Here's the beginning of today's column by Linda Chavez:
Are the likes of Rand Paul and Russell Pearce becoming the face of the Republican Party?
Let’s hope not.
To put the statement in context, Chavez is a Fox News analyst who worked for Reagan and both Bushes. She's not exactly a liberal stalwart. But she's clearly no friend of Pearce -- she calls him "a nasty piece of work" -- Paul or the trends they represent.
Both men represent the soft underbelly of the populist movement that catapulted them to fame - and a danger to the future of the Republican Party.
Chavez draws a line in the conservative sand when it comes to immigration and civil rights, and she sees the Pearce/Paul wing of the party, which is turning more moderate, sensible Republicans into cowards, as dangerous to the party and the country.
The Republican Party cannot allow extremists to become its public face.
If not for the Republican Party, there would be no Civil Rights Act of 1964. A larger percentage of Republicans than Democrats, 82 percent to 66 percent, supported the landmark bill in the key Senate vote, which led to its final passage.
It’s time the GOP got back to its roots and disavows these ugly sentiments.
Rs can promote the part they played in passing the Civil Rights Act all they want if they are willing to disavow their anti-civil rights, anti-immigration wing like Chavez does in this column. But when they use their 1964 vote as camouflage to cover their Southern Strategy or their current anti-Brown agenda, sorry, that doesn't work.
Kudos to Chavez for having the courage to speak out so clearly.