Helms is dead


Which one?

Oh, that one.

Jesse. BIH.

OK, kids, now remember pissing on his grave won’t make you cool unless you get an NEA grant to do it.

Not a good year for Senate stalwarts…

Satan has called his servant home.

Give the fieldhands the afternoon off!

Senator NO…the world is a better place…now

Oh no. I guess song number three on that list is now officially obsolete.

Best check his attic now…

Anyone care to edutain a foreigner? What is the significance of this?

Helms is – excuse me, was – a conservative federal legislator.

He was the last of the openly racist Senators.

Yes, Byrd was in the Klan sixty years ago but that was never part of his platform.

The first vote I ever cast was for Jesse Helms! Nobody could drive the Angry Left into paroxysms of rage better.

Bigots do tend to piss people off.

Only the Angry Left, Glenn. Only the Angry Left. As Fooey implies, the Placid Right are totally cool with racism, so long as it pisses off somebody they dislike. That was the thrust of your point, right, Fooey? Wait, am I being too generous in assuming you had one?

Right up to his retirement, Helms apparently retained the charming and clever habit of referring to black Americans as “Freds,” as in “What the hell did that Fred want?”

Har har hee hee? That’ll rile all them Fred-lovers up North!

More importantly, he pioneered the return of mudslinging and race-baiting to modern Senate election campaigns, and, more importantly still, he pioneered shameless anti-Constitutional dirty fighting in Congress. His obits will be full of this, I’m sure.

Senators get more power with seniority, so during the Clinton administration Helms chaired whatever committee approves the appointment of ambassadors and such, and he rejected every appointment for months on end, not bothering to make any excuses, in an attempt to coerce the President to approve something Helms wanted (I forget what). He was like Joe McCarthy, but much more successful and anti-civil rights instead of anti-Communist.

Oh — and Helms’s fund-raising relationship with Big Tobacco was one of the main reasons why as late as 1996 the Republican Presidential candidate would say that he didn’t know whether cigarettes are bad for you, which was a national fucking embarrassment.

Clipped from the AP’s story: "In the first race, a Helms commercial showed a white fist crumpling up a job application, these words underneath: “You needed that job … but they had to give it to a minority.”

That’s all you need to know.


That was in the 1990 Senate race against Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, the one I cast my first vote in. Here it is : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIyewCdXMzk 100% fair ad. I don’t know how old most people around here are, but in 1990, outright, clearly defined, and above board racial quotas to fill government jobs were the rule in North Carolina and many other states. They’ve mostly been ruled illegal since or been shamed out of existence, but they were widespread in 1990. The Ted Kennedy reference in the ad is to the Civil Rights Act of 1990, which would have imposed explicit racial quotas on hiring practices of private businesses on top of the rank injustice then going on in government jobs.