Friday, April 29, 2005

Not Even a Horse

The Moose draws inspiration from the Kingfish to explain the Republican M.O.

The Moose is spending a few days grazing in bayou country. The Moose has always been intrigued by Huey Long and his populist tradition. Of course, Huey was given to demagoguery, but at least he was partial to the little guy. In contrast, the current crowd that rules Washington employs cultural populists appeals to maintain the wealth of the big guy.

The GOP Illuminati exploit religion to lure middle class and downscale voters to their plutocratic banner. No one honestly believes that the Righteous Dr. Frist, faith-healer, is now or has ever been a true believer in the religious right's agenda - it's just his ticket to the Republican nomination.

At least the demagogues like Old Huey served the working stiff and he was entertaining. Here is one of the Moose's favorite tales of the Kingfish that is taken from T. Harry Williams' magisterial biography:

"The story seems to be too good to be true - but people who should know swear that it is true. The first time that Huey P. Long campaigned in rural, Latin, Catholic south Louisiana, the local boss who had him in charge said at the beginning of the tour: "Huey you ought to remember one thing in your speeches today. You're from north Louisiana but now you're in south Louisiana. And we got a lot of Catholic voters down here. "I know," Huey answered. And throughout the day in every small town Long would begin by saying: "When I was a boy I would get up at six o'clock in the morning on Sunday, and I would hitch our old horse up to the buggy and I would take my Catholic grandparents to mass. I would bring them home, and at ten o'clock I would hitch our old horse up again, and I would take my Baptist grandparents to church." The effect of the anecdote on the audience was obvious, and on the way back to Baton Rouge that night the local leader said admiringly: "Why Huey, you've been holding out on us. I didn't know you had any Catholic grandparents."

"Don't be a damned fool," replied Huey, "We didn't even have a horse."
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