TLP: Stupid is as Stupid Does
Not that he stands a chance anyway, but Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour seems determined to do things that ensure that his political base will never expand beyond, uh, Mississippi.
AP via HuffPost:
Does Haley Barbour have a Confederate problem?Stubborn is one word for it, I guess. Clueless might be another. Politically suicidal comes to mind. In the last year, he's professed himself to be puzzled at criticism that Virginia's Confederate History Month omitted a mention of slavery, saying the controversy "doesn't amount to diddly," and then had to explain what he really meant to say about segregationist Citizens Councils in the South during the civil rights era.
It's a question hounding Mississippi's Republican governor as he gears up for a possible 2012 presidential run. Barbour refused this week to condemn a proposed state license plate to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general who was also an early Ku Klux Klan leader.
Barbour wouldn't say what he thinks about Forrest, a Tennessee native who's venerated by some as a brilliant military strategist and reviled by others for leading the 1864 massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow, Tenn.
"Look," Barbour told The Associated Press, "if you want a lesson on Nathan Bedford Forrest, buy a book."
Was Barbour's decision not to denounce a divisive historical figure a political calculation to appeal to conservative voters in early presidential primary states such as South Carolina? Or was he simply showing his well-known stubborn streak?
And, oh yeah, he coughed up a tar ball during last summer's BP oil spill when he appeared to be accommodating to drilling interests even as the slick spread across the Gulf of Mexico and onto the Mississippi shore.
Maybe Barbour doesn't need a book to learn the story of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Could be that his lesson is in a movie.
Forrest: (voice-over) Now, when I was a baby, Momma named me after the great Civil War hero, General Nathan Bedford Forrest... She said we was related to him in some way. And, what he did was, he started up this club called the Ku Klux Klan. They'd all dress up in their robes and their bedsheets and act like a bunch of ghosts or spooks or something. They'd even put bedsheets on their horses and ride around. And anyway, that's how I got my name. Forrest Gump. Momma said that the Forrest part was to remind me that sometimes we all do things that, well, just don't make no sense.And that's all I have to say about that.