A longer-lived staple of conservative anti-racist cred has been their effusions over Martin Luther King, Jr. Yes, back in the old days they hated King ("For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country" -- National Review. More here!). But when things got a little hot for them, bigotry-wise, they shifted to declaring King a good conservative; on every MLK Day, in and among their many confused tributes, you'll see many that insist King's vision of a color-blind society is exactly what conservatives have been trying to do all along. Then they grab parasols and handkerchiefs, burst into "When The Saints Go Marchin' In," and dance around. It's a grisly sight.
But that may be changing. Get a load of this editorial by Jeffrey T. Kuhner in the Washington Times, the Moonie wingnut paper:
Undoubtedly, King deserves much praise...Boy, nobody tell Kuhner about Jack Kennedy, that doorty Irishman! These ancient accusations are the sort of thing white supremacists like to play with, but which leave most of us who are under 80 cold, so Kuhner moves on to the sort of thing everyone in 2011 is worried about:
Yet, there was a dark side to King and it should not be ignored. Its effects continue to plague our society. Contrary to popular myth, the Baptist minister was a hypocrite who consistently failed to uphold his professed Christian standards. His rampant adultery...
Moreover, King was a radical leftist. He promoted socialism, pacifism and the appeasement of totalitarian communism. He opposed the Vietnam War...This is the point in the peroration where a less self-possessed demagogue might start yelling about welfare queens and Cadillacs. But we're not there yet, brothers and sisters (and Jeffrey T. Kuhner may not get there with you, though not for lack of trying); instead he goes here:
At home, he called for heavy public spending, urban renewal and a cradle-to-grave nanny state... racial quotas... affirmative action and billions in welfare assistance... identity politics...
King’s leftism ultimately betrayed his original civil rights creed.Because affirmative action, set-asides, etc. Also, "King’s socialism also convinced many blacks to adopt welfare liberalism."
Gotta give Kuhner credit: This bit about civil rights hurting black people is wingnut SOP of long standing, but it takes some stones to suggest that Martin Luther King is the real racist.
But conservatism has gotten crazy enough that you can try something like that, it seems. Any day now we'll see them burning effigies of Alexander Hamilton because he sold us out to the mercantilists (substitute "Jews" in some jurisdictions). Or maybe Lincoln -- I mean, what was that Civil War about? Statism and giving black people a new bunch of so-called "rights"! The boys at Free Republic have been all over that shit for years; they used to be considered fringe, but compared to what's coming, they're Rockefeller Republicans.