At the end of a TPM roundup on the embarrassed backtracking of Republicans who originally expressed solidarity with Cliven Bundy, Dylan Scott produces this revealing quote from a Hot Air blogger:

Bundy’s remarks will have fewer real-world consequences than many uttered by Margaret Sanger, yet today she’s a progressive hero and Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are both proud holders of the Margaret Sanger Award, which is named after someone who blithely hoped for government to conduct genocide in American cities. Progs don’t hate all racists or all monsters.

You’re not going to get intellectual consistency out of progressives. You’re only ever going to get childishness and opportunism out of them. So the same people who are today demanding that every single Republican answer for Cliven Bundy, whether we leaped to his defense or not, pretend that Jeremiah Wright doesn’t exist and that Barack Obama did not spend 20 years listening to the reverend’s racist rants. They support Al Sharpton, the racist hoaxer with the shady past who has blood on his hands. They kept a Grand Dragon in the Senate for about a fifth of the life of the republic.

So the most recent so’s-your-old-man example these birds can come up with is Jeremiah Wright, before going back to the activities of Sharpton in the 1980s, Bobby Byrd in the 1940s, and Margaret Sanger in the 1920s (by the 1930s, she was pretty regularly attacking the idea of any government eugenics campaign).

These totemic invocations of long-ago lefty perfidy are obviously aimed at fellow-warriors for The Cause, but if the gap between racist outbursts by the Right’s heroes and counterparts found in a way-back machine continues to grow, it might be time for conservatives to simply disassociate themselves from the Bundys of this world and leave it at that.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.