Friday, December 31, 2004

A Connecticut Yankee at the Crawford ranch: Carpetbagging as an art form

In The Last Juror, a John Grisham novel, the hero moves to a small town in Mississippi and soon discovers that "it takes at least three generations to be accepted in Ford County. Regardless of money or breeding, one cannot simply move there and be trusted: A dark cloud of suspicion hangs over any newcomer and I was no exception."

So? Where is the "dark cloud of suspicion" hanging over George Bush? This self-styled "Bubba" was born in Connecticut, went to prep school in Massachusetts and only developed his Good Ol' Boy style while slumming in Texas over Christmas vacations. This man is as Yankee as you can get without playing in a World Series.

Yet, despite all this, the Old South loves George Bush. Why? All y'all are going to have to explain this to me because I just don't get it.

* Crawford Ranch was only built four years ago. It is NOT a ranch. It has no cattle. Bush is even afraid of horses.

* Not since General Sherman marched to the sea in 1864 has anyone sacked and burned the economy of Dixie as successfully as our Dubya. He has turned carpetbagging into an art form.

* When George wants to hang out with HIS good ol' boys, he goes to Maine and Wall Street. Or to a reunion at Yale.

The only Southern things about Dubya that I can see are his flair for back-room political deals, his attempts to keep African-Americans from voting, his "Ol' Massah" disrespect for anyone -- black or white -- who works for a living instead of sitting on the veranda of the White House sipping mint juleps; and his promotion of the kind of hate-mongering mentality that encourages lynch mobs.

What about all the good things that the South has to offer? The hospitality, the courage, the religion...not to mention the Dukes of Hazard, Martin Luther King, the Kentucky Derby, gospel music, honor, Southern Comfort and barbecue. GWB never got around to learning about those ones.

It looks to me like Bush's idea of Southern life comes from watching too many re-runs of "Deliverance" -- because whether Dubya is dealing with the churches of Alabama or the archives of the Texas National Guard or the prisons of Abu Ghraib or FEMA funds and voting machines in Florida, all y'all are fo' sho' getting screwed.

Deliverance -- movie review:

From Joe in Tennessee: Jane, the answer [to why the south loves Dubya] is very simple and one you should have picked up on long ago. He owns a chainsaw.

From Charlie in Mississippi: Jane, it works this way; Southerners always vote against their interests. A friend of mine labeled this phenomenon as the votes of the independently poor.