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AemJeff
07-05-2008, 07:04 AM
Jesse Helms (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/us/politics/00helms.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin) is dead. I have very little charity to offer on this occasion.

bjkeefe
07-05-2008, 07:07 AM
Jesse Helms (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/us/politics/00helms.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin) is dead. I have very little charity to offer on this occasion.

I feel the same way as I did when Jerry Falwell died -- a wish to believe in God only so I could imagine the scene at the Pearly Gates: "Boy, did you ever get it wrong. End of the line."

AemJeff
07-05-2008, 07:08 AM
I feel the same way as I did when Jerry Falwell died -- a wish to believe in God only so I could imagine the scene at the Pearly Gates: "Boy, did you ever get it wrong. End of the line."

If there's an afterlife, one can only hope they're locked in a room together for eternity.

TwinSwords
07-06-2008, 01:59 AM
Matt Yglesias:

The Helms Legacy
05 Jul 2008 01:19 pm

One fascinating thing about the death of Jesse Helms is the conservative reaction. One might expect that Helms' death would prompt from conservatives the sorts of things that I might say if, say, Al Sharpton died -- that he and I had some overlapping beliefs and I don't regard him as the world-historical villain that the right does, but that he's a problematic guy and I regard him and his methods as pretty marginal to American liberalism. But instead conservatives are taking a line that I might have regarded as an unfair smear just a week ago, and saying that Helms is a brilliant exemplar of the American conservative movement.

And if that's what the Heritage Foundation and National Review and the other key pillars of American conservatism want me to believe, then I'm happy to believe it. But it reflects just absolutely horribly on them and their movement that this is how they want to be seen -- as best exemplified by bigotry, lunatic notions about foreign policy, and tobacco subsidies.

TwinSwords
07-06-2008, 02:03 AM
Lindsay Beyerstein recalls Helms (http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2008/07/race-baiting-fo.html#more):

Race-baiting former senator Jesse Helms has died

One of America's most notorious race-baiters has died. Former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms passed away early this morning at the age of eighty-six.

Helms wasn't just another racist politician, racism was his politics. His entire career was an extended pitch to the worst instincts of Americans. He became a conservative icon by skillfully harnessing the media of his day to stoke the country's darkest fears about race, sex, and modernity.

Along the way, Helms played a major role in assembling what we know today as the right wing noise machine--an integrated network of media outlets, think tanks, political consultants, lobbyists, church groups, and direct-mail fundraisers dedicated to rolling back the reforms of the 1960s and "reclaiming" America for straight white guys with money. It's not for nothing that Helms is being lionized as a major figure in the modern conservative movement.

[...]

Read the whole thing (http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2008/07/race-baiting-fo.html#more).

AemJeff
07-06-2008, 10:11 AM
Yglesias has it exactly right. The love fest (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjQyN2RhZmEzNGFhYmJmYTY2M2MxMzA3MGFlZGMwMDk=) at The Corner (http://corner.nationalreview.com/) in particular was a bewildering and disgusting display. John J. Miller had this (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODhjYWIxMjcyODM3ZWVkNzA0MzU1NjU1MWI0MjY1YWE=) to offer:

Dumping on Helms [John J. Miller]

The first sentence of the NYT obit:

Jesse Helms, the former North Carolina Senator whose courtly manner and mossy drawl barely masked a hard-edged conservatism that opposed civil rights, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art, died early Friday.

He "opposed civil rights"? Uh, no. He opposed a particular vision of them.

bjkeefe
07-06-2008, 10:19 AM
Even if we stipulate to this:

He "opposed civil rights"? Uh, no. He opposed a particular vision of them.

(which does, I admit, take stipulation to a whole new level), it appears as though Mills is acknowledging the validity of the other three; i.e., that he opposed "gay rights, foreign aid and modern art."

But then again, if you write for The Corner, that's probably not something you're ashamed of.

TwinSwords
07-07-2008, 02:36 AM
It amazes me that Repulicans still wonder why blacks don't vote Republican.

As one of the commenters (http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/the_helms_legacy.php#comments) on that Yglesias post said,

Those of us who grew up surrounded by genuine white supremacy as an ideology know perfectly well that this is the beating heart of the conservative movement. Moreover, while there's no *necessary* connection between the Religious Right and Helms-esque bigotry, and correlation is certainly not causation, boy oh boy are the two often united under one roof.

TwinSwords
07-07-2008, 02:38 AM
From The Washington Monthly (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_07/014034.php):

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

bjkeefe
07-07-2008, 05:26 AM
... for the quotes from Drum and the MattY commenter, Twin. Good points, both of them.

bjkeefe
07-08-2008, 05:53 AM
Initial reaction (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16094.html).

Follow-up (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/16116.html).

bjkeefe
07-08-2008, 09:19 AM
Hitchens has a fond remembrance (http://www.slate.com/id/2194921/) of Jesse Helms.

Just kidding.

TwinSwords
07-08-2008, 11:20 PM
Hitchens has a fond remembrance (http://www.slate.com/id/2194921/) of Jesse Helms.

Just kidding.

:-D

BTW, did you see the video of Hitchens's waterboarding?

bjkeefe
07-08-2008, 11:34 PM
BTW, did you see the video of Hitchens's waterboarding?

No. Not sure I'd care to.

TwinSwords
07-08-2008, 11:38 PM
No. Not sure I'd care to.

That's what I thought, too, at first, but there was nothing gut wrenching or remarkable about it. It was pretty interesting.

Blog post about it here: http://bagnewsnotes.typepad.com/bagnews/2008/07/chris-nearly-dr.html

With links to Hitchens article about the experience, and the video of his waterboarding.

Worth checking out.

AemJeff
07-09-2008, 11:33 PM
Douthat makes a nuanced case (http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/the_case_of_jesse_helms.php) from the right against Helms. Of course ultimately he makes a case I agree with, so you could argue that patting him on the back isn't much of a stretch from my standpoint. And you'd be right.

Still:
He simply was an awful bigot, and worse he was an awful bigot who never expressed a shred of remorse, so far as I know, for his toxic approach to issues ranging from civil rights to HIV to foreign affairs. Far from being the sort of politicians who conservatives ought to defend, out of a sense of issue-by-issue solidarity, he's the sort of politician conservatives ought to carefully distance themselves from, because his political style brought (and continues to bring) intellectual disrepute to almost every cause with which he was associated.

Go Ross!

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-10-2008, 10:02 AM
Tuesday, the entire Senate co-sponsored a resolution honoring Jesse Helms (http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/u_s_senate_honors_helms). While I know many posters have been busy criticizing some conservatives for their unfettered praise of the man (though a few posters seem unaware that many conservatives were not so quick to laud Helms), please don't forget to save a little vitriol for Senators Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, etc.

AemJeff
07-10-2008, 11:21 AM
Tuesday, the entire Senate co-sponsored a resolution honoring Jesse Helms (http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/u_s_senate_honors_helms). While I know many posters have been busy criticizing some conservatives for their unfettered praise of the man (though a few posters seem unaware that many conservatives were not so quick to laud Helms), please don't forget to save a little vitriol for Senators Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, etc.

You make a good point, Elvis. There is a distinction to be made here, however. In the Senate, the operative mode is "Collegiality," an obnoxious recognition of membership in an exclusive club setting them apart from the rest of us. A senator would have to be a serial murderer (or maybe have a publicly known "wide stance") to motivate his fellows to anything other than broad public praise at his passing. Trent Lott almost became a counterexample to this principle, his mistake was to say something that could be interpreted as praise of policies rather than broad praise for his colleague. Even then, I think he was, in many ways, unlucky. I doubt that you'll hear much from Democratic side of the aisle (in fact I'd be shocked, post Lott's controversy to hear it from either side) that could be construed as nostalgia for Helms worst policy ideas.

TwinSwords
07-10-2008, 11:24 AM
Tuesday, the entire Senate co-sponsored a resolution honoring Jesse Helms (http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/u_s_senate_honors_helms). While I know many posters have been busy criticizing some conservatives for their unfettered praise of the man (though a few posters seem unaware that many conservatives were not so quick to laud Helms), please don't forget to save a little vitriol for Senators Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, etc.
This is Senate tradition, and does not signify what you seem to be implying. Outside of this unique setting, how many liberals have honored Helms? You can't compare what Senators do in keeping with tradition and what conservatives are doing of their own volition: elevating Helms as the standard bearer of the Republican Party and conservative movement. When Ted Kennedy dies, someday, there will likewise be a unanimous vote honoring his service. No one will interpret this as an embrace of Kennedy's politics.

The praise for Helms by the Republican Party is something altogether different from routine Senatorial courtesy.

Thus Spoke Elvis
07-10-2008, 12:21 PM
Hey, I personally think Helms was a pretty awful buffoon who occassionally could make himself useful (i.e., combatting communism). And I also think a some conservatives went over the top (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODhjYWIxMjcyODM3ZWVkNzA0MzU1NjU1MWI0MjY1YWE=) in their praise/defense of the man. But many others did not, including Ramesh (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjE0OGI0YjU1OThjODczOThjZGI0M2FlYzVlYWU5YjE=), Jonah Goldberg (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzI5NDhlYzNkZWIzY2NkYmQyMDc2NWM3Y2NiNDdkMGQ=), and Ross Douthat (http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/the_case_of_jesse_helms.php), among others. A lot of conservatives were noticeably silent, I suspect because they simply believe it is poor protocol to speak ill of the recently deceased.

Yet some people, including a few posters on this site, seem to suggest that the only appropriate response to Helm's passing should be condemnation of the man. Earlier in this thread, Twinswords approvingly linked (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=82508&postcount=10) to a Kevin Drum post that mocked Bush for saying a few kind words about Helms on the day of his passing. If that's your position, good for you. But if you want to be fair about it, shouldn't you also be critical of a Democratic-controlled Senate which unanimously sponsors a resolution commending Helms for his "invaluable contributions to his community, State, Nation, and the World," (http://projects.newsobserver.com/under_the_dome/u_s_senate_honors_helms) without any acknowledgement of his obvious flaws?

bjkeefe
07-11-2008, 05:27 AM
Nicest yet (and by "nicest," I mean "harshest"): Hendrik Hertzberg (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2008/07/dropping-the-he.html).

Be sure to follow his second link, to his own 9/3/2001 piece, and note the prescient connection near the end to Bush cronies and Tom Delay.

Bloggin' Noggin
07-11-2008, 09:58 AM
Benen's post is largely a quotation of an earlier piece by David Broder. Props to Broder for his forthright denunciation (which he probably wouldn't repeat on Helms's death). This is probably the first thing by Broder that I've ever read that seems in any way to justify his title as "Dean" of American journalism.

I'm in favor of TRYING to speak well of people when they die -- or at least of looking at them in as charitable a light as possible. But clearly there are times when "dancing on the grave" is perfectly appropriate. I think Bertrand Russell rejoiced at Stalin's death for a BBC radio program, but the BBC wouldn't broadcast. When it comes to Stalin or Pol Pot, Hitler or Mao, the idea that we should speak well of the (recently) dead obviously falls apart. Helms doesn't rise to their level of evil, but why shouldn't a bad posthumous reputation be among the punishments visited on people whose legacy is pernicious?

bjkeefe
07-11-2008, 01:43 PM
Benen's post is largely a quotation of an earlier piece by David Broder.

Yeah, I probably should have said so. My bad, although I did think Benen added something, and anyone who followed the link wouldn't have been hoodwinked.

Smart stuff, the rest of your comments.

garbagecowboy
07-12-2008, 04:13 AM
Funny... I thought the same thing when Carlin died.

bjkeefe
07-12-2008, 08:31 AM
Funny... I thought the same thing when Carlin died.

What, that Carlin was a redneck? Or that his foreign policy was an embarrassment?

Bloggin' Noggin
07-12-2008, 11:16 AM
Yeah, I probably should have said so. My bad, although I did think Benen added something, and anyone who followed the link wouldn't have been hoodwinked.


Didn't mean to suggest that you were under obligation to mention it. I just wanted to register my surprise and delight that "the Dean" actually wrote something "Deanworthy" -- not the usual platitudinous bipartisan blather. Precisely because I'm usually so scornful of Broder, I thought it behoved me to recognize when he did well -- that's all.

bjkeefe
07-12-2008, 02:41 PM
Didn't mean to suggest that you were under obligation to mention it. I just wanted to register my surprise and delight that "the Dean" actually wrote something "Deanworthy" -- not the usual platitudinous bipartisan blather. Precisely because I'm usually so scornful of Broder, I thought it behoved me to recognize when he did well -- that's all.

OIC.

Thanks for letting me off the hook. Yeah, Broder can bring it, sometimes. I've also liked him better since re-reading The Boys on the Bus. Granted, that was a few decades ago, but he comes off pretty well there.

bjkeefe
07-20-2008, 05:57 AM
GOP revisionist history, the Big Lie, and shamelessness know no bounds: Elizabeth Dole Tries To Name AIDS [Relief] Bill After Jesse Helms (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/16/elizabeth-dole-tries-to-n_n_113054.html).

For the first time ever, I believe it's appropriate to call for a bitch slap.

bjkeefe
08-03-2008, 09:54 PM
Cleaning out the old feedreader, came across this gem from TBogg, as a caption under a picture decorating a post commemorating the event (http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2008/07/04/hell-gets-a-little-more-crowded/):

Now knows the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground

TwinSwords
08-04-2008, 12:57 AM
Cleaning out the old feedreader, came across this gem from TBogg, as a caption under a picture decorating a post commemorating the event (http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2008/07/04/hell-gets-a-little-more-crowded/):

Ouch.

Looked at the post, thought I'd bring back a couple of quotes:



"The University of Negroes and Communists" - Jesse Helms 1950

"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

Wow, that's some potent hate. And the man is embraced without shame by the modern conservative movement.

bjkeefe
10-31-2009, 08:10 PM
Jesse Helms (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/us/politics/00helms.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin) is dead. I have very little charity to offer on this occasion.

Ahhhh ... let us hope this news makes his rest a little less easy:

White House announces end to HIV travel ban (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/10/30/obama_to_announce_end_to_hiv_t.html)

(And note the B'head byline!)

(h/t: Jim Newell (http://wonkette.com/411916/aidsies-finally-allowed-to-fly-all-over-the-place))