Monday, August 29, 2005

Jesse Helms To Publish Memoirs. Reading Public Pretends To Give A Shit.

In a move that is certain to cause little excitement, Jesse Helms, former North Carolina Senator (R - Batshit Crazy), announced the upcoming release of his memoirs. Yahoo News AP Wire excerpt:

RALEIGH, N.C. - Jesse Helms, writing with the same passion that made him the archconservative of the U.S. Senate for 30 years, renews his criticism of abortion in a memoir being published this week, comparing it to both the Holocaust and the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I will never be silent about the death of those who cannot speak for themselves," the former senator wrote in "Here's Where I Stand," which is scheduled for release Tuesday. The North Carolina Republican, known as "Senator No" for his consistent efforts to block what he considered liberal initiatives and unqualified foreign policy appointees, makes clear his views on abortion and other issues have hardly moderated since he left office in 2003.

Helms wrote there was no conservative plan to take over national politics just like-minded people rising through the ranks. "While this majority shift is often referred to as a 'revolution,' it was, in my view, the anticipated result of a steady evolution," he wrote.

Helms devotes an entire chapter to his views on race relations, defending his record challenging most of the nation's civil rights legislation as a 1960s television commentator and as a senator. "I felt that the citizens of my community, my state and my region of the country were being battered by this new form of bigotry," he wrote. "I simply could not stay silent in the face of this assault and I didn't."

Helms suggests the South could have integrated voluntarily if the federal government had not intervened. He wrote, "I believed right would prevail as people followed their own consciences." He claimed he opposed creation of a national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in 1983 in part because the Senate rejected his amendment that would have unsealed the FBI'
s files on the civil rights leader. Helms contends King's advisers included Communist sympathizers.

Full Story

I remember writing a piece for a bunch of my fellow political malcontents about the upcoming 1996 elections in which I profiled some of the biggest Republican pricks who had been fouling the discourse at that time. It was a rich field that included such noted assholes as Phil Gramm, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Strom Thurmond and Senator Helms. It was a veritable Murderer's Row of Foaing At The Mouth Conservative Craziness. How crazy were these vermin? That year's Republican ticket of Bob Dole and Jack Kemp seemed calm and measured in comparison.

The last two lines of the final paragraph of the news excerpt pretty much sum up what a petty little bastard Helms was during his career. If you want to give Helms the benefit of the doubt about his stance on the MLK holiday by throwing that red herring Commie nonsense out there (get herring...Commie...ah, never mind...), rather than call the man the racist thug he is, then you simply regard him as a McCarthy style paranoid. However, his preceding lies in the excerpt about the South coming to its senses and integrating on it's own is pure bullshit. Unfortunately, the Helms legacy lives on in Tom DeLay, Tom Coburn, Jim Inhofe and a host of other hollow little scumbags. It is almost as if "Senator No" is still with us as the push to abolish Social Security, reverse Roe v. Wade, and the effort to undermine affordable health care and compromise workers conditions is now in full swing -- an effort he helped to start with his backward thinking and regressive attitudes.

My other problem with this goon is that he single-handedly helped to screw up the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by torpedoing the Bill Weld nomination to be Ambassador to Mexico when Bill Clinton tapped the then Massachusetts Governor on the shoulder. Helms hated Weld because Weld, as a member of Attorney General Edwin Meese's staff during Ronald Reagan's first term as President, resigned in protest over the WedTech scandal that eventually brought Meese to his ugly knees in disgrace.

Helms never forgave Weld for that and he spitefully put the fork to the man. Weld, in anticipation of his new post, turned the keys to the store over to his Lieutenant Governor, Argeo "Paul" Cellucci, and thereby inadvertently started a steady decline in the fortunes of the Commonwealth (that included the ascendacy of Jane "Not So" Swift and her troubles, and now the Bush-friendly Mitt Romney). If Weld had the simple instincts to realize that he'd be walking into the lion's den with Helms ready to devour him, he probably would never have resigned during the confirmation process, and, when eventually denied, could have simply come back to the Bay State where his touch as one of the few sane Republicans in history, helped restore the fortunes of the Commonwealth after the inconsistent reign of Michael Dukakis (one of the worst Presidential candidates in history). But maybe my praise of Weld is misplaced, as it seems he is testing the waters for a Gubernatorial run in New York. Weld is reportedly meeting with Bush Administration fixer Karl Rove, which is definitely a sign that he has crossed over to the dark side. Too bad. He was a damned good governor.

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