Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday compared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to infamous Southern segregationists Lester Maddox and George Wallace, because he is blocking the appointment of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate.
Bristling over how the media has covered the Senate’s refusal to seat Burris, Limbaugh blamed “a few extremist liberal racists and others” for questioning whether President-elect Barack Obama and Burris are “authentically black enough.”
Conservatives, he said, do not think in such terms.
“You’ve got a guy who’s legit, he’s qualified, and according to the Chicago Tribune today he’s ‘authentically black,’” Limbaugh told listeners. “And a bunch of white people would not let him in the door, would not let him use the restroom or the drinking water. Now what are we to make of this?”
Had Republicans refused to seat a legally qualified African-American appointee, Limbaugh said, the media coverage would have been much different.
“If Harry Reid were a Republican … he would have been stoned and pilloried, they would have demanded his ouster for his lack of sensitivity,” Limbaugh charged.
Limbaugh continued his broadside against progressive hypocrisy on matters of race: “They are compassionate and feeling, and they love minorities and they want minorities to excel -- except, except when the minorities get too uppity. And then it’s time to revert to Bull Connor, or, in this case, Lester Maddox.
“What’s the difference in dingy Harry and Lester Maddox? George Wallace? Remember, all these great segregationists of the past are Democrats. It’s in the blood, and it’s showing up on the steps of the United States Senate,” Limbaugh said.
Lester Maddox is the late Georgia governor who defended states’ rights and was considered an advocate for segregation during the Civil Rights era. Bull Connor was the public safety commissioner of Birmingham, Ala., who used fire hoses to attack civil-rights marchers. Wallace, a former governor of Alabama, was an opponent of desegregation who ran for the presidency on four occasions.
Limbaugh said that Democrats, by their treatment of Burris, are “in the process of delegitimizing themselves.”
Embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris to fill the seat vacated by Obama. Limbaugh warned Democrats are on “thin Constitutional ice” in their refusal to accept Burris as a member of the Senate.
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