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This is most likely the last time I'll write about Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. She faces Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff election Tuesday, which she's favored to win because it's Mississippi. If tradition holds, Hyde-Smith will continue representing the poorest state in the union and voting in line with Donald Trump 100 percent of the time. She offers no suspense in the Senate so no one really cares what she does. She voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but in fairness to her, she didn't tease us about it like Maine's Susan Collins, who required several "Meet the Press" interviews and a big, flashy speech on the Senate floor to make up her mind.

Now, if by some seasonally appropriate miracle, Espy does prevail tomorrow and, most importantly, doesn't vanish before the next session of Congress, Hyde-Smith will probably wander the state of her birth in perpetual shame. She'll become the political equivalent of the attorney who somehow lost the Daily Mirror's case against Liberace when he sued them for claiming he was gay. She certainly won't get invited to any of the good public hangings.

Either way, I plan to erase Hyde-Smith from my memory effective Wednesday, but while we wait, let's take a look at what the senator's been up to during the run-up to the runoff.


Friday, Hyde-Smith's campaign was rocked by the revelation that she attended a private school in Mississippi. The Jackson Free Press called it a "segregation academy," as though it's a segregation trade school, a sort of racist DeVry, but this is dumb. It's a private school. Yes, private schools mostly exist as a way for white families to keep their kids away from black people, but it's not suddenly a "segregation academy" because the school has a southern accent. It's not even just private schools, because public school assignment is based on your zip code. Outside the south, segregation was more subtle, but it still existed. There were usually "good neighborhoods" and "bad neighborhoods" with "good" schools and "bad" schools. No need to guess here how "good" and "bad" were often defined. Liberals in the northwest will often use this terminology without giving a second thought to what it actually means.

There are photos of teenage Hyde-Smith posing near the school mascot, who is dressed as a Confederate general and hoisting a large rebel flag. This is supposed to be shocking, I guess, like she was in some secret Eyes Wide Shut society, but this is Mississippi. That's what they do. It's like thinking you could derail the campaign of an Oregon senator by exposing their home brewing hobby.

Photos also emerged last week of an adult Hyde-Smith posing with Confederate artifacts (no, they weren't selfies). Her record is also as crazy racist as you'd expect. As a state senator, she promoted a measure honoring a Confederate soldier who she claimed fought to "defend his homeland." This is revisionist "lost cause" bullshit, but White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has dropped a few loads of the same crap. Confederate sympathizer Kelly is from Boston, where the Civil War is actually over. Down in Mississippi, it still drags on like whatever is happening in Afghanistan.

Republicans rely on the political might from Southern states with regressive racial politics. Hyde-Smith's initial gaffes drew undue attention to both the Senate runoff and also the state's messed-up history. It's embarrassing. House Rep. Ronnie Shows, who was Hyde-Smith's junior high basketball coach, is so embarrassed he can't even vote for her.

"I told [Hyde-Smith,] 'There's nothing I couldn't do for you, but I can't do this for you,'" Shows said.

Wow. I mean, I'd vote for my flakiest friend before I'd help them move, so this is really harsh. Hyde-Smith hasn't just lost the support of her friends. She's also lost the support of the friends who matter most to a politician, her corporate donors. A half dozen companies, including Walmart, have asked Hyde-Smith to return their contributions to her campaign. The most recent was Major League Baseball, which was also shamed into asking Hyde-Smith to return its $5000 donation. Mississippi, by the way, does not have a professional baseball team. Democrats get knocked a lot for receiving funds from "out-of-state liberals," but San Francisco Giants owner Charles B. Johnson and his wife, Ann, also donated $2,700 each to the campaign. We're starting to see how important it is to major companies like AT&T; and Boston Scientific that the Senate remains in Republican control. When we're working to retire Sen. Collins in 2020, we won't let her spin our efforts as "out-of-state interests" trying to influence a local race.

The campaigner in chief arrives in Mississippi today to help "drag Hyde-Smith across the finish line." The New York-born Yankee is the darling of the former Confederacy because it was never about states' rights but white identity, and no one promotes that better than Trump.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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