These old dudes voted against MLK Day in ’83

Most of the people who were against honoring Martin Luther King Jr. with a national holiday have either retired or passed away. But eight congressman who voted against the holiday remain in office today. Wonder what they did with their day off?

At least some of them, such as John McCain and Orrin Hatch, have the decency to be embarrassed about it. Back when he was running for president, McCain noted:

I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans.

Hatch wrote in a 2007 essay that he had been dumb, too.

While he was a great leader who deserved to be revered for generations, I could think of other great men in our nation’s history who did not have commemorative holidays …. Why, I argued, should we ask taxpayers to pay $1 billion a year in lost productivity … to elevate Dr. King above any of these historical figures? … [I] failed to realize … that this holiday was more than just celebrating the life of one man. Dr. King represented the courage, conviction, and dedication of millions throughout America.

How did you honor Dr. King yesterday?

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