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Tilting at Windmills

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July 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From George Bush, on the passing of Jesse Helms:

Jesse Helms was a kind, decent, and humble man and a passionate defender of what he called "the Miracle of America." So it is fitting that this great patriot left us on the Fourth of July.

Uh huh. I guess Bush must figure that even 10% of the black vote is 10% more than the GOP needs. This should just about do the trick of getting it down to zero.

Kevin Drum 2:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (98)

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Comments

Yeah, Jesse's humility really showed through in all his kind and decent dealings with gay Americans.

Posted by: K on July 5, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I've always been told that one should say nothing but good about the deceased. So:

Jesse Helms is dead. Good.

Posted by: editer on July 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

I generally tend to take a longer & somewhat charitable view on these things, figuring that most folks, even if they happen to be incredible fuck-ups, generally mean well, and that pretty much everybody was loved by least someone in his or her life, so s/he can't be all bad. That said, the world will not miss Jesse Helms. He was a vindictive sonofabitch whose biggest regret was that a growing majority of the nation finally got its head around the idea that black folks are human beings and therefore entitled to every last right & privilege that white folks have. He was a scheming bigot who relished every last bit of power he could wield over somebody else. He was, in short, an opportunistic bully who lived longer & better than he had a right to; he was an embarrassment to every North Carolinians who never voted for him; he was a national disgrace. Good riddance.

Posted by: junebug on July 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I spent some time in SC. Helms was considered to be a divine figure there - he and Strom must have joined up, but I think they're surprised as to their destination. :-)

Posted by: SteinL on July 5, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

[Anonymous trolling deleted]

Posted by: on July 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure his personal views, to the extent that they can be determined, are the most relevant thing. .. He was elected to 5 terms in the Senate, serving for 30 years, SOMEONE must have liked what he was doing, saying, campaigning as, voting for...

Did he give the people what they wanted, or did he contribute to, guide, lead the culture in a (we think) negative way? ... Surely both, but the former effect must be much greater than the latter, I'm sure.

Posted by: flubber on July 5, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

dear blank,

you are hilarious ... please keep up the good work. this site needs some comic relief, especially since al hasn't been posting as regularly as he used to.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on July 5, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Did he give the people what they wanted, or did he contribute to, guide, lead the culture in a (we think) negative way? ... Surely both, but the former effect must be much greater than the latter, I'm sure.
Posted by: flubber

Is this a commentary on him or on the ignorance of his electorate?

Posted by: Gonads on July 5, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's not original (I picked it up from some other comment thread), where somebody wrote that Jesse Helms' dying on July 4th was God's way of giving the U.S. a birthday present.

Posted by: goto L on July 5, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Commander Codpiece's approval ratings among
African Americans was already in the single digits - he's going for -10% now - babies in utero hate him.

Posted by: CParis on July 5, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

helms was a demagogue of the first rate. like all demagogues, he appealed to people's resentments and worst fears, real or imagined (mostly imagined) and built a career around them. quite a legacy he's leaving behind.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on July 5, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

hey, just because you hate niggers, spics and fags doesn't mean you can't be a Great American.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on July 5, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think being BORN on the Fourth of July is something worth celebrating.

To die on the Fourth of July is either a source of historical irony (Jefferson, Adams) or a mark of God's displeasure (Helms).

Anyway, I hope that a hundred years from now, people think of the July 4th as being the birthdate both of our country and of Malia Obama, the first female African-American president in our nation's history.


Posted by: lampwick on July 5, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of Southern politicians were just a product of their time and place. Helms was far more malevolent, his imagination far more deranged, than the Wallaces and Thurmonds of his time. It's pretty obvious (from his descriptions of MLK to his obsession with the Mapplethorpe exhibits) that all he ever thought about was sex. If it came out that Helms liked to pay black guys to bang his wife while he watched and jerked off, it wouldn't be surprising in the slightest.

Posted by: kth on July 5, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised Trent Lott hasn't popped up to comment about what a great president Jesse Helms would have been.

Posted by: Greg Abbott on July 5, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 5, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I spent 1975-1983 in Chapel Hill, NC. Helms is the worst of America: Stupid, prejudiced and damned proud of it.

When I am there, I will find his grave, and will leave something. Just a little present, from my inner self.

It will shine in the moonlight, and glisten, for a little while. Then it will be covered with flies, just like Jesse is now.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 5, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

mhr:

I'd clal your comment ignorant and moronic, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out what you are saying.

Are you emulating Joe McCarthy, and drinking whiskey this time of the day? Your incoherence is surpassed only by your sheer lack of clarity.

Racist assholes like you are generally of lower intelligence. Your entry fits in with that accurate observation.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 5, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Jesse Helms isn't the Jesse Jackson of his party. He is the Louis Farrakhan of his party. The difference is that the democratic party does not embrace or tolerate their wingnut racist assholes.

Posted by: Ethan on July 5, 2008 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Helms was re-elected 5 times to the Senate because he was a racist and hated gays. Many people in NC are much in favor of these attitudes. Backcountry NC, SC, GA, MS, AL, TX, LA, AR and other states too are filled with vicious racists and these people like Helms.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 5, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Since I had a post taken down yesterday for expressing my own personal feelings about Senator Helms, I will let the Southern gentleman speak for himself:

The University of Negroes and Communists
-- Jesse Helms, 1950 (referring to the University of North Carolina [UNC])

They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro.
-- Jesse Helms 1968

The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian.
-- Jesse Helms 1995

Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches.
-- Jesse Helms 1995

Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that CANNIBALISM, WIFE-SWAPPING and MURDER of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior.
-- Jesse Helms 1996

Confronted with evidence that Roberto A’Aubuisson of El Salvador directed death squads to murder civilians, including Archbishop Oscar Romero, Jesse Helms made it clear that some things are more important than human life. “All I know,” Helms replied, “is that D’Aubuisson is a free enterprise man and deeply religious.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 5, 2008 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I never was a supporter of Jesse Helms, but I wouldn't fault the President for following the rule de mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Posted by: David on July 5, 2008 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

We need to remember just how bad Helms was. Clearing your name before history shouldn't be something you can do simply by dying.

Posted by: serial catowner on July 5, 2008 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

[Anonymous trolling deleted]

Posted by: on July 5, 2008 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

More than 95% of them are going to vote for barack Hussein Obama just because he is black.

Let me guess: You're going to vote for the white guy, just like you've voted white in every other election you've ever voted in.

Posted by: Boots Day on July 5, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Lardy Obese Homosapien, its racism whe you hate someone because of their race not because you vote for someone of your race.

Genetically speaking, Jabba the Titan Hut, Obama is half white.

Posted by: Jet on July 5, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

So, Obese Gypsum Dood, maybe 95% of blacks are voting for Obamas white half?

Heh.

Posted by: Jet on July 5, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Nixon on the passing of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in 1975:

"General Franco was a loyal friend and ally of the United States. He earned worldwide respect for Spain through firmness and fairness."

In other breaking news, both Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Senator Jesse Helms are still dead.

Posted by: nemo on July 5, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Typical suckie MSM reporting. They actually cut off the end of the quote. The full quote is:
"Jesse Helms was a kind, decent, and humble man and a passionate defender of what he called "the Miracle of America." So it is fitting that this great patriot left us on the Fourth of July.No not that Jesse Helms."

Posted by: paulo on July 5, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

[Unsigned trolling deleted]

Posted by: on July 5, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK


I saw it on Drudge: "Conservative Icon Helms Dead at 86". And yes, he was a conservative icon.

It's not just Bush, it's really most of the Republican Party now. The assholery has reached a level of stinkiness that the vilest bigot became an icon upon death. Say what you will about Karl Rove's America, Republicans have a lot of tolerance for certain kinds of things. Not people, really, or even things. Just pure unadulterated meanness.

Posted by: walt on July 5, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

"I guess Bush must figure that even 10% of the black vote is 10% more than the GOP needs."

I fear that you grossly underestimate the breadth of the malevolence of Helms. All people of color, be they black, brown, yellow, pink as well as those who fancy themselves white have suffered mightily from the evil that lived in Helms. All too many are simply too ignorant to realize that. Let us hope that at least some of the malevolence that festered in Helms are buried with him.

Posted by: m on July 5, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think I heard this on Stephanie Miller, but Bush's approval ratings amongst African-Americans are so low that, taking into account the margin of error in most polls, even dead black people hate him.

Posted by: thersites on July 5, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

[anonymous trolling deleted.]

Posted by: on July 5, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Helms,for all his and his base's faults, DID represtent them and their views. That's how he had such a long career.

Imagine if the (D) 2006 house and senate had acted in the same spirit!

Posted by: jay boilswater on July 5, 2008 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad Jesse Helms couldn't have lived long enough to see the first black president take the oath of office.

Posted by: Vincent on July 5, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

You know Jefferson died on the 4th of July, too.

Perhaps this is fitting: "Like Thomas Jefferson before him, Jesse Helms died on the 4th of July, and he supported laws and institutions that kept black people from embracing the American dream.

Unlike Jefferson and Jesse's good friend and fellow traveler Strom Thurmond, Jesse himself did not follow the segregationist's proud tradition of fathering black children whom he then denied. Well, at least none we know of. I guess ol' Jesse was just too busy denying rights to his fellow Americans to coerce some poor girl who worked for his family. That Jesse, always workin!

Anyway, on the 4th of July, I would like to honor all the men like Jesse Helms who abandoned the Democratic party when they renounced the segregationist traditions of the past, and embraced a new politics of equal rights for all Americans--black and white--and instead jumped ship to join the Republican party. Pro-segregation turncoats like these have made our party what it is today."

Posted by: anonymiss on July 5, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Nixon on the passing of Generalissimo Francisco Franco in 1975...

It was Chevy Chase from SNL's "Weekend Update," not RMN.

Posted by: steve on July 5, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

As a man of faith, I'm sure that he died all tensed up for the screaming descent into hell and the onslaught of priapic black demons thrusting their red-hot barbed penises up his tender soul-sphincter, shredding his ectoplasmic rectum with maniacal glee.

Posted by: pastor rufus on July 5, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

I was shocked at his passing.

I thought he was already dead!

The only "good" I can say about Jesse Helms is that my Grandma HATED him. Thanks for reminding me of my dear Grandma, Jesse.

Thank goodness he's going to Hell.


Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on July 5, 2008 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

What about Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton and Jesse "Hymie Town" Jackson?

What about them? What national office do they hold?
When were either of them ever elected Senator?

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on July 6, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

These Bush remarks were also surely a hit with Central and South American audiences:

And today, from Central America to Central Europe and beyond, people remember: in the dark days when the forces of tyranny seemed on the rise, Jesse Helms took their side.

Posted by: has407 on July 6, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

So how does Schmuck Talk feel about Uncle Jesse?

Has407... yes, Uncle Jesse took the side of rich, exploitative right-wing governments, including training their gunmen at SOAR. He was just that kind of guy!

Anonymiss, I'm tearing my eyes out at the thought of a black-mother love child of Jesse Helms.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 6, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy wrote:

You are just another left wing hypocrite. What about Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton and Jesse "Hymie Town" Jackson? Just to name a couple of race-baitng and rascist Democrats that have their asses kissed by the Democrats all the time. I love it!

It's funny how all these conservatives always show up to say this stuff up about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson without explaining what they've done that's so bad. And if once instance of "Hymie Town" is all you've got, Jackson's far, far behind the leading maggots on your side. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson may be a little insincere and self-interested, but they are bona fide small-fries compared to dozens of the leading examples of corrupt individuals who lead the conservative movement in America. Conservative shills popping up complaining about how corrupt Jesse and Al are alleged to be prove their own insincerity by doing so. If you were really against illness, you would be complaining about curing cancer, not about the common cold.

Posted by: Swan on July 6, 2008 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

Jesse and Al Sharpton are out of the Democratic mainstream. However, the fascist christonazis like Parsley, Dobson, and Hagee are eagerly sought-after. The only way you can succeed in the Repukeliscum Party is to be a christo-nazi.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

POed Lib,
Jesse Helms' grave site is in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina right next to the little stone house. It has been there for quite some time sans Jesse. A friend whose father was in the same nursing home says Jesse had some form of dementia, but he was still able to "chase skirt", as they say.

Although there are still folks in rural parts who would agree with Jesse, he was a dinosaur even for the South. The sort of Dixie he represented has been replaced by the intolerance of a less colorful suburban succession.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 6, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Sharpton and Jackson don't need to be elected. Democratic politicians line up to get their endorsemnet. So somebody on the left thinks these two clowns are important enough to cater to them.

Thanks for admitting that Democrats don't elect bigots to national office while Republicans do.

Posted by: Gregory on July 6, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

More Fat White Guy: There is nothing alleged about how corrupt and racist Sharpton and Jackson happen to be.

Then you won't have any trouble providing, oh, five examples for each.

This should be as amusing as your failed attempt to prove that the Federalist Papers endorsed the individual right to self defense interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Posted by: Gregory on July 6, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

The old wisdom still applies:
"He's in a better world now, and so are we."

Posted by: Steve Paradis on July 6, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

This should be as amusing as your failed attempt to prove that the Federalist Papers endorsed the individual right to self defense interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Posted by: Gregory

A position which, I'm sure, Alexander Hamilton was reconsidering in his final hours.

Posted by: Gonads on July 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Jackson is the same as a racist Republican elected five times to the U.S. Senate who opposed civil rights legislation.

Fat Moronic Douchebag strikes again. Just another clueless conservatard, always good for a laugh.
I love it!

Posted by: haha on July 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Fat White Guy on July 6, 2008 at 10:56 AM

shorter Douchebag--"I got nuthin'!"

oh, and demanding that someone prove a negative, great debate skills! I love it!

Posted by: haha on July 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's issues are common knowledge. So if you are so ill informed that you are unaware of them then look it up yourself. It is a pretty simple google search that even you might find. So if the Tawana Brawley story is not true then prove it. If Jesse Jackson doesn't play the race card to enrich his family and friends go ahead and prove it. If both of these bozos don't regularly play the race card then prove it.

This guy just says they are common knowledge, intead of laying them out-- because he knows that what he has to say against them isn't that impressive, compared to what crimes we know the conservatves commit. He doesn't want to lay it out.

And second-- "playing the race card"? What does that even mean? Conservatives throw that one out without ever explaining how someone is doing something that is wrong or dishonest by supposedly "playing the race card" or "playng the gender card" in a given situation-- because this line is just another sound-bite they throw out without any substance backing it up, just to smear somebody. No doubt, "Fat White Guy" is as dishonest as they come, and he's trying to get our country to fall in behind idiots and idiot white supremacists just because it fits his irrationalities and delusional, neurotic fancies.

Posted by: Swan on July 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy's response to me was a totally empty attempt at a dodge that didn't include one allegation or news item about a single Democrat or liberal activist doing anything wrong or out of line.

Fat White Guy wrote: If you want some big-fries you don't have to look far on the Democratic side to find contemporaries of Helms. Try Sen. Ernest Hollings and the revered Sen. Robert Byrd. You don't have to do much a search to find public statements and actions of these two that are equal to and worse than Helms.

You're dreaming, pal. These guys fight for legislation to help minorities while your candidates work to steal their votes through deception and rigging elections. Almost all of your candidates from the lowliest right up to John McCain have as much or less morality than a common professional shoplifter.

Posted by: Swan on July 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

there's no better example of playing the race card in politics than Helms' infamous "hands" political ad.

Posted by: haha on July 6, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

[Anonymous trolling deleted. Sign your posts or continue to be deleted. The irony of a coward who doesn't even bother with a pseudonym calling Kevin and Washington Monthly's moderators 'afraid' is not lost on the Mod Squad.]

Posted by: on July 6, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Let me just say... Nadal leading Feder 2 sets to nothing in the third, and I think they are on serve in the third set with play suspended.

Fuck yeah!

Go down Federer! LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE!! American Sampras must remain the greatest Wimbledon player ev4r!!

Posted by: MNPundit on July 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Read the majority opinion from SCOTUS on this and even you might be enlightened.

When the majority opinion comes from Scalia? I'm usually aghast, astounded and abhorred.

Posted by: ckelly on July 6, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Although there are still folks in rural parts who would agree with Jesse, he was a dinosaur even for the South. The sort of Dixie he represented has been replaced by the intolerance of a less colorful suburban succession.

Posted by: bellumregio on July 6, 2008 at 9:20 AM

What the "Almanac of American Politics," in its description of South Carolina's Carroll Campbell some years back, so vividly labeled "blow-dry conservatism."

Posted by: Vincent on July 6, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Larry Johnson, is that you not signing the anti-Obama screeds?

Posted by: volatile compound on July 6, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's issues are common knowledge. So if you are so ill informed that you are unaware of them then look it up yourself. It is a pretty simple google search that even you might find.

Not so fast, FWG. I'm sure Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's issues are an article of faith on conservative blogs. But here, you're the one making the claim. The burden of proof is on you -- not just that Jackson and Sharpton are as you characterize them, but that you even know what you're talking about. Speaking of which...

As far as the 2nd Amendment goes I gave good references.

...none of which backed up your claim that the authors envisioned a private self defense right -- as opposed to membership in a militia -- and the first of which didn't even exist in the actual citation, proving that you simply cut-and-pasted without reading or, it goes without saying, thinking.

FWG's problem, like most movement conservatives, is that he lacks critical thinking skills. He reads conservative blogs and believes what they tell him. Sadly, this faith proves unjustified when it comes to being able to back up the words he reads and repeats.

That you aren't embarrassed about it would be astonishing if we weren't well familiar with your trollery. So cite your sources or again admit your ignorance (even if by default). Put up or shut up.

Posted by: Gregory on July 6, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's too bad Jesse Helms couldn't have lived long enough to see the first black president take the oath of office.

Winning NC in the process will make the passing of that generation of lauded bigots even more obvious.

Posted by: pseudonymous in nc on July 6, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

So, can we talk? Since when is it necessary to defend Helms in order to denounce Sharpton? Or the reverse?

Meanwhile, may I point out that (1) Helms, throughout his career, had a lot more followers than Sharpton, and (2) it's very unlikely that any Democratic President, upon Sharpton's death, will gush about him the way Dubya just gushed about Helms? As for Hollings and Byrd, Hollings NEVER said anything about blacks remotely as repulsive as Helms routinely did. Byrd, early in his career, did do so -- in fact, a 1944 letter has been dug up from a 19-year-old Byrd to Sen. Theodore Bilbo, in which Byrd announced that if he thought an Allied victory in WW II would lead to desegregation he'd back Hitler -- but Byrd finally did get around to changing his loathsome views radically, which Helms was famous for NOT doing.

While we're on these subjects, by the way, we should also mention that Helms was also famous for furiously backing the Argentinian junta against Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands War. And, as the Seattle Times has revealed, he also enthusiastically backed two of Somoza's former supporters over Violeta Chamorro in Nicaragua AFTER she had beaten the Sandinistas in the election there. So at least his love of fascism was consistent enough to transcend mere racism.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on July 6, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

How come Kevin isn't blogging about Wimbledon?

Posted by: Bob G on July 6, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Forget Helms!

Are you watching Wimbledon?!? Unbelievable match!

Posted by: scruncher on July 6, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Nadal wins! That robotic goody-two shoes Federer goes down at last! YES! Truly one of the few happy moments I've had watching pro-tennis since Federer appeared.

Posted by: MNPundit on July 6, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Byrd finally did get around to changing his loathsome views radically, which Helms was famous for NOT doing.

More than that, Byrd publicly repudiated his previous racist views, something Helms did not.

Yes, the Democratic Party of the '40s had Southern racist elements. With his support of Civil Rights LBJ knew damn well he was driving them away -- and straight into the waiting arm of Richard Milhous "Southern Strategy" Nixon's Republican Party. Jackasses like FWG who think they're making a point by noting the racists from the Democratic Party of the '40s only serve to point out the racism of the modern Republican Party that welcomed them with open arm.

Posted by: Gregory on July 6, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing amusing is you don't know what you are talking about. I love it!

You love talking about things you know nothing about? It sure shows.

Posted by: TR on July 6, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy wrote: "Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's issues are common knowledge."

Many things are "common knowledge" among Rush Limbaugh dittoheads that are not true.

Fat White Guy wrote: "Read the majority opinion from SCOTUS on this and even you might be enlightened."

That would be the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who also very recently wrote in his dissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield", a statement which turns out to be absolutely false.

It is of course unsurprising to find you applauding judicial opinions written by a proven liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 6, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

To Fat White Dumbshit:

We are all very aware of Jackson and Sharpton's background. They are NOT mainstream dems. However, the scum nazis Parsley, Robertson, Dobson, and all the other christian fascists are mainstream repukeliscum. We have intolerance and fascist hate in the heart of Repukeliscuminism.

For the Repukeliscum like you, finding a hate object IS the object of politics. If you hate, you have a reason for living.

You are a pitiful sack of shit.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

What's with all the Federer hating? He's a great tennis player, even if he did finally lose at Wimbledon.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 6, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a tennis match:

"UHHH" THwack

"GUUHHHH" thwack

"UHHH" thwack

The grunting is disgusting. Can't they fix a grunt-free mike? I can't stand to listen for more than 10 seconds.

"uhhh" thwack

Posted by: POed Lib on July 6, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure GWB made that remark in all sincerity, as he probably knew nothing about Helms other than what Karl Rove and Dick Cheney told him.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on July 6, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps GWB is saying this indefensible thing to provide McCain with an opportunity to create the illusion of distance.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on July 6, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on July 6, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

mhr, u funkin troll you. The tactic is to mask, visually, a good argument or an astute assessment with a mountain of letters. It only works if we let it and the vast majority of the people here wont.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on July 6, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, believe they lied about his time of death give him a "patriot's" send-off. Whatever the case, his soul died long ago when he could have helped those who needed his help, but instead helped himself to the public largess and fanned the flames of bigotry and corporatism. He hurt the nation in many ways, and his spawn are completely killing us.
I hope we survive the present crises so that we may yet heap scorn upon this generation of Republicans from the safety of far-off history.

Posted by: Sparko on July 6, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

I like the honest spirit here. So refreshing.

I would like to add a belated good riddance to Tim Russert, just another lib agit-prop loon pretending to be a "reporter." Typical PC white lib, I think he died of overexcitement at the prospect of worshipping at the feet of a black ob-messiah--a black supremacist, one might say.


Posted by: Luther on July 7, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

In fairness to Helms, whose views were abhorrent, he was personally a remarkably nice man.

When I worked for Gary Hart, I noticed that Helms was one of the few Senators who treated people like parking lot attendants and elevator operators decently: he made a point of learning their names, gave them Christmas cards, and if he learned of a happy event (birth, graduation, etc.) or a sad event (death in the family), he would make a point of offering congratulations or condolences.

Now, maybe this was a phony "hale fellow and well met" act, but I doubt it... too much effort. One of the refreshing things about working in D.C. was discovering that some of the guys on "my side" were douchebags in person, while some of the guys on "the other side" (and Helms was about as far on that side as possible) were pretty nice, in person.

It is possible to separate the political from the personal, and for that reason, I suspect there are a lot of people who met Helms, disliked his politics intensely, and still mourn his passing. I don't think it would do any harm to allow for that possibility before expressing the desire that Helms spend the rest of eternity in the netherworld.

P.S. to Gregory: criticize Fat White Guy all you want, but don't make yourself look foolish by declaring that, since he hasn't provided specific links, you don't believe that Al Sharpton had some pretty loathesome racist moments. He already gave you the name Tawana Brawley, so you can do a quick google search or hop on over to wikipedia and look up the story yourself... or you could just start here

Posted by: keith on July 7, 2008 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

Clearly, Luther has seen, and now fears the mighty black penis.

Posted by: Gonads on July 7, 2008 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

I guess Bush must figure that even 10% of the black vote is 10% more than the GOP needs. This should just about do the trick of getting it down to zero.

The likelihood that the 10% of blacks who still support Bush will abandon him over those remarks is very small, as is the likelihood that any of the 90% who oppose him would've join his camp if he'd denounced Helms as a racist cracker.

Posted by: ogmb on July 7, 2008 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Jesse Helms prayed he'd rather be dead than see a black man elected president. God said 'OK on that, Jesse.'

Posted by: slanted tom on July 7, 2008 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Keith:

I really don't care if Helms was a nice person. After all, he was a Senator. His public persona, the loathsome asshole, was his face to the world. He worked hard at being a piece of shit, and by god, he succeeded.

Posted by: POed Lib on July 7, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. to Gregory: criticize Fat White Guy all you want

I will, thanks. After all, he makes it so easy...

but don't make yourself look foolish by declaring that, since he hasn't provided specific links

Hold on -- Pointing out that FWG fails to back up his assertions with facts manes me look foolish? Um, no.

you don't believe that Al Sharpton had some pretty loathesome racist moments.

In the backing-up-assertions-with-facts department, Keith, I invite you to point out where I said I "don't believe that Al Sharpton had some pretty loathesome racist moments."

Here we see another example of poor critical thinking, at best, if not outright dishonesty -- demanding that someone back up their assertions with proof is not the same thing as asserting that the opposite is true.

What it is, is determining if someone actually has a basis for their opinion other than the repetition of the right wing noise machine. I think by now we can see this is true of FWG. (And again, it reflects poorly on FWG's criticial thinking skills, diminishing his credidibility further -- are you sure you want to ride that particular train, Keith?)

And again, even if you grant that Sharpton is racist, his Presidential bids went nowhere -- the Democratic Party rejected him soundly as a viable nominee, not the least because of his jackassery in the Brawley case -- and he, unlike Helms, has never been a Senator. The comparison FWG wants to make just isn't valid.

He already gave you the name Tawana Brawley, so you can do a quick google search or hop on over to wikipedia and look up the story yourself...

Yes, I know I could. So what? FWG is the one making the claim, not me. It's very simple -- if you make an assertion, you need to be prepared to back it up. Merely invoking the name "Tawana Brawley" does nothing, and insisting that others do your research for you is poor form indeed. And here's a free hint: Insisting that "everyone knows" what you contend is true is a one-way ticked to loserville in a debate.

As I pointed out above, the claim that Jackson and Sharpton are racist, and therefore the institutional racism embodied in Senators like Helms is somehow okay, is an article of faith among right-wing bloggers. FWG has obviously internalize this article of faith enought to make a confident asserion on this blog. But when it comes to actual evidence that can be assessed critically, he falls way short.

I do like, however, how this line of defense -- "But the Democrats are racist too -- implicitly concedes the institutional racism of the modern Republican Party. Those familiar with the history of the Southern Strategy -- those who chuckle when lunkheads like FWG point out the racism of the Dixiecrats who eventually wound up as Republicans -- are well aware, but it's nice to see that deep down FWG knows the Republican Party is racist, too, and how feeble his justification is.

Bottom line: the "everyone knows" riposte is a dead giveaway that you haven't don your homework and don't know what you're talking about. It's handy from separating intellectualyl honest conservatives from authoritarians who parrot what they hear from Limbaugh and the righty blogs. Not that it's really needed -- the former don't post here; we only ever get the latter.

Posted by: Gregory on July 7, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Re Al Sharpton:

1) Tawana Brawley (he has yet to admit that he was mistaken)

2) In the course of the Brawley affair, he slandered a local DA by accusing him of having an affair with Brawley.

3) After losing the slander case, Sharpton claimed poverty in being unable to pay the judgement against him. It later emerged that Sharpton, who lives comfortably in the New Jersey suburbs, and is a snappy dresser, asked that his fees and honoraria be paid in kind, rather than cash.

4) Sharpton incited a crowd to burn a Harlem convenience store that had allegedly "dissed" a black customer. A store employee died in the fire.

Al Sharpton is an unrepentant slimeball, and is an embarassment to the Democratic Party. I loathe the fact that he has set himself up as a New York political power-broker on behalf of his "community," and that politicians--famously including Hilary Clinton--feel the need to kowtow to him.

My Jesse Helms story takes place in one of the Senate office buildings. I was visiting a friend who was a Tsongas staffer, and was taking the elevator up to Tsongas's office. The elevator stops and Helms gets on. He sees me and asks "Do you have the time, son?" I hesitate ("I have no time for you, sir!"), and then good manners set in. He thanked me--of course he noticed my hesitation--and as he was getting off, he gave me the peace sign and thanked me again.

Posted by: Tom S on July 7, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, and of course not just Duhb:
http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2008/07/hilzoy-speaks-i.html

Posted by: Neil B on July 7, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

keith,

You said "In fairness to Helms, whose views were abhorrent, he was personally a remarkably nice man."

So what? After all, Hitler was very nice to his dog, Blondi, and to his secretaries. This is showed in the outstanding 2004 film "Der Untergang" and in "Until the Final Hour," the memoirs of Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge.

As far as I'm concerned, being a public figure who advocates racial hatred, homophobia, etc. greatly outweighs being a good husband, father, son, friend, or whatever else Helms may have been. Conversely, if he had been someone who fought for humane, enlightened ideas and who scorned prejudice, I wouldn't care if he was personally an asshole.

Posted by: Lee on July 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, don't forget the white hands/black hands ad against Harvey Gantt.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: demanding that someone back up their assertions with proof is not the same thing as asserting that the opposite is true.

I've never, and I mean never, met a conservative who doesn't use this dishonest dodge. Never.

As far as changing the subject, this is what conservatives always do in defense of other conservatives. No matter what it is that they get called on, the knee-jerk response is "well you guys do it too" - even when it's not even close to true. And even when it is true, as any parent of a six-year-old can tell you, it doesn't matter.

Jesse Helms was a sleazy racist who did a lot to support and further the cause of sleazy racism in this culture. Period. No magic incantation of Jesse Helms' name can change that, and you kind of have to be a total moronic douchebag to think it can.

And speaking of moronic douchebags, why does FWG always end his posts with "I love it"? Is that a disclaimer meaning "the preceding has been fed into my empty head by Rush Limbaugh; your mileage may vary"?

Posted by: DH Walker on July 7, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Conspiracy theory: Advanced plug management may have allowed Jesse Helms to die on the Fourth of July. After all, Ronald Reagan bravely died on June 5, 2004, and became the hero of the sixtieth anniversary of D Day.

Posted by: Ross Best on July 7, 2008 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

My apologies if I misread your responses to FWG as disagreeing with or disbelieving in his assertion about Tawana Brawley. I'd have thought that a phrase like "I'm sure Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's issues are an article of faith on conservative blogs" implied that said articles of faith were, in fact, untrue. This is evidenced by Secular Animist's statement that "Many things are 'common knowledge' among... dittoheads that are not true." Nonetheless, FWG's assertion that the Tawana Brawley stuff is common knowledge is, in fact, true.

I don't think it's useful to ask your interlocutor to prove every single statement he makes, or you'll soon be reduced to "the sky is blue? prove it! Jesse Helms spelled his first name with five letters? prove it!" Honestly, it's far better to say "sure Sharpton's a racist, but he's inconsequential, and Jesse Jackson actually isn't a racist" than to demand five examples of racist behavior.

In point of fact, the "everyone knows" line is not always an indication that you haven't done your homework and/or don't know what you're talking about. It is sometimes in indication of that, and sometimes not. If I say "everyone knows Babe Ruth was a great pitcher before he became a great slugger" and you challenge me on that point, it doesn't reveal that I'm lazy or misinformed, or that you have superior critical thinking skills, it just reveals that you're picking nits and refusing to engage the gist of my argument.

Again, this has nothing to do with critical thinking skills (and are you sure you want to board that train with me?), and everything to do with reasonably honest debate. The fact that FWG is dishonest doesn't mean that you should stoop to his level... two wrongs don't make a right, and all that.

As DH Walker points out, immediately above, this is precisely the argumentation used by supposedly "clever" conservatives: "I'm not disagreeing with what you say, I'm just asking you do prove every single point, not matter how obvious or how trivial..."

Posted by: keith on July 7, 2008 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Lee:

I'll assume you're either very young or very inexperienced, because the "I don't care about x's personal behavior" is incredibly naive. Jesse Helms was nicer to the black people who worked for the Senate than most white Senators were. So he wasn't a guy who simply hated black folks.

Hitler (to use your stupid analogy) didn't have a Jewish dog and Jewish secretaries that he treated well, and in fact he treated a lot of his subordinates badly. I'd say that nasty people, even those who advocate policies with which we agree, are not to be trusted, and are almost certainly not advocating those polices because they think they're "good".

Helms advocated stupid, counterproductive, and often inhumane policies. I'd say he did even more harm to America's foreign relations than he did to American racial harmony. But that doesn't mean he was evil and ought to be consigned to the fifth or sixth level or hell. It means that he was stupid, short-sighted, and wrong. I dearly wish that he had never become a Senator, and I'm glad that he was more ineffective than not. But I don't hope that someone who was, as far as I could tell, a truly decent human being suffers eternal damnation, nor do I hope that a piece of work like Lyndon Johnson earns eternal reward, regardless of the good he did for race relations.

As I said, there are a lot of people, black as well as white, who met Jesse Helms and disagreed completely with his politics, but who likely mourn his passing. I don't think it's out of line to acknowledge that he was something more than a cartoon character, and to propose that his politics were due to more than just a dislike for non-white people. Hate the sinner, not the sin. YMMV.

Posted by: keith on July 7, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

keith:

First of all, I don't appreciate being talked down to by you. What makes you such a genius? You say my analogy to Hitler was "stupid." Frankly, I find a lot of your views expressed here "stupid."

Firstly, I don't really care if Helms was "nice" to individual blacks who worked in the Senate. While I guess it was better that he was nice to them than it would've been if he hadn't been that way, this "niceness" was greatly overshadowed by Helms' words and actions in the public sphere--not just against blacks, but against gays and others.

And your calling my analogy to Hitler "stupid" is misguided. While Hitler may not have had a Jewish dog (as if such a thing exists!) or Jewish secretaries, the doctor who treated his mother when she was dying of breast cancer was Jewish. Hitler expressed his deep gratitude to this doctor (Edward Bloch) and called him an "edel juden" (roughly translated, "noble Jew"). Bigotry is not a logical thing. There are many people who are bigots, yet treat individual members of the group they hate decently.

And I don't know which "subordinates" you're referring to, but Hitler had secretaries and others whom he treated very well. Not to mention the fact that he seems to have loved his dog, Blondi. Your use of evidence here is selective. I recommend to you the movie and book I mentioned in my first post--"Der Untergang," an outstanding 2004 film on Hitler, "Until the Final Hour" by Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary.

Secondly, I never argued that Helms should be sent to hell. Other people have said this, but I never have. I don't believe in heaven and hell. I think that's simply something that religion uses to scare people.

Thirdly, if political leaders advocate good things, who gives a shit whether they're advocating them for pure reasons or not? This is one of the arguments neo-Confederates use to try to tear down Lincoln. They say Lincoln simply issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a political tool, not because he cared about the slaves. Even if this were true (which it is not-Lincoln hated slavery), so what? Why should slaves who were freed from bondage have cared about the motivation Lincoln had for freeing them? So I think your point here is irrelevant. And who say "nice" people are any more trustworthy than nasty ones? George W. Bush seems personally nice enough--how trustworthy is he? Ted Bundy was a very nice guy--when he wasn't murdering women.

Fourthly, I take strong issue with your appraisal of LBJ. You say that you don't hope that "...a piece of work like Lyndon Johnson earns eternal reward, regardless of the good he did for race relations." I find this statement appalling. If you want to hate Johnson for Vietnam--if that's what you're basing your statement on--that's your right, although I disagree with it. But there is nothing Johnson did on a personal level that could ever justify him being sent to hell. If you think there is, you are an incredibly cruel-hearted person. And again, even if Johnson was the worst jerk there ever was to be around, putting through legislation that toppled Jim Crow more than makes up for this in my book.

From what I have read about LBJ, I admire him very much. So did many who knew him and worked for him.

Finally, I think the "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument is a load of bullshit. Aside from the fact that this argument is used as a cover for anti-gay bigotry, how are we supposed to "love" public figures on any basis other than what they do? When someone is a family member or friend, we love them for who they are, even if we hate their behavior. But we don't love (or hate) public officials on this basis. Our love or hatred for them comes from their actions--what they advocate and what they accomplish. If George Washington had been a failure as a general, and lost the Revolutionary War, Americans today would feel no love for him at all. And while I don't actively hate Jesse Helms, I can definitely understand why many do, and I believe their hatred has a strong basis. So again, your argument here completely falls flat.

Posted by: Lee on July 7, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

keith,

One more thing. I don't see how a person can spew rhetoric like Helms did (what he said about gays was particularly hateful) and still be categorized as a "truly decent" human being. If you honestly feel that bigotry (or the lack thereof) doesn't play a major role in determining whether someone is decent or not, your values are seriously skewed.

Posted by: Lee on July 8, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

As Curly was wont to sing --

Pore Jesse’s daid,
Pore old Jesse Helms is daid,
All gather ’round his coffin now and cry
And cry!

He had a heart of brass
And a G-O-P pol’s ass
And that’s why such a feller had to die.

Pore Jesse’s daid
Pore old Jesse Helms is daid,
He’s lookin’ oh so peaceful and serene
And serene!

He’s all laid out to rest
With his hands acrost his chest
His robe and hood have never been so clean!

Pore Jesse’s daid
Pore old Jesse Helms is daid
His racist friends’ll weep for miles around
Miles around!

The daisies in the dell
Will give out a different smell
When Jesse Helms is underneath the ground.

Pore Jesse’s daid
A candle lights his haid
He’s layin’ in a coffin made of wood
Made of wood!

And some folks are feelin’ glad
Cause he used to treat ‘em bad
But now they know old Jesse’s gone for good.

Pore Jesse’s daid
A candle lights his haid!
He’s lookin’ oh so purty and so nice.
Oh so nice!

He looks like he’s asleep,
But we’re glad that he won’t keep
And it’s summer and they’re running out of ice.

Pore Jesse’s daid . . .

With apologies to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

Posted by: Joe the Green Dog Democrat on July 8, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Jesse Helms was nicer to the black people who worked for the Senate than most white Senators were.

Many slaveowners were quite nice to the house Negroes as well.

So he wasn't a guy who simply hated black folks.

No, he was just a guy who didn't think black folks should be allowed to marry white folks, or socialize, study, eat, live next to or otherwise exist on an equal footing with white folks.

Posted by: Stefan on July 8, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Our site takes a somewhat unbalanced view of the good Senator, and the coincidence of of the 4th of July passing. In comparison, your comment is decidedly more charitable. Thanks for adding it to the blogging universe.

Posted by: Burr Deming on July 11, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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