Of blue collars and rednecks

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I have a confession to make. I am exhausted. Sadly, I’m too spent to muster any enthusiasm or energy to witness any of the history happening around me first hand. Nevertheless, it is happening and it has meaning that many too dependent on the misbegotten impressions of the establishment press corps fail to discern.

Hillary Clinton’s trail of crocodile tears into the bosom of blue collar, redneck America has been an interesting fall from the imperial heights from which this campaign began. Getting down and dirty with America’s great unwashed hoards was only supposed to be an indignity reserved for Iowa and New Hampshire before the coronation. Conventional wisdom told us that anything more would be unnecessary because it was obviously Hillary’s turn. Her claim to the throne as America’s Queen, ironclad.

Supposedly, the worldly celebrity sophisticates from Chappaqua now revel in having to come down from their $109 million dollar mountaintop to rub shoulders with ordinary farmers and shift workers, and enjoy being forced to engage in a morally bankrupt blood sport to deny Barack Obama the White House in order to preserve Hillary Clinton’s post 2008 Presidential viability. I don’t believe a word, baby.

As Hillary’s designated “Ambassador to rural America,” Bill Clinton has put on a good show of feigned sympathy and cornpone compassion for the plight of rural North Carolina’s put upon Jessecrats. “Who and what are Jessecrats,” you ask. To put it simply, they are rural white Democrats who rationalized Jesse Helms fealty to Segregation and White Supremacy as character.

During a stint as a security guard in a grocery store, a Jessecrat I’ll call Mr. Earl told me to my face that he respected and voted for Jesse Helms because he didn’t change what he believed. Mr. Earl shook my hand firmly and was a courtly, portly, older gentleman and native of the small town I live in now. Mr. Earl and Senator Helms personify the rural, closed social network and reactionary Bible belt values that I regard as commonplace and intuitively understand. In many ways, I am his younger black equivalent.

Anyhoo, Bill’s Hillbilly’s for Hillary road show shtick is damn interesting in what it reveals about the campaign and our politics. Race, as I’ve discussed umpteen times in the past, is undeniably a factor in this campaign. Moreover, it is the real reason for Bill’s bogus tour of rural seduction.

According to an account in the Dunn Daily Record about an appearance in Lillington, NC, a Harnett county town just a stonestrow from my home, “The political rhetoric got started before the former president even took the stage in Lillington, with former Sen. Robert Morgan introducing President Clinton, praising him and criticizing the current occupant of the White House, President George W. Bush. “He presided over the country when we had one of the largest budget surpluses in our history,” Sen. Morgan said of President Clinton. “The best I can tell he is the only president that has ever been in Harnett County, and I am proud to introduce him.”



The president said he was glad to have the opportunity to see Sen. Morgan again. “Bob Morgan has been a friend of mine for a lot of years and I am proud to be here with him today,” President Clinton said.
I am sure that it would please you to know that Senator Morgan was the campaign manager for the last candidate for Governor of North Carolina to run on an avowedly segregationist platform.

Yes, children, the candidate’s name was I. Beverly Lake Sr. A law professor, lawyer and state supreme court justice. He participated in oral argument against Brown v. Board of Education as North Carolina’s Assistant Attorney General. By 1960, he was the unquestioned leader of the state’s segregationists and he became a candidate for Governor.

As he describes in an oral history interview, “Those men whom I taught, not only in that class but in all the others before it, those men became the nucleus of my political campaign when I ran for Governor in 1960 and again in 1964.” Robert Morgan was one of those men.

Judge Lake’s boys became the most powerful men in North Carolina. CEOs of corporations, state supreme court judges, federal judges, and members of congress, they were a closed fraternity and were undeniably influential members of the white power structure. This is the network, which the Clintons turn to put them over. It is also the network that controls Democratic politics in North Carolina and it’s the reason for Democratic dominance over the Governor’s mansion for 24 of the last 32 years.

Bill and Hillary are intimately acquainted with closed Good Ole Boy and Girl networks of power, having benefited from the one that controls Arkansas. When she first arrived in Arkansas, Bill arranged for Hillary to be given a teaching position in the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville School of Law, where he also taught. After his election as Arkansas Attorney General, Clinton biographer Roger Morris, author of Partners in Power, recalls how Bill called up Herbert Rule III, a partner in the Rose law firm and Clinton fundraiser.

Morris quoted Rule “I got the word from Bill Clinton that she was coming and I tracked her down,” Rule said later. At the time the firm had few women or even Ivy League law credentials, and Rose rarely recruited from law school faculties or legal aid clinics. “Hillary was just a law professor, that’s all,” remarked one partner. But the firm saw her obvious value, offering the twenty-nine-year-old attorney a salary just under $25,000—far higher than the pay in Arkansas for teaching or public interest law and well more than Clinton himself would make as attorney general.”

“…The decision had been made when she decided to marry, to go with his career as the engine for her own ambition and power,” said someone who had known them since Yale. “By the time Rose came across with the offer, she was going to do whatever was best for Bill, whatever would get them to the top—and I mean all the way to the top—as fast as possible.”

“…Both sides recognized the mutual compact in Rose’s employing the wife of an attorney general and politician on the rise…For the firm she was a natural hireling. Formed before statehood and named for a founder of the American Bar Association, Rose had numbered among its partners judges and state supreme court justices, mayors, legislators, a US Senator, and , above all, the intimates of those in power, figures who exerted their force more discreetly, without potentially awkward public visibility, without accountability. It was a matter of appearance and reality in an Arkansas when the two were frequently not the same.”

“For a century and a half Rose represented and wielded the influence of the most powerful forces in the state—in land, timber, retailing, insurance, investment banking, agriculture, financial services—and, with governments at all levels, virtually the entire enveloping grid of political privilege and consequent private profit from the Ozarks to the Delta.

“What Arkansas was the Rose Law Firm had been well paid to make it—and to protect and maintain the result. The discreet firm’s own fortunes were inseparable from the economic and social system it served. Beyond any considerations of gender, resume, or name, Hillary Rodham’s presence on the letterhead was in a long tradition.”

Operating as a preserve of racial exclusivity is apparently a long tradition as well because not even one of the current crop of 30 plus attorneys practicing law as associates or partners with Rose Law, a firm Hillary Rodham Clinton served as a partner and had a say in running, is African American.

For Billary to attempt masquerading as champions of the working class is funnier than Larry Craig explaining his wide stance. For the record, Bill and Hillary Clinton got to where they are by servicing the needs of white corporate power. Period. Anybody who says anything different is crazier than Brittney Spears.

It’s funny how the questionable associations of the Clintons are not being placed under the same microscope as Barack Obama’s. Associations like these could be ferreted out, discussed and disseminated widely by the media and Obama’s post-racial campaign. But, then, it wouldn’t be post-racial if he obsessed over the corporate and segregationist allies of Bill and Hillary. And it would reveal that the deliberate lies about race and power told in the supposedly post-racial 21st century are essentially the same as the ones told in the twentieth.

Speaking of the past, Bill and Hill’s rustic pander fest is reminiscent of another road show that has been lost down the memory hole. It’s Lurleen Wallace’s 1966 campaign for Governor of Alabama. Lurleen Wallace, long term readers of this blog will recall, was the wife of Alabama’s term-limited segregationist Governor, George Wallace. She ran to continue her husband’s hold on power.

I ran across a beautifully written article in the Saturday Evening Post detailing the campaign, “A huge WALLACE FOR GOVERNOR sign hung behind speakers stand. It did not make a point of the fact that it was Mrs. Wallace who was the candidate. Along the sidewalls faded banners bore George Wallace’s old cry of defiance—STAND UP FOR ALABAMA. At the doors Wallace aides held out baskets into which the faithful dropped dollar bills. An elderly minister offered a long and fervent prayer. At the end of it he paused and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to present to you the First Lady of the State of Alabama.”

“Mrs. Wallace stood up and calmly began to read her little speech, “As you know,” she said, “I am a candidate for governor of Alabama. I am happy to offer to you a continuance of the honesty and efficiency so much in evidence during the administration of my husband,” In the back of the hall a man leaning against the wall muttered to a companion, “That’s enough of her—let’s get on to George,” Wallace could not possibly have heard this remark, but his political antenna were responding to the mood of the audience.

“He sensed its impatience. He rose and moved to his wife’s side, “My election,” she was saying, “will enable my husband to carry on his program for Alabama—we want to continue to serve you together.” This is the central argument of Hillary’s campaign and nothing symbolized it more than when they jointly eulogized Coretta Scott King from the pulpit.

“… He [Wallace] then went on to tell them that in his travels around the country he had not found any people anywhere who were “more intelligent or more cultured or more refined than the people of Alabama.” This is what I hear when I hear Bill and Hill tell folks that they matter more than the caucus states and when I hear tell of their shifting rationales for counting Michigan and Florida, contrary to the rules, and their proposed use of the so-called Nuclear Option to seat their people.

Bill seems to be consciously channeling Wallace as he panders his way through the country’s rural areas. Ecohoing Wallace’s infamous 1963 Inaugural, shortly before he stood in the schoolhouse door of the University of Alabama, can’t you just imagine Bill saying, “Today I have stood, where some segregationist once stood, and took an oath to my wife, the woman who single-handedly kept my presidency alive. It is very appropriate then, that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom in the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of Obama tyranny and I say Hillary today, Hillary tomorrow, Hillary forever.

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19 thoughts on “Of blue collars and rednecks

  1. MacDaddy

    Incredible, well-written commentary. You speak the truth, especially when you say that the Clintons’ exist to service corporate power. Hillary really shoved such service into high gear when she chaired the board for Wal-Mart, and at a time when they were scheming to do whatever necessary to keep unions out of their many stores. Everything I read said she didn’t raise a word against the program. She went on to promoting NAFTA, the job-killing agreements her husband Bill dreamed up. This included the Chinese agreement in 1999, which has resulted in not only the killing of American jobs but the Chinese selling us things like poisonous toys and cancer-causing toothpaste. The Teamsters pleaded with the Clintons NOT to sign this agreement, but they never returned their calls or answered their mail, according to Hoffa. That’s why the Teamsters support Obama now.

    And Bill Clinton continues to serve as lobbyist or consultant to countries that are trying to get similar agreements with the US (Columbia, e.g.). The Clintons are about helping corporations make money– for a fee of course, and laughing at the ordinary worker all the way to the bank. I’ll be lining you and letting my readers know about you at my blog at daddyBstrong.blogspot.com. Blessings.

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  3. Andrea

    Are you not surprised? All his slaves was stolen…or rather, they fled to another plantation run by The Tragic Mulatto Human Stain.

    The same way we rationalize that Barack has to do what he has to do in order to win, so does The Clintons. I am not surprised. I always saw who they were…just had no proof.

    So let’s not act surprised that Bill would manuever like this. I guess I am just so socialized to knowing Southern Life more blatant and direct like this while most people who grew up sheltered or disconnected from these racial dynamics at play in metropolitan areas are consistently shocked.

    I always thought my more metropolitan peers and their offspring grew up too sterilized from knowing the reality of “how they do” if they have to in places like North Cakalacky.

    North Carolina is a mean place. SB, you know this. I would not be surprised that the rest of the country found out tonight too. There is no progressive politics there and no progressive education at the colleges. I’m talking about the Black Schools too. It is incestuously dsyfunctional in regressive reactionary thinking and methodology. The Whites are mean and the Blacks are mean too if you ask them to take charge and break from the paradigms that dictate to them their reactionary measure.

    The state has a trademark behavior. The Blacks don’t want change. No progressive change…so voting for Barack is a lot easier than them dealing with seeing who The Clintons are still. They just will never address it is true disruptive recourse.

    Barack will be protected by his property claim while The Clintons too will be tallying theirs. North Carolina never got over Reconstruction when Blacks at that time proved to be too competent and independent of their former Masters and White Community’s assistance and hegemony. I think the White Establishment said, “Never again” when they repeled Black’s Civil Rights’ after emanicipation and it still remains still a part of the statutes of being a part of the fabric of that state.

    No one wants to address the lethargic mentalities and regressive mentalities of Blacks in North Carolina. They are either Bourgie or regressive. No in between. It’s so easy to just indict and pinpoint racism but lethargic attitudes still are not challenged in North Carolina. So its hard for me to be surprised of anything The Clintons or any Establishment can do when our people especially in North Carolina have a trademark candor that promotes be exploited. To highlight the social terrorism that has gone on undiscovered is part of the Black Citizen’s duty to lobby for equal justice and power. There is too much pride their and too much invested in playing the part that everything is okay by Bourgie members of the Black Community that don’t understand playing dress-up and mimicking the oppressor is not advancement.

    What’s going on in North Carolina right now is no different from when Jim Crow was inducted to dismantle Reconstruction. We just can’t see the lynchings anymore.

  4. A NW Girl

    SB: This is by far the most elegant, well-written, well-thought out piece I’ve seen anywhere in a long time. Thanks for staying with it, even when you’re tired and worn. We need your voice so much.

  5. MacDaddy

    SB: I blogged about your post on the Clintons at daddyBstrong.blogspot.com. Keep up the good work.

  6. thank you for coming out of your exhaustion to write this…exposing the truth of the Clintons 2008 personas is so worth it.

    Not only do I not want her and her ravenous husband to return to (to their minds) their house in DC but
    I don’t want Ms. Clinton to represent me in the Senate anymore.

    I would prefer that she take an extended 10-20 year break in an mental institution (or spa, I don’t care) with a therapist. Someone who will explore her behavior of the last six-eight months in a therapeutic manner in the hopes of healing her ….somewhat.

    The woman clearly is on the verge of a breakdown.

    I mood swing on the topic of Nixonia Clinton — some moments the mention of her name makes me curse like a sailor, some moments I think of her as a nuisance and some (like now) I truly feel sorry for her.

    I’m hoping that all the people who claim to love and care for her ensure that she gets the help she deserves.

  7. Mashawa

    Amazing….all this hatred for the Clinton’s when the exact demographic that is now voting against her labeled her husband the “first black president”. They haven’ changed in this race, they’ve always been exactly like you see them today. Difference is, our predisposition to vote democrat and ignore all else. Listen, I don’t like her either, but then I never have, and that includes Billy Boy. But at least be intellectually honest. Clintons have been the darling of the mythical downtrodden for several decades. And now a bi-racial man comes along with dark skin and the electorate is all atwitter. Please, don’t act like you’ve all done critical research and soul-searching…..I still haven’t anyone in public or on blogs that can intelligently lay out a case on why I should vote for Obama…nobody.

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  9. Tallulah Bankhead

    mashawa,

    you don’t need anyone in public or on blogs to convince you….go read the policy plans of clinton, obama and mccain

    and then decide who you should support.

    your opinion and engagement in this process matters most.

    Good luck,
    TB

  10. Rick

    Hillary Clinton Camp to Obama: “Trust In Me to Be your Running Mate”

    “Trust in me, just in me
    Shut your eyes and trust in me
    You can sleep safe and sound
    Knowing I am around

    Slip into silent slumber
    Sail on a silver mist
    Slowly and surely your senses
    Will cease to resist

    Trust in me, just in me
    Shut your eyes and trust in me.” – from the Jungle Book

  11. Akech

    Hillary as VP will be like having two Dick Cheneys in the White House. There will be three presidents (the president, Hillary and Bill), all with presidential powers!!!!!

  12. newman

    New topic, what do we do with all those so-called elected black leaders that suppossed to represent the 90 percent of africa americans that chose obama? We all are missing the big picture here, The clintons are and always will be who they are. But, this primary has given us a reason to clean house…. our wishes were not being met from the beginning. PERSONAL AGENDA AND BLIND LOYALTY HAS BEEN PUT BEFORE OUR NEEDS. LETS STOP BLAMING THE CLINTONS AND EVERYBODY ELSE FOR OUR CHOOSING OF SUCH SELL OUTS.

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