Thursday, December 18, 2003

Foxx Hunt

State Senator Virginia Foxx has been making "cold calls" to Watauga County business owners asking for money to finance her run for the U.S. Congress (she'll be in a crowded primary, come May, with a whole bunch of men, at least eight of them, all vying to replace Rep. Richard Burr).

Her boilerplate campaign lit (a solicitation letter on State Senate letterhead and a three-page press release) makes absorbing reading.

For example, in her letter she announces that she is "considered the front runner in the race .... I have raised over $300,000 ... but need to raise another $200,000."

("Front runner"? ... not according to some. We hear that Ed Broyhill, as soon as he announced, began sucking all the air out of the proverbial room, and obnoxious Winston-Salem city councilman Vernon Robinson, causing national excitement as the most conservative black politician since Alan Keyes, took Foxx down more than a peg or two at a public debate in Mocksville (see excerpts from the Winston-Salem Journal story on Robinson's own website). One Internet source on this race handicaps it this way: "Vernon Robinson is said to have the inside track for the nomination for this GOP seat encompassing Winston-Salem and surrounding areas. A primary victory by Robinson would draw national attention to this race, as there are currently no black Republicans in Congress. State senator Virginia Foxx has a strong following in her district, but the entry of Ed Broyhill, son of former senator Jim Broyhill of the Broyhill furniture company, dealt her a severe blow."

In her campaign lit, Foxx says much about herself (raised in a shack without plumbing and electricity ... "God God God" ... "conservative conservative, more conservative than thou!"). (A posting on by the same JohnnyZ who wrote the assessment quoted above said, "She frequently SOUNDS conservative. But she's pro-gay and is said by many to be relatively liberal in her private views -- or when addressing a more liberal audience." There's a huge laugh ... the dangerously liberal Senator Virginia Foxx! (If you want to read Vernon Robinson's hilarious "Foxx Report: A Dossier on the Public Record of Senator Virginia Foxx," you may click here.)

(She can be pro-gay all day and all night ... but speaking plainly, that don't make her liberal. Has no one heard of Andrew Sullivan? Her political philosophy is aptly summed up in a remark she made September 16th in the state Senate's special session on medical malpractice lawsuit reform: "The worst thing we can do is to get government involved in solving problems." At which, Matthew Eisley quipped in the Raleigh News & Observer, "Foxx is running for Congress, where, if elected, she could ignore even bigger problems.")

Foxx's campaign propaganda says very interesting things, sometimes by implication, about male Republicans. She says that she's "by no means a typical Republican politician." What's "typical"? The answer gets slipped into the next paragraph as an "assumption" among unspecified "people" ... "that Republican elected officials are usually male, privileged from birth and from a long line of politicians."

That word "privileged" throbs like a smashed thumb. Several paragraphs later she says, "Many politicians are privileged and out of touch with the people of this area." And then a little later she characterizes the motives of "most people" who run for office (by which we assume she still means "Republican men"): "[They run] because of the desire for power and glory. 'All too often, people go into politics to serve themselves or the special interests that put them in office,' she said...."

Well, duh. But it's reassuring to have that fact confirmed by such an unbiased authority.

Her cold fury about privilege suggests a deep split in her personality. On the one hand, she's the poorest of the poor, working her way through high school as the building janitor (and suffering the outrageous slings and arrows of social class contempt that must have gone with that "menial work"). But on the other hand, she can be the Dowager Duchess of the State Senate, deigning occasionally to speak to lesser mortals, but often in a curt and high-handed way. The Great Peasant does not suffer peasants gladly. She's particularly notorious around ASU for sending less than gracious replies to challenges from constiuents employed there. David Forbes, a writer for ASU's Appalachian newspaper, described her as "dismissive and condescending." Forbes was interviewing her about students' concerns over rising tuition costs. Foxx, the poor little urchin from Avery County who might have felt the least twinge of recognition for the struggles of poor students, said instead: "I haven't seen the latest figures on the average income for families of students at Appalachian, but it's rather high. So I'd see no problem with raising tuition a little bit." (See Forbes' complete column by clicking here.)

In her own defense -- and I call this the "Rhymes with Witch Defense" -- she says, "I'm misunderstood in the same way Jesse Helms was." ("Virginia Foxx Discusses Conservative Beliefs")

'Nuf said.

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