Haley Barbour, that old Nit Diddler, is at it again. In preparation for a run for the White House he is working hard to lock down the hard white vote. Steve Benen details Haley’s fondness for the White Citizens Councils of the Mississippi he knew as a lad. Barbour recalls fondly in a Weekly Standard interview how the decades-old white supremacy organization ‘helped’ to keep his home state calm during the Civil Rights era. The Citizens Councils grew out of the anti-Reconstruction terrorism of the 1870s and was still a terrorist organization during Barbour’s formative years. I guess Haley liked the way they dealt with all that Northern agitation for justice and shit.
Of course that doesn’t mean that Haley hasn’t learned to be sensitive about questions of race. Ben Smith noted Barbour’s sensitivity to race in item about an old campaign of the Nit Diddler from years ago:
But the racial sensitivity at Barbour headquarters was suggested by an exchange between the candidate and an aide who complained that there would be ”coons” at a campaign stop at the state fair. Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.
Then as now, the real crime was that a reporter heard the remark.
Perhaps the Nit Diddler is in the news today to help celebrate the 150 Anniversary of South Carolina’s act of treason that put the Nation firmly on the path to Civil War. One wonders if the Nit Diddler will be at SCV Ball or if he’ll just wait a few weeks for the 1-9-11 SCV Ball in Mississippi. And when they tell you the the Civil War wasn’t about slavery and racism–just remember that it was. And when Governor Nit Diddler claims to have moved past these issues–just remember that he hasn’t.