House Democrats working on the annual appropriations bill say that they will force a government shutdown unless the statues of Southern politicians in the Capitol are removed.
The government will technically run out of money on September 30 unless Congress passes appropriations bills. The appropriation for the legislative branch includes the demand that the Confederate statues in public areas be removed and returned to the states that donated them.
The Democrats are also demanding that plaques and markers that honor people with “unambiguous records of racial intolerance” be removed as well.
The move is a political ploy to force Republicans into an uncomfortable political position while displaying their racial bona fides to the mob.
Requiring the removal of Confederate statues in the Capitol almost certainly sinks the bill’s chances of becoming law before government funding runs out at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for the removal of statues amid nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the fate of the markers should be up to states that donated them.
“Every state is allowed two statues. They can trade them out any time,” McConnell told reporters last month. “A number of states are trading them out now, but I think that’s the appropriate way to deal with the statue issue. The states make that decision.”
Perhaps Pelosi and the Democrats can invite the mob to remove the statues themselves. It doesn’t appear there will be anyone to stop them as the Capitol Police are being “reformed” to reflect the new reality.
House Democrats want to flat-fund the Capitol Police at $464 million and aim to increase transparency by urging the force to create a system for public information requests, similar to the Freedom of Information Act process. They would also call on the Capitol Police to report on diversity in the ranks and racial profiling, as well as further explain their jurisdiction and review inspector general reports to decide what can be made public.
McConnell is right, of course. If the states want to remove the statues, let them. I doubt more than a handful of people ever heard of Uriah Milton Rose of Arkansas or Edward Douglas White of Louisiana, and that includes people in Arkansas and Louisiana. But Pelosi and the Democrats want to throw their weight around and picking on statues — especially since they can’t defend themselves — is a pretty safe bet.
There are 11 of the offending statuary in the Capitol plus several plaques, including tributes to Charles Aycock, John C. Calhoun, James Paul Clarke, and Roger B. Taney. The House will hold a separate vote next month to remove the marker honoring Taney, a former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice who never should have been honored in the first place. He gave the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott decision, which ruled that blacks could not be citizens and slavery could be allowed in the territories — a decision that’s a stain on the court to this day.
Another page or two in the history books is being ripped out. And if the Democrats achieve power, expect a lot of book burning parties.