Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has busted the Bush Administration for hypocrisy on the issue of race.
It turns out that the White House had a little tradition, started by Woodrow Wilson almost 100 years ago, of sending a wreath on Memorial Day to decorate the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. The reason? To honor Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy and therefore perhaps the biggest American segregationist who ever lived. Back in 1990, however, George Bush Senior, to his credit, put an end to the practice, and that was the last time a President sent a wreath to honor a segregationist.
Until 2001, when Bush Junior took office — when the wreaths started being sent again!
That’s right — after an eleven-year hiatus, Bush went out of his way to re-start this practice, and (so far) the outrage that sent Trent Lott packing hasn’t landed on Bush’s doorstep yet. Considering how willing Bush was to throw Lott to the sharks the minute he became politically burdensome, I bet ol’ Trent’s having a pretty happy time today.
Suppose it’s appropriate that this news should come out on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — somewhere, MLK is probably spinning in his grave…
UPDATE: Well, now it looks like Time.com, the source of Marshall’s story, has retracted their original article, so I suppose I owe Bush and Co. an apology. Consider it extended.