Tom Delay

honoring our rubber-stamp congress, whose members have found plenty of time to do squat

Image: AP/Wide World Photos

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


#

Related Coverage:
Which Bug Gets the Gas?Houston Press

From the Archives:
Sin of Emissions

#

At the 1988 Republican National Convention, he defended his own absence in Vietnam in a bizarre statement that implicated affirmative action. According to a Houston Press reporter’s summary, the argument went like this: “So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks.”

The Honorary Diddly for Lifetime Achievement

Jesse Helms retires this year among a bizarre bouquet of accolades. But, with his departure, it would be rude not to recall some of his pearls of wisdom, such as this gem from 1950: “White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife, and your daughters, in your mills and factories?” In 1963 he said, “The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that’s thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men’s rights.” He regularly called the University of North Carolina “the University of Negroes and Communists.” Spotting Senator Carol Moseley-Braun in the elevator in 1993, he bragged, “I’m going to make her cry. I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries.” But nothing quite matches a more recent appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live. When a caller gushed over Helms for “everything you’ve done to help keep down the niggers,” Helms, seized by a Dr. Strangelove moment, turned to the camera, saluted, and replied, “Well, thank you, I think.”

Related Coverage:
Goodbye Senator NoThe Spectator

From The Archives:
What You Need to Know About Jesse Helms
Jesse Helms’ Political Voodoo

Back

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate