Barrwatch: Jessecide?

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Shortly after news of Sen. Jesse Helms' death became public, Bob Barr released a statement expressing condolences to his family.

Today, as we celebrate our freedom and independence, we should stop and give thanks to God for the life and work of Jesse Helms. As a nation we are stronger and the world is freer for his commitment to liberty. May God bless his family.

It was enough to drive blogger G.E. off the reservation, in a statement approvingly linked by Barr delegate Doug Craig. (UPDATE: Originally, I mistakenly identified G.E.'s comments as Craig's.)

I will not vote for Bob Barr for president and, if by some miracle he wins the state of Michigan, I will not cast my electoral vote for him either.

It's not just that Barr "sent condolences" to the family of racist dictator-lover Jess Helms. That would have been fine. No, Barr went so far as to call on ME to "give thanks to God" for the "life and work" — racist life and work — of Jesse Helms. That, I find completely outrageous and absolutely unforgivable.

Barr is a collectivist, anti-intellectual moron who does not understand that Communism was brought down under its own inefficiency — not the deficit spending and Fed-financed fascism of the disastrous Reagan administration. Barr is a pitiful disgrace to the Libertarian Party and libertarianism and I have diminished respect for anyone who continues to support him and call themselves a libertarian. Sorry.

A friend in the Barr campaign was exasperated by the tete-a-tete. "Somebody's who's a leader in the fight against communism dies, you say something nice about him, and someone who read a negative profile of the guy in the Washington Post walks off the field?" But I'm told Craig is the only Barr supporter to publicly protest the Helms press release.

Other than that, Barr had a decent holiday weekend. A new Zogby poll showed him pulling 6 percent of the national vote (most of it from conservatives), triple the support of a fading Ralph Nader. The New Jersey LP launched its statewide campaign from Atlantic City, which is really the sort of thing that need to happen if Barr's vote totals are to approach his poll numbers. And his brief interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos is here:

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  1. It’s not just that Barr “sent condolences” to the family of racist dictator-lover Jess Helms. That would have been fine. No, Barr went so far as to call on ME to “give thanks to God” for the “life and work” – racist life and work – of Jesse Helms. That, I find completely outrageous and absolutely unforgivable.

    Did Bob Barr praise Jesse Helms for his civil rights positions? I must have missed it.

    I’m no Jesse Helms fan by any stretch of the imagination, I shed negative tears upon hearing of his death. But I’m not running a campaign so I can freely speak ill of the dead. A mere “condolences to the family” would not be politic.

  2. I’m certainly not defending Helms, who was a horrid individual, but this Craig is the same type of person who — before Reagan — felt that communism could never be defeated, and that we should just make nice with them.

    This “efficiency” argument is nothing but revisionism at its worst. The inefficiency of Soviet system was apparent within a few years of its inception; but by 1980, a strong case could be made that they were winning the Cold War.

  3. I don’t see why it was necessary to heap praise on Helms. Why must a campaign–especially a third party campaign that is more about its message than about playing insider politics–issue any sort of statement on the passing of a former Senator?

    I’m not saying that this should be a deciding issue in regards to Barr, but I’m confused why Barr would feel the need to issue a statement, especially a statement that goes into greater depth than a generic “Our condolences to his family, we remember him as a very devoted advocate for his constituents.”

  4. This is as big of an outrage as Trent Lott flattering Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday party.

    That is, not at all…but Lott got raked over the coals for it.

  5. How does a spazzed-out lefty get to be a Barr delegate anyways?

    Reagan, and Helms, deserve a lot of credit for bringing down soviet communism.

  6. Raking Barr over the coals for praising the enemy of Libertarianism IS appropriate. Helms is dead and hopefully his ideology will soon die.

  7. Lott praising Thurmond was at least party-appropriate. Praising Helms from the top of the LP ticket is unnecessary and unwise. Certainly sparing much eloquence on the subject.

  8. I’m no anti-Barrista, but I saw this item on his web site and my immediate reaction was “eee-yew!”

    I understand that if we’re going for vote totals this year (and… that’s a Good Thing), that it’s right to kind of make noises that will make unreconstructed conservatives comfortable — or, better, NOT make them UNcomfortable. Thus, something neutral about how he “sure was one Senator, all right” would be fine.

    What we got just seems like Barr has a total tin ear for Libertarianism.

    Now, for a good quote, see Weigel: “former Sen. Jesse Helms died at age 86. Americans started setting off fireworks. The two events were unrelated.”

    There. Now I’m ALL better…

  9. I can remember telling my grad-school and wargaming buddies that “the Soviet Union won’t exist in the year 2000” back in the early 80s, and both groups looking at me like I had just popped into existence from another dimension.

    Very few of the people who nowadays go on about the Red Empire collapsing of its own inanity and inefficiency were saying that at the time; far more common was the attitude that the USSR would be around a long time, probably longer than the USofA (and Raygun would blow us all up anyway).

  10. An old dinosaur died. He was a man with outdated racist views that our society today finds repugnant. His passing means there is one less man alive with those views. He may have helped SOME conservative ideologies in some way, but he hurt conservatives a lot more by standing near them and making them smell like racists.
    I see now reason why Barr should have said a goddamn thing about his death. I agree with this Craig guy.

  11. but by 1980, a strong case could be made that they were winning the Cold War.

    Please, make this case. It’s news to me.

  12. I am not outraged by Barr’s statements, but a message of condolence to his family would have sufficed. Shows a lack of political saavy.

    It is an indication that he may not be the “best and brightest” that the Libertarian party has to offer.

  13. As a nation we are stronger and the world is freer for his commitment to liberty.

    Pretty accurate statement by Barr about Helms’ contribution as a senator.

  14. Christopher Hitchens requiem for Jerry Falwell should be the model for occasions like this.

    I already had a shitload of reasons not to vote for Barr. This new one doesn’t surprise me at all.

  15. What’s up with the claims of racism on Helms’ part?

    He ran ads that were anti-state-mandated-affirmative action, but being against anti-state-mandated-affirmative action happens to be the correct position.

    I tend to think of Helms’ negatives as being his loopy Christianism and his homophobia. But if I spat on the grave of every American Christian who was homophobic in the 80’s I’d get real dry real fast.

  16. Haven’t seen a link to Todd Rungren’s paean to Jesse Helms (and Tipper Gore).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HqqrvMQjg

  17. Lott praising Thurmond was at least party-appropriate.

    I can think of very little more “party-appropriate” than Trent Lott speculating how much better America would be if the segregationists won.

    And there’s Chris Potter, pretending that Lott’s skylarking at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party was a unique blemish on an otherwise impeachable career of rejecting racism.

  18. I don’t see why it was necessary to heap praise on Helms. Why must a campaign–especially a third party campaign that is more about its message than about playing insider politics–issue any sort of statement on the passing of a former Senator?

    It would seem necessary if your politcal stratgy is to try to pull traditional conservatives away from McCain. I would imagine that he is trying to peel right leaning old school conservatives and all the right leaning libertarians he can.

    I also think he will have a problem with left leaning libertarians — the guy has quite a bit of baggage that a left-leaning libertarian might have a hard time getting past.

  19. Fluffy —

    “The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that’s thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men’s rights.” – J. Helms, 1963

    and lest you think this an aberration of the times:

    “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.” J. Helms, 1981

  20. fluffy, a couple of articles have quoted helms’ old campaign ads. It’s pretty damning stuff.
    “White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races.”

    Anybody willing to exploit white people’s fear of black people in order to get elected should be no friend of the LP presidential candidate.

  21. “What’s up with the claims of racism on Helms’ part?”

    I’m glad you asked. Here are some of my greatest hits:

    “They should ask their parents if it would be all right for their son or daughter to marry a Negro.”
    — In response to Duke University students holding a vigil after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, 1968″

    “”The University of Negroes and Communists”
    — Reference to the University of North Carolina devised by Mr. Helms when he worked for Willis Smith’s 1950 U.S. Senate campaign. ”

    “”To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn’t have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing.”
    – Helms responding in 1956 to criticism that a fictional black character in his newspaper column was offensive. ”

    I also used to sing “Dixie” in the face of Carol Moesly Braun when I walked by here in the Senate.

  22. LMNOP,

    In 1980, the US was drifting closer and closer to the Soviet system, and they weren’t changing at all.

  23. Lott praising Thurmond was at least party-appropriate.

    When Thurmond ran under his own homebrew racist banner in 1948 it was against the GOP and the Democrats.

  24. I can think of very little more “party-appropriate” than Trent Lott speculating how much better America would be if the segregationists won.

    It’s intriguing that people who are so convinced of the utterly blatant bigotry of Lott’s statement feel the need to change the words to make their point. He didn’t say anything about segregationists, did he?

    pretending that Lott’s skylarking at Strom Thurmond’s birthday party was a unique blemish on an otherwise impeachable career of rejecting racism.

    If there’s so much independent evidence that Trent Lott is a despicable racist, why do you guys always harp on the birthday party quote?

  25. Elemenope ,

    In 1980 our economy was in the dumper, our President was telling us the good times were over and everything was going to suck real bad from then on,we had a military debacle in an attempt to free hostages held by some podunk rag-heads, miltary morale was lower than you could imagine.Cuba was dumping their criminals on our shores. The Soviet Union had us totally outclassed in nuke missiles(according to our ever-reliable CIA) and had seemingly sucessfully invaded Afghanistan and were on the offensive and kicking ass.
    Detente and appeasement was our policy for dealing with soviet communism. Jesse Helms opposed that quite effectively in the Senate.

  26. SIV et al.

    You laid out a great case for why things respectively in the US and USSR were going worse and better, but nothing whatsoever that would lead anyone sane to believe that the US was ‘losing’ and the USSR ‘winning’. To endorse such a view would mean to lose all sense of perspective.

    USSR: Food lines, rampant and critical equipment shortages, outright embarrassing premier

    US: An economic hiccup, a few int’l embarrassments, slightly whiny president

    Try again.

  27. Yeah, I missed the part where everyone in 1980 had to queue for toilet paper and bread at the state store.

    There was no way the US was going to ever “lose” to cold war as long as we didn’t blow ourselves up.

  28. SIV,
    I’m sure he did, and I’m sure others did too. But given the racist quotes, I’m inclined to believe that he opposed communism because he knew white people opposed communism. Right, wrong, or indifferent, opposition to communism does not redeem a man for tainting conservative politics with racism and homophobia. This man clearly sought to pit blacks against whites, use fear racism to get himself elected, and even prided himself on helping to keep black men oppressed.

  29. Lott is awfully cozy with the racist group Conservative Citizens Council for someone who isn’t a racist…oh, but isn’t Bob Barr a friend of theirs also?

  30. Stalin was instrumental in bringing down the evils of Nazism. Hitler may have triumphed without his existence. Ergo, Stalin was a great man.

  31. crimethink writes, He didn’t say anything about segregationists, did he?

    Yes, Chris, he did. He looked a former third-party candidate who ran a single-issue campaign in favor of segregation and told him that American wouldn’t have “all these problems” if he had won. You don’t have enough dignity to just walk away? You’re going to play dumb, and pretend you just can’t figure out what that means?

  32. Stalin was a Senator from North Carolina?

    Is there anyone active in statewide or national politics in the 1950s/early 60s South who can’t be associated with racist campaign tactics?
    Note the more egregious racial politics quotes attributed to Helms predate his tenure in the US Senate.

  33. Lott is awfully cozy with the racist group Conservative Citizens Council for someone who isn’t a racist…oh, but isn’t Bob Barr a friend of theirs also?

    Not as far as I know…I believe the one positive thing he said about them was retracted when he found out what Sam Francis’ little buddies were all about.

  34. OK, thanks. Those quotes are pretty racist. Check.

    SIV et al.

    You laid out a great case for why things respectively in the US and USSR were going worse and better, but nothing whatsoever that would lead anyone sane to believe that the US was ‘losing’ and the USSR ‘winning’. To endorse such a view would mean to lose all sense of perspective.

    USSR: Food lines, rampant and critical equipment shortages, outright embarrassing premier

    US: An economic hiccup, a few int’l embarrassments, slightly whiny president

    Try again.

    Well, geopolitically, if you go by the acquisition of territory, Communism appeared to be gaining from 1973-1982. South Viet Nam fell, Cambodia fell. The former Portuguese colonies in Africa fell. Nicaragua fell. Afghanistan was invaded. Former US clients fell into chaos that World Communism potentially could have taken advantage of [Iran, other parts of Africa]. El Salvador looked ready to fall.

    As it turns out, none of that meant a damn thing in the long run. And many of these states were only “red” in the most superficial way. But if you colored them all red on the map, it started to look pretty bad, you know? So I can understand why it might have appeared to someone in 1980 that Communism was waxing ascendant. If you ate up all your Rand and decide that Communism is irrational and therefore cannot succeed by definition, you might not have really sweat it much, but if you didn’t think their system was doomed in the near term like the Randroids did it made sense to think that they were a threat that was increasing.

  35. Note the more egregious racial politics quotes attributed to Helms predate his tenure in the US Senate.

    Wow. He learned not to say “negro” quite as loud. What an endorsement.

  36. “Is there anyone active in statewide or national politics in the 1950s/early 60s South who can’t be associated with racist campaign tactics?”

    Well, I wasn’t associated with them.

  37. It’s good for SIV or Guy Montag to participate here so that we can get a glimpse into the alternate universe that right wingers live in.

    I know all of us that lived through the year 1980 remember how the USSR had its evil iron heel on our neck and how we were saved by heroes like Reagan and Helms…

    One way to play this game is pick any year and point anything bad that happened to the or in the US and then point out any positive events for the USSR that year.

  38. LMNOP,

    The use of the word “negro” in 1956 or 1968 would not have been considered offensive. I believe that MLK used the term habitually.

    But whoa! Leaving aside the word negro for a second, the content of those statements is pretty shocking. I was not aware of those quotes. Singing and dancing? Wow.

  39. I wasn’t associated with racial politics, either, and I was quite active in that era.

  40. Fluffy —

    I’ll readily grant “apparent increasing threat”.

    What I will not grant is “we’re about to lose, man!”

    At no time, even ’79-’80, was it remotely reasonable to believe that USSR would surpass the US either in quality of life or in strategic position. Iran should have been a good clue; they looked at the US and the USSR after the revolution against the Shah and pointedly said “fuck you both!”. I think someone might be able to make the argument that *CHINA*’s third world ascendancy might have led to a destabilization of the Cold War that that was potentially worrisome, but to think that any nation being led by that idiot Brezhnev was going anywhere takes a real leap to believe.

  41. Did it seem as if we were losing the Cold War in 1980? Yes, just look at the 1980 summer Olympic medal count !

    Gold Silver Bronze Total
    Soviet Union: 80 69 46 195

    United States: 0 0 0 0

    I rest my case:)

  42. I was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1962, and rejected an offer of membership in the White Citizens Council.

  43. Do you how so many liberty-loving, human-rights-protecting, free-speech-respecting liberals ended up as fellow-travellers of the Communists in the 30s-60s? Not communists, by sympathizers, and dupes?

    Like this:

    “Say, friend, do they call you an atheist? Do you they call you a subversive? Do they call you unpatriotic, and radical, and a threat to decent society?

    Me too. We’re subject to the same attacks, by the same people, and do you know what that means?”

    There is a segment of conservatism, and of libertarianism, that rallies to the banner not of racism, but of “anti-anti-racism.” Call it, “anti-PC politics.”

    Don’t you just hate those PC-people, always calling everyone a racist? I’ll tell you, they just hate white people. You can tell who the bad guys are, because they’re always going on about “racist this” and “racial oppression that.” It’s us against them, you know.

  44. Elemenope-6:59

    I agree, though Colin has a point (6:17) in that the chattering classes scoffed as absurd the notion that soviet communism would die. Although I think americans, neocons and thatcherites give way too much credit to Reagan and our military build-up in the 1980s for the demise of the USSR, I do think Reagan was way out and front of the non-libertarian, non-Austrian school crowd in recognizing the inevitable collapse of soviet communism.

  45. SIV writes, The Soviet Union had us totally outclassed in nuke missiles(according to our ever-reliable CIA)

    Interesting story about that. The CIA actually came to exactly the opposite conclusion in the early-to-mid 70s, but the hawks in the Republican Party didn’t want to hear it. So they formed a parallel intelligence analysis shop called “the B Team,” for the purpose of issuing more dire reports about the Soviet military’s capabilities and armaments, under some sort of official cover – just like the Office of Special Plans formed in the Rumsfeld Pentagon in 2002, to “check the CIA’s work” on Iraq’s WMDs and al Qaeda connections.

    You know who was the chair of the B Team? One Richard Perle.

  46. “Detente and appeasement was our policy for dealing with soviet communism”

    Wasn’t detente a Republican thing?

    “we had a military debacle in an attempt to free hostages held by some podunk rag-heads”

    I like how Reagan put a boot up those Iranians…wait a minute, actually he paid the Israeli’s to give them weapons.

    And don’t forget how he kicked ass in Lebanon…wait a minute, he actually ran away faster than you could say “Somalia.”

    But hey, mythmaking is fun.

  47. Don’t forget that Saddam Hussein told the CIA after he was captured that I was his favorite President!

  48. I do think Reagan was way out and front of the non-libertarian, non-Austrian school crowd in recognizing the inevitable collapse of soviet communism.

    Yes, he was, and what makes this all the more remarkable was that Reagan made his name as a political figure in the 50s through his denunciation of the Containment strategy of Truman and Kennan, arguing that it needed to be replaced instead with a Rollback strategy. The naive Containment people, the theory went, thought that the Soviet Union would eventually either reform or collapse if it was prevented from expanding and taking over. Of course, that’s ridiculous – the only way the Soviet Empire would ever be rendered harmless would be by chipping away at it at the edges, rolling it up into a smaller and smaller area with a weaker and weaker military/industrial economy to draw on, until we could smash it with a full frontal assault. The idea of keeping it docile through the diplomatic process was just like Munich.

    This was Reagan’s line, this is the issue that made him abandon his old New Deal friends and become a Republican. So that fact that he was able to recognize, upon the rise of Gorbachev and his political and economic reforms, that the end game predicted by the Containment people had come, was an amazing intellectual feat.

  49. “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

    –Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas), 1957

  50. Lyndon B. Johnson | July 7, 2008, 7:53pm | #

    I wasn’t associated with racial politics, either, and I was quite active in that era.

    These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

    (1957)

  51. I ran as a segregationist on Augusta GA radio ads in my successful campaign for Governor in 1970.

  52. Hey, Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson (D., Texas) I beat you by less than a minute you nigger-lovin’ son of a bitch !

  53. Anyone who thought, honestly, that the Soviets were going to kick our ass during the 80’s was delusional. Haven’t you seen Red Dawn?

  54. U.S. Sebate:

    Albert Gore, Sr. (D-Tennessee)(told them to “Go to hell”)
    Estes Kefauver (D-Tennessee) (“No, never”)
    Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas)

    U.S. House (By State)

    Florida

    Dante Fascell (D)
    William Cramer (R)

    North Carolina

    Richard Chatham (D)
    Harold Cooley (D)
    Charles Deane (D)
    Charles Jonas (R)

    Tennessee

    Howard Baker, Sr. (R)
    Ross Bass (D)
    Joe Evins (D)
    Percy Priest (D)
    B. Carroll Reece (R)

    I’d say there WERE politicians active in the South that weren’t segregationists, judging by the list.

  55. SIV @ 7:54pm —

    LOL! Good one. 🙂

    liberty mike —

    No doubt. I never underestimate the power of the press to miss the blindingly obvious, nor politicians in obscuring it for their own gain.

  56. Son, in politics you’ve got to learn that overnight chicken shit can turn to chicken salad.

  57. sure, this little Jessecide thing is a bit of an embarrassment…

    doesn’t hold a candle to Ron Paul Newslettergate, though… those were some good times! ah, memories…

    (reason sucks.)

  58. 1957. 1960. 1950.

    There was a political, intellectual, and moral revolution in this country surrounding the issue of race during the 50s and 60s. It’s tough to look at what somebody living prior to that era did or said, and judge it by modern standards. To us, not signing a segregationist manifesto was a no-brainer. To Al Gore Senior, it was the end of his political career.

    Things changed. People changed. Ideas changed. Look at Robert Byrd, or any of the feel-good stores the newspapers love to run about how two people who were in some iconic photograph from some civil rights event have become great friends in their dotage.

    “Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.” J. Helms, 1981

    I was seven in 1981.

  59. There is a segment of conservatism, and of libertarianism, that rallies to the banner not of racism, but of “anti-anti-racism.” Call it, “anti-PC politics.”

    That’s a good observation, joe. I think of them as the “Not a racist, but…” crowd.

  60. It was enough to drive Barr delegate Doug Craig off the reservation.

    Other politicians shoot themselves in the foot. Libertarians (and here I’m talking about Craig, not Barr) are like the guys you hear about who shoot off their balls because they carry guns in their waistbands.

  61. I was seven in 1981.

    joe is younger than me?!?

    Impossible. You have to be, like, 50. Everything you say sounds like it.

  62. The Politics:

    Barr has some relatively strong polling results in North Carolina. This creates part of the buzz that Barr might make the state winnable for Obama. Helms is from North Carolina. Appealing to any remaining Helms’ loyalists in North Carolina helps build the media buzz. Barr will impact the election.

    The “Racism.”

    As others have mentioned, Barr didn’t comment on Helm’s civil rights positions in the fifites and sixties (before the segregationists lost.) But, surely, he knew?

    Helms is not a racist icon. George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Strom Thurmond are the big names. To refer to Thurmond’s 1948 run specificially, is difficult to separate from his strong support for segregation at that time. As far as I know, Maddox never changed. Wallace and Thurmond gave up on segregationism after it clearly became a lost cause and pandered after black voters to boot. (Improvements in my opinion, though I never voted for Thurmond. And I was one of his constituents.)

    Foreign Policy:

    Barr specially applauds Helms’ foreign policy views. This is more troubling from a libertarian perspective. Back in the day, I considered Helms a “bad guy” especially because of his hawkish views. Barr is celebrating the positions that many libertarians opposed at the time.

    However, the Soviet Union collapsed. Rothbard led the paleo-libertarian turn after the fall of the Soviet Union because he held out hope that some of those who favored a hawkish foreign policy because of the “red menace” would now be open to a more humble foreign policy.

    I have long thought it was foolhardy to insist that to be a libertarian _today_ one must support the “America First” movement of the thirties and somehow discount the threat of Nazi Germany. The same principle applies to the Soviet threat. People who realize that “islamo-facism” is not a real threat and now oppose preventative war and nation building should be welcomed. And that includes Bob Barr. People who had what I consider excessively alarmist views about the Soviet Union should now be welcomed with open arms because that is no longer a live issue. The Soviet Union is dead.

    Social Issues:

    Jesse Helms also had stridently social conservative views. Those trouble me even more that his views about the no-longer existing communist menace. However, just like Barr didn’t endorse Helms’ 1960’s civil rights views, he didnt’ endorse those views as well.

    Conclusion:

    Anyway, I was a Barr supported. I remain a Barr supporter. But I didn’t like this press release.

  63. Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced.” J. Helms, 1981

    You acknowledge, though, that as we moved into the 80’s Helms diverted most of his ire toward the sodomites.

  64. Damn right I did. Homosexuals are moral perverts, and I opposed a qualified Clinton nominee for no other reason than that she was a damned lesbian.

    I also said that AIDS was a just punishment for them.

  65. I needed to get into heaven. I had the right qualifications. But a minority got in instead of me because of a racial quota!

  66. The Soviet Union of 1980 was similar to Iraq of 2002. Most people believed they were a grave threat to our continued existance because that’s what the military industrial complex wanted us to believe.

    Meanwhile, they were unable to ship a head of lettuce across their country without it spoiling.

    There always has to be a boogey man to justify the billions in defense spending.

  67. Who is Doug Craig, and why should anybody care what he says?

  68. For all those dissing Bob Barr cause he wrote a nice letter about Jesse Helms, I wonder what you all think of Ron Paul and his extensive connections to Helms?

    David (Mertz) James, Ron Paul’s top fundraiser for over 20 years, came from the Jesse Helms operation. He was recommended to Paul by top Helms strategist Carter Wren in 1988.

    James was the mastermind behind all of Paul’s fundraising efforts throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s.

    Of course, he stayed out of the limelight. Very behind the scenes.

    But he was a huge Jesse Helms operative. Seems kind of hypocritical to blast Bob Barr and then support Ron Paul who had even stronger connections to Helms.

  69. If it weren’t for my brain tumor I could of hit hit big time.

    1971: Attacked the right-wing practice of Massive Resistance on civil rights at the Wakefield shad planking.

  70. Stupid preview

    hit hit = hit the

  71. Jesse Helms, from hell | July 7, 2008, 9:10pm | #
    I needed to get into heaven. I had the right qualifications. But a minority got in instead of me because of a racial quota!

    Only if there’s a just God with a fantastic sense of humor.

    Helms was a sweetheart

    “When Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois became the first African-American woman to sit in the Senate, Helms followed Moseley-Braun into an elevator, announcing to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch: “Watch me make her cry. I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.”

    Then, emphasizing the lines about how “good” things were before the Civil War ended slavery, Helms sang “Dixie.””

    But he was an international bigot too.

    In 1994, when Nelson Mandela visited the Capitol, Helms ostentatiously turned his back on him.”

    I’m sorry, you’ve got to be pretty fucking racist to turn your back on Mandela.

    “No intelligent Negro citizen should be insulted by a reference to this very plain fact of life. It is time to face honestly and sincerely the purely scientific statistical evidence of natural racial distinction in group intellect. … There is no bigotry either implicit or intended in such a realistic confrontation with the facts of life. … Those who would undertake to solve the problem by merely spending more money, and by massive forced integration, may be doing the greatest injustice of all to the Negro.”

    Don’t worry, he didn’t just hate black people. He hated people with odd, foreign names.

    In the 1972 race, pitted against a Democratic congressman from Durham, Helms used code words that enraged liberals. The congressman’s name was Nick Galifianakis. Helms’ slogan: “Elect Jesse Helms — He’s One of Us.””

    Galifianakis (no relation to the drug dealer in Super Troopers) was born in NC, went to Duke and a Marine, so it’s not like he was a carpetbagger.

  72. Hey Eric
    I will tell you I am not a top side puke like yourself with no sense :).
    Doug Craig is the Political director of Georgia. He has ran for office twice as Libertarian ran the Governor’s campaign in Georgia in 2006 ( one of the best in the country for a third party) severed six years in the Navy including two tours or the Gulf(one during 1991 during the war). Host a radio show in Atlanta on a real radio station (WHIE 1320 am).CEO of Viking Metals and the father of two Girls ( who do not attend government schools)
    Other than that Eric I am your Daddy.
    Doug Craig aka Hank Reardan

  73. Is there any particular reason the Orange Line Mafia is so obsessed with race? I’m not particularly happy Barr got the LP nod, but for anybody who supported his candidacy (which was premised on the idea he could lure disgruntled conservatives to the LP) to now be upset because he has nice words about a guy who is a hero to many disgruntled conservatives is pure lunacy. Barr is doing exactly what the LP wants him to do. And who the hell cares about Jessie Helms anyway? He was a flawed politician for sure, but I’d take Helms over Obama, McCain, Hillary, or Bush in a second.

  74. lmnop,

    At no time, even ’79-’80, was it remotely reasonable to believe that USSR would surpass the US either in quality of life or in strategic position.

    Im playing the “you werent 11 years old in 1980” card here. I think it was you who mentioned your age in a thread recently, so Im putting you at about -1 in 1980? right?

    Trust me, if you get your view of US/USSR relations from being alive vs the history books, there were plenty of otherwise rational people who thought we werent about to be surpassed by the USSR but already had been. You are right on quality of life. But militarily and geopolitically, many people thought we were behind. Pre-reagan, there really wasnt an attitude of optimism towards winning the cold war. That all started in Nov of 1980.

    Now, Im sure a majority still thought we would triumph, but that was more out of patriotism.

  75. MNG,

    And don’t forget how he kicked ass in Lebanon…wait a minute, he actually ran away faster than you could say “Somalia.”

    Proving himself much wiser than the current republican president, when it comes to military action in the middle east. Are you actually criticizing Reagan for not fighting a war in Lebanon? Really? You?

  76. Episiarch,

    Anyone who thought, honestly, that the Soviets were going to kick our ass during the 80’s was delusional. Haven’t you seen Red Dawn?

    Red Dawn would have never got made during the Carter administration. It would have been considered unrealistic. 🙂

    Plus, Ford was a wolverine, so they would have had to change that.

  77. Who is Eric Dondero, and why should anybody care what he says?

  78. Mo,
    When Mandela visited Miami he was swamped with protesters and plenty of local politicians gave him the cold soldier. Helms claim to fame was anti-Communist warrior, so it’s not really surprising he would shun a Communist flunky like Mandela. From a Libertarian perspective, there is nothing commendable at all about Nelson Mandela. He was just as illiberal as the people he replaced and neither Botha nor Mandela could hold a candle to Jesse Helms in terms of liberal values. And I don’t say any of this as a fan of Jesse Helms. But again, the OLM seems to have this blind spot when it comes to race that is just as flawed as Helms own racial views.

  79. No robc, my point is that the mythmaking about this nation being one big surrender monkey until we had Reagan coming and in kicking everyone’s ass is based on some selective choice of historical events.

  80. MNG,

    Reagan avoided one of the classic blunders: Never fight a land war in Asia.

    Bush has managed to get us into 2 at once.

  81. The Soviet Union of 1980 was similar to Iraq of 2002. Most people believed they were a grave threat to our continued existance because that’s what the military industrial complex wanted us to believe.

    I’m sorry, but this is simply idiotic.

    This is the mirror image of the nonsense put out by Bush, McCain and their cabal of neoconservative clowns: the idea that Iraq – or Iran – is a strategic threat to the US equivalent to the Soviet Union.

    I missed the part where Iraq in 2002 had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them to any spot on the globe. I also missed the part where Iraq had dozens of divisions in Eastern Europe. I further missed the part where Iraq was holding half of Europe in political bondage. I also missed the part where Iraq had client regimes in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    Other than that, yeah, sure, the Soviet Union was just like Iraq in 2002.

    Soviet conventional military capabilities were overestimated because we simply did not realize the degree to which our conventional arms outclassed theirs, and rendered their numerical superiority moot. But the first Gulf War had not been fought at that point, so no one had ever watched an Abrams battalion stroll through two regiments of Soviet-built tanks. But the fact that we overestimated their capabilities does not mean that they were powerless or harmless. They were still more powerful than any other state or combination of states outside of the US. By a significant margin.

  82. MNG,

    There is a difference between a surrender and a retrograde maneuver. Leaving Lebanon was the latter.

  83. Fluffy,

    In addition to what you said, the russians had already proved (in WW2) what you can achieve if you are willing to throw millions of underarmed people at a problem. Sure it was a slaughter, but they beat the nazis back.

  84. Interesting reaction. And, you would cast a vote for whom, someone run by the establishment big 2 who put Helms in office and kept him there, just like Byrd, Thurmond, Walace….? Holding these standards, one must ask how could anyone support either the Republicans or Democrats

    Sounds more like Craig is a mole for the Big 2.

    Craig also sounds much like many of the neo-libertarians I have run into in the last couple years. There are a group that joined in the late 90’s and 00’s that think they created the party. They don’t understand the underlying principles and are more about keeping people out than embracing real libertarian principles. It reminds me of a 1970’s Libertarian Party meeting in Arizona that had people submitting a petition for a Federal ban on nuclear power, again not understanding the Libertarian principles.

  85. FDS,

    Wait, so the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of a population, forced migrations and domestic passports, extraordinary limitations of the freedom of association and employment discrimination is liberal? Damn, apartheid South Africa sounds like Heinlein’s goddamn moon.

    Mandela wasn’t a Soviet stooge (he never joined the SACP). You’ll excuse most black South Africans for turning to the enemy of the same system that supported and enabled their oppression. Pretty much all of us would have the same. Just like the Vietnamese only went to the Soviets because we helped the French, we pushed black South Africa into communist hands. And people like Helms pushed Mandella to their side.

    No supporter of apartheid can call themselves liberal or libertarian without being extraordinarily full of shit. Helms’ liberal values only applied if you were white, fan-fucking-tastic.

  86. Just like the Vietnamese only went to the Soviets because we helped the French, we pushed black South Africa into communist hands.

    You are vastly overrating this nation’s roles in both of those geopolitical conflicts/events (that is, Vietnam and Mandela’s move to communisim). Mo, I don’t see much worth salvaging in Mandela. I’m not sorry for that.

    That doesn’t mean I like Helms any more. But it is amazing at how the teams just leak out on every thread, isn’t it?

    Team Blue: “YOU DIDN’T LIKE MANDELA! YOU RACIST”
    Team Red: “HELMS WASN’T RACIST…WHISTLING DIXIE AT BLACK WOMEN ISN’T ALL THAT BAD”.

    You both need to quit yelling.

  87. Way back in the 1980s when I was a snot-nosed punk, Reagan-hating anarchist who didn’t fully understand the difference between my “right wing” individual anarchism and the more popular and trendy lefty kind, I admired Senator Jesse Helms. I didn’t agree with much of his positions at the time (still don’t with some of them) but damn if he didn’t piss off those pretentious,whiny, self-important, welfare grubbing artists.I’d canonize him for that alone.

  88. Bob Barr: Hey, a fellow member of Congress from the South died. Let’s say something nice about him and pick up some of the guy’s voters, make yet another Southern state be a problem for McCain besides Georgia.

    Left-libs who hate McCain: You bastard! Saying stuff that might cost McCain the election and get the LP way more than 0.5% of the popular vote — how dare you! Now I’m really not gonna vote for you, and instead vote for the better-tanned statist I was planning to vote for anyway!

  89. Now I’m really not gonna vote for you, and instead vote for the better-tanned statist I was planning to vote for anyway!

    prolefeed – good catch.

    I remember when this place when banana-fucking-pancakes about the Electoral College when it looked like Slicky McEmptySuit from the South Side Chicago political machine might *gasp* lose.

  90. It’s going to fascinating to watch a) Bob Barr raise about 1/20th of Ron Paul’s money in the primaries, b) continue to alienate “real” libertarians while courting conservatives and then c) get more votes than Ron Paul or any other libertarian candidate combined come November.

    Old people in the south apparently really really like this guy. Unlike Ron Paul supporters they don’t donate money, blog on the internets or attend rallies but they do actually vote.

  91. You are vastly overrating this nation’s roles in both of those geopolitical conflicts/events (that is, Vietnam and Mandela’s move to communisim).

    Right, and Iran hates us for our freedoms as opposed to our support for the Shah and Iraq had nothing to do with it. We picked the wrong dogs in the fight. Sometimes, like Castro, they bite you back. But most of the time, they stay on your side. The big reason international communism died wasn’t that communism was particularly popular, but that movements opposed to by us went to the Soviets for money to spite us.

    Frankly, I’m pretty sick of all the hagiographies of Helms coming from the right. If the people were cheering on and praising Al Sharpton, I’d be pissed about that too.

  92. that’s great, Mo! It still doesn’t explain how “you’ve got to be pretty fucking racist to turn your back on Mandela.”

    That’s total nonsense

  93. robc —

    Fair enough, but on the other hand, most of the people here were about -180 yrs. old and counting at the ratification of the constitution, and that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from having quite strong opinions about what people were thinking then.

    FWIW, both my parents are raging liberals, and they didn’t have any doubts about USA’s advantage vis a vis the USSR in ’80, and their age was in the positive digits at that time for sure. As joe already (correctly) covered, the missile gap was a snow job by a politically-motivated spy shop (Fukuyama covered this at length in his latest barely-readable tome, IIRC). Everything else was literally the tides and turns of proxy wars, some of which broke badly at around the same time. Nobody expected any of those to be important or decisive. Iran was a blow, but as I said, they didn’t exactly care for Communism either; they just hated us *too*.

  94. Mandela’s move to communisim

    When was he ever a communist?

  95. that’s great, Mo! It still doesn’t explain how “you’ve got to be pretty fucking racist to turn your back on Mandela.”

    A pro-apartheid senator turns his back on him? For what not being more free market than the apartheid government? Give me a break. Not to mention, as a senator, turning your back on a foreign leader has strong symbolic strength. I highly doubt that Helms did the same for the Prime Minister of Sweden, who is likely also pretty strong socialist.

  96. MNLOP, you are correct. Soviet Union collapsed because Communism is a failed ideology. Jimmy Carter could have been the president, and it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the Cold War. I grew up in the Soviet Union in the 80s. I remember the food rations and the long lines. My mom made me get up at 6:00 in the morning so that we could buy milk and sour cream. They told us at school that Communism will prevail, and the West will eventually get with the program. Anyway, most thinking people knew it was bullshit. You just couldn’t say it outloud.

    With regards to Jesse Helms, to quote Hitchens, “I wish there was a hell for him to go to.”

    It makes me sick every time I see Bob Barr on TV. He misrepresents libertarianism, and people who don’t know any better might think that libertarians are just a bunch of right-wing fanatics.

  97. hmmm lets see i wonder why libertarians are supporting Bob Barr. Maybe because he’s the first candidate that can actually expand on the one percent vote total that they usually get. And because we actually want to see these ideals implemented and not just to be talked about by high minded “libertarians” who’ve given us candidates like michael badnarik and done nothing for the party.

  98. 1) Yeah, Helms was pretty racist
    2) To me, his anti-communism efforts +his extensive bigotry is a net negative
    3) Yeah, Craig flew off the deep end a bit, but Barr’s statement bothered me, too.

  99. I should note that Barr, McCain and Obama have all made statements that bothered me at various times, but not to the extent where I’m wearing ashes and sackcloth.

  100. Helms, Wallace, Maddox, Thurmond, the “Dixiecrats” and all those wacky racist folk provided the Soviet Union with a paved road into which they could infiltrate American society and they exploited it expertly.

    The helping hand that FDR and others gave to the Soviets, by installing their operatives in the highest levels of our bureaucracy, sure as hell did not help either.

    Sen. Helms may have talked an anti-communism game, but his actions were about as helpful in fighting Communism as those of the Leftists trying to ‘fight’ poverty with unlimited, endless welfare.

  101. lmnop,

    Fair enough, but on the other hand, most of the people here were about -180 yrs. old and counting at the ratification of the constitution, and that doesn’t seem to stop anyone from having quite strong opinions about what people were thinking then.

    If James Madison were still alive I would tell those people (including myself) to shut up and listen to him.

    As we dont have any first handers still alive, we only have history to go on.

    There was a bit in the last episode of the Adams miniseries about how the revolution had slipped into mythology and how only he and Jefferson still knew the truth. That in and of itself may be a bit of a myth too, but I think the point stands.

  102. “G.E. Smith” is the nome de plume of Jason Seagraves. Jason is a former Democrat who ran for congress in 2004 and when it became clear he wasn’t going to win the primary, he jumped ship to the Green Party. Reading some threads about this latest Barr gaffe, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jason Seagraves (aka “G.E.”)is trying desperately to become a big fish in the LP’s small pond. Now, after a handful of years in the LP (just slightly more than Bob Barr, BTW) he’s become some maniac trying to define what being a true-blue libertarian is. I think he suffered from a lack of attention as a child and is being a blowhard to attract attention. In an organization the size of the LP, it’s not terribly difficult to gain attention, so really, it doesn’t mean he’s anyone special.

    Jason Seagraves should be ignored.

  103. “Mandela no communist”

    Give me a break already. What utter nonsense! Since when does writing a book “How to be a good communist”, alligned with friends like Joe Slovo (then SACP leader) and singing “kill a boer, kill a farmer” and being in a tripartite alliance between the ANC, SACP and COSATU not qualify to
    be a communist?

    Since when is sanctions against a country (like South Africa) a libertarian foreign politcy principle of non-intervention??

    Since when is killing of about 50 people on average every day since 1994, raping, institutionalized discrimination against especially while male minorities, discrimination against – non-English languages etc. etc. qualify as a wonderful “nonracial democracy and rainbow nation”?

  104. Mo: “we pushed black South Africa into communist hands”

    Yes, very much so, but for different reasons than you think. The ANC was a small despised party. The rejection of Lucas Mangope, Manusotho Buthelezi and interventionist (e.g. very anti-libertarian) appointing Mandela and the ANC as the ONLY voice representing black people, pretty much pushed them into communist hands. Also the failure to recognize partition in South Africa and call for a unified states, along artificial colonial borders. The failure to recognize that the actually struggle and fighting in SA has been and will be between black on black: Zulus against Xhosa’s etc. etc.

    Reagan and the old right conservatives were against sanctions, while the neocons (like Chester Crocker and John McCain) were for intervention and sanctions. Nobody that is for sanctions against a country with highly complex problems and not understanding them, can ever be called a libertarian, ever!

  105. From the article on the NJLP launch:

    They’re still looking at open borders, and it’s still a tax and spend party.

    The new leadership at NJLP has taken the party in the wrong direction. They need to advocation immigration legalization. Just talking about enforcement will backfire.

  106. Nobody that is for sanctions against a country with highly complex problems and not understanding them, can ever be called a libertarian, ever!

    Nobody that is for eating breakfast after 9 am without coffee can ever be called a libertarian, ever!

    Nobody that is for art-house films and sipping lattes can ever be called a libertarian, ever!

    Nobody that is for the old Battlestar Galactica but not the new one can ever be called a libertarian, ever!

    This is kinda fun.

  107. [quote]I highly doubt that Helms did the same for the Prime Minister of Sweden, who is likely also pretty strong socialist.[/quote]

    but mandela might have made off with the silverware, mo – you know how fleet-footed they are!

    jesse helms is dead and the world is a better place for it.

  108. I like that G.E. dude/gal. Barr is a disgrace.

  109. Yes, but he’s our disgrace. I’ve voted for many a nutbar and crank on the Libertarian line. I can vote for Barr, too.

  110. Colin – Your comment at 6:17 (#2) is total B.S. Ever heard of Ludwig von Mises’s socialist calculation problem? Free-market economists were predicting the Soviet Union’s back when Reagan was an FDR/Truman fascist. Oh wait, he never changed — the Democratic Party just left him!

  111. Yes, but he’s our disgrace. I’ve voted for many a nutbar and crank on the Libertarian line. I can vote for Barr, too.

    Well said. See also : voting Ron Paul in GOP primaries.

  112. Citizen Nothing, svg- Well, I guess that’s fine. Anything but McCain would do justice to the world. Or shall I say, will do less injustice to the world.

  113. oh, “svg” —> “svf”, sorry svf!

  114. “No intelligent Negro citizen should be insulted by a reference to this very plain fact of life. It is time to face honestly and sincerely the purely scientific statistical evidence of natural racial distinction in group intellect. … There is no bigotry either implicit or intended in such a realistic confrontation with the facts of life. … Those who would undertake to solve the problem by merely spending more money, and by massive forced integration, may be doing the greatest injustice of all to the Negro.”

    Someone’s a little lacking in, ahem, group intellect, to understand a little Gould.

  115. On Mandela: Jesse Helms is the man who dreamed up the slur “the University of Negroes and Communists” to refer to UNC during a political campaign.

    The man obviously didn’t think the two were such separate topics. There is certainly no shortage of examples of him denouncing the civil rights movement and even Martin Luther King as communist fronts.

    He didn’t make that distinction, so why should I when I read about his actions?

  116. This G.E. person sure knows a lot about libertarianism after only being libertarian for four years after his stint in the statist Democratic Party and Green Party! He went from socialism to enviro-communism and then to libertarianism in pretty short order. Only in the LP can one be a raging statist and then tomorrow claim to be libertarian. G.E. and Bob Barr must be cut from the same cloth.

  117. Wait a cotton pickin’ second. Are you the same Doug Craig that had the RLC of GA endorsing Linder in 2002 over Bob Barr, which caused the National RLC extreme heartache and embarrassment that year?

    Ah, ha! This is all starting to make sense now.

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