June 26, 2003


Lester Maddox has died. Peter Jennings on the US ABC network just presented a brief report; it mentioned that Maddox was a high school dropout but neglected, so far as I could tell, to inform viewers of Maddox’s party affiliation:

Lester G. Maddox, 87, a Georgia restaurateur who drove blacks from his business with ax handles and parlayed the resulting publicity into political power, becoming in 1967 the state's last openly segregationist governor, died June 25 at a hospice in Atlanta after a fall while recuperating from intestinal surgery. He had pneumonia and prostate cancer.

Gov. Maddox, a Democrat ...

Could be that the ABC mentioned this and I missed it. Anyway, whatever wretchedness old Maddox caused during his lifetime, he at least inspired one of my favourite Randy Newman tunes.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 26, 2003 06:33 PM

Yer link to the Newman song doesn't work. Would the song happen to be "Political Science," by any chance?

A Tom Lehrer song comes to mind, too - the one with the memorable line: "Where the jasmine ad the tear gas smell so fine."

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at June 26, 2003 at 07:02 PM

Link works for me. It's "Rednecks".

Posted by: tim at June 26, 2003 at 07:05 PM

Unfortunately the Maddox/Thurmond Democrats have found a new home in the Republican party since Nixon. That's the more telling point. Rockefeller, Eisenhower, etc wouldn't have let such riff raff in but it's no longer their party.

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 26, 2003 at 07:20 PM

Sad thing is, everything the leftists accuse the right of doing in metaphor, the left have done in fact.

From racism to sexism to religious discrimination to mass genocide, the actual perpetrators of nearly all crimes against humanity in the last century have been leftists.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 26, 2003 at 08:44 PM

From racism to sexism to religious discrimination to mass genocide, the actual perpetrators of nearly all crimes against humanity in the last century have been leftists.

Well, of course they were, if you take the liberty of defining "leftist" and "crime against humanity" any way you like.

Hitler a leftist?

Clinton hitting on an intern a "crime against humanity"?

Yep, I think you've put the final nail in the coffin of the left wing there, fella!

Posted by: Mork at June 26, 2003 at 09:06 PM

G'Day Mork,

Avoiding the straight recourse to Godwin's Law I will point out some things that you might find interesting. Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist Party (note the use of the word Socialist to describe his movement). The Nazis believed in state control of property and the means of production. The difference between ownership and control is a relatively fine point and the only real difference between Hitler's brand of Socialism and Stalin's.

Are you suggesting that he was not leftist because he didn't manage to actually kill as many people as Stalin or Mao - his heart was in the appropriate lefty place he just got stopped before he got fully in his stride.

Posted by: Russell at June 26, 2003 at 09:20 PM

Well, neither side is perfect, but when it comes to race issues, especially in the US, the right wing parties have significant catching up to do.

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at June 26, 2003 at 09:21 PM

Got an example to back that up Stew?

Posted by: Yobbo at June 26, 2003 at 09:35 PM

Hitler was a Socialist, Che Guevara was a Socialist. Both had the same goals, to remake the world into a utopia under their control. And both were quite willing to kill as many people as they needed to, to accomplish that goal. Hell, Che's best buddy Castro is still killing people.

As for sexism being a "crime against humanity," it really isn't, but you wouldn't know from the way Susan Sontag obsesses over it. Of course, sexism committed by Democrats = good, sexism committed by Republicans = evil beyond all measure.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 26, 2003 at 09:42 PM

geesh, i dunno stew; on the right you've some got folks who think other races should be kept down because they're not equal, and on the left you've got some folks who think that other races can't stand on their own.
i'd say the stupidity is fairly evenly dispersed across humanity.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 26, 2003 at 10:45 PM

The distinction between left and right used to be quite blurred; but it's not nearly as clear now.

Posted by: Norman at June 27, 2003 at 01:28 AM

Jennings commented that Maddox was a high school dropout! Hello. Jennings is one too and to be a high school drop out from the Ontario school system is quite an accomplishment. Even blobs of inert matter have been known to ace the dumb, dumb, dumbed down Ontario school system. What a creep.

Posted by: Millie Woods at June 27, 2003 at 02:03 AM

...better than HE, not, "...better than him."

Better than him is? Sheesh.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at June 27, 2003 at 02:32 AM

"Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show
with some smart-ass New York jew..."

I saw that show. Hell of a thing, Lester was on with Jim Brown. Much hilarity ensued.

Posted by: mojo at June 27, 2003 at 02:42 AM

Wasn't it Governor Lester Maddox who said that prison reform would not be possible until they started getting a better class of prisoner?

Posted by: Nancy Beckmann at June 27, 2003 at 02:56 AM

I saw the Lester Maddox segment too, Tim, and Peter Jennings did neglect to mention that the former Georgia Governor was a Democrat. He did, however, comment near the end that the segregationist very much disliked liberals, leaving viewers who didn't know better to draw their own conclusions about the racist Maddox's party affiliation.

Posted by: Lawrence at June 27, 2003 at 03:00 AM

Good catch, Lawrence! I forgot that mention of liberals - he also despised smokers and drinkers, however, so to hell with him.

Posted by: tim at June 27, 2003 at 03:16 AM

Jason Soon: Ahhh, they were never considered riff-raff as long as they voted Democratic. Two, the Republicans have cleaned them of their racism, while the DemocRATs still promote racism at every turn. Three, the Christian Right was also never a problem or a threat as long as they voted DemocRAT. Now, they are evil encarnate. The 'RATs do not include one decent, honorable elected official. Name one, if you dare.

Tim Blair: I heard an amazing report, it must've been on NPR about the death of Maddox. It was with a former mayor of Atlanta (black) I believe. He said when Maddox became governor, he became good friends with Martin Luther King's father and said that Maddox was a good friend of Atlanta (majority black). I was stunned by the friendly report, the genuine warm feelings, the fairness and decency of the speaker.

Posted by: Jabba the Nutt at June 27, 2003 at 01:33 PM