Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Coburn are pandering to the worst in their party.

From Daily Kos, I see that Tom Coburn would rather not prosecute the murderers of civil rights workers, either. Like Lynn Westmoreland, he too believes that $57 million is too much to spend for justice, but not too much to spend for 20 out of 700 miles of useless fence on the Mexico border.

No one is foolish enough to believe that this is about money, are they? No one but the AJC, I mean.

This is a dog whistle, a message to the worst of the worst of the Republican base, telling them that the lives of those murdered in the struggle for civil rights are worth no more to some in government today than they were forty years ago.

Again, John Lewis:

Compare the statement from Lynn Westmoreland's representative: "It's creating a new bureaucracy where existing law enforcement divisions can handle the caseload. . . . This was named for Emmett Till and that's illustrative of the point. The guy who killed him has been dead for many, many years. We can't prosecute dead people."

It's astonishing in its ignorance. Not because James Ford Seale was recently convicted for the 1964 murders of Charles Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, thus illustrating that the criminals of the civil rights era still live, but because Lynn Westmoreland himself is not young. He was born in 1950. He was a child at the time of Till's murder, a teenager at the time of the murders of Medgar Evers, Viola Liuzzo, Andy Goodman, Ben Chaney and Mickey Schwerner. They were his contemporaries. He could have known them as friends and neighbors, they were so close in age. But he speaks of them as if their lives were ancient history.

I want to say I don't understand it, but I do, and it's so disheartening.