Gravedancing? Or Just......?

Sunday, July 06, 2008 at 09:09 AM

Needless to say, there's a bit to talk about with this item, the passing of former Senator Jesse Helms, who died 7-4-08. Even more so, how many have already written history....

...or so they think....

Anyone who was around for the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bad Actor, Bush, Clinton and CheeseWhiz years knows that name, yes. Senator Helms, to many was a hero. To others, pond scum comes to mind.

Which, really, we shouldn't say, as pond scum is actually beneficial.

Frequent WTW commentator, that loveable old 8-inch tall talking potato from Canuckistani world, yeah, him...old Dethspud...whom I personally admire for owning a redneck's method of stirring up the poopie (with a motor, not a paddle at that) got in first licks the other day over on our sister blog, Drudge Retort. A record 180-something gripes about his snotty, but sincerely accurate assessement of Senator Helm's legacy.

And like the Russertmania, out came those with the typical "You should not dance about on someone's grave" kind, a few of the Rethugs who got very antsy over "a non-American griping about an American deal...", as Spud is very much "aboot" being from The Great White North. On and on and on.

What I found disgusting? It wasn't Dethspud's prose, nor his Great White teeth and PhD in sarcasm. No, more, the vomitorious offerings from the MSM outlets, glazing over Senator Helms's racist, homophobe and co-creator of "soft money" campaigning. I was left awonder, yes, is a nice-guy bio of Adolph Hitler coming anytime soon?

First, The Wall Street Journal:

Jesse Helms was an influential television commentator in North Carolina when he decided to leave the Democratic Party, winning a U.S. Senate seat as a Republican in 1972. He went on to win four more terms, with a reputation as the Senate's most principled warrior on behalf of social conservatism, anti-Communism, limits on union power, and an assertive foreign policy that rejected State Department caution. Like Reagan, many of his views appear to have been validated. Others, such as his blind spot on racial issues and mean-spirited comments against gays were troublesome, but even the stubborn Helms made moves to modify his image in those areas late in life.

The rest barely scratches as the truth, yes, a very watered-down assessment. I offer, a more accurate version, courtesy The Guardian's take on his legacy:
Senator Jesse Helms, member of the US Senate's foreign relations committee for two decades and its chairman from 1995 to 2001, has died at the age of 86. To echo this newspaper's memorable comment on the death of William Randolph Hearst, it is hard even now to think of him with charity. From his earliest years, Helms's attitudes recalled those of an earlier southern bigot, Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, who so outraged his Senate colleagues, that they eventually refused even to let him take his seat.

His allegations were often mind-numbingly bizarre. "Your tax dollars are being used," he claimed in one letter, "to pay for grade school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping, and the murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behaviour." But his rhetoric convinced millions of Americans and, invited to save the nation by donating a dollar, they did just that. A river of cash poured into the club.

The rest of it reads a tad more accurately; a charactiture and less a person, whom liberals loathed and his constituents adored.

I was always asked that by my friends elsewhere in this nation, some from around the Earth itself. "Gee, if he was such an eel....?"

We then, as an answer, must invoke what might now be deemed Carlin's First Law, based on the works of George Carlin: "People vote for those just like they are."

Thus, the man's legacy of virtriol, commie-baiting, racism and homophobia played well the Fundies, the rednecks and them Good Old Boys of the Tarheel state. Keep in mind, I warn many: Come down I-95, and I will show you the many confederate flags flying over houses, in people's yards, and home, here in South Carolina, yes, in front of the state house on Gervais.

It's a known fact: No engine operates without gasoline, and Helm's political base was exactly as he was. He could not have pulled off so many returns to office without the correct base of prejudice, hate, vitriol and countless plays of Sweet Home Alabama. Keep in mind, he was among those who swapped one party for another, especially when it became "clear" that one party was doing all it could "for them uppity-assed (expletive)".

The sad part to it all? Google up this Bilbo, read about him. Read about any significant person in history, and the dirt on them speaks far louder than any prose. Nixon will always be associated with Watergate, King George with tyranny and Hitler with genocidal psychosis. Stalin will be recalled as a homicidal butcher, and Bush II as the worst leader in living history.

"Well, towards the end he softened some.", some of the blogs and news sources love to remind. I reply, "Does that end the pain caused? Can one little apology undo so much damage? How many perished to his utter coldness and incivility?"

I live in Dixie, folks. I see the kind that will miss him. They live in a dream world, a fantasy born of whips, chains and agony. They offer up such a pallid refrain as to their "heritage", while I wonder how anyone can offer that, when the confederate flag is a cold reminder to our black friends and family that the angry swastika is to our dear Jewish friends....a dark and distorted reminder of when madness prevailed.

Worse still, and I've harped on this before, the pseudo-Christian crowd who drive their SUV's, dress nice for Sunday, but look down their collective noses the remainder of the week. Yes, Virginia, these are the kind that voted for Helms, make no mistake of it.

Well, they may miss him. I will not and cannot. I can forgive the actor, but an atrocious script I cannot. I tend to find myself in the same camp as my little pal The Tater, and in the thoughts of those over on Americablog, DU and Kos, and yes, the Guardian:

Helms finally lost his chairmanship of the foreign relations committee when the moderate Vermont Republican Senator James Jeffords, lost patience with the Bush administration in May 2001. His defection to the Democrats secured their control of the Senate and of all its legislative committees.

This sudden loss of power, allied to his failing health, at last convinced Helms that it was time to give up. In August that year, he announced he would not run again when his term expired in 2002.

Though there was dismay in North Carolina, his decision was greeted with relief by most of the country. The New York Times observed: "Few senators in the modern era have done more to resist the tide of progress," and Robert Pastor, whose ambassadorship to Panama was scuppered by Helms in 1995, commented that, "nothing Jesse Helms did in his entire career will enhance America's national security more than his retirement."

And to quote the Tater? "Amen."

Amen, indeed. OAO.


"is a nice-guy bio of Adolph Hitler coming anytime soon"

Suggest you check with Ms Coulter. Having already resurrected Senator McCarthy (at least in her own Connecticut suburban mind), wouldn't surprise me a bit to see "The Hidden Hitler, or How Godless Liberals Stole the Legacy of the Saint of Bavaria."

Just curious, does anybody know if William Buckley's folks lived near/hobnobbed with Coulter's folks in some dark corner of Fairfield and/or Litchfield Counties, Connecticut? Both families centered on lawyer daddies connected to big business clients.

And did you know that L. Paul Bremer was raised in the same absurdly wealthy Connecticut town of New Canaan as the Coulter Feeder?

Random thoughts from an over-tired brain.

I've been portrayed as a caveman by some. That's not true. I'm a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners or niggers.

~Jesse Helms, North Carolina Progressive, February 6, 1985

Geez, no wonder they called him Jesse "The Bawdy" Helms.

Wotta potty mouth that racist prick had.

...the vomitorious offerings from the MSM outlets, glazing over Senator Helms's racist, homophobe and co-creator of "soft money" campaigning. I was left awonder, yes, is a nice-guy bio of Adolph Hitler coming anytime soon?

Yeah, here's a weird piece from America's so-called Document of Record the New York Times.

THERE is another role Mr. Helms plays that infuriates internationalists but also strengthens the country's ability to conduct an active international policy: He is the key populist, conservative skeptic of the foreign-policy establishment's pet schemes for international cooperation and intervention.

Why does the NYT hate international cooperation?

A record 180-something gripes about his snotty, but sincerely accurate assessement of Senator Helm's legacy.

Spud thought he were being polite in fact on Jesse's RIP thread.

The summary in question that caused such a ruckus merely stated:

5 Time Senator from North Carolina, this racist, sexist, anti civil rights and equal rights dinosaur of the right has finally kicked the bucket and gone to join the choir invisible. Spud, oddly enuff, aint crying over the fact.

Hardly incendiary stuff is that.

Jesse Helms was a demonstrable and indeed unabashed racist, sexist, anti equal/civil rights guy.

Proud of his own ignorance and hate while alive apparently his fan base finds that noting the facts of his life after he's dead to be objectionable.

They are nutters.

And did you know that L. Paul Bremer was raised in the same absurdly wealthy Connecticut town of New Canaan as the Coulter Feeder?

~Lee Russ.

No, Spud did not.

Oh New Canaan, so much to answer for.

The incestuous world of High Society breeds monsters.

Same as it ever was.

And so it goes.

Be Well.

Don't apologize, you gave me a huge laugh, sparring with such ease those Freepers who occasionally haunt DT. It was nice to watch them squirm, come unhinged and dare you to a street fight. But, they make the same mistake many fools do: They bring a knife to Tater's AK-47 fight.

Dumb, yes.

You Google up William Randolph Hearst. The Guardian's piece went off with a comparison to him. And Hearst was not a nice guy by anyone's measure, yet, to this date, some do respect the eel. And still criticize Orson for nailing the ass to the wall with Citizen Kane. Funny that Michael Moore didn't do a piece on that potty-mouthed little Nazi, that would've made for some entertainment, Laws yes!

You were just accurate. The others smoke their RNC reefer, as they always do.

And I need company here on the island, yes...