Zell's Bells

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Zell Miller takes on his critics in the pages of OpinionJournal. Snippets:

My critics can call me a psychopath and fire spitballs at me and froth at the mouth when an ex-president sends me a nasty letter. That's the freedom of speech they all enjoy, courtesy of the American soldier….

[T]o call me a racist was especially hurtful. For [my critics] know better. They know I worked for three governors in a row, not just one: Carl Sanders, Lester Maddox and Jimmy Carter. They knew I was the first governor to try to remove the Confederate emblem from the Georgia flag. And by the way, when I called each of Georgia's former governors to tell them what I was about to attempt, Jimmy Carter's first question to me was, "What are you doing that for?" Mr. Gergen and Mr. Hunt also know I appointed the only African-American attorney general in the country in the 1990s and more African Americans to the state judiciary than all the other governors of Georgia combined, including that one from Plains.

Whole thing here.

Matt Welch witnessed Zell's performance at the RNC. His account is here.

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  1. “I will never trust John Kerry with my family’s safety”

    Except, of course, for the first 16 years of his Senate career, when you praised him for making America’s defense stronger.

    Could this K Street sellout be any more tranparent?

  2. Ole Zell looks like a prophet for saying his party had a pathological hatred for the Commander in Chief. Judging by the pressure building up on Dan Rather to come clean about the forged memos, we may be witnessing the mother of all dirty tricks exposed and the Democratic Party’s credibility collapsing like a house of cards.

  3. Ole Zell looks like a prophet for saying his party had a pathological hatred for the Commander in Chief. Judging by the pressure building up on Dan Rather to come clean about the forged memos, we may be witnessing the mother of all dirty tricks exposed and the Democratic Party’s credibility collapsing like a house of cards.

  4. Ole Zell looks like a prophet for saying his party had a pathological hatred for the Commander in Chief. Judging by the pressure building up on Dan Rather to come clean about the forged memos, we may be witnessing the mother of all dirty tricks exposed and the Democratic Party’s credibility collapsing like a house of cards.

  5. Ole Zell looks like a prophet for saying his party had a pathological hatred for the Commander in Chief. Judging by the pressure building up on Dan Rather to come clean about the forged memos, we may be witnessing the mother of all dirty tricks exposed and the Democratic Party’s credibility collapsing like a house of cards.

  6. “That’s the freedom of speech they all enjoy, courtesy of the American soldier….”

    Funny, I thought that I enjoyed that freedom because it was endowed to me by my creator.

  7. Yeah, Zell must have been asleep in history class when they talked about the Founders and their beliefs in natural law and divine reason…funny how the founders had little to say about the glories of war.

    And whether Zell was chasing Negroes with pickaxes with his old pal Maddox, or appointing African-Americans to the State House, it all means the same thing: he can change his image more times than Madonna. Now that’s a flip-flopper, folks.

  8. I don’t think he should be so smug about having confused Jimmy Carter!! 🙂

  9. Re: “Ole Zell looks like a prophet for saying his party had a pathological hatred for the Commander in Chief.” That’s one of those tiresome red herrings I wish we could put to rest but probably won’t. Both parties hate each other with a zeal that gives them both a reason to live. If you need a reason to live yourself, feel free to join in. Me, I’ve got a few others, like nature, friends, and hey, it’s NFL season!!

  10. “John Kerry and his crowd derisively call American troops “occupiers” because it fits with their warped belief that America is the problem, not the solution.”

    Bush referred to the US forces in Iraq as occupiers in many occassions. Why is this looney singling out John Kerry and his crowd?

  11. Where are all those new Reason Online readers who showed up to defend Zell’s rantings during the convention?

  12. “Bush referred to the US forces in Iraq as occupiers in many occassions. Why is this looney singling out John Kerry and his crowd?”

    The question contains the answer: Because he’s looney.

  13. Zell’s speech was a fine example of rhetoric…Cicero would be proud. If you doubt this, read any one of his Senate Phillipics against Marc Antony, Zell looks mild by comparison.

  14. As a Southerner, I feel obligated to explain that it’s possible to see a pickaxe as a symbol of the freedom a restaurant owner used to have in this country to refuse service to those he decided to refuse service to.
    I understand the meaning of any symbol is in the eyes of the beholder.

  15. “the mother of all dirty tricks”
    I didn’t know Bush is finally taking the fall for the McCain black baby dirty trick.

    I would think it’s hillariously ironic (if it didn’t affect important things) that partisans of both sides flip out over dirty tricks. Bush supporters especially, since he has shown no qualms about using filthy tricks to win.

  16. Was it really a pickaxe, or an axe handle?

  17. Pickax handle.

  18. “Ole Zell looks like a prophet…”

    If the portaits of Old Testament prophets I’ve seen are accurate, then he sure does. Just add an unkempt beard, and he could ranting on a dusty streetcorner with any of them.

  19. Miller proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that Democrats are motivated by pure angry and will say anything about their opponents, no matter how false or unfair it may be, to help their candidate.

    Bravo, Zell. You confirmed my worst suspicions about Democrats!

  20. Ruthless, every thug has an excuse. I’m sure the restaurant owner had a tough childhood, too.

  21. I thought the content of Zell’s speech was great.

    But I would say that Zell’s not just a whore, he’s a cheap whore.

  22. What the frig is Zell’s obsession with spitballs?

  23. it rhymes with shitballs?

  24. If freedom of speech was endowed by our creator, why did it take 5,000 years for it to be put into practice?

  25. hint: yahweh is not the deist deity.

    desert gods got some motherfuckin’ wrath to dish out.

  26. Even if one believes in a God that endows us with rights in some moral or mystical sense, one has to recognize that you only enjoy those rights when they’re actually enforced and protected. Whether it’s by a law to protect rights, a judge overturning a law that fails to do so, or a soldier keeping us from being conquered by a government rather more imperfect than our own, our rights exist in the meaningful sense of “we can practice them without being punished or prevented” because of action, systems, and people, not in a theoretical vacuum.

  27. Eric the .5b,

    Very true and very well stated.

    Still, the opposite is just as true. The valor of soldiers is also not enough to protect our rights. Lord knows, plenty of soldiers throughout history have fought bravely and risked and sometimes lost their lives for governments “rather more imperfect than our own.”

    I may not be telling you anything you didn’t already know, but I felt it needed to be said. Boring and hoary as it may be to say, both sides of the equation are necessary for liberty.

  28. My problem with the “soldier gives us our freedom” line is that every country has soldiers, very few have freedoms. It’s our system of government that gives us our freedoms, the soldier’s job is to defend our country and our system of government.

    If we have freedom of speech because of the soldier, where is he to defend against CFR? Where is he when the FCC fines Stern? The soldier may defend against external threats, the vigilant citizen (yes, this includes the ACLU, to an extent) protects against the internal threat. Both are equally dangerous to our freedoms, just in different ways.

  29. I do not mean to disparage our soldiers, they are very important and I am grateful that we have the best damn military out there. We would not have our freedoms without them, but as fyodor said, they are only part of the equation.

  30. “I will never trust John Kerry with my family’s safety”

    Except, of course, for the first 16 years of his Senate career, when you praised him for making America’s defense stronger.

    Quick civics lesson, joe: the President of the United States, not the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, is the head of the armed forces and the Executive Branch.

    Could this K Street sellout be any more tranparent?

    “Sellout”? He’s retiring. He hasn’t sold out; he’s *stopped* selling out. While he still had an active political career he didn’t want to risk offending the Democratic Party too much. Now that he no longer has reason to care what they think, he can speak his mind.

  31. Ruthless,

    As a Southerner, I feel obligated to explain that it’s possible to see a pickaxe as a symbol of the freedom a restaurant owner used to have in this country to refuse service to those he decided to refuse service to.

    Let’s not kid ourselves here; even without the passage of the Civil Rights’ Act, Maddox’s behavior was despicable. So yes, Maddox should have had the freedom to be a racist; I don’t see how this makes him a particularly noble character though. And I am a Southerner too.

    Dan,

    Quick civics lesson, joe: the President of the United States, not the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, is the head of the armed forces and the Executive Branch.

    That’s a fairly lame argument Dan. Zell Miller praised Kerry in the past and now he damns him; this requires more of an explanation than you provide. Indeed, if Kerry is bad as Zell Miller paints him, I don’t see how he even would deserve the position of junior Senator from Massachusetts (especially in light of the foreign policy powers of Senators as a body).

    He’s retiring. He hasn’t sold out; he’s *stopped* selling out.

    In other words, Zell Miller spent most of his life working for things he didn’t believe in, and now he’s changed this practice since he’s leaving office? If he has been so duplicitious in the past (as you state), tell me why I shouldn’t be completely incredulous about the opinions of such a person?

    And by the way, when I called each of Georgia’s former governors to tell them what I was about to attempt, Jimmy Carter’s first question to me was, “What are you doing that for?”

    Well, certainly this is a very damning statement! 🙂 Jimmy Carter asked him why he was doing it! How horrible! How stunning!

  32. Zell Miller has always reminded struck me as Georgia’s version of George Wallace.

  33. ‘”Sellout”? He’s retiring. He hasn’t sold out; he’s *stopped* selling out.’

    Dan, that’s so cute.

    Google “K Street,” would you?

  34. Joe, Gary: “Trusting” Kerry as a junior Senator for 16 years before 9/11 showed a particular threat’s magnitude, and trusting him as Commander in Chief after 9/11, given his words and actions since then, are entirely different propositions.

    Is this matter of completely relevant context too difficult for “Reason”-able people to grasp?

  35. Sigivald,

    Of course the problem with your statement is that much of Zell Miller’s criticisms concern decisions he made prior to 9/11 (his vote on various weapons systems in the 1990s for example). Sorry, but Kerry, along with his fellow Senators, has the power of the purse, whether he is a “junior Senator” or not, along with significant foreign policy powers; in other words, if he is dangerous as President, then should have been dangerous as a Senator as well.

  36. GG,

    “I don’t see how he even would deserve the position of junior Senator from Massachusetts ”

    “deserve” has got nothing to do with anything about our elected officials. as if Kennedy “deserves” to be the senior senator from MA (or Bush “deserves” to be the Prez).

    So, don’t argue something that is not relevent.

    “if he is dangerous as President, then should have been dangerous as a Senator as well.”

    Wow! no ‘degree’ or ‘proportion’ there, huh?

    if you are a mildly incompetent office worker and I don’t think you should be the senior VP, will you trot out this argument?

    try this: as a poster here, you are a minor pain in the ass – but that is fine (considering what you bring to the discussion). does that mean I can’t voice my objection to you becoming Reason Editor?

  37. zorel,

    “deserve” has got nothing to do with anything about our elected officials. as if Kennedy “deserves” to be the senior senator from MA (or Bush “deserves” to be the Prez).

    Poor word choice on my part perhaps, but my point is clear enough; if Kerry is a wrong choice for President, then he ought to be an equally wrong choice for Senator (in part because of the reasons I have already described).

    So, don’t argue something that is not relevent.

    The only thing relevant here is your pedantry.

    Wow! no ‘degree’ or ‘proportion’ there, huh?

    You can continue to ignore the reasons I gave for my comment or not; its your choice.

    if you are a mildly incompetent office worker and I don’t think you should be the senior VP, will you trot out this argument?

    This analogy doesn’t fit; indeed, its a strawman.

    A sitting US Senator is not akin to an “incompetent office worker”; he’s an elected member of one of the three constitutional branches of the Federal Government, who, along with his fellow Senators, has the power of the purse (which has significant implications regarding allocation of military expenditures), along with significant foreign policy powers. In other words, if Kerry cannot be trusted as “command in chief” with disbursement of military funds, how could he have been trusted to make the right decisions regarding the allocation of said funds, especially in a body where all he has to do is influence merely fifty other people to vote as he does?

    When you actually address this argument, as opposed to ignoring and throwing strawmen at it, I’ll be pleased to respond. 🙂

    try this: as a poster here, you are a minor pain in the ass – but that is fine (considering what you bring to the discussion).

    Whether I am a pain in the ass or not is irrelevant to my argument.

    does that mean I can’t voice my objection to you becoming Reason Editor?

    You can voice an objection all you want to; indeed, Zell Miller can raise his objections all he wants to (I never claimed that he couldn’t, and your implication is that I have – which is utter tripe on your part).

    However, you’ll note again that your analogy does not hold water. As a poster I have no power here. As a Senator, John Kerry does. Since Kerry does have some power as a Senator, indeed, a great deal when combined with his fellow Senators (or even by himself through the traditions associated with court appointments, etc.), its perfectly appropriate to ask why Kerry was fit to wield this power as a Senator but not as President of the U.S.

  38. Gary,

    If you want to argue that being 1 in 100 (or 1 in 535) should have the same level of qualifications as being the top 1, have it your way.

    In the senate there are a hundred guys checking, balancing various ideologies – so a wingnut (left or right) can’t do much damage. But a president can since even with all checks and balances, he has a lot more powers as the head of state (obviously you know all this shit). I fail to see how claiming someone is unfit to be the president should carry down the rungs to make them unfit for lower level positions.

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