Skip to comments.Kathleen Parker: To Appalachia With...Respect (she's advising Obama on how to sway `rednecks')
Posted on 10/09/2008 10:25:09 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
WASHINGTON -- If you're a Democrat who needs help getting the votes of rural white folks, the go-to guy is David "Mudcat" Saunders, a central-casting political consultant recently made famous by a parade of magazine writers led by The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash.
But sometimes you can learn more about a people and their place through literature than by hiring consultants. So I called Ron Rash, poet, author and purebred Appalachian whose newest novel, "Serena," should be at the top of Barack Obama's reading list.
Sarah Palin might enjoy it as well. Described by one blurber as "an Appalachian retelling of Macbeth," the story features a strong woman who hunts rattlesnakes with an eagle. An Academy Award nomination awaits the woman who plays Serena, predicts novelist Pat Conroy.
I asked Rash, with whom I've visited on occasion: What does Obama need to do to win the hearts and votes of Appalachia?
Rash is a lean, wiry man who has trouble sitting in a chair with both feet on the ground, usually pulling one knee to his chest like a yogi. He speaks in quick bursts like an engine spitting in the cold -- or a man more accustomed to thinking than talking.
Though an Obama man, Rash is quick to condemn the snobbery he has observed toward Palin. He cringes when he hears a news anchor refer to his home turf as "redneck country." Or when the bad guy in movies too often has a Southern accent.
But, he says, "One thing about Appalachian people is they don't bitch and moan."
Rash's Appalachian roots run 200 years deep, and he has the tales to prove it. One that may prove helpful to Obama in understanding the character of his people tells of a Confederate soldier who dropped by Rash's family farm near Boone, N.C., to confiscate their only horse for the Confederacy.
As the soldier left whistling "Dixie," the lady of the house shouted: "Before morning, you'll be whistling 'Dixie' in hell."
Indeed, the next morning, the fellow was found face down in a creek two miles away -- and the horse was back in the barn.
Moral: Don't mess with Appalachia.
Obama has more in common with the mountain people than he may realize, says Rash, who is the Parris distinguished professor in Appalachian cultural studies at Western Carolina University in Cullowee, N.C.
African-Americans built this country and got nothing back, he says. So did Appalachians. What Obama may not know is that most mountain communities were pro-Union during the Civil War. These often-impoverished descendants of the Scots-Irish weren't slaveholders, after all. In a sense, blacks and Appalachians are natural allies.
As Virginia Sen. Jim Webb wrote in The Wall Street Journal: "The greatest realignment in modern politics would take place rather quickly if the right national leader found a way to bring the Scots-Irish and African-Americans to the same table."
Moreover, the civil rights and anti-slavery movements were long a part of Appalachia, says Rash. "Rosa Parks attended a workshop in Appalachia before she sat on that bus."
Thus, when Obama visits the region, Rash recommends that he say the following:
"I know that for well over a century, the only time people come to Appalachia is when they want something. They want your coal, your timber and they want your vote. They take what they want and they leave and they don't come back until they want some more. I'm not going to do that.
"I'll make a vow to you today that a year from now, I'll be back. And we'll discuss what I've done and whether you feel like I've honored what I've said here today. I'll come back this time of year for as long as I am president."
Obama should also say that though he is different in many ways, he is much the same. He didn't grow up with wealth, and had to work hard, as they do. On the war -- a prickly point in these parts -- Obama should recognize that Appalachia has contributed more than its fair share to America's wars. He should say:
"We may disagree about this war, but one reason I disagree is because this region more than any other has sent soldiers into battle for this country. And part of honoring that is not sending them into a war that has not been well thought-out."
Straight talk without condescension is all anyone asks. It may be all Obama needs to finish the race.
Parker has caught the Obamanoid “tingle.”
Who the hell is this hag. She seems to have appeared out of thin air like a stinking fog.
She's an Obamanoid mole who has been passing herself off as a "conservative" for the past few years.
I she “in love” with barry?
Yeah, she is on the list.
Why oh why are we plagued with these scribblers?
Mr. Rash I am sure knows better to buy a pig in a poke.
“Just words.” That’s all there is, I guess.
Here, We go again.... KY. Ping.
“Straight talk without condescension...”
Ha! Ask Obama any question about the coal industry and watch him twist himself as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
And that’s not even getting into his forked double-talk on abortion, sexual morality and respect for Judeo-Christian morality in the public sphere.
She’s another woman who has been blinded by envy, and hates Gov. Palin for being what Parker is not. She writes of Obama: “Straight talk without condescension is all anyone asks.” That’s his problem, Ma Parker, he can’t do that.
Ms. Parker is suffering from a combo of Palin-envy and mindless, hyper-emotional Obamessiah worship. Ugly combo.
Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), she was never a conservative.
What a complete idiot this woman is.
And how incredibly condescending to the Scotch-Irish. They are like little children, who will all blithely vote for Obama as long as he shows up once a year to pat them on the heads?
That his policies will destroy jobs, persecute their religion, restrict their ability to own firearms, make their nation insecure -- that there is strong evidence from his past associations that Obama deep down hates everything these people stand for -- these are things that are beyond the ability of the Scotch-Irish to comprehend? So a personal visit from the Messiah is all they should concern themselves with?
She obviously hasn't a clue about Appalachia nor does her "author". Never read a thing this woman wrote until a few weeks ago and will never read another after this.
Speaking as a redneck in Ky with family in Appalachia ...obummer has a snowballs chance in hell.
“I she in love with barry?”
I suspect that every night she slips into a flimsy see-through nightie after enjoying a luxurious bath (rose petals in the tub) settles in with some Barry White for ambience and wraps her arms around the new BaRacK action figure (available in stores now) and coos sounds of infatuation into its large plastic ears, begging him to “organize her community” in terms that cannot be repeated here.
Later she calls Chris Matthews to share a session of phone apres-sex.
Why are you posting this skank’s musings? She is an idiot. Nobody ever heard of her until she joined the Palin bashing team.
I agree, boycott this Trojan Horse Conservative. Don’t give her articles all the web hits that we provide.
“What does Obama need to do to win the hearts and votes of Appalachia?”
Build a snowman in Hell.
And to the writer of this article:
Do NOT EVER AGAIN say “that one” has anything in common with the Appalachians.
“I know that for well over a century, the only time people come to Appalachia is when they want something. They want your coal, your timber and they want your vote. They take what they want and they leave and they don’t come back until they want some more. I’m not going to do that.”
No, “that one” is coming for your -soul-.
Yeah, sure, Ms. Parker, I'm betting Appalachia is just chock full of socialists and marxists who support and take support from people who hate what this country stands for.
Stuff it, Ms. P.
I've been posting Kathleen Parker columns for several years here. What galls me is how she turned out to be a Quisling. We can't just post "happy" threads here that we all nod our heads and agree on, that's what DU, Kos, Huffington and the nutroots do. We're all adults here, we can think for ourselves and make our own minds up, which is why I often post articles from lefties, mushy moderates, RINOs, kooks, peacecreeps and other assorted creatures. We shouldn't live in a bubble like the far-left does.
I just asked.
*Nobody* is more “bitter”, “bible/gun clinging” and than the SCOTS-Irish. [not “Scotch]
I AM Appalachia.
He is -not- doing well amongst us and never will.
Paging Mz Parker, paging Mz Parker, yo’ “Socialist Ho” brand knee pads you ordered are available for pickup at the will call desk.
I asked them years ago to drop this leftish witch.
In other words, it’s to Obama’s advantage if he can lie convincingly to the bitter clingers.
I doubt the Obama campaign needed the noxious Kathleen Parker to figure that one out.
That's not a vow, it's a curse.
Saol fada chugat!
Have you heard Del McCoury’s most recent FDR-loving CD? Rash may be right.
Truth is oft’ spoke in jest....:)
If these idjits would start up in PA and ride the Apps all the way down, they’d see miles of “hicks” with McCain signs in the yards and anti-That One stuff painted on their barns.
Talk about a waste of time, “converting” us.
My area is muttering in horror over the *single* Zero yard sign that sprung up in front a house just up the pike.
To hear them, you’d think the sign owners had planted an inverted Christ on the cross, instead.
Long after the election is over, none of us will forget where we saw that sign.
It’s told us all we ever need to know about the home owners.
The term used by the Scotch-Irish for hundreds of years has been “Scotch-Irish” and I see no reason to change.
When “Scotch whiskey” becomes “Scots whiskey” then get back to me, maybe I’ll change.
You might find it interesting to read some of the history of the Scotch-Irish people in the proceedings of the SCOTCH-IRISH Congresses compiled in the 1800s. These works were published for a number of years and provide a much richer and deeper history than the shallow work of Jim Webb.
* * *
“The Scotch Irish people have been second to none in their influence upon modern civilization. Their impress upon American institutions has been especially strong. They have been leaders in every sphere of life, both public and private. They were the first to declare independence from Great Britain, and foremost in the revolutionary struggle; leaders in the formation and adoption of the Constitution, and its most powerful defenders; most active in the extension of our national domain, and the hardiest pioneers in its development.
“The associations suggested by a few of the illustrious men of the the stock are sufficient to outline the extent of their influence. Among them were Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Witherspoon, John Paul Jones, James Madison, John Marshall, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
“That they have been no less conspicuous in the material development and intellectual progress of the country is evidenced by the names of Robert Fulton, Horace Greeley, Robert Bonner and the McCormicks.”
Take her advice. Kathleen Parker knows as much as about America as Obama does.
Colmes: [to Ann Coulter] Even noted conservative Kathleen Parker has been critical of Sarah Palin.
Coulter: NO! Oh my. Not THE Kathleen Parker!?
Fully rule compliant post:
My family landed in 1690, settling Pennsylvania and moving west. My late father grew up in Northern Missouri (St. Joseph, Allendale, Grant City) and Iowa (Coon Rapids). Mrs. Roosevelt was revered by his family, but everyone is now Republican. As President Reagan said “I didn’t leave the democratic party, it left me.”
It’s hard to imagine an ethnic group less congenially disposed to Obama and the Left’s statist and morally vacant dirigism than the Scotch-Irish.
There’s no respectful way to tell the Scotch-Irish that they’re not competent to run their own lives and families without state oversight.
Parker is thin year’s Arianna Huffington.
Thanks for the link, I love reading old books.
Oh how true.
I don't have the time to backtrack completely but Parker decided a couple weeks ago to pen an appeal for McCain to drop Palin because of her media interviews, particuarly with Katie Couric. Of course McCain couldn't do such a thing, let alone Obama, although Obama could get a pass if Old Joe suddenly became "sick".
So Parker was asking McCain to drop Palin which would guarantee a loss...so that he could win. Then she gets a justifiable, angry response from conservatives that know that she not only undermined McCain by demanding he do the suicide move but because she automatically gave the MSM the latest "even strong Republicans agree..." mantra.
Since then she penned a condescending review of the VP debate which oozed with an anger towards many of us that complained about her previous logic/position/reasoning and now she has seemingly gone all the way by saying "screw you, conservatives" in this latest column.
"A little straight talk is all we ask for" couldn't possibly be a more clear jab at McCain, Palin and everyone that will vote for the Republican ticket against Obama/Biden. Hey she'll make more money than she ever did if she becomes the new David Brock/Arianna Huffington of the left.
National Review is really losing cred.
“To Appalachia With...Respect”
The definition of a “telling headline”; why not have respect for all, rather than a select few or at a particular election cycle?
WELL HE’S NOT VERY HANDSOME TO LOOK AT
AW HE’S SHAGGY AND EATS LIKE A HOG
AND HE’S ALWAYS KILLIN’ MY CHICKENS
THAT DIRTY OLD EGG-SUCKING DOG
I’M GONNA STOMP YOUR HEAD IN THE GROUND
IF YOU DON’T STAY OUT OF MY HEN HOUSE
YOU DIRTY OLD EGG-SUCKING HOUND
NOW IF HE DON’T STOP EATIN’ MY EGGS UP
THOUGH I’M NOT A REAL BAD GUY
I’M GOIN’ TO TAKE MY RIFLE AND SEND HIM
TO THAT GREAT CHICKEN HOUSE IN THE SKY
How to help Barack Hussein Obama sway Appalachia? They can easily tell when somebody is lying so I’m not sure if he would want to drop in.
What a strange article for Parker to write.
There is also another glaring oversight in this fiction. The Appalachian people can spot a snake oil peddler a mile away. Got no truck with em. You mind yore own bizness an I’ll mind mine. Clannish and not taken to outsiders until they “prove” trustworthy.
“I often post articles from lefties, mushy moderates, RINOs, kooks, peacecreeps and other assorted creatures. We shouldn’t live in a bubble like the far-left does.”
I don’t have a problem with that. It’s worth knowing, maybe not what makes these folks tick, but where they are coming from. When faced with their faulty logic in other areas of life their philosophy can then easily be deconstructed.
I was curious about what had happened to Parker after the initial Palin attack. I thought possibly that she was being taken behind the woodshed rather quckly ~ now it all makes sense.