Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I think you should go back...

... to GREENBOW, ALBAMA! These are enlightening words of Forrest Gump when he was trying to convince Jenny to leave her abusive boyfriend. Truth be told, it's one of the finest movies I've ever seen. I still tear up when they briefly reunite during the Washington Monument protest scene.
Recently, the Alabama primary race for Governor is a hotly contested one. I rarely pay much attention to the Alabama political scene, but these days you can't help but take a look. I'll summarize. There are six contenders seeking the Republican nomination (mostly because it's a cakewalk to the governor's seat if you're on the Republican ticket).

There are six contenders:

3 of them don't stand a prayer.

1 of them is Roy Moore - He's the former Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court. He gained notoriety a while back when he refused a U.S. Supreme Court order to remove a statue of the 10 Commandments outside the courthouse. Nowadays, he represents some splinter faction of the "Moral Majority." Regardless, he'll get some votes but he's generally regarded as a spoiler.

Another man running is Tim James. He's a wealthy construction mogul and he's dumping a personal fortune into the race. He recently released an ad where he sheepishly shakes his head and decries the DMV for allowing residents to take their drivers license test in any of 12 different languages. "In Alabama, we speak English. If you want a license, learn to speak the language." I suppose that kind of prejudice is fair game as it appeals to the hardcore Republican voting base. Ohhh, the burgeoning immigration problem in the urban meccas of Alabama. Montogomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, yeah right...

But it's the last guy running, Bradley Byrne - he's where the action is. He's a political insider, major ties to the University of Alabama and has ascended through the state government. A political action committee called the True Republican PAC is lashing out at Byrne. They're trying to paint him as a flip-flopping misguided fool. But it's their heavyweight ad which identifies him supporting the TEACHING OF EVOLUTION that takes it to the next level.


How revolting! I'm aghast! Byrne was caught on record saying, "he generally supports the teaching of evolution and there are inconsistencies with the bible." BAMMM! Not a good idea to publicly go on the record with that kind of intellectual rhetoric in the deep south. Crimson Tide graduates must be rolling in their graves. This guy has the unmitigated audacity, reckless temerity, bold impudence and unabashed effrontery to suggest that there are some irregularities in the bible.

BUT ALABAMINIANS, DO NOT FRET! Take solace in that he has issued the following retraction on his website.

“I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that every single word of it is true. From the earliest parts of this campaign, a paraphrased and incomplete parsing of my words have been knowingly used to insinuate that I believe something different than that. My faith is at the center of my life and my belief in Jesus Christ as my personal savior and Lord guides my every action.

As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books.”

PTL! (Praise The Lord). Whewwww! Alabama is safe/saved. Seriously (as if you can't reach new heights of "ludicrousity"), what the fuck is wrong with these people? Is it any wonder that Alabama consistently ranks near the bottom in public education? And I'm comin' atcha from West "By God, Stand Up And Say It Like You Mean It" Virginia! I should be charged with hypothetical blogging treason.

I'll probably check out the forthcoming debate. I'm not sure if Roy Moore plays poker, but I'd like to see him go ALL IN. "State Senator Byrne, if elected governor of the great state of Alabama, would you support legislation making it a felony, at any institution both public or private, the teaching of this here theory of evolution? brief pause...
Well, da-gummit, just don't sit there stewin' in a beef pot. This is Alabama! We want answers!"

Years ago, I once blogged that out of all the celebrities and political outsiders, I thought Tom Hanks could have a credible shot at getting elected President of the United States. Perhaps, he missed his true calling. He could have re-adopted his "Forrest Gump" character, moved back to Greenbow and tested the political water. "I might not be smart, but I know what it takes to be governor." The applause would be deafening.


Larry said...

I'm big on the separation of church and state. I think some of those guys are in violation of that at times, but try telling that to someone in Alabama. I'd be OK with the south seceding and making their own f'd up country.

Anonymous said...

I just find it fascinating that in present day Alabama you can use the belief in evolution as a weapon to mock and belittle your opponents. I've never seen the United States political climate so intolerant and misguided. The scales have tipped way too far right wing. Most people think I'm too "crazy left," but in all honesty, I'm just trying to bring some balance up in here. SAF

Larry said...

Maybe I was just young then, but I don't remember such a big divide in the 80's and 90's. It seems like things started getting nasty around 2003 or so. We had a bit of unity after the terrorist attacks, then it went downhill.

Anonymous said...

I think politics reached a new low in the Georgia Senate race in 2002. Saxby Chambliss (R) defeated triple amputee Vietnam veteran Max Clelland (D) when he ran ads insinuating that Clelland was an Bin Laden sympathizer. I don't have any links off-hand but do a search on it - fascinating stuff. It was the absolute worst.

Also in 2000, Bush went after McCain in the South Carolina Republican primary. Karl Rove hired a one of those robo-telemarketing machine firms. They blitzed the primary voters with the "independent poll question" - If you knew John McCain had an out-of-wedlock interracial child, would it affect your vote.
(They adopted a girl from Indonesia years ago).
This story was neglected by the mainstream media. Sick shit that played well off deep South/rural bigotry. Bush went all out after he lost the New Hampshire primary. And it worked.

With the gays in the military issue coming to the forefront, I expect to see someone get drilled for supporting the rescinding of "don't ask don't tell" legislation. Maybe intermix a sitting liberal congressman with footage of a flamboyant gay pride parade. It might work well in southern/midwest military base districts.

When going negative, nothing works better than using any of these three themes - gay, patriotism, godless. The "don't ask don't tell" is a killer one because you can combine 2 of the the 3. SAF