Friday, July 04, 2008

RIP Jesse Helms

Jesse Helms has died at age 86... on the 4th of July. Very patriotic.

Oh I must bite my tongue. But Good Lord, I despised that man's politics and beliefs.

Early on, his habit of blocking nominations and legislation won him a nickname of "Senator No." He delighted in forcing roll call votes that required Democrats to take politically difficult votes on federal funding for art he deemed pornographic, school busing, flag-burning and other cultural issues.

In 1993, when then-President Clinton sought confirmation for an openly homosexual assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Helms registered his disgust. "I'm not going to put a lesbian in a position like that," he said in a newspaper interview at the time. "If you want to call me a bigot, fine."

And there you have it.

Photo credit: AP/Bob Jordan

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