Archive for September 22nd, 2009

Me and the Irish

When I was with the Reagan Administration, one of my fellow appointees with whom I got along best was a PhD Philadelphia Irishman. We thought much alike, because he despised “intellectuals” as much as I did and, like me, his roots were solidly ethnic: he despised “intellectuals who despised the Irish, and I despise the “intellectuals” who looked down on Southerners.

I once told a Catholic joke. The Catholic in the joke came out on top. His objection to the joke was unique in our society: He said, “Why is it that when a Protestant tells a Catholic joke to a Catholic, the Catholic always comes out on top?”

Let me translate. These words, from a proud Shanty Irishman to an Unreconstructed Rebel meant,

What do you think we are, a bunch of niggers?”

Blacks and Jews ALWAYS have to come out on top. Blacks can never be guilty of the murder they are accused of. Jews an never hat hate anybody else. By now the few intelligent people we have left know what it means when one is uncritical of the group you belong to.

The Partisan Dictionary for the Southern Partisan was an extension of my fellow Southerner’s The Devil’s Dictionary. So I defined “Catholics” as “A group of people who say some of their best friends are priests but they wouldn’t want their daughter to marry one.” The editor and owner, an Irish Catholic like Scarlett O’Hara, thought it was hilarious.

I wish I could claim originality to the idea that Southerners and Irish Catholics are natural allies against the necrophilia Yankees***, but Margaret Mitchell beat me to it.

But I got one letter that made me sick. It was from a poor little Catholic boy, probably seventy or so, who was devastated by my vicious attack on his Faith. He sounded like a Jew at his most self-pitying.

The reason the Republican Party is still winning elections in our minority-soaked electorate is because its two historic bases of power, the Solid South and the Northern Irish, pulled out from under it. It is the Yankee Republicans who bumbled everything when we could have won a lot more.

I knew I was in the right place when I did the press relations for the anti-busing group ROAR in Boston and the folks there kept saying how they hated “Yankees.” Me and Doctor Shanty got along famously.

*** Edgar Allen Poe’s term

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