As you might recall last week, I singled out Fred Thompson’s response to the Confederate Flag question during the recent Republican CNN/YouTube debate. It was a shocking moment of clarity, conscience and tolerance from a Republican since their M.O. for the past few elections has been careful to include racism, race-baiting and ethnic tension.

The fact that a Republican candidate could actually comprehend that a symbol that some in the South may dubiously see as “heritage” represents a legacy of terrorism and oppression to others was refreshing. Personally, I see a Confederate flag and a chill runs down my spine to the sinking feeling of dread in my stomach. Not good.

Yet it’s not surprising sadly that some Republicans had trouble with this. The problem with winking at and even cultivating racism in your party platform is that it attracts embarrassing racists wearing unfashionable Confederate flags…

From CNN’s Political Ticker:

Clad in jackets bearing the Confederate flag and holding signs reading “South Carolina hates Fred Thompson” and “Fred Thompson go home,” the protesters said Thompson was not a “true southerner.”

Jim Hanks, chairman of the South Carolina League of the South, said that Thompson’s answer at the debate was worse than Romney’s because Thompson is from a southern state.

“He’s masquerading as a good ole boy,” Hanks said.

Asked about the flag during last week’s debate, Thompson said that, “as far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capital.”

But the former Senator from Tennessee qualified his statement: “As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that’s different.”

The Confederate flag on display at the South Carolina Statehouse waves next to the Confederate soldier monument there.

“The flag stands right next to the Confederate Memorial on the capitol grounds, honoring, as Fred says, the ‘various service people at different times and different parts of the country,'” said Thompson spokesman Todd Harris after the debate.

As a commenter wrote:

Fred Thompson’s done pissed off ’em hillbillies.

Posted By Bryan, CA : December 6, 2007 3:40 am

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