Thursday, May 10, 2007

Poe blasted for quoting KKK leader during war speech

From Hearst via the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, has ignited ire from bloggers nationwide and inspired TV personality Keith Olbermann to label him one of the "worst in the world."

It's because Poe, a Texas history enthusiast from his days as a Harris County prosecutor and judge, quoted Ku Klux Klan leader and Civil War Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest during a House floor speech about the war in Iraq.

Poe stated that Bedford Forrest's military strategy was "Get there firstest with the mostest" — a variation on the "Git thar fustest with the mostest" quote attributed to Forrest.

Historians disagree about whether the general ever said those exact words. Regardless, Poe's words rippled across the Capitol and online, where bloggers accused the congressman of racism for offering Forrest as a font of wisdom.

More here.

Poe was the local judge in the area where I grew up. While on the bench he made sure that people knew he had a reputation for being "tough on crime" and and for creative sentencing, like making DWI convicts wear sandwich board signs publicizing their crime, that sort of thing. In short, he's a big fucking right-wing idiot, and his ill-considered quotation probably has more to do with his mental retardation than with any sort of conscious racism. I mean, he may very well be a racist for all I know, but I don't think quoting the KKK's founder makes him one. After all, Hitler had some interesting things to say: would quoting him make me a racist? Hell no.

At this point the GOP is running scared. I don't think it's wise to bash them for piddling bullshit.