If you were Haley Barbour's political consultant, and he had indicated his intention to make his reported remarks about the White Citizens Council, would you have counseled him to reconsider? I sure would have.
That said, there was a hypocritical double-standard on display by the Morning Joe folks who turned Haley slowly over a spit today. Hat tip NB reader Ray R.
Eugene Robinson took the lead in belting Barbour for sending his children to private schools in Mississippi rather than to local public schools attended by black children. Joe Scarborough chimed in with his Mississippi-childhood recollections of such post-integration private academies springing up. Mike Barnicle did his bit, contributing the tale of whites in South Boston pulling their kids out of integrated public schools in favor of parochial and private ones.
One thing was missing from the conversational mix, however: any reference to the tradition of Dems in DC--from Bill and Hillary, to the Gores, to of course the Obamas--sending their kids [or in the case of the Bidens, grandkids] to tony private schools like Sidwell Friends rather than to the heavily African-American public DC schools.
Watch the convenient selective memory on display.
EUGENE ROBINSON: When the schools were integrated, then what happened, well, the whites formed a segregation academy, a private academy, where they all sent their kids, leaving the public schools to the black kids. So people are going to want to know: well, Haley Barbour, when you had kids, where'd you send them to school? Did you send them to the public school? My understanding is that he didn't. He sent them to the academy, and you know, that sort of question --
JOE SCARBOROUGH: By the way, that is one thing that I do remember. These little academies, seriously, would just crop up in the middle of like farm fields. It was like, they'd build a house, and that was where a lot of the kids would go.
MIKE BARNICLE: You can fast-forward from Yazoo City, Mississippi in the '50s to Boston, Massachusetts in the mid-1970s at the height of the bussing crisis.
ROBINSON: Oh yeah.
BARNICLE: When white children were withdrawn from public schools and sent to parochial schools and newly-formed academies.
I'm particularly struck by the willingness of Mike Barnicle, self-styled champion of the proles, to throw his plebeian brothers under the bus, you should excuse the pun, while not breathing a word of the practices of the Dem ruling classes.