This will probably piss off Runs With Scissors again; I’ll get over it. I’m still trying to figure out how he can write his replies in crayon and get them transmitted through the Internet. Scanner, maybe.
Southern “gentlemen” have been making news the past few weeks for being anything but gentlemen. The next time anyone wonders whether the hubris of modern conservatism is founded on the ignorance of crackerhood, let them look no farther than this quartet.
You all know Jesse Helms. He’s the poster child for not living in North Carolina despite its temperate weather and scenic charms: the state is more than half full of people who elected this inbred troglodyte to the Senate for thirty years.
Jesse recently published his autobiography, meaning he has now written more books than he has read. While he admitted being wrong about AIDS funding, he stands by his segregation record. Integration would have come in its own time, he says. All the trouble was because we rushed things before people were ready.
Ya think!? It had only been a hundred years since the end of the civil war and the Fourteenth Amendment gave everyone, lily-white and Nigruhs alike, equal protection under the law. So what if they couldn’t vote? Southern white folk would take care of their childlike wards, just like they did in the good old days. Look how far we’ve come, Jesse would say. They don’t even have to call us Massa no more. They all had schools, nice separate but equal ones, if by equal you mean no indoor plumbing and books with pages missing. Not that white Southerners got such a hot education. Jesse was taught there.
Virginia Representative Tom Davis’s trespass is at the same time more trivial and more disturbing. Davis heads the committee currently looking into baseball’s steroid problem, Congress having nothing better to do now that the troops are home from Iraq, the budget s balanced, and Social Security is solvent for another hundred years. This week he contributed to the current political climate by saying baseball would do well not to consider favorably the bid put forth by a group containing wack job billionaire George Soros to purchase the Washington Nationals.
Soros’s primary offense appears to be that he’s a liberal wack job. I doubt Rep. Davis would have any issues with Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch getting back into baseball if he wanted to, and he’s as big a rich wack as there is. Say what you want about Democratic abuses when they were the semi-permanent majority, throwing political weight around to this degree is unheard of. Davis gets easily re-elected, as good a reason as any to invoke the Helms Rule and not live in his district. It’s at least half full of people with no more sense and decency than him.
(Davis had an aide backtrack from his statement yesterday, saying the Congressman was speaking as a private citizen and not in his official capacity. The statement, aside from showing the heroic Congressman’s unwillingness to face the music himself, had all the sincerity of a mobster running the protection racket, when he says to the candy store owner, “it would be shame if a fire was to break out in here.”)
Then there’s Bill Frist, who claimed his look at some family videotape convinced him that at least a dozen neuro-specialists were wrong and Terri Schiavo was just some prayers and a good massage away from starring in a revival of 42nd Street. Last week’s autopsy results showed she’s barely deader now than she was then. What about Bill’s “diagnosis?” He swears up and down he never said that.
All of the above are candidates as Billy Graham’s heir when compared to Jeb Bush. It wasn’t enough that he seriously considered having the state police “rescue” Terri Schiavo, backing down when a local police official with an understanding of his oath of office said he would uphold the law, even if violence was required to do so. Bush bided his time, waiting for the autopsy results. When Terri was proven to be brain dead beyond redemption, Bush asked for an investigation into how quickly Michael Schiavo called 911. No one mentioned this, not even her parents, for fifteen years. Now it’s a burning issue to be investigated in Florida, since their immigration and drug problems are history. Can there be any doubt Bush would ask for a homicide investigation if the autopsy had come out differently?
I’m sure all of these “gentlemen” would tell you they’re good Christians. Why should they be any more honest about that than anything else? They can wrap themselves in the flag and Bible all they want; they’re shameless whores who wouldn’t know the right thing to do if Moses handed it to them carved in a rock.
Good Christians understand humility and the benefits of turning the other cheek. These four are out for what they can get by appealing to the basest and most vindictive elements of their constituency. Jesse’s gone, for all intents and purposes, and hallelujah for that. Let’s hope the rest of them are in the process of overplaying their hands and overestimating the venality of the American people. If they’re not, and can continue to get away with this for too long, then maybe America isn’t destined to be the shining house on the hill we supposedly all aspire to. If it isn’t, we have only ourselves to blame.