We live in strange times. Do you remember Charles Pickering?

I really hope you do. He was appointed by Bush to serve on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001 but the Democrats blocked him in committee. He was reappointed in 2003 but the Democrats filibustered him. Finally, Bush gave him a recess appointment, but he retired when it became clear that he’d never be confirmed by the Senate.

Why were the Democrats so insistent that this man not serve on the federal bench?

Well, he had a history of doing cute things like reducing the sentences of convicted cross-burners, but there was also this:

[Carroll] Gartin’s papers show conclusively that, contrary to [Mitch] McConnell’s description, Pickering himself was one of those “white citizens and politicians who resisted integration and civil rights,” not someone working to oppose such forces. Instead of “trying to establish better race relations” in the 1960s, Pickering worked to support segregation, attack civil rights advocates who sought to end Jim Crow, and back those who opposed national civil rights legislation, above all the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or, in the words of a public statement he signed in 1967, Pickering wanted to preserve “our southern way of life,” and he bitterly blamed civil rights workers for stirring up “turmoil and racial hatred” in the South.

Charles Pickering has just been announced as the chairman Ben Carson’s campaign in Mississippi.

Now isn’t that politically correct?

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at ProgressPond.com