths whose arrests were not “sustained” in the end, according to an analysis of information obtained by the report’s authors.

So this begs the question, why were they even arrested in the first place?  Breathing While Black?  Why are 88% of the persons stopped and frisked in New York not charged with anything, not found with anything illegal, and NOT Cited?  What in the world did they Stop them For in the first place except as a method to Intimidate Them? What is the purpose other than to keep them in a paralyzing fear of the next stop?  And the Stop after that? And the one after that?  Is that what living in the "Land of the Free" means?

Republicans know, that if they had attended the March, This would have been brought up and addressed.  And in fact it was addressed, multiple times.

And they can't stand to listen to it.  They think this is "White Blaming" although clearly not everyone involved in crafting or implementing these misguided policies are White.  Far from it. Yet, they can't stand to sit there and listen to the virtues of the Voting Rights Act be extolled while they consider the very implementation of that act to be a "Racial Entitlement" as Justice Scalia opined earlier this year as the SCOTUS struck down it's most effective clause.

They couldn't show up, because then people would see exactly who and what the GOP is today.  They are what Ed Schultz recently suggested in one of his online polls.

They are the New Confederacy.

They stand for States Rights over National Unity and Human Rights, for Corporate and Property Rights over the Rights of Individuals, whether they be workers or consumers.  They stand for the Obstruction and Nullification of Federal Laws like Obamacare, which would lower costs and bring health care to 30 Million American who can't get it or can't afford it and they are Proud of That Shit.  They attack Reproductive Rights around the Country and wonder why people call their policies a "War On Women".  They attack Gays and complain that they are called "Bigots", they attack minorities and immigrants and wonder why they can't get any of them to vote Republican?  Well, Duh! They Fear that what they believe in would be called "Racist" before a crowd like the one who would travel, and stand and march for the Dream that Dr. King laid out 50 years ago.

They wouldn't be entirely wrong about that. It does seem "Racist", doesn't it?

Whether it is or not may be debatable, but there is one thing that it definitely is IMO. Assholish!


Originally posted to Vyan on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders and Barriers and Bridges.

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