June 27, 2003


Strom Thurmond has died at 100.

No announcement yet on whether he plans to quit politics.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 27, 2003 03:26 PM

On Capitol Hill, they said (referring to his libido) that when the time came to close the coffin lid, they would need a baseball bat to beat his pecker down.

Posted by: James A. Wolf at June 27, 2003 at 04:23 PM

Good. One less Nazi piece of shit in the world.

Posted by: Rick Squane at June 27, 2003 at 09:28 PM

U.S. Democrats have been waiting for this man to die so that the governor of the state might nominate a democrat in his place.

Let the games begin.

Posted by: Wunderkind54 at June 27, 2003 at 09:56 PM

'generalissimo francisco franco is still dead...'

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 27, 2003 at 10:29 PM

Wow, only two posts in, and Rick has already invoked Godwin's Law. Impressive. However, I'm going to ignore the usual rules and say that he's wrong.

Thurmond helped liberate Paris from the *real* Nazis in WWII and was also part of the group that helped liberate Buchenwald (he also helped contribute to a documentary called "Seared Souls" about South Carolinians who were Holocaust Survivors).

He also won 20 percent of the African American vote in the 1996 in his last Senate campaign. No surprise, considering that he abandoned his arch-segregationism back in the mid-60's. Was he once racist? Yes. Did he change? Yes.

Some "Nazi", that.

Posted by: Kimberly at June 27, 2003 at 10:57 PM

yep. he was a member of the 82nd airborne, parachuted in on d-day.
his carear was so long that he was the last living link to the us civil war; in his first election civil war veterans voted for (and against, i'd imagine) him.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 27, 2003 at 11:00 PM

Thurmond retired from the US Senate in January, so there will be no appointed replacement, and, in any case, the governor of SC, who is charged with appointing a replacement, should the need arise, is now a Republican. Strom held on just long enough to stick it to the dems again!

Posted by: Ellie at June 27, 2003 at 11:23 PM

"No announcement yet on whether he plans to quit politics". Funny stuff.

Rick, did you even go to the link? If you did, you would have come across the words "Thurmond's racial politics changed over the years", along with a favourable comment on this change from a black Congressman.

Oh, but what's that you say? He was a right-winger, and they're all Nazis?

Posted by: Gabor at June 28, 2003 at 12:17 AM

I am more than likely the only person reading Tim's blog today that has firsthand knowledge of ol' Strom, as I grew up in Aiken, SC. I talked with Strom numerous times, and went to school with his children. It must be satisfying to cast stones at a dead man, Rick, but the fact remains that Strom did an about-face on race relations and civil rights in the 1960s, and was the first prominent Southern politician to employ African-Americans on his staff. And, as other posters have pointed out, he was a full captain in the 82nd Airborne when D-Day rolled around, and was a decorated combat veteran. He served as Governor, Senator, and Judge in SC. He also fathered children in his 70s. If you think about it, he was older than airplanes. In other words, Rick, Strom is more a man than you'll ever be, even as he lies in peace at home in South Carolina.

Posted by: Rob at June 28, 2003 at 01:24 AM

Calling the likes of Thurmond a Nazi is a bit strong though arguably the best thing he did was his war service against the real Nazis, so we'll give him that. As for the rest - pork barreling illiterate whites one day and then pork barrelling regardless of colour the next, well he was just being a politician. Put in his place, most people would probably do the same, swing as the wind blows - neither a saint nor an angel.

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 28, 2003 at 01:40 AM

last line should read - neither a saint nor a devil.

Posted by: Jason Soon at June 28, 2003 at 01:42 AM

"I am more than likely the only person reading Tim's blog today that has firsthand knowledge of ol' Strom, as I grew up in Aiken, SC." -- Rob

Normally, that would be true, but on the internet ANYTHING is possible. I grew up in Edgefield, S.C. & attended Strom Thurmond High School, and even worked for Thurmond as a Senate Page when I was 15.

Later I worked on Capitol Hill for a Democrat, and I've got to say he was unlike any other pol there. Love him or loathe him, or merely think of him as an average pork-barrelling demagogue, whatever his limitations, he had a drive and focus uncommon in men or women.

And talk about a link to a utterly lost time -- the South hasn't been anything like what he was born into for a long, long time. Heck, his dad fought in the Civil War!!

Posted by: Thomas at June 28, 2003 at 04:55 AM

Pshaw. "Only person". C'mon, Strom met EVERYBODY. :)

I've met him, was friends with a former bodyguard/aide/staffer of his. Grew up near Columbia (Heck, who in S.C. hasn't _ever_ shook hands with Strom? "Howyadoing,nicetomeetcha, Howyadoing,nicetomeetcha, Howyadoing,nicetomeetcha"

Mom went to school with Nancy (something she hates, since every comment about Nancy has to specify her age).

Geez. Nazi? Eh, not worth the bother.

Wunderkind: actually, he's outlived several governors who wanted his seat..... and it was widely speculated that his wife would ask to be appointed had he died in office under a Republican governor.

Nice comment on the question about ending politics, Tim... I've mailed that to a lot of friends of mine from SC State Government. :)


Posted by: Addison at June 28, 2003 at 05:41 AM

Well, Rick just proves once more that when logic, the facts, and kindness fail, you can always employ the popular slur. He seems, like so many of his ilk, to be suffering cranio-anal inversion. Please, feel sorry for them. The air in there is not good, and it affects what used to be their though processes.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at June 28, 2003 at 07:55 AM


Strom Thurmond retired from the Senate last year. Lindsey Graham (a Republican) was elected to fill the open seat in the November 2002 elections and won't be up for re-election until 2008.

Posted by: Sean at June 28, 2003 at 08:39 AM

To Ellie, Sean:

I stand corrected...I'm glad to hear events there are in much better conditions.

Posted by: Wunderkind54 at June 28, 2003 at 09:27 PM

Why should he be forgiven for his segregationist, white supremacist past? He shouldn't be. Just because he changed his views because they became unpopular. That doesn't make him any less of a git.

Posted by: Rick Squane at June 29, 2003 at 02:16 PM

Interesting juxtaposition of headlines when I first saw this news item. "USA: Supreme Court finds constitutional right to gay sex in private. Senator Strom Thurmond dies." Worthy of "The Onion" ...

Posted by: Tom Round at June 30, 2003 at 12:46 PM

Saw AFTER posting that that Andrew Sullivan beat me to it:

SODOMY LEGAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Strom Thurmond dead. On the same day. It's a funny old world, isn't it?

- 1:12:00 AM

Posted by: Tom Round at June 30, 2003 at 05:54 PM