If you’re not from Georgia or you don’t recall Saxby Chambliss’ sleazy race against triple amputee Vietnam Vet Max Cleland (a race where the polls were the opposite of the Diebold votes which culminated in formal accusations of election fraud that are still pending), you might not find this gay hate scandal quite as infuriating as some do. But the stink of one more offensive odor emanating from himself’s office this week — the odor of gay hate on the government dime — is too much. It seems IP addresses are pretty darn easy to trace and in this case, they led right to Chambliss’ office door.
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is known as Saxby Shameless for his 2002 campaign ad that ad linked his opponent, Max Cleland (D-GA), to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Yes, there was a time when this tactic was considered so low, so sleazy, that even John McCain denounced it. Those were the days before McCain gave up all appearances of honor and before the entire Republican Party embraced this level of sleaze and much worse. Chambliss’ latest gay hate scandal exemplifies the underbelly of modern day Republican Party.
Of course, Chambliss defended the ad, calling it “a lightweight ad” and “very fair,” even though the facts disputed his interpretation of reality.
Think Progress reports that “Chambliss claims that Cleland voted against vital homeland security efforts but in fact, Cleland was voting against a provision in a homeland security measure that would have stripped away the collective bargaining rights of federal employees — many of whom would form the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Of course, Cleland’s homeland security votes in no way linked him to either bin Laden or Saddam.
Cleland not only voted to authorize the use of military force in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, but he also co-sponsored legislation introduced in May 2002 that called for the creation of a cabinet-level DHS.”
Now you’re startin’ to see why this guy stinks. He ran that ad against a decorated veteran, a wounded warrior who sacrificed for his country.
Or if not from that scandal, perhaps any one of the following will remind you of the Shameless:
After the last election in 2008, Shameless was asked why he found himself in a run-off in Georgia. Think Progress reported:
“Last night on Fox News, when asked why he wasn’t able to “close the deal” with Georgia voters on election day, Chambliss said that because of Barack Obama, there was a “high percentage of minority vote” and that his campaign wasn’t “able to get enough of our folks out” to vote.”
Yes, our folks. Our folks are the white people, in case you missed that. All y’all know what it’s true. Ya’ gotta be from the south to get all of the codes, but his one is pretty inclusive.
And then the Broward Palm Beach busted him:
“Four years ago he was scolded for missing an intelligence briefing on the Iraq war to golf with Tiger Woods. Then last fall he released an unfortunate campaign commercial in which he appeared to be groping the chest of his young granddaughter.
Now, he’s been caught spending gobs of Republican campaign fund money on golf outings — including nearly $35,000 at Boca Raton Resort and $6,000 at The Breakers in Palm Beach between 2007 and 2008.
…According to the nonprofit investigative journalism shop ProPublica, which broke the story, Chambliss spent $268,000 of the PAC’s money on entertainment, events, and travel — far more than he spent on fundraising consultants, campaign contributions, or anything else.”
Is “golfing with Tiger” the New Appalachian Trail? Just wonderin’.
Contrary to current Republican Leader Sarah Palin’s example, PACs are not meant to be lifestyle enhancers. No, really. And don’t forget, these high-fallutin’ grifters are the folks sellin’ down home small town values to the poor suckers who don’t know any better.
And that brings us to this week.
Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting
“U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office has determined it was indeed the source of a highly publicized homosexual-bashing slur on an Internet site….
Tuesday, a poster identifying himself as “Jimmy” wrote “All (gays) must die” on Joe.My.God., a blog dedicated to gay and lesbian issues – just as Republican Chambliss and other senators were debating a Democratic proposal to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The proposal failed.
The posting was traced back to an Internet Protcol address matching Chambliss’ office, but it’s unclear whether it was one of his offices in Georgia or in Washington.”
Nice one, boys. Shameless exemplifies the modern day GOP; the pretty face of greed, graft and lies. The modern day GOP is a purely regional party now. And by regional, I mean it exemplifies the worst of the South. Shameless is from Georgia, known for her graceful oaks draping dappled, back-lit moss over long drives where white women in pretty hats work in their garden and the men all wear button downs and the children say “ma’am and sir”. Sure, there’s plenty to love about the South.
The surface civility of the South can be quite a relief after living in a big city, and the sense of community and neighborliness is not a lie. The south takes care of her own. As with any truth, this one is complex. The very people who evince some of the worst traits of the South can also be at times some of the warmest, kindest and most generous people you will meet. There is also a sort of underground contingency of white Democrats struggling to regain values of social justice, middle class financial interests and equality. It isn’t exactly a safe feeling to be a white Obama voter in the South. So it seems in places where we have the worst sins, we also find every day heroes.
But the charm of the South is sticky sweet like local honey; it can suck you in so you never see the underbelly until it’s too late. And it’s the underbelly of the South to which I’m comparing the modern day Republican Party.
A uniquely southern underbelly thrives in the suffocating humidity of the South, where it remains steeped in tradition and cloaked by “manners”. It consists of dirty tricks, smug smiling white men playing golf on the tax payer’s dime and ignoring the starving wage slaves in his district, a presumption of position, entitlement, vulgarity brimming under the surface gentility, knife ready to stab even the closest friend in the back all while smiling in their eyes, women whose power comes from their apparent softness and finely honed passive aggressiveness, lyrical voices of saccharine sweetness belying the tokenism, the sly gay-bashing, the sexism, the thinly veiled racism, the closeted gays in office who hate the gay the loudest, the wife-swapping, the Jesus cover, the immigrant-hatred, the Bircherism, Birtherism, state senators with government websites devoted to comparing Obama to Osama Bin Laden, loyalty to the Confederate flag, still burning rage over the “war of Yankee aggression”, the constant homages to the great olden days of a White Wonder World, and the damaging whisper campaigns from within topped off with a smooth, “bless her heart,” and so much more.
We must recall that the horrifically cruel whisper campaign against John McCain for having a “black baby” originated in South Carolina. This kind of unanswerable smear is the worst of the South, and while it’s not strictly a regional tactic, you won’t see it played better than when the southern boys get in the game.
Being from the South gives a political opponent a unique advantage. A certain kind of southerner makes most “slick” Hollywood types appear guileless. I’ve seen plenty of southern stars work the Hollywood system of artful backstabbing with an ease that only comes to those who are to the manor born. I picture these same folks arriving in DC with their folksy charm and easy smiles and I feel sorry for the rest of the representatives. The south is the place where secrets go to die for the powerful and the rest of the folks suffer in indignity.
The modern day GOP is a strictly southern party in behavior and strategy.
And that’s why this southern scandal deserves a closer look. One of Chambliss’ aides (supposedly, though I wouldn’t put this sort of juvenile anti-gay posturing past Shameless himself) was using a government computer to spread gay hate, calling for all gays to die, on the day DADT was being debated. The lack of gravity evidenced in this act alone should be shocking, but most importantly, we must note the values behind this sort of behavior. Chambliss’ previous scandals belie the notion that this is one bad apple. The picture Chambliss’ history tells is an atmosphere of riotous, arrogant, wealthy frat boys laughing at the little people all wrapped in the image of a genteel southern gentleman who loves Jesus but hates social justice.
Time for another round of golf with Tiger for the elites.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.