South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright (R) on Monday managed to invoke topics as disparate as abortion, Islamic extremism and same-sex marriage in a full-throated defense of the Confederate battle flag.
Bright has been one of the most stalwart defenders of the Confederate flag that flies on state Capitol grounds since the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston sparked widespread calls for its removal. In an interview last month, Bright branded the movement to do away with the flag and other symbols of the Confederacy across the deep South a "Stalinist purge."
The lawmaker often digressed as he talked up his proposal for a non-binding referendum to allow voters to counsel their representatives on the flag issue. His proposed amendment was tabled after he wondered aloud why Budweiser wasn't being blamed for the shooting at Emanuel AME church (the shooter had been photographed with the beer) and insisting that the nation as a whole was to be condemned for the sins of slavery.
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