Pat Buchanan: Does the South belong in the Union?
The first ended with the withdrawal of Union troops from the Southern states as part of a deal that gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency after the disputed election of 1876.
What the Supreme Court did Tuesday, in letting the South out of the box, is to declare that, as this is not 1965, you cannot use abuses that date to 1965, but have long since disappeared, to justify indefinite federal discrimination against the American South.
Does this mean the South is now free to discriminate again?
Even the "pre-clearance" provision of the VRA remains. All the court has said is that if Congress wishes to impose a pre-clearance provision on a state or group of states, Congress must have more evidence to justify unequal treatment than what "Bull" Connor did in Birmingham back in 1965.
What Congress can no longer do is impose conditions on Southern states from which Northern states are exempt. Washington can no longer treat the states unequally — for that, too, is a violation of the Constitution.
Yet the hysterical reaction to the decision reveals a great deal.
What do critics say they are afraid of?
While conceding that immense progress has been made with the huge turnout of black voters in the South and the re-election of a black President, they say they fear that without the pre-clearance provision this would never have happened. And now that the provision no longer applies to the South, the evil old ways will return.
For what the critics of the court decision are saying is that, no matter the progress made over half a century, they do not trust the South to deal fairly and decently with its black citizens, without a club over its head. They do not believe the South has changed in its heart from the days of segregation.
Many liberals not only do not trust the South, some detest it. And many seem to think it deserves to be treated differently than the more progressive precincts of the nation.
Were a conservative to use the term "black" as a slur the way Meyerson spits out the word "white," he would be finished at the Post. Meyerson's summation:
Pat Buchanan is a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, an adviser to two Presidents, a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C., and the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"
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