Friday, February 24, 2006

Some pigs are more equal than others

According to this New York Times story, much deference is shown to wealth white ranch owners in South Texas.

In the late 40's, opponents of young Lyndon B. Johnson accused him of stealing a United States Senate election by using the South Texas political bosses who were controlled by the ranch owners, something that Johnson always denied.

"Back in the '40's, Lyndon Johnson could still steal a Senate election in South Texas with the help of the big patrons," said Calvin Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

"But what happened is, in the late 60's and early 70's, is the feds came in and threw some people in handcuffs, along with some of the bosses of those South Texas counties, and it cleaned up a lot," he said. "But you notice, even today, you can still call the local sheriff and say, 'We've had an accident out on the ranch, not to worry, it's under control,' and the sheriff says, 'Yes ma'am, I'll drive out in the morning and we'll piece this thing together.' There's still a deference to the ranch owners that would astound most Americans."

Indeedy. Mary Matalin's half right - many of us DO live in a parallel universe, one in which this "presumption of accident" wouldn't preclude a prompt law enforcement investigation when we discharge our guns into someone else's face.

And I don't think our universes are separated by along Republican/Democrat, urban/rural lines either. Rather, there's one universe for filthy rich, powerful white folk and another for the rest of us, including your average good ol' boy.

Do you think a regular Joe Bob would have gotten the Cheney treatment? Even if he flew the Confederate battle flag with pride? 'Cause I don't . . .


[phone rings] DALE: "YEL-lo."

SHERIFF'S VOICE: "Hey, Dale. I heard there was an accident out to your place t'other night. I heard you done shot Donna."

DALE: "Aw, yeah, Shurff. I was out in the yard, cleanin' my ol' shotgun, and Donna come up behind me and surprised me. She didn't announce herself, Shurff. The sun was in my eyes. I thought she was a moose. So I done shot her in the face."

SHERIFF: "That's a damn shame, Dale. Well, you know I gotta do me a report on this. It suit you if I come out there now to talk to you, git your statement?"

DALE: "Aw, Shurff, I'm all tore up over it right now. Me and the boys is goin' out to git us some beers. Kin it wait 'til tomorry?"

SHERIFF: "Well, I reckon so. I'll see you t'morra about noon, if that suits you."

DALE: "Kin we make it three instead?"


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