Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Year in Rebuked: Part 3

In 2008 we lost Paul Newman, George Carlin and Bozo the Clown. The Right lost one of its cooler members, William F. Buckley Jr., who at least would engage his ideological opponents in civil debate on his PBS show Firing Line, unlike Rush Limbaugh who usually takes calls from fawning dittoheads.
Then there was the death of former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms, the last of the Foghorn Leghorn style politicians who successfully exploited race and other fears still festering in the South. It was Senator Helms who boasted of his 16-day filibuster to stop the U.S. Senate from approving a federal holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and a majority of North Carolina voters responded by returning him to office. While other Old South politicians admitted their mistakes in opposing civil rights, Helms never apologized for his segregationist stance on issues. Jesse Helms died on July 4th 2008, too early to see North Carolina and the nation elect Barack Obama president. While liberals may have been tempted to give into the tasteless urge to dance on Senator Helms' grave, all we needed to do was wait a few months. As late as January, sources tell me that the late senator is still spinning in it.

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