Still, I’m a little touchy about non-southerners telling me what the south is like. Usually they’re telling me how bad it is, but it’s even weirder when they’re telling me how great it is. Sure, there’s nice people and we’ve got that chivalry thing going on, but don’t you have your own heritage to be proud of? Do you have any idea how humid it gets down here? Have you seen the way we react to even a 10% chance of snow?
Which brings me to Virginia’s freakish senator, George “the South will rise again” Allen. Despite his drawl, intricate knowledge of the second battle of Bull Run, and Foghorn Leghorn persona, the guy ain’t a southerner. He’s from California, born and raised. He moved to VA after his daddy got a gig coaching the Washington pro football club, but by that time he was a rebel-yellin’, Hee-Haw watchin’, National Wrestling Alliance lovin’ wannabe. (His dysfunctional background was excellently detailed in TNR recently.)
I don’t care that we have a senator from California. We just had a governor from Indiana (Mark Warner), and he was awesome. It’s the whole co-opting of the culture that I don’t like. Not only is it creepy, but I also have the feeling Allen is doing it for reasons other than pure nostalgia. Ed Kilgore said it best on Monday (the whole post is great):
I sort of doubt George Allen was just exhibiting an exotic historical interest in the Confederacy, interchangeable with, say, an enthusiasm for the War of the Roses. No, there's not much doubt what it meant to be a Yankee Confedero-phile in the late 1960s. The southerner in me always reacts to such phenomena by saying: "You're touching my stuff, and breaking it."Hands off, Georgie.