Progressives haven’t cornered the market on reasoned debate, but reading what passes for conservative thinking these days can make you think so.

I’m thinking it because of the latest Boston Phoenix, which has letters to the editor reacting to a “Boycott Rush Limbaugh” editorial. I’m not going to waste time reminding anyone why the Phoenix suggests boycotting Limbaugh or picking apart the whole of the outraged responses.

But there is one part of one letter that stands out as being particularly worthy of comment. Someone signing themselves “OTTEHG56” says:

The hypocrisy from the left is breathtaking. Did anyone hear from the Left Stream Media when Air America radio’s Montel Williams urged Rep. Michelle Bachmann to kill herself, or the recent attack on Catholics from a Huffington Post “writer”? As for your editorial, there is no right to health insurance; employers decide whether or not to provide it. And while Limbaugh’s choice of words wasn’t good, he wasn’t wrong. [Georgetown University Law student Sandra] Fluke wants to be able to have sex when she wants, and she wants the rest of us to pay for her contraception. Of course, she could just get pregnant and abort the child in her womb. No doubt she’d want the rest of us to pay for that, too. Finally, before you go claiming the entire Republican party is filled with hate, you might want to check the party affiliation of Lester Maddox, former Klansman Sen. Robert Bryd, and most of the southern Democrats of the ’50s and ’60s, many of whom opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Emphasis mine. But the prize-winning weird thing about the letter is that the editorial specifically calls out Maddox:

There is no doubt that Limbaugh belongs in the soreheads hall of fame, nestled in between Senator Joe “There is a Commie under every bed” McCarthy and Lester “Let’s beat the Negroes with ax handles” Maddox.

While it doesn’t specify Maddox was a Democrat, which he was, the editorial does include him. The Phoenix (and by extension, I guess, the rest of the “Left Steam Media”) can hardly be accused of running from a Democrat segregationist when it displays him as a racist so prominently.

But the main thing about this argument: Before anyone claims “the entire Republican party is filled with hate” right now, we should be looking at “most of the southern Democrats of the ’50s and ’60s, many of whom” were demonstrably racist four or five decades ago?

It might be time to move on, folks.