Vision, Mission, and Strategy

Hillbilly Politics


Conservatives have good reason to be concerned about John McCain. At the top of my list:

He’s a globalist.

He’s an unconscious incompetent.

Most of the time, competence encourages a person’s preferences. If one is good at something, one enjoys doing it. Not the case for John McCain. Not only doesn’t he know something, but he remains ignorant of the fact by choice. And he insists on ignoring those who do know something about it.

Note to McCain: Choosing one side of a controversy doesn’t make it uncontroversial.

I’m not alone in my dismay:

Dear John McCain,

Every relationship requires effort. I want to do my part. But there needs to be common ground to start with and you’re making it harder and harder for me to find where it is.

I’m an optimist and a woman of faith. I believe we are strong because our nation is meant to be, as President Reagan often reminded us, a “shining city upon a hill.”

You spoke in Los Angeles the other day about our country and its place in the world. You talked about political, economic and military strength, and international citizenship.

I strained to hear you mention our moral uniqueness — our being that “city on a hill.” But I heard not a hint.

President Nixon once observed that Americans often make the mistake of thinking that conflict in the world is the result of misunderstanding rather than difference of belief.

Because you seem not to appreciate that our beliefs make us different, you suggest more talk. You propose more international compacts and organizations, as if we don’t have enough.

What exactly are the values we would share with others in your concept for a League of Democracies? The European Union countries can’t even agree on a common constitution.

Read the whole thing.

Barack Obama has done an admirable job presenting himself as a non-divisive candidate. Facing off against Hillary Clinton virtually anyone would look non-divisive in contrast, but Obama has gone beyond that. Conciliating the attacks made against his kindergarten years, and the comparisons of his candidacy in SC to that of Jesse Jackson, he’d risen above the divisive racial divide. He’d won Iowa, proof he could win a predominantly white electorate.

 Then along came the Rev. Wright with language many of us would find shocking on the street, but coming from the pulpit of a Christian church, apostatizing. With all the doubts of the depths of Obama’s Christian conviction, doubtless Rev. Wright’s ideas of paranoia and American self-loathing will do little to assuage those concerns. Recent polling indicates a five point downward shift in favorability ratings for Mr. Obama coming on the heels of the Wright controversy. Additionally, in previous head to head match ups with McCain, they were tied.

Rev. Wright’s remarks linger in the minds of almost ten percent of voters, and the shift results in an eight point advantage for Mr. McCain.

 There is time for Mr. Obama to recover from his association with his former pastor, and the racial divide seems to be one divide both parties are eager to heal. But the latest controversy isn’t just about race. It’s about a prominent and wealthy, highly educated man complaining about disadvantages he evidently has not experienced:

We’ve had a situation where it’s politically unacceptable to attribute Obama’s success to race, but a minister may say that the government created AIDS to kill people of color and remain a candidate’s spiritual adviser. Suppose Clinton’s minister had awarded a lifetime achievement award to David Duke, as Wright had to Louis Farrakhan.

But for Obama, the most lasting damage of this affair may not be tied to race or religion but to class. Working stiffs will struggle to square Obama’s close bond to a purveyor of racial grievance with his own golden existence. With four Ivy League degrees between them, half a million in income and children in private schools, the Obamas seem to be doing more than OK.

The clashing images of resentment and privilege are a divide that is hard to bridge.

When I was a kid, we played a game called Poor Little Kitty. The object of the game was to pretend to be the most pathetic, meowing, ridiculous looking kitty in an effort to make someone laugh. The person who laughs first becomes the next ‘Kitty’. I would never want to play that game with Obama. His pretense at being pathetic and aggrieved would be too hard to stomach.

Crossposted at Hang Right Politics.

The purpose of this holiday above all others is Hope. A lot of conversation this political season has tossed out that word. But perhaps nobody symbolizes Hope more than Jesus did.  Even faiths that don’t consider themselves Christian see the historical Jesus as a great teacher, a rabbi, or  prophet.

Easter is a season of Hope. But unlike the political usage of the word, the Christian usage means hope for the conquest of man over his own failings through the power of faith and the belief in the triumph of life over death. Easter is proof that winter is not the final season.

 Happy Easter and may God fill you with hope wherever you need it most in your life!

As Energy Secretary and Ambassador in the Clinton administration, Bill Richardson had ample opportunity to judge the ‘readiness and experience’ of the inevitable Mrs. Clinton.

 And today he announced that he will be throwing his support, including his super-delegate support behind Mr. Obama.

 Governor Richardson said Obama’s speech on race was a turning point for him. 

Greetings Hillbilly Politickers, our dear friend Hillbilly has to tend to family matters for a few days. In her absence, I’ll try to keep things going, maybe not with her flair for words, and talent for common sense analysis, but I am the bench not the first string, so I’ll do my best.

First things first, if you are the praying kind, please remember Hillbilly in your prayers. Her absence from us is for the purpose of securing the health and wellbeing of loved ones, and she has a long journey with an uncertain ending. Those are the hardest kind.

Secondly, Hillbilly and I agree on a lot of things, but what I write here is MY opinion not a reflection of how she feels, so if I say the wrong thing, please don’t hold it against her. I’m prepared to take my lumps as I so often do writing at Hang Right Politics.

And finally, being a hillbilly myself is a great source of pride to me. Born in the North Carolina mountains, I was raised on vegetables grown in rich red clay (the only time I was ever “reared” was when I was on horseback). Common sense was prized higher than a bank account, and a good attitude was a prerequisite for even the worst of situations. Daddy’s strong hands bore the callouses of years of hard work, but there were no callouses on his heart, and he raised me to have faith in myself, to be honest, and to work hard. Moma was a strong Southern lady, very gentle and sweet, who knew how to make everyone comfortable, but she had the toughness to chop off the head of a chicken and serve it for supper. That’s always been a contradiction in my mind, as the only thing I could kill would be a spider and that’s only if he died from the sound of my screaming!

We are all the products of our upbringing even if some of it fades over time. My parents are long gone, but the truth of their words and the stricture of their guidance governs my thinking and actions. I’ll be scrambling eggs and hear my Daddy’s deep growling laugh as he teased “Everything you cook sticks to your ribs because once it gets in there it can’t find it’s way back out.” But just as often I feel his disappointment as I fail to keep my mouth shut when I can’t keep my feet out of it. Years ago I pointed out to him that he didn’t seem to have a lot to say, not a big talker. He responded that he hadn’t learned much listening to himself talk. I pointed out that he and I had a totally opposite experience then, because I always learned something listening to him.

 What is a hillbilly? It’s more than where you were born. Maybe it’s being raised like corn, not reared like horses. Maybe it’s the wisdom of generations freely given on Grandpa’s porch on a Sunday after church. Maybe it’s the hymn Moma sang as she cooked supper. Maybe it’s feeling close to the earth and small beside it. Hills have a way of teaching lessons in life.

What does that have to do with politics? Lots.

Take hillbilly farming, for example, Daddy always said to keep your eyes on the horizon when you plow. Looking over your shoulder you’ll plow a crooked row, and if one row is crooked, then the whole field is crooked. Lot’s of politicians have plowed a crooked row. Hillary has a crooked field, and try as she might, that whole looking over her shoulder thing can’t straighten it out, and no matter how she promises it will all be okay, we know there will be puddles, the water won’t drain right, and the yield won’t be good.

How about some hillbilly wisdom for Obama? Well lately what comes to mind is one of Moma’s favorite sayin’s: “You can’t get above your raising”. Try as he might to be everyman’s candidate, generalizations and pleasant speak, at the bottom of it all is a record of governance that says government is the answer. Well that makes the American citizen the ‘little guy’ not the big guy. In protecting him from the oppression of ‘big business’ or ‘his own folly’, government becomes the oppressor. The question arises, “If Obama wants to protect us from ourselves, who’s going to protect us from Obama?”

Lest you think McCain can escape hillbilly scrutiny, think again. McCain makes me more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers. He’s that cloud on the horizon that might bring much needed rain, but he also carries the potential of lightening that might take out your tallest tree.  Daddy always said “Don’t buy a pig in a poke”. Even though we’ve had years to figure out what McCain might do based on his public record, we have no way of knowing what he’ll really do. He’s that pig in a sack we know so much about that we don’t know anything at all. He’s that horse that might kick you, and the cow that waits til you fill the bucket before she kicks it over. He’s the hen that won’t roost in the hen house, but sometimes gives you a double yolk.

There’s been a heap of ridicule from Hollywood about hillbillies, but along with everything else they mimic, they’d be wrong. Our roots go deep and that lets us stand tall in storms. Sometimes it brings the lightening, but most often it brings good shade.

 Thanks for reading – and don’t forget to pray for Hillbilly – that’s one of the best things about being a hillbilly, folks know how to pray for you.

January 2022


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