The classical poet A.E. Housman wrote, “For nature, heartless, witless nature…” He might have said the same thing about history which like nature is neither cruel nor kind, right or wrong; it is simply indifferent. It has, as they say, no dog in the fight.
If, however, one is looking back and telling history it might then be said that one is right or wrong about history. One might say as much about Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who was wrong about history in his remarks accusing Republicans opposed to Democratic healthcare reform of using the same stalling tactics as the defenders of slavery and Jim Crow.
In remarks intended to further paint the political right as immoral, racist and evil, Reid offered that, "Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right…When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.' "
Reid is obviously confused. Republicans have no power to block passage of the senate healthcare reform bill. Nor are Republicans delaying passage of Obamacare. If Healthcare reform is being delayed and/or eventually dies it will be because one or more of Reid’s fellow Democrats decided to do the right thing and kill this Frankenbill where it lays.
Ironically, had Reid been speaking to Democrats he would not only have been currently correct, but historically accurate as well.
It was of course the Democrat Party that was late recognizing the wrongs of slavery; it was Democrats that wrote the Jim Crow laws and enforced them with fire hoses and attack dogs; it was the progressive hero Woodrow Wilson who segregated the federal government and locked Blacks out of jobs; it was the democrat party that filibustered passage of the civil rights acts of 1964 and ’65 and in fact has opposed every piece of civil rights legislation written since the end of the civil war.
Reid’s remarks might also be more properly directed at Democrats given that the reasoning used by new liberals of the 21st century and Democrats of the 19th century bear a striking similarity.