april 28, 2011 by camille hayes leave a comment
#5: FORGET TO PRETEND YOU’RE NOT A BIGOT
Oh, Haley Barbour. Where do I even start with your dumb, racist ass? Such a high-rolling big fish in your stagnant pond of corrupt lobbyists and good ol’ boy operators, you actually started to believe your own hype and thought you might have a shot at the Presidency. Alas, a few months outside your native Mississippi and in the national spotlight, and you withered like a Kudzu vine in a swamp fire, officially declaring an end to your non-candidacy on Monday. Why? Because you just couldn’t keep your mouth shut about black people.
You probably thought you were safe in our current political climate—what with the recession and multiple wars, not to mention so many Republicans openly refusing to accept the legitimacy of the country’s first black President (not because he’s black, because his father was Kenyan, which is a totally separate issue and not racist at all). Against the backdrop of the increasingly silly justifications for the mass panic caused by Obama’s brownness, you probably thought your soft-core bigotry would fly under the radar. But as it turns out, even the Washington press corps will stir from its stupor when you say things like “Racism in Mississippi? No biggie.”
So, reporting ensued! And you came off looking pretty bad, but that didn’t stop you from invoking black people, or segregation, or civil rights pretty much every time you opened your pie hole. In your eagerness to prove just how not racist you are, you showed your true colors (ahem) and made your party establishment a tad nervous. But you just let your Confederate freak flag fly; your rise was rapid, and your descent inevitable.
Karl Rove is probably glad to see you go, but personally, I’m going to miss you, Haley. Your lilting accent and delightful lack of self-awareness remind me of my Southern childhood, and all the mildly racist jokes I was forced to listen to over the years because people “didn’t mean it that way” or some of their very dearest friends were . . . well, you know. Though your time outside Mississippi may have vanquished your lofty ambitions, you can go back to Dixie with your head held high. Tell all the boys back home that the particular strain of post-civil-rights-era racism born there, so innocent of its own nature that it purports not to even understand what bigotry is, is now the modus vivendi for America in general and the Republican Party in particular. With cultural influence that powerful the South may, in fact, rise again.