Democrats were all singing the same tune with the same false notes Thursday, after Speaker Boehner pulled the annual Interior-Environment spending bill from the House floor due to political wrangling over the Confederate flag.
Their attacks seemed almost coordinated as Democrats took to Twitter to race-bait the GOP — even as Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a measure to remove the battle flag from the South Carolina state Capitol. Democrats in the state had passed a law in 1962 stipulating that the Confederate flag had to fly on the Capitol dome. Donks controlled SC state Senate from 1878-1996 and they controlled SC state House from 1876-1994, but it took a Republican woman to finally remove the Confederate flag.
At issue in the U.S . House Thursday were two Democrat amendments that would block gift shops that sell Confederate flag imagery from receiving National Park Service contracts and would block funding for decoration of graves in federal cemeteries with Confederate flags. Some Southern Republicans objected to those measures.
Democrats wasted no time fundraising off of the contentious wrangling.
At the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest took the race-baiting to a new level, sliming Republicans for being “eager to protect the status of the Confederate flag on National Park Service grounds” and suggesting that they are racists in the same mold as David Duke. It was an appalling performance.
These are the same House Republicans who voted for a leader who once described himself as ‘David Duke without the baggage,’ these are the same Congressional Republicans who have declined to criticize the race-baiting rhetoric of a leading Republican presidential candidate. That’s to say nothing of the Senate Republican who saluted that candidate. So when you hear me say that Congressional Republicans have an agenda that is out of step with the vast majority of Americans, this record, at least in part, is what I’m referring to.
The Calvert amendment that was offered Wednesday night – which was pulled along with the bill Thursday morning – was entirely consistent with Obama administration policy, and would have codified the National Park Service’s new, restrictive rules on the use of the Confederate flag on federal property.
The amendment codified a July 29, 2010, Obama administration directive from the National Park Service that specifies how and when the U.S. and POW/MIA flags may be displayed, and significantly restricts the display of the Confederate flag on historic grave sites to certain state-designated Confederate Memorial Days only.
The Obama administration directive noted that it was in effect until amended or rescinded, and the directive has remained in place.
The amendment also codified a June 24, 2015, Obama administration directive from the National Park Service which allows park superintendents to remove Confederate flag-related items from within its concessions and gives them full authority to determine what items may be appropriately sold within concessions located at the site.
Speaker Boehner said, “Look, our members rightly tried to address the concerns yesterday in a way that was consistent with how the Obama administration has handled this issue. And I, frankly, supported the goal of trying to work with all the parties to address their concerns, but listen.”
Conservative activists on Twitter had advice for Republicans going forward:
Should be standard @GOP response – “We’re sorry Josh Earnest & the Obama administration are upset for removing their party Battle flag”
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 9, 2015