Watching TV this week, at first I thought Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul had flown a commercial jet into the World Trade Center. But then it turned out that he had only said there ought to be discussion about whether federal civil rights laws should be applied to private businesses.
This allowed the mainstream media to accuse Paul of being a racist. Twisting a conservative's words in order to accuse him of racism was evidently more urgent news than the fact that the attorney general of the United States admitted last week -- under oath in a congressional hearing -- that he had not read the 10-page Arizona law on illegal immigration, the very law he was noisily threatening to overturn.
And really, how could the U.S. attorney general have time to read a 10-page law when he's busy doing all the Sunday morning TV shows condemning it?
Eric Holder's astonishing admission was completely ignored by ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, Time or Newsweek, according to Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.
I just want to say: I think it's fantastic that the Democrats have finally come out against race discrimination. Any day now, maybe they'll come out for fighting the Cold War. Perhaps 100 years from now, they'll be ready to fight the war on terrorism or champion the rights of the unborn.
It would be a big help, though, if Democrats could support good causes when it mattered.
But as long as the media are so fascinated with the question of why anyone would want to "discuss" certain aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, maybe they should ask Al Gore why his father was one of the leading opponents of the bill.
Or they could ask Bill Clinton, whose mentor, Sen. William Fulbright, actively supported segregation and also voted against the bill. Or they could talk to the only current member of the Senate to vote against it, Democrat Bob Byrd.
As with the 1957 and 1960 civil rights acts, it was Republicans who passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act by huge majorities. A distinctly smaller majority of Democrats voted for it.
In the Senate, for example, 82 percent of Republicans voted for the act, compared with only 66 percent of Democrats. In the House, 80 percent of Republicans supported the law, compared with only 63 percent of Democrats.
With even all Democrats coming aboard on opposition to race discrimination (and it only took them 45 years!) I think we can stipulate that everyone in America is opposed to discrimination against blacks.
Now let's talk about the "civil rights" lawsuits that are actually brought in modern America. Today's "civil rights" lawsuits have nothing to do with black Americans. Worse, blacks are used as props to benefit the Democrats' favored constituencies: feminists and trial lawyers.
Democratic political consultant Bob Shrum pioneered the technique, running ads against Republican Ellen Sauerbrey in the 1998 Maryland gubernatorial race, accusing her of having "a civil rights record to be ashamed of." To really drive the point home, Shrum's ads showed sad-looking black people in front of a mural of Africa.
Of course, if I were forced to appear in political ads for Bob Shrum, I'd be sad, too.
But the only "civil rights" bill that Sauerbrey opposed had nothing to do with blacks. It was a sexual harassment bill that was so silly that Democrats in the Maryland legislature helped kill it.
Similarly, the vast bulk of "civil rights" lawsuits today have nothing to do with race. Although plaintiffs will jam every possible allegation of discrimination in their complaints, in 2009, according to the website of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, 65 percent of all civil rights claims brought had absolutely nothing to do with race discrimination.
These days, a typical federal "civil rights" case is the one brought this year by the Game Fowl Breeders Association in New Mexico claiming their "civil rights" have been violated by a state law banning cockfighting. Another modern "civil rights" lawsuit charged that a McDonald's restaurant violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by hanging a bathroom mirror two inches too high for people in wheelchairs. The error was made when employees replaced the original mirror, which had been destroyed by vandals, with a shorter one.
The restaurant owner, Ron Piazza, corrected the problem as soon as it was brought to his attention, but he got sued anyway. Curiously, the plaintiffs had retained their McDonalds' receipts, allowing them to claim damages for 27 separate visits to the restaurant.
And of course there are all the lesbians shutting down high school proms across the country because they can't take their girlfriends to the dance as the Founding Fathers intended.
This year's graduating class at Itawamba Agricultural High School in rural Mississippi will never have a school senior prom because the ACLU brought a lawsuit on behalf of Constance McMillen demanding that she be allowed to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.
With cockfighting bans and heterosexual proms, Martin Luther King's work remains unfinished!
Half a century ago, Democrats beat up the Freedom Riders. Today the Democrats insult the Freedom Riders by comparing them to irritating lesbians, lawsuit-happy disabled persons and cockfighters.
The question is not whether the federal government should be telling private businesses they can't engage in race discrimination. The question is whether federal civil rights laws should prevent any discrimination other than race discrimination.