Smallholder weighs in… Almost

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and his loyal friend the Minister of Agriculture (yes… The Smallholder for those of you who aren’t reading carefully) have been exchanging brief e-mails on the subject of George Allen and the Virginia Senate race.

Normally, your Maximum Leader would allow the Smallholder to speak (blog) for himself in these matters. Of course, normally your Maximum Leader would take it upon himself to ruthlessly mock Smallholder for no good reason.

After reading and ruminating on some of Smallholder’s missives, your Maximum Leader thought he would share some of his thoughts with you all.

To set up the background, your Maximum Leader was pretty sure that his recent posts (and frankly, Skippy’s post) about George Allen would elicit a response. Well.. They did and they didn’t. They did elicit a response, but they did not elicit a post. The Smallholder claims that he wanted to blog, but that teaching and life on the farm just take up too much of his time. Your Maximum Leader responded that the Smallholder takes his job too seriously and frankly those kids are hopless by the time they get to his class - so blog a little and lighten up. (Your Maximum Leader can’t have the Smallholder give up on the farm. Afterall, your Maximum Leader is paying for quality cows and pigs…) Regrettably, Smallholder believes that he can still make a difference in the lives of his students…

In response to a glib comment in a private e-mail from your Maximum Leader the Smallholder wrote:

I was originally going to respond to neither of you [NB: The Maximum Leader and Skippy] but to call bullshit on Allen not using the n-bomb at UVA in the 1970s. I talked to two coaches here who say that is was endemic.
Allen ought to have said that he used it, it was wrong, and he, like the rest of Virginia, had put the racist past behind him. Instead he lied. I think the
evidence of his racism is starting to mount. And his unrepentence is telling
as well.

There isn’t much to say about tis. Your Maximum Leader knows plenty of people who attended UVA in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. They all pretty much confirm what Smallholder is saying here. The widespread use of the n-word was a fact of life at UVA during that period. Indeed, your Maximum Leader agrees that all signs point to Allen using the n-word at UVA while he was a student there.

On the matter of his unrepentance, well. There is a lot you can say about that. Indeed, your Maximum Leader will say some things about this subject. First off, a tried and true tactic in modern American politics is that one is confronted with an upleasant truth that to continually deny the accusation works for a while. Your Maximum Leader will point to none other than the vast Right-Wing Conspiracy’s favourite whipping-boy, Bill Clinton. Gennifer Flowers. Nope, didn’t sleep with her. Paula What’s-her-name? Never heard of her. Juanita Brodderick? Couldn’t pick her out of a line-up… Monica Lewinsky. “That woman… Miss Lewinsky…” You see the point your Maximum Leader is making here. Deny. Deny. Deny. Then when you are found out, deny some more.

Now, you will say, “But, my great and thoughtful Maximum Leader, Bill Clinton did those things his was accused of doing. We found out, even after he denied them.” That is true. But by the time the confession came around people were tired of the story. Nuance had been introduced. The damage had been mitigated.

For every one person who comes out and says “I know George Allen used the n-word in college.” there is someone else who says “I know George Allen never used the n-word in college.” It is the ultimate “he said, he said” game.

Now, one should also view this from a slightly different perspective. If you are George Allen, and the only news about your campaign that makes the news is how you are a closeted racist who is only now being outed; you need to draw a line somewhere and fight. Bill Clinton may bounce back from bimbo eruptions; but very few bounce back from being successfully labled a racist. (In fact, sitting here your Maximum Leader can’t think of one politician in the modern age who has. Okay one. George Wallace. But that is a pretty slim list…)

Perhaps if the whole “macaca” story hadn’t happened, George Allen could have said something like the Smallholder suggested above. But, that is not Allen’s current situation. Being branded a racist (even if you aren’t one) is very much different than being branded an adulterer. Suburban middle-class whites like to think themselves above conventional religious morality when it comes to sex; but they can’t abide someone they think is a racist. Don’t get your Maximum Leader wrong, he’s not for electing racists; but neither is he for electing adulterers.* Being successfully branded a racist is the effective end of someone’s political career.

At this point your Maximum Leader supposes he should say that he is now having some serious reservations about George Allen. Please trust your Maximum Leader when he notes that those are difficult words to type. He’s supported Allen for a long long time. On the one hand he thinks that George Allen has made many enemies in his political career and now Allen’s opponents have jumped on a stupid gaffe and exploited it. On the other hand, is there fire where there is smoke? Macaca. A history of supporting those who support an untenable view of the Civil War. Trouping the Confederate flag. The n-word. That is a pretty considerable amount of smoke in just a few weeks. Weeks your Maximum Leader is sure that George Allen and all his political advisors would agree have been the worst in his political career.

So, what now? Well… Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure. As much as the Minister of Propaganda (out in California one might add) is lobbying for your Maximum Leader to vote for James Webb, he just can’t vote for Webb. Webb is a hot-headed opportunist. He isn’t really a Democrat (a trait that should endear him to your Maximum Leader). He isn’t a Republican. Webb is a sort of Populist xtremist. Webb has many opinions on a range of issues. Webb can’t really be labled as “liberal” or “conservative.” But he takes lots of extreme positions all over the board.

As your Maximum Leader sat down and started this post, he toyed with the idea of not voting at all. But that thought passed in about 2 seconds. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t missed an opportunity to vote in a Federal Election since he attained his franchise. He isn’t going to start missing them now. (And for full disclosure, he has only missed one state/local election - and that was because he had recently moved and his voter registration in one county was disallowed in another.)

Honestly… Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what he will do when he goes to the polls in November. At least he isn’t sure about the Senate race. He’ll have to see how things pan out.

Oh yes… One more thing… Smallholder also wrote:

Now that I’ve read your post, I’m going to call bullshit on your statement about the Confedrate flag. You cannot honorably defend it. Even if you are loosely educated, the controversy means that the information is out there. Their only response is nuh-uh. And even if you don’t believe it is racist, then you are prick for flying it knowing that people will perceive it as such.

Your Maximum Leader concurs with what the Smallholder wrote there. But your Maximum Leader wasn’t trying to defend the loosely educated or state that their defence of the Confederate flag was an honorable one. His point is that some otherwise sensible people have blinders on when it comes to the symbolism of the Confederate flag and the causes of the American Civil War. No degree of evidence will convince them otherwise. This glaring failure to accept the facts as they are does not equate to that same person being a racist. One may say they are stupid, uneducated, or even pricks. But not every stupid, uneducated, prick is a racist. That is your Maximum Leader’s point.

Carry on.

Your Maximum Leader’s advice to those of you out there who want to stray from your wives… Divorce first and then start sleeping around. Even better advice… If you don’t think you can be faithful, just don’t get married.

phin said:

I’m calling bullshit on Smallholder’s bullshit.

Granted slavery was a key issue in the war of Northern Aggression it wasn’t the sole issue. I grant you had there been no slavery there wouldn’t have been a war, but it wasn’t the only reason alone.

Of course the teachings vary, depending upon geographical location. In Eastern NC when I was going through school (not too long ago I might add, I’m 31) we were taught the war was fought over states rights and the economy. It was taught slavery was a contributing factor but that it was on its way out anyhow since the cost / benefit ratio of owning slaves wasn’t favorable. Also taught was / is that the vast majority of southerners weren’t slave owners, which also pushes the states rights angle.

Now those of us who’ve been to college know that slavery was the prime reason the men in power made the decision to secede and why the war took place. It does not however negate the fact that the common folk who were ambivalent to slave ownership, the men dying in the trenches, were fighting over states rights and economic freedom (from high tariffs).

Now the …even if you don’t believe it is racist, then you are prick for flying it knowing that people will perceive it as such argument isn’t rational. I’m not dogging the Smallholder here, but it doesn’t hold water. There are a great number of items that people find offensive, religion being a key item that is often in the news today. Should all Christians refrain from publicly displaying symbols of their faith and openly celebrating Christian holidays because we may offend Muslims?

To some the Confederate Flag is a symbol of hate and racism. To others it’s a symol of their Southern Heritage and standing up for your rights.

To some the Cross is a symbol of oppression and genocide. To others it’s a reminder of peace, good will and righteousness.

In any of the above cases it’s a mater of where you were born and what you were taught as to how you perceive the symbol.

And don’t forget the most obnoxious of Allen’s behaviors: Hanging a noose from the ficus tree in his Charlottesville lawyer’s office. When asked about this during the last campaign, he claimed it represented his commitment to law and order.

Of course.

Silly me for thinking the display of a noose hanging from a tree in the bloody South could possible have more nefarious motives.

Phin, my good man, I’m sorry that you were “loosely educated” in North Carolina. I’m assuming you went through that education post civil-rights era when the Southern states began braying about states’ rights as a way to opposed federally-mandated desegregation. Because that is when the states’ rights and economic arguments began to be made.

Please google South Carolina’s Ordinance Secession and report back to us on the number of time the tariff is mentioned.

Why did the people who seceded and began the war say they were fighting? Slavery. Anyone who argues otherwise is either (willfully) ignorant of the primary sources or dishonest. If you want to engage in this debate, do me a favor and look at the primary sources. I have a whole list of primary sources created by Southerners over at Skippy’s shop in the comments section of the Confederate Flag post.

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