Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The Office" (Workstation series) 48 (Nearly Home edition)

Nearly home now.

In the meanwhile, here's the best description I've heard so far of my candidate:

The thing that I notice as I see more of John Edwards is that this is one tough motherfucker. Don't let the Jimmy Carter smile and the excellent hair and the honey-tinged drawl fool you for one minute. This guy has more stones than the rest of the Democratic candidates combined.
This is why the Republicans hated Clinton, and Carter, and still hate Gore, as much as they do: because there is nothing those faux-folksy punk-ass bitch preppies from Choate or Yale or Princeton hate more than a self-made Southern boy (OK, not Gore, but Clinton, Carter, and Edwards for sure) who is smarter than they are. It's like the time Bush Sr tried to bandy Scripture with the Clinton/Gore campaign: as Molly Ivins said, "an Episcopalian should really know better than to try to argue Scripture with a couple of Southern Baptists." Living in the South and Southwest for the period I now have has confirmed for me that one of the subtlest but most prevalent ethnic prejudices still accepted widely in the mass media is the presumption that people from the South are universally dumb, conservative, racist, or fundamentalist.

What they are, typically--in Texas anyway--is unselfconscious. If they're happy about being rich, they ain't subtle with it. If they're racist, or classist, or sexist, they're unselfconscious about that too. On the other hand, if you're broken down in the caliche dust by the side of some rural route, every single car will stop for you--even if it's your neighbor who hates your guts because he lost a dispute with you about water rights. On the other hand, those monosyllabic ranchers, and backslapping oil wildcatters, and big-haired ladies at the Methodist Ladies' Fellowship Society, are past-masters at keeping their cool in the face of foreigners (really, anybody from outside the state) who don't understand them. The myth of the hot-tempered "shoot first and ask questions later" cowboy is just that--it's a myth. They're much more likely to shift the quid to the other cheek, say "Waal, hoss, sorry to hear you feel that way" three or four times, or through three or four bullshit insults, and then punch your lights out.

The Bush/Baker/Cheney Axis are Yankee oligarchs: they believe in a ruling class, as defined primarily by inheritance, education, prior privilege, and corporate allegiances. The idea that some Southern boy with perfect hair, a gleaming smile, an astonishing facility with the language of religion-based social uplift, might also be smarter than they are, causes their heads to explode (or, in the case of Darth Cheney, the pump in his chest which in homo sapiens is referred to as a heart).

If I'm going to balance competence, program, prior allegiances, and a reasonable shot of electability, then that's my candidate.

"One tough motherfucker"; couldn't have said it better meself.
Now playing: Martin Simpson - The Flying Cloud

1 comment:

Roger Landes said...

Edwards became my candidate in the lead up to the Iowa caucus in late '03/early '04. As I watched the coverage on CSPAN I saw how he talked to real people in little Mom'n'Pop stores and cafes, answering their questions with real answers and not afraid to admit when he didn't know something. He is the first national candidate for president to advocate public financing of campaigns, and, in his emphasis on health care in '04, was way ahead of every other Democrat. Pity that Terry McAuliffe compressed the primary season in '04, guaranteeing that the process couldn't work and the weakest of the viable candidates grabbed the lead too early. And we all know how that washed out...