Joy Reid compares Republicans to ‘Dixiecrats’ in history hot take, fumes over Judge Jackson opposition

MSNBC’s Joy Reid has some choice words for Senate Republicans who opposed President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. In short, she thinks they’re on the “Dixiecrat side of history,” an obscure reference to long-ago Democratic Party in-fighting over segregation.

Interestingly, the Republican Party never took part in those squabbles, having never been the party of segregation.

“It definitely felt for me like watching the Dixiecrats vs. the northern Democrats in the 1960s on civil rights,” Reid proclaimed on her program “The ReidOut.”

“It sounded like if you put yourself there, that’s how that sounded. Now, I feel like I know how that sounded,” she said.

(Video: MSNBC)

The Senate voted 53-47 on Monday to proceed with a confirmation vote for Jackson’s nomination. But not all was smooth sailing—before the vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked in an 11-11 vote, without a single Republican member supporting Jackson’s nomination.

Meanwhile, during her Senate confirmation hearings, several Republican senators grilled Jackson over previous rulings. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) took the opportunity to ask her some serious questions about her lenient sentencing of convicted sex offenders, which led to criticisms and backlash from the usual suspects. The questioning, however, was entirely restricted to Jackson’s professional conduct and rulings throughout her career as a judge, which is a matter of public record and is entirely fair game.

This is in stark contrast to the modus operandi frequently employed by Democrats during judicial confirmation hearings for Supreme Court candidates nominated by Republican presidents. The extremely personal and vicious nature of the attacks launched against Justice Clarence Thomas and, more recently, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, deliberately avoided each nominee’s unimpeachable record and instead focused on unproven and unprovable allegations of sexual misdeeds.

Even so, the fact that anyone could subject Jackson to even the mildest of questioning about her judicial record is evidence to Joy Reid of latent and systemic racism in the Republican Party. Along with her guest, the failed New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley, Reid mused that the reason Republicans opposed Jackson’s nomination is because they represent the newest incarnation of the old Dixiecrats. This is a reference to the States’ Rights Democratic Party, which split off from the Democrat Party in 1948 following President Truman’s integration of the military.

The party, comprising mainly of Democrats from southern states, didn’t last for long and was disbanded after Truman’s victory in 1948. But they continued to exert a powerful influence on the Democratic Party, opposing desegregation efforts into the 1960s.

“Do you think ultimately, the history books, do you think they’ll even care that they’ll come down on the Dixiecrat side of history here?” Reid wondered in the segment.

Perhaps not aware that the question was rhetorical and mainly intended for the benefit of the program’s liberal viewership, Maya Wiley proffered a tentative and somewhat confused answer: “I won’t say that I know the answer to that question, Joy, but I will say this: I certainly hope so.”

It’s unclear whether Wiley meant that she hoped Republicans do care that they’ll come down on the Dixiecrat side of history, or whether she simply hopes the history books will condemn Republicans as being on the Dixiecrat side of history.

Either way, Reid and Wiley are certain Republicans are on the wrong side of history, and they want you to know it.


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Todd Jaquith


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