Hateful CNN: GOP Taking Rights From Minorities Like South After Reconstruction

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On his eponymous Tuesday night show, CNN host Don Lemon hyped an article by Ron Brownstein in which the liberal CNN political analyst likened red states to the Southern states that imposed racial segregation after the Civil War. Lemon further injected race by declaring that Republicans are motivated by a backlash against people who are “not white” gaining rights.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m. Eastern, Lemon previewed the segment by intoning: “Red states in a full-on offensive to roll back LGBTQ rights, abortion rights and more — how they’re doing it and why it could — it could get worse. And it could get worse than it is now. We’ll talk about that next.”

A few minutes later, Lemon set up the discussion: ”So red states and Republican-appointed judges are engaged in a multi-state offensive to control national policy and to roll back rights even though Democrats are in power. That is according to CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein…”

After introducing Brownstein, Lemon posed: “So, listen, an expert, you know, you spoke with said division hasn’t been this bad since the Civil War. What?”

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Citing University of Maryland professor Don Kettle, Brownstein asserted that he “says the only thing comparable to what we’re watching now among the red states is what we saw in the backlash that developed in the South against Reconstruction decades after the Civil War that ultimately led to Separate But Equal and Plessy versus Ferguson in 1896.”

The two then engaged in projection by accusing Republicans of being the ones who use the courts to impose their agenda even though liberals have long used court rulings instead of actually passing parts of their agenda legislatively:

LEMON: Can you talk about this very strategic, years-long process to use the judicial system as a political tool. I mean, we all see it at the Supreme Court, but it goes well beyond that.

BROWNSTEIN: Right, I mean, look, certainly in the career of someone as emblematic as Mitch McConnell there has been no higher goal throughout his entire career than placing as many Republican judges and justices on the courts as he could…

Lemon concluded by accusing Republicans of opposing rights for racial minorities:

LEMON: And it always happens when you try to expand rights for people who are, you know, not white. That’s when it happens.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, yeah.

LEMON: Pay attention, people.

This episode of Don Lemon Reports was sponsored in part by Arby’s and Gold Bond. Click on the links to let them know what you think. 

Transcript follows. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN’s Don Lemon Tonight

July 26, 2022

11:29 p.m. Eastern

DON LEMON (before commercial break): Red states in a full-on offensive to roll back LGBTQ rights, abortion rights and more — how they’re doing it and why it could — it could get worse. And it could get worse than it is now. We’ll talk about that next.

(…)

11:33 Eastern

LEMON: So red states and Republican-appointed judges are engaged in a multi-state offensive to control national policy and to roll back rights even though Democrats are in power. That is according to CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein who joins me now. Fascinating article on CNN.com. … So, listen, an expert, you know, you spoke with said division hasn’t been this bad since the Civil War. What?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, look, Don Kettl — who is former dean of the University of Maryland Public Policy School and author of many books on state-federal relations — says the only thing comparable to what we’re watching now among the red states is what we saw in the backlash that developed in the South against Reconstruction decades after the Civil War that ultimately led to Separate But Equal and Plessy versus Ferguson in 1896.

I mean, I think what we are watching, as you noted, is a multi-front effort by the red states with the support of Republican-appointed judges and justices, and the important blocking action of Republicans in the Senate to roll back the rights revolution of the past six decades to move social policies sharply to the right on everything from abortion to LGBTQ rights to classroom censors to book bans to voting.

And at the same time, how will the ability of either the federal government of their own local large metro areas which are trending blue has set a different course. it really adds up to, I think, an effort to create a nation within a nation that is fundamentally rejecting many of the cultural, demographic and economic changes reshaping America in the 21st century.

LEMON: Can you talk about this very strategic, years-long process to use the judicial system as a political tool. I mean, we all see it at the Supreme Court, but it goes well beyond that.

BROWNSTEIN: Right, I mean, look, certainly in the career of someone as emblematic as Mitch McConnell there has been no higher goal throughout his entire career than placing as many Republican judges and justices on the courts as he could…

(…)

This is a battle that I think is only going to intensify in the years ahead that’s only going to become more fraught because of the Supreme Court’s, I think, clear willingness to put a thumb on the scale at least, you know, maybe a whole hand on the scale in favor of what the red states want to do, blocking what blue states want to do, and blocking what a Democratic-led federal government wants to do. We saw this pressure build up in the 1850s with the Dred Scott decision.

We saw it again in the 1930s when we saw the Supreme Court blocked the New Deal — original New Deal legislation. in each case, there were escape valves, you know, took the fight in a different direction — or to call the Civil War an “escape valve” may be, you know, kind of a strange statement, but i think that we are just heading for rising social and political tension as the red states try to, in effect, run the country from low.

LEMON: And it always happens when you try to expand rights for people who are, you know, not white. That’s when it happens.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah, yeah.

LEMON: Pay attention, people.

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