August 26, 2005

OH, TO HAVE BEEN THERE FOR THAT:

Helms lauded as conscience of Senate conservatives (Ralph Z. Hallow, August 26, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

From virtually his first day in the Senate in January 1973, [Jesse Helms's] insistence on principle was at times so politically incorrect as to exasperate whoever happened to occupy the Oval Office and to embarrass colleagues on the right whose spines might be less stiff than his.

He tells the story of when the newly inaugurated President Clinton clasped his hand, looked him in the eyes and said: "Senator, I'm so happy to meet you, because we have so much in common."

Mr. Helms recalls his reply: "Mr. President, you must be mistaking me for another senator. My name is Helms. H-E-L-M-S."

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 26, 2005 11:49 AM
Comments

When Paul Wellstone entered the Senate and announced that he wanted to be known as "the liberal Jesse Helms", Helms said he was delighted and flattered. Later, even though they disagreed on nearly everything, they and their families became good social friends.

It was a different era.

Posted by: Gideon at August 26, 2005 9:18 PM

Over the past forty years or so if we didn't have friends with whom we disagreed politically, we would have been living quite alone.

In fact, our whole world was liberal from family and friends, to the government, to the churches, to the media, to the arts, to the academy. Did I leave anything out? We thought of ourselves as the only people on earth who hadn't drunk the koolaid.

Then a strange thing happened. Driving back from a vacation out west, we chanced on what must have been one of Rush Limbaugh's first syndicated talk radio shows and were literally stunned.

Rush is right when says he didn't convert people to his point of view, he merely articulated what a lot of us already thought. The rest, as we know, is history.

Posted by: erp at August 28, 2005 9:07 AM
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