Diddling a Nit

Haley Barbour, that old Nit Diddler, is at it again. In preparation for a run for the White House he is working hard to lock down the hard white vote. Steve Benen details Haley’s fondness for the White Citizens Councils of the Mississippi he knew as a lad. Barbour recalls fondly in a Weekly Standard interview how the decades-old white supremacy organization ‘helped’ to keep his home state calm during the Civil Rights era. The Citizens Councils grew out of the anti-Reconstruction terrorism of the 1870s and was still a terrorist organization during Barbour’s formative years. I guess Haley liked the way they dealt with all that Northern agitation for justice and shit.

Of course that doesn’t mean that Haley hasn’t learned to be sensitive about questions of race. Ben Smith noted Barbour’s sensitivity to race in item about an old campaign of the Nit Diddler from years ago:

But the racial sensitivity at Barbour headquarters was suggested by an exchange between the candidate and an aide who complained that there would be ”coons” at a campaign stop at the state fair. Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.

Then as now, the real crime was that a reporter heard the remark.

Perhaps the Nit Diddler is in the news today to help celebrate the 150 Anniversary of South Carolina’s act of treason that put the Nation firmly on the path to Civil War. One wonders if the Nit Diddler will be at SCV Ball or if he’ll just wait a few weeks for the 1-9-11 SCV Ball in Mississippi. And when they tell you the the Civil War wasn’t about slavery and racism–just remember that it was. And when Governor Nit Diddler claims to have moved past these issues–just remember that he hasn’t.

Cheers

62 replies
  1. 1
    Zifnab says:

    My god, the options for GOP Nominee for President are just so gosh darn wonderful. You’ve got your racists, your idiots, your corporate whores, your racist idiot corporate whores.

    I just can’t wait till 2012.

  2. 2

    I haven’t moved past these issues, either. In front of Lowell City Hall is a grave site, populated by Privates Whitney and Ladd, two young men from Lowell who happened to be the first of 600,000 Americans to die in the War of the Rebellion.

    In front of that, you’ll find our monument to that war. It features a statue of a winged Nike, her garment rippling in the breeze, holding aloft a laurel wreath, as if to bestow it on the brow of the downtown.

    I don’t imagine the monuments in Mississippi incorporate that particular style of iconography.

  3. 3
    Restrung says:

    “hard white vote”

    heh

  4. 4
    quaint irene says:

    Then as now, the real crime was that a reporter heard the remark.

    And the punishment would be placed in the hands of all those uppity black folk, who of course eat nothing but watermelon and fried chicken.

    If Barbour was reincarnated with a pumpkin head it would probably raise his IQ.

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    For some real giggles, check out the interview TPM did with a Barbour spokesman. The guy was spinning faster than a power turbine:

    “Gov. Barbour did not comment on the Citizens Council movement’s history,” Turner responded. “He commented on the business community in Yazoo City, Mississippi.”
    __
    I asked further about the Citizen Council movement’s white supremacist activities, such as the boycotts in Barbour’s hometown. “I’m not aware that that’s accurate,” Turner said. “I’m not aware that he [Barbour] has any statement on that. I’m aware of the statement that he made in context of how he made it.”

    dms

  6. 6
    New Yorker says:

    I’ll be celebrating Nat Turner and John Brown tonight while the people in James Petigru’s insane asylum are celebrating treason.

  7. 7

    I was so, so pleased to learn of that piece in The State.

    The language of the S.C. Declaration is so straightforward, so unambiguous that it is difficult to comprehend that there ever could have been any disagreement over what drove South Carolina to secede.

    Indeed.

  8. 8
    agrippa says:

    Not a lot has changed in the Old South. Racial prejudice still exists, and it is still being used politically.

    The GOP has incorporated that prejudice in their sales pitch.

  9. 9

    @dmsilev: What do you expect from Barbour’s spokespuppet? If Barbour decided to run, this guy’s life should be a living hell. Everyone should ask him about his racist beliefs.

  10. 10
    ThatPirateGuy says:

    Completely unrelated but when I see SCV I think space construction vehicle not sons of confederate veterans. But given the confederacy in starcraft perhaps I am not too far off.

  11. 11
    Dennis G. says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    And they died in the riots here in Mobtown (as Baltimore was called back in the day). The anniversary of that shameful day is also fast approaching. In the coming decades there will be shameful anniversaries of Confederate terrorism almost everyday. They will squeal like pigs when their history of violence and dishonor is mentioned, but so be it.

    Cheers

  12. 12
    Rommie says:

    You know, maybe us Northern Yankee folk learned something from the prior dispute too. The South might have the Lost Cause to dream about victory if it happened again. The North has Sherman Had The Right Idea in its wish pocket if the Confederate Party reeeeeeeally wants to play the game again.

  13. 13
    Mike G says:

    And remember, these celebrators of violent treason against the United States are such better Americans than all of us librul heathens, just ask them.

  14. 14
    cat48 says:

    Quite depressing yesterday to pick up the Charleston Post and Courier anniversary edition w/Ltr of Secession on the front page. I just dropped it at the door. I’ll never adapt to living here.

  15. 15
    Mike in NC says:

    In preparation for a run for the White House he is working hard to lock down the hard white vote.

    For some reason the Villagers still have to pretend that this elderly racist somehow has a shot at getting nominated, while the hard fact is that he couldn’t get elected dogcatcher anywhere outside of Mississippi.

    I was so, so pleased to learn of that piece in The State.

    Several other major newspapers in SC apparently also had the common sense and common decency to reprint The State’s editorial.

  16. 16
    The Moar You Know says:

    Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon black man and placed at the mercy of blacks sheet-clad White Citizens Councils members standing around a tree with a conveniently -placed branch.

    Fixt.

  17. 17
    New Yorker says:

    @Rommie:

    Heh. I personally like to think about what things might have been like if Thaddeus Stevens had been president instead of Lincoln. Reading some of his speeches, you get the feeling that there wouldn’t have been a single structure left standing in the south, except for the gallows erected to hang Jefferson Davis and every other person who signed his name to secession.

  18. 18
    David says:

    Know what would be really funny? If Haley Barbour was reincarnated as a baby harp seal and placed at the mercy of Sarah Palin.

  19. 19

    @Dennis G.: I thought they were shot by snipers while their column was marching through town.

    @Rommie:

    The North has Sherman Had The Right Idea in its wish pocket if the Confederate Party reeeeeeeally wants to play the game again.

    What we need is a poster of General Sherman with the caption: “Don’t MAKE me come down there!”

  20. 20

    @cat48: I was born and raised here (Greenville, SC). When I went to college in Western Mass, everyone wondered why the hell I was there.

    You just succinctly identified why I left.

  21. 21
    Brian J says:

    When I read about shit like this, I imagine that unemployment could go up to 12 percent and Obama might still be reelected.

  22. 22

    @Mike in NC:

    Several other major newspapers in SC apparently also had the common sense and common decency to reprint The State’s editorial.

    I’ll have to see if my local paper did (doubtful), but that is key — the “New” South was built on the ashes of the old, and that bitter taste that Dennis G (among many others) has been documenting hasn’t left fast enough.

    I’d not have imagined such an editorial making it anywhere in this state, and I honestly fear for the Staff of these papers. Not from the “rednecks”, but for the men and women of power and position who don’t care for such sentiments in the “already-too-liberal” press.

  23. 23
    And Another Thing... says:

    @David: WIN !!!

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    Epic! And strangely on topic!

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/.....la-racism/

    Did you know that the totally made-up-by-medieval-drunks gods of Norse mythology were all white? Literally none of them were African. We didn’t know that, but thanks to the prodigious efforts of the Council of Conservative Citizens and their friends at Boycott-Thor.com, the truth has been revealed: Heimdall, Sentry of Asgard, was white and Idris Elba, the English actor hired to portray Heimdall in Marvel Studios’ Thor, is black! BLACK!

    I’ll spar you the link to the actual Council of Conservative Citizens website. But if this is the kind of serious people-powered issues that a typical Barbour-endorsed Citizens Council supports, politics is going to remain entertaining for the foreseeable future.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    Well, I never lived in the south during segregation, so I may be totally talking out of my ass – but all of these old crackers that grew up when segregation was legal either cannot resolve that something that was legal may have also been immoral and so continue to show support for people acting legally, or they cannot see that it was immoral. I don’t see any other alternative.

    I’d think that either viewpoint ought to disqualify you for the high office in the eye of most voters. I can see why it wouldn’t if your goal was to capture the old cracker vote, but how many >50 white voters are left in the South? Fox News total audience is only a few million, so my guess is that’s the upper bound.

    I swear, the Senate has caused most of the nation to completely forget that NY, IL and CA are all really fucking big states. MS, SC and AL might claim that they are equal in rights, but when it comes to electoral votes, they’re rounding errors.

  26. 26
    And Another Thing... says:

    @joe from Lowell: This is why I lurk around here:

    What we need is a poster of General Sherman with the caption: “Don’t MAKE me come down there!”

    Thank you.

    And I want a coffee mug with that graphic.

    ETA: No, I want a bunch of them so that I can give ’em away. It’ll help us all get through the next several years of “remembrances of the Glorious Dead.”

  27. 27
    Gatsby says:

    Why does Barbour even think he might attain the presidency? He’s way low on the historical learning curve.

  28. 28
    ThatPirateGuy says:

    Haley Barbour spoke at my graduation. It was horrible. Thats what I get for having attended Ole Miss though.

  29. 29
    Origuy says:

    I wonder if PBS would give Ken Burns any money to make The Civil War today? BTW, it’s been remastered to improve the digital quality; some PBS stations will probably be showing it soon.

  30. 30
    Dennis G. says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    They were killed as part of the Pratt Street Riots.

    And a poster of General Sherman with the caption: “Don’t MAKE me come down there!” sounds like a fine idea. Perhaps I’ll work one up.

    Cheers

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    BTW, I think the GOP has a major problem on their hands. They’re headed straight for the DE-Sen situation repeated at the national level.

    While everyone is shaking their heads at how Palin could get elected President, the numbers suggest that she’s well positioned to win the GOP primary, and that is what any GOP candidate needs to be focused on. You don’t get into the big game unless you win the primary – and the tea party has shown that no matter how hard to the right you run, they’ll be there to carry you across the line.

    If the GOP doesn’t get their shit together, Obama is going to be facing the least electable candidate that can get on the ticket in all 50 states.

  32. 32
    geg6 says:

    @Gatsby:

    Hell, when you have people like John Bolton coming out as a GOP candidate for president in 2012, people like Barbour have to believe that anything is possible.

    But this WCC shit (along with his lies regarding the integration of Ole Miss for which he was thoroughly pwned by Verna Bailey back in September: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201.....-from.html) may make Bolton look like a better prospect than ol’ Haley.

  33. 33
    TooManyJens says:

    Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.

    That’s what he thought would make him look better to the reporter?

    The mind wobbles.

  34. 34
    Sly says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    What we need is a poster of General Sherman with the caption: “Don’t MAKE me come down there!”

    America’s Greatest Bad-Ass Approves.

  35. 35
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Martin: The GOP has changed their nomination rules. In 2008 their primaries & caucuses were basically winner take all. In 2012 the primaries & caucuses before April 1 are proportional, like the Dems were. After April 1, they are winner take all. It’s going to be really interesting.

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @geg6:

    A white southerner who speaks so much as though he has marbles in his mouth you think it must be performance art is considered a likely GOP nominee for President. It speaks volumes.

    My feeling is that: Haley is quite smart. He clearly has a racist blind spot, as does virtually all of (white) Mississippi. The attitude appears to be, that, given that the entire state did not burn in riots during the sixties, or earlier, there must be no racism left.

    But back to the smart. He ran the GOP pretty well and was an extremely successful corporate lobbyist. He did not even stop being one while being governor!

    The tea party would clearly have no patience for a corporate lobbyist – they want virtuous citizen legislators!

  37. 37
    Lolis says:

    O M G … These people really scare me. The fact that they can rise to powerful posts is terrifying.

  38. 38
    MattR says:

    @Martin:

    While everyone is shaking their heads at how Palin could get elected President, the numbers suggest that she’s well positioned to win the GOP primary,

    I am not so sure of this. I’ve been flogging a new ABC News/Wash Post poll showing that 59% of Americans would not consider Palin for President. The breakdown amongst those who should be her base is not that good for her either

    The trends, moreover, are not in Palin’s favor. Just over a year ago 53 percent said they wouldn’t consider her for president. That’s risen, as noted, to 59 percent now, and includes significant chunks of the GOP base, such as 27 percent of John McCain voters, nearly three in 10 Republicans, four in 10 conservatives and four in 10 evangelical white Protestants. About equal numbers of men (58 percent) and women (60 percent) rule Palin out.
    __
    Just 8 percent of Americans say they’d “definitely” vote for Palin were she to run for president; an additional 31 percent say they’d consider it. But that adds to just 39 percent who’d even give her a look (41 percent if you count the undecideds) – well short of what it customarily takes to win the White House, absent an unusually strong third-party candidate.
    __
    OBAMA – In contrast to Palin, 26 percent say they’d definitely vote for Obama for a second term, and an additional 30 percent would consider him – an available pool of 56 percent (58 percent, with the undecideds thrown in). Despite recent criticisms from his party and its liberal branch, 54 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of liberals – and 65 percent of liberal Democrats – say they’d definitely vote to re-elect Obama, along with nonwhites his most committed groups by far.

  39. 39
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    But liberals are the real racists!

  40. 40
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Brian J:

    I will never understand why anybody has thought Obama vulnerable. The only time he teetered was health insurance reform. He succeeded, and he will win reelection in a landslide.* If he faces Palin, it’ll be 1984 all over again. He can push 57-60% against her.

    The only thing that could trip him up is a mass casualty terrorist attack, or even more unlikely, a Spanish default that fucks the whole global economy back up.

    And yes, Boss Hogg is a candidate who makes all the sense in the world on paper. He’s the perfect Republican corporate whore. And then you see him in person, and he opens his fat fucking mouth, and he becomes a complete nonentity. He doesn’t even get 3% of the South Carolina primary, and approximately -1256% in any other state he’d be insane enough to compete in.

    *The more interesting question is the electoral college. I think Obama underperforms 2008 there based on the census changes alone. But I also think he loses Florida and Indiana, which means our beloved system will once again create a ridiculous result where a campaign gets heart burn on election night despite winning 53+% of the nationwide vote.

  41. 41

    I lived in MS in ’07 and ’08. One of the news stories at the time was about Barbour fighting higher tobacco taxes that would be used for Medicaid and aid to women and children. For an old tobacco lobbyist like him, it was more important to protect tobacco company profits than to help the helpless. I was amazed to hear his name put forward as a possible presidential candidate. The guy is a disgusting pig, but then what do you expect? He’s a republican.

  42. 42
    dmsilev says:

    I think someone linked to this bit of unintentional hilarity from the racists earlier, but it bears relinking. Apparently, there are some who believe that the Aesir resemble a conservative country club, though presumably the country club features less drunken ale-quaffing.

    dms

  43. 43
    asiangrrlMN says:

    You know, if this guy really does make a run for the presidency, I hope every goddamn reporter who is sooo in love with him will pound his ass about his racial views day and night. Disgusting.

  44. 44
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @asiangrrlMN:
    Not these days. They’ll describe him as “a colorful candidate with strong views.”

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @And Another Thing…: That’s actually not a bad rule in concept. It helps ensure that Iowa and New Hampshire don’t make one candidate an inevitable winner, but doesn’t drag the process out by having the later states keep people alive unnecessarily long.

    The problem is that by April 1, only a tightly contested race like Obama/Clinton would even last that long since almost all the states are before April 1. In 2008, after April 1 was PA, IN, NC, WV, KY, OR, MT, SD. PA was already the 3rd make-or-break primary for Clinton. Texas/Ohio was 6 weeks earlier. So, it’s a great rule except that it’s essentially a pointless rule.

    And who else thinks that in the early four: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina that the GOP could easily have 4 winners. Iowa gets the centrist or Neocon, New Hampshire the Club-for-Growth guy, Nevada the nativist, and South Carolina the Christianist/Dixie candidate. Interesting indeed.

  46. 46
    celticdragonchick says:

    Steve Benen details Haley’s fondness for the White Citizens Councils of the Mississippi he knew as a lad. Barbour recalls fondly in a Weekly Standard interview how the decades-old white supremacy organization ‘helped’ to keep his home state calm during the Civil Rights era.

    Words fail.

    My God…the White Citizens Councils.

    Keeping “coons” in their place since 1873…

    Of course, pointing this out will guarentee that Nit Diddler will be elected again…since being accused of racism in the MSM is always worse than actual, you know…racism.

  47. 47
    Scott P. says:

    The problem is that by April 1, only a tightly contested race like Obama/Clinton would even last that long since almost all the states are before April 1. In 2008, after April 1 was PA, IN, NC, WV, KY, OR, MT, SD. PA was already the 3rd make-or-break primary for Clinton. Texas/Ohio was 6 weeks earlier. So, it’s a great rule except that it’s essentially a pointless rule.

    The Republican primaries/caucuses don’t occur at the same time as the Democratic ones. And they’ve already announced the schedule will change from 2008. So it’s hard to say how that will affect things.

  48. 48
    Martin says:

    @MattR: I will again return to O’Donnell beating Castle in DE. By any metric, that should never have happened. The polling even days before suggested that it was nearly impossible.

    Primaries are generally low-turnout events other than the first few ‘showcase’ ones. They get a very skewed demographic. First mover advantage often blows up (see Rudy 9/11 and Clinton) but other times it doesn’t (see GWB). Both Rudy and Clinton suffered due to a terrible campaign team for the former, and a poorly matched/managed one for the latter. GWB had a great team – basically his team formed and chose him to lead them. Obama won because he had a frictionless team.

    Palin’s team is almost certainly likely to land in the Rudy/Clinton model given what we already know about her, but you never know. If there’s a campaign team out there that’s eager to partner with her, and they can keep her on message, then I wouldn’t count her out. She’s going to have a hell of a motivated base, so even if it’s smaller than anyone else’s, my guess is that her voters turn out like nobody else in the field.

  49. 49

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    But liberals are the real racists!

    It’s easy to recognize the Real Racists. The Real Racists are the people who vote the same way as, and enter into electoral coalitions with, members of minority groups.

  50. 50
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Rommie:

    The North has Sherman Had The Right Idea in its wish pocket if the Confederate Party reeeeeeeally wants to play the game again.

    I sense a bumpersticker in the making…

  51. 51
    Black Diamond says:

    @MattR: That’s a national poll. What are Palin’s numbers like in Iowa, NH, or SC? In 2007 heading into 2008, Obama was trailing Clinton by 30 points nationally then he won Iowa and we know how that worked out. I am in no way comparing Obama and Palin by the way, just circumstances. I think what happened in Delaware or Alaska more closely foreshadow what could happen with Palin. Closed primary of mostly conservative republicans could push her forward in early states. The real number in many of these polls is her favorability amongst republicans, that number is still quite high in most polls. Just my 2 cents.

  52. 52
    Nutella says:

    This TPM article mentioned above is interesting. Barbour fondly remembers the Citizens Council in Yazoo City when he was young. The incident described at the end of the article occurred when Barbour was 8, so it is exactly what he is so fondly remembering:

    Some local blacks (or Negroes as it says in the article) signed a petition for integration and

    In Yazoo City, in August 1955, the Council members fired signers of the integration petition, or prevailed upon other white employers to get them fired. But the WCC continues to deny that it uses economic force: all the Council did in Yazoo City was to provide information (a full-page ad in the local weekly listing the “offenders”); spontaneous public feeling did the rest.

    They couldn’t stop that spontaneous public feeling, could they? Or be blamed for it either.

  53. 53
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Jay in Oregon: Sly did a Sherman photo with caption that now adorns my fridge.

    See the link in Sly’s post. @Sly:

    Cool. and Thanks

  54. 54
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @TooManyJens:

    That’s what he thought would make him look better to the reporter?

    That was my thought, too….

    @The Moar You Know:
    No, really, the unfixed version stands just fine on its own.

  55. 55
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @And Another Thing…:

    Sly did a Sherman photo with caption that now adorns my fridge.

    I saw it. Me likey.

    Better yet, how about a “WWSD” bumpersticker with a Union flag and a torch…

  56. 56
    Berial says:

    As a white male citizen of the Great State of Mississippi, I must state that, in my opinion, there is NO WAY IN HELL Haley Barbour gets the nomination. I think he’s smart enough that he knows better than to even run. There’s more power for him as the background puppet-master than getting in the spotlight where all your obvious flaws are put on review.

  57. 57
  58. 58

    @Black Diamond:

    In 2007 heading into 2008, Obama was trailing Clinton by 30 points nationally then he won Iowa and we know how that worked out.

    Obama was a complete unknown, while Hillary had 100% name recognition.

    Palin is putting up these appalling numbers with very high name recognition.

  59. 59
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Zifnab: Idiots — As Christians, why should they be paying attention to a film about what they consider fake gods?

    Now for reality land – Wow! Idris Elba is way hotter than Heimdall is described in the sagas. I was not looking forward to this movie as I was a Thor fangirl as a child, but now I could change my mind!

  60. 60
    rikyrah says:

    The trends, moreover, are not in Palin’s favor. Just over a year ago 53 percent said they wouldn’t consider her for president. That’s risen, as noted, to 59 percent now, and includes significant chunks of the GOP base, such as 27 percent of John McCain voters, nearly three in 10 Republicans, four in 10 conservatives and four in 10 evangelical white Protestants. About equal numbers of men (58 percent) and women (60 percent) rule Palin out.

    As per my usual refrain…

    WOMEN HAVE HER NUMBER.

    The poll points out that at her height of polarity, Hillary Clinton had 42% of people saying that they would never vote for her.

    Hillary Clinton – at her height of polarity, only reached 42% and Caribou Barbie is at 60%.

    as for Haley Barbour…

    the only folks that don’t think he’s a racist….are his fellow racists.

  61. 61
    Karen says:

    Call me cynical but with all the latent and blatant racism being thrown around by the Republicans (and more subtly by Democrats) wouldn’t someone like Haley Barbour be just what the “Reagan Democrats” and the Republicans would want after having a black President?

    I have no faith in people…

  62. 62

    […] interesting day to post the Haley Barbour story. Dennis G. of Balloon Juice makes the nice catch of reminding us all that: Perhaps the Nit Diddler is in the news today to help celebrate the 150 Anniversary of South […]

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