“defective democrats.”

faked by Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Mr. Salter,

Good commentary on Governor Musgrove’s loss of identity. As a true liberal Democrat, but also as a realist, he frustrates me: his continuing evasion of President Clinton, a massively popular president, and Al Gore—who garnered a majority of the popular vote—peg him as a waffler and someone filled with self-defeat.

Why? Because the governor has to get every single black folk out to vote for him. He HAS to—that’s the only way he can beat the formidable Barbour Unity Pride Parade that’s stomped through our state (including most of our heads of state, on taxpayer money, during an overseas war, with heightened terrorism levels—which apparently mean little or nothing to them). Yet he seems hell-bent on distancing himself from our substantial African-American contingent.

So it bugs me. Still, Mr. Salter, I think you are stretching the truth when you write about the defection of Democrats to the Republican party. EVERY Republican is a “defective Democrat!” There were only a few Republicans back in the old days—Haley being one, of course, and the Yergers, and a few others. For what it’s worth, I suppose they at least have integrity—although grossly misplaced, as our state is the most poorest child of the Union, and the Republicans’ ignorant “tax relief” dooms us to further poverty

I maintain the sole reason that there’s any Republicans in Mississippi over the age of forty is simply race. The younger voters might genuinely buy the national politics and ideology—but for the older ones? It’s just a way they can publicly show their distaste for our black citizens without getting the old white robes out of the closet.

Again, good column. I wish the governor would toss an eye over your column every now and then. As much as it pains a real Democrat to say this, he could probably learn something.



essential reading: la paglia on everything under the sun.

best quote of the day: brian howe at pitchfork writing “I swear, these new bands—bass is about as common as theremin or marimba.” haw haw!

9 Responses to ““defective democrats.””

  1. Big Gray says:

    I’d say over-40 Republicans are about race AND God. There is a good percentage of this country (in the neighborhood of 20%) that votes solely on abortion issues.

    Though Musgrove needs to get the black vote, remember that Clinton and Gore are HATED at least 40% of the population. Like, vehemently wishing death upon them hated. And that number’s probably higher in the South. I agree that Musgrove is making the wrong move and the black vote is essential, but I’m sure he’s scared to be pegged a Clintonite or something. Like I said, I agree with you, but I can see why he’s scared to join up with them.

    Haley looks pretty unstoppable now, even though he’s a racist piece of shit motherfucker.

  2. Well said, guys, all around. And I’d like to add to the dialogue by saying that this is the most depressing campaign season I’ve ever witnessed. What most depresses me is just how STUPID both Barbour and Musgrove obviously think all Mississippians are. Everything—and I mean everything—is boiled down to frothy polarity: “I’m moral and pure and well-intentioned, but my opponent is immoral, corrupt, and mischievous; I am the solution, and my opponent is the problem; vote for me, not for him.” At what moment in human evolution do people stop falling for this nonsense? Answer: at precisely the moment where they actually endeavor to educate themselves about candidates and issues and the fallacial propaganda that’s too often taken as truth. And this moment, at least in broad terms, never arrives, especially not in the ludicrously faith-driven South.

    But, of course, Barbour’s and Musgrove’s knowledge of all this makes them smart in a manner that can only be bestowed by good ol’ market-driven American capitalism: they’re only playing to what they think (or know) the people want, which is to say they’re preaching to the choir, which is to say they and their handlers know that such cowboy-like grandstanding will get them elected, and that’s all any of them really care about. No amount of physical torture could make me vote for Haley Barbour, but Musgrove’s clear commitment to playing the ad hominem game is disgusting: saying that Barbour “stole MS jobs” and has tried to “poison our children” is a shocking abuse of language, not fundamentally different (but certainly harsher sounding)than Barbour’s spiel about MS “hurting” while “Musgrove does nothing.” Both are instances of empty rhetoric wielded as an outcropping of the either/or fallacy: “if I make the other guy sound really bad, and if I make him sound really bad enough goddamn times, it will seep into the consciousness of the not-paying-enough-attention majority, and I’ll get elected.” Anyone not clear-eyed enough to see and avoid this is not qualified to manage a US state, no matter how stupid s/he thinks its citizens are.

    Speaking of fallacies, how about the blatant post hoc Barbour spouts about the MS economy going in the shitter once Musgrove took office? By extension, Barbour should also therefore state loudly and clearly that Bush is to blame for the country’s current economic woes, since most of the downward spiral occurred AFTER he took office. And you can turn this around to counter the beat-like-a-dead-horse rebuttal: if the Bushies blame Clinton for a wack-ass economy that Bush only inherited (and they do), then they should also blame Fordice for bequeathing the same to Musgrove (which they don’t). Fucking cretins.

  3. jp! says:

    2 problems. people say they hate negative campaigning, but it often works (for somebody). regardless if its healthy.

    my main complaint is the lack of creativity w/ the broad canvas musgrove (both?) have.

    as for Barbour, he not only worked for nafta, he did it on behalf of mexico. subsequent to that MS lost jobs to mexico after his success. its a pretty direct line there. now i can go deeper into whether NAFTA is a GOOD thing in general, but on its face, as listed above (and for MS) it is not.

    Saw the Lt. Gov. Debate tonite. Barbara Blackmon, the Democrat, did the single worst job in a debate i have ever seen. bar none. i’d take Admiral James Stockdale in the 1992 VP debates over this.

    i had to quit watching.

  4. jp! says:

    oh, let me get on Clinton. Not sure how you handle him in MS/Ala. most every other state voted for him at least once. MS/Ala. did not…like BG said, people HATE him. i remember in 1992 after the election at STATE…i’d never seen people that upset. i mean ANGRY, in the general populace about ANYTHING. EVER—to this day, with maybe the exception of 9/11 and that was more sorrow than bitter anger. O.K. City bombing included. it was profound. i know what i do privately, but what to tell a politician that lived THROUGH that here. i can’t say.

  5. jp! says:


    HB is not unstoppable. he has had to spend 3x us and 6x anyone in history from 5-6 months out of election day just to make it to ‘neck and neck’ with us now. i have no idea who will win. it is too tough to call. it will take every person working their hearts out, i can imagine. that’s what we have to do.

  6. You’re right, of course: negative campaigning works, which is why even lower-profile campaigns do it too. My problem is HOW it works—for what purpose is negative campaigning employed? The easy answer is “to get elected,” but do we really comprehend how finite this often ends up being? Forget public service: get elected, then hunker down and do what you were planning on doing anyway: toe the party line, help your friends, screw the poor, and, most of all, speak in absolutely nothing but iconic symbols (which is the status quo, anyhow: flag, pride, God, “fierce patriotism,” leadership, growth, values, et al.).

    I don’t want to be a complete cynic, so maybe some people do sling mud simply as a means to an end, a way to get in office no matter what, THEN really, truly serve the public. Who has ever done this on a broad enough scale that it made a substantial, desirable difference in the lives of a large, socioeconomically diverse swath of people? No one I can think of in my lifetime (70’s, 80’s, 90, and up), whether state (both AL and MS) or fed.

    The gist of what Musgrove’s ads say about Barbour stealing MS jobs may well be true, and I’m certainly no apologist for NAFTA. But the language used to convey this point (steal) offends the crap out of me because, like all other campaign sloganeering, it’s a cheap gimmick used only to get a rise out of the public. It’s not communicative or on-topic in the least—it’s purely emotive.

    I heard the Lt. Gov. debates too. Just abysmal. As much as I dislike Amy Tuck, Blackmon sounded embarrassingly inept. I’m at a loss with this race.

  7. jp! says:

    well, if a guy works for money on behalf of a foreign nation in order to get them (mexico) more jobs…those jobs coming from MS…what do you call it? if not steal, what? Barbour SLID jobs to mexico? his work RAN jobs away from MS? i guess i don’t mind the word steal here.

  8. As much as I dislike Barbour, I just can’t automatically equate “NAFTA costs MS jobs” with “Barbour stole MS jobs.” Even if he orchestrated the deal, I’d have to know what his true intent was and how much he knew about eventual job loss in MS before the deal went through, all of which is info to which I’m not privy (although I have no problem whatsoever imagining a fatcat like HB viewing heavy MS job loss/theft as an “unfortunate” by-product of NAFTA and then going through with it anyway). Of course, HB’s not helping his case by simply denying what Musgrove says. HB theoretically could explain this, but he’s not going to because (1) he knows he doesn’t have to in order to get elected, and (2) he’s a prideful alpha-Republican, like Bush, who genetically cannot be bothered to explain anything to anyone; they think people are supposed to take their pontifications on faith.

    But if Barbour-as-thief is so obvious, why does it seem like so many white working-class folks are supporting him? (Driving back and forth to Ackerman yesterday, I saw hundreds of Barbour signs, zero Musgrove.) Aren’t they the ones being directly affected by his NAFTA dealings? Why would they vote for someone who stole their (or their family members’) jobs? Maybe I don’t want to know the answer to this….

  9. Big Gray says:

    The answer is: black people. Black people like Musgrove and Barbour doesn’t like black people apparently, at least if his dealing with the CCC say anything. It’s racism, pure and simple. Well, and probably God, too, or something.