Wednesday, May 30, 2007



Graham and Chambliss were booed at GOP conventions. They still love Goode though

Having just come back from at least 3 days in Washington I can report that there are definitely people Inside the Beltway who are convinced that Virgil Goode, Jr (R-VA) isn't as much of a racist, xenophobic and Know Nothing bigot as he portrays himself. Some say he's just trying to take the spotlight off the egregious corruption that is likely to land him in prison eventually. Others say, that, yes, he's one of the half dozen most corrupt members of Congress but that he actually is every bit as racist, xenophobic and bigoted as he comes off-- and is the very definition of a classic Know Nothing.

I'll come back to Rep. Goode in a moment. First let me address the leader of his party, someone who gets a lot more sophisticated advice-- both about how to steal money and how to play to the basest nature of the base. George "I believe in cheap labor" Bush "lashed out at critics within his own party Tuesday, accusing Republican opponents of distorting the immigration deal he negotiated with leading congressional Democrats and playing on the politics of fear to undermine public support. In stern tones normally reserved for the liberal opposition, Bush said conservatives fighting the immigration proposal 'haven't read the bill' and oppose it in some cases because 'it might make somebody else look good.' Their 'empty political rhetoric,' he said, threatens to thwart what he called the last, best chance to fix an immigration system that all sides agree is broken."

Bush spoke in Georgia, a state renowned for racism and xenophobia, a hotbed of the resurgence of a Know Nothing movement that has taken over CNN and the GOP. Last week Georgia's extreme right wing senator, Saxby Chamberpot, was booed at the state GOP convention when he tried defending Bush's immigration bill. According to the NY Times, "Bush's trip to Georgia opened a campaign intended to undercut the criticism that has consumed conservative talk shows and Web sites and to educate the public about a complicated bill."

It would be awesome to see Bush on with Lou Dobbs some time; like that will ever happen. Meanwhile right-wingers are pissed that the Greed and Selfishness wing of the GOP is calling out the Hatred and Bigotry wing.
"I don't think name-calling does any good at this point," said David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "What they've done from the very beginning is say, 'This is the way we want it done, and anyone who disagrees with us is outside the mainstream.' . . . It's been badly handled. They'll be lucky, given the attitudes in the country, to come up with anything."

Brian Darling, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said he and his colleagues not only have read the bill but also have posted it on the think tank's Web site. "Most conservatives have very strong feelings that this bill contains amnesty . . . and no yelling and screaming by the administration is going to change our minds," he said.

As for the charge of scare tactics, Darling said: "Honestly, I really think people should be frightened. This bill would be the most dramatic change to immigration law in 40 years, and no one seems to understand what's in the bill. . . . The American people should be frightened by the closed-door process that was used and by the ramifications."

Now, back to Virgil Goode, Jr. Let's forget, for a moment all the bribes and corruption and his connections to all the worst elements of the GOP Culture of Corruption. Let's, for a moment, even forget the spectacle he made of his anti-Moslem bigotry when he challenged Congressman Keith Ellison's right to be sworn into Congress on a Koran instead of a Christian Bible. Goode has stopped, momentarily, bashing American Moslems so he could concentrate on those little flags in Mexican restaurants.

One of the local papers in his district, the Charlottesville Daily Progress did a piece yesterday about Goode's opposition to the Bush immigration bill. "'I'm opposed to it. It provides amnesty,'" Goode said on the same day that Bush declared the opposite... [And] he's riled by restaurants in his region that display a Mexican flag."
And in little towns in his district and across the line in North Carolina, "They've got a Mexican flag in these restaurants... They've got one on Main Street in Rocky Mount! They've got one on Tanyard Road in Rocky Mount!

"That riles me," he acknowledged. "If you want to be part of America, fly the American flag!"

God only knows what happens if he ever wanders into New York or L.A. and sees Americans proudly displaying Irish, Italian, Brazilian, Israeli, Armenian, and South Korean flags (not to mention the Mexican ones that so offend his delicate sensitivities)-- often alongside American flags-- to celebrate a heritage they are proud of. It's always been the American way, except for the descendants of convicts, like Goode, who were dumped on American shores and have nothing to be proud of. Meanwhile, Taco Bells in southern Virginia-- beware

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