The Death of Jesse Helms
by kmwray, Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 02:18:31 PM EDT
I must admit I write this saddened that Senator Helms is dead.
While most of my fellow travellers --- Senator Helms told me personally when I was working for Senator Moynihan that I was a "wretched little communist" --- are probably gleeful at his passing. I am not. He was a frequent friend in the mornings (in the Senate cafeteria) when he and I used to talk Redskins football and the need for Baseball in the Nation's Capitol. I knew what he was working for and he knew what I wanted and he and I "agreed to disagree"
More importantly, I considered him a boon to liberals.
In 1984, he sucked a boatload of money out of the political system (he actually fundraised in sates with fellow Republicans trying to get re-elected) and kept the Democrats in position to retake the Senate in 1986.
In 1990, he ran the most racist campaign in 25 years. It was deplorable. 1990 was an anti-incumbent year and Helms once again defunded the right in his effort to get re-elected.
In 1996, Helms (two years into a Republican held Senate) again went all out to raise money.
In addition to his penchant for selfishly putting his re-election ahead of everyone else, Helms defined Right Wing. In 1990 while woprking to re-elect a NJ congressman, I quipped to the press that my boss' opponent had more in common with Jesse Helms than the people of New Jersey.
I studied his every move and his every word, he was teh master of defining the contest and his opponent. The first Democratic politician I saw that emulated his technique was Harris Wofford...who was advised by Carville and Begala (who would go national with Clinton)
Goodbye Jesse, say hello to Lucifer for me.