February 14, 2011 9:52AM

Conservatives and Civil Rights

In my latest weekly posting on the Britannica blog, I take a brief look at conservative resistance to civil rights, from the early days of National Review to the latest CPAC kerfuffle:

In the 1960s and 1970s conservatives were bitter opponents of the feminist movement.… Phyllis Schlafly organized women to Stop the Equal Rights Amendment.

But in 2008 conservatives adamantly insisted that a mother of five, one of them a special‐​needs infant and another a pregnant teenager, could easily serve as vice president of the United States. “It’s a slam dunk. I think that people who are concerned about ‘How conservative is Mr. McCain’ are now going to say, ‘If he can make a choice of Sarah Palin, then he can be trusted with our conservative ideals,’ ” said Cathie Adams, Republican National Committeewoman‐​elect and president of the Texas Eagle Forum (founded by Schlafly), to the Houston Chronicle. Young conservative pundit Amanda Carpenter said it was sexist to question the ability of a busy mother to handle the White House, too.

Now the battle is over gay rights