Monday, May 26, 2008

Walter Jones is a Piker

Though at the moment Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) is known as the most prominent Republican defector regarding the Iraq War, at one time he was best known as the man who brought "freedom fries" to the House cafeteria. It was a ridiculous display of jingoistic "patriotism", designed to insult the French for being, well, right, as we now well know.

But it could have been worse. Kathleen Bergin was reading some old newspapers and came across this gem that was proposed in Mississippi:
[T]humbing through the Dothan Eagle as I sometimes do, that is, the March 26, 1948 edition, I came across this headline: Mississippi Balks Move to Outlaw "Missouri Waltz." Apparently, lawmakers wanted to make it a felony to play or dance the waltz anywhere in the state. First offenders would receive a $1,000 fine and a prison sentence of not less than 5 years. Use a piano and the fine increased to $10,000 and life in prison. Gheeze.

The background here is that the measure was introduced after President Truman called on Congress to pass comprehensive civil-rights reforms, including "communistic measures" as the Southern Block referred to them, like anti-lynching and anti-poll tax laws. Truman was from Missouri.

A fine tradition Jones continued (at least, thankfully, in diluted form).

Also, I'm 100% sure each Mississippi legislator who supported this bill was 100% the most qualified for their position.

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