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Friday, June 10, 2005

Jesse Helms--dinosaur, or part and parcel of today's GOP? 

Ok, ok. We here at G&G world HQ have been getting a lot of nasty calls and emails telling us that, well, maybe Jesse Helms is a racist, bigoted bastard, but he's no longer apart of today's mainstream GOP. Like clockwork, we're hearing that it was the Democratic Party that filibustered the Civil Rights Act, that racists like Pat Buchanan have been expelled from the GOP and, hey, Robert Byrd was in the KKK.

So, let's see...are Jesse Helms's virulently racist views an integral part of today's GOP or not? In many ways, asking the questions answers it, but let's look at it a bit further.

Do you know who Tony Perkins is? Not the guy who played the pyscho in Psycho, but this guy. So, he runs one of the most influential interest groups within the GOP's tent (the Family Research Council is the lobbying arm of James Dobson's Focus on the Family). Is he a racist? Oh, good lord yes. Americablog has the details, quoting a piece in The Nation:
Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.
Ok, but now I haven't even finished this post and I'm already getting complaints telling me that this Perkins guy isn't even an elected official. He's not, but he's actually more important than that: he's the guy who, when he says jump, gets Bill Frist to say "how high?" From that same Nation article:
In the wake of his defeat, with Dobson's blessing, Perkins moved to Washington to head the Family Research Council. In a closed meeting at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during the Republican National Convention in August 2004, an alliance drawing in Frist was sealed. Perkins's associates at the CNP presented the Senate majority leader with its "Thomas Jefferson Award." The grateful Frist declared, "The destiny of the nation is on the shoulders of the conservative movement."
And, just for fun, here's a nice picture of David Duke-supporting racist Tony Perkins and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TennColorado Springs):

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