published Thursday, September 10th, 2009

States' Rights

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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EaTn said...

The quality of Clay's feature characterization is excellent, and the theme of Zach Wamp does seem to resound a tone from Gov. Wallace of the '60's. With all the economic and education problems plaguing the state, you would hope that politicians will start looking forward instead of dragging up the worst of the past.

September 10, 2009 at 5:57 a.m.
woody said...

I am not that familiar with Zack Wamp, but I grew up during the tumultuous years of George Wallace.

I watched a man evolve from a narrow-minded, seemingly devout racist into a more broader-thinking individual before his death. I'd also like to think the citizens of Alabama got exactly what they voted for each and every time. So, it would seem that Alabamans evolved right along with their favorite leader.

It may have taken a would-be assassin's bullet to help remold a great politician, but there is no doubt he will long be remembered for what he became, as much for if not more so, than for what he was.

I hope history will be as kind to Mr. Wamp.

Thank you for your time and attention, Woody

September 10, 2009 at 6:13 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Picture cartoonist Bennett and "Mallard Fillmore" holding up a banner that says "CARTOONS." Mallard Fillmore is a conservative cartoon strip; therefore Mr Bennett is a conservative? Likewise, that Governor Wallace used states' rights in a bad cause is no indication that Zach Wamp would. Or picture Teddy Kennedy and cartoonist Bennett holding up a banner that says "LIBERALS." Would this link Mr Bennett with Chappaquiddick-like behavior?

September 10, 2009 at 6:32 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

So Mr Bennett cut the "logic" power line this time.

September 10, 2009 at 6:37 a.m.
librul said...

George Wallace was a saint compared to Zack Wamp.

September 10, 2009 at 7:57 a.m.
khargis said...

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I'm glad we have a gubernatorial candidate who is familiar with the Bill of Rights.

To link Wamp to Wallace due to a shared support of the 10th amendment is as absurd as linking them because their last names start with the same consonant.

What the cartoon is trying to imply, is that Wamp is a racist. He's not, but what does the truth matter in an editorial cartoon. Keep up the race baiting Clay; soon, accusations of racism, where no racism exists, will strip the accusation of its power.

September 10, 2009 at 8:13 a.m.
OllieH said...


I don't presume to know Clay Bennett's thinking on this cartoon, but to me this image reminds us of the sinister (even dangerous) extreme that a 'states' right' philosophy can take.

By invoking the 10th Amendment and using phrases like, "meeting the federal government at the state line", Zach Wamp brings this comparison on himself. It was, after all, George Wallace, who meet the feds at the schoolhouse door in Tuscaloosa back in 1963.

Wamp is playing the lowest common denominator here, and he should resist such blatant demagoguery. But, I guess he, as many within the Republican Party, have heard the shrieks of lynch mobs at the town hall meetings. The birthers, the tea baggers, and the yahoos who fear they have lost 'their' country, have some seriously disturbing issues. To pander to that crowd, as Zach Wamp now seems to be doing, is both irresponsible and dangerous.

I suppose the GOP can benefit from this poisonous, irrational hatred. They may have to. When you have nothing positive to offer yourself, turning to the negative instincts within the electorate may be your only alternative.

September 10, 2009 at 8:56 a.m.
OllieH said...

To comment about the drawing itself- I think Bennett's use of color on this one is brilliant. He takes us back in time by fading the image from full color on the left side of the cartoon, to a black and white look from the 1960s on the right side.

Very nice touch, Clay!

September 10, 2009 at 9:04 a.m.
nativecitizen said...

OllieH, There is nothing wrong with wanting to abide by the Constitution, and wanting to make the left-wing democratic goverment abide by what it says is only right. Zack wanting to increase "States Rights", is proper during this time of troubles within the Country and all the left wants to do is grab more power from the people. If we are crying about "losing" our country, us natives aren't yelling enough. Our country was taken a long time ago by the "Goverment here to help". Just go away and let the States handle their own affairs.

September 10, 2009 at 9:18 a.m.
trburrows said...

Why is Zack smiling and George frowning?

September 10, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.
dtsDadof6 said...

Liberals love to pounce on Wallace. But they conveniently choose the Wallace of 1960 and not the Wallace of 1976, who, by that time, had the strong support of Alabama's minority voters and leaders.

Shame on Bennett yet again for character assassination through selective association.

September 10, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Clay's point appears to be that the key power words and insinuating political phrases from Wallace's speeches in 1963 could be cut-and-pasted into the "Do not Tread on Me" speeches of some Republican Candidates courting Tea Parties and stoking anger in 2009.

I do not offer any observations, one way or another.

But here below is Wallace's language from 1963.

Someone else do the homework on Wamp's rhetoric.

The 1963 Inaugural Address of Governor George C. Wallace

January 14, 1963 Montgomery, Alabama

Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever[. . . .]

Let us send this message back to Washington by our representatives who are with us today . . that from this day we are standing up, and the heel of tyranny does not fit the neck of an upright man . . . that we intend to take the offensive and carry our fight for freedom across the nation, wielding the balance of power we know we possess in the Southland . . . . that WE, not the insipid bloc of voters of some sections . . will determine in the next election who shall sit in the White House of these United States . . . That from this day, from this hour . . . from this minute . . . we give the word of a race of honor that we will tolerate their boot in our face no longer . . . . and let those certain judges put that in their opium pipes of power and smoke it for what it is worth[. . . .]

It is a government that claims to us that it is bountiful as it buys its power from us with the fruits of its rapaciousness of the wealth that free men before it have produced and builds on crumbling credit without responsibilities to the debtorsour children. It is an ideology of government erected on the encouragement of fear and fails to recognize the basic law of our fathers that governments do not produce wealth . . . people produce wealth . . . free people; and those people become less free[. . . .] . . .

But we warn those, of any group, who would follow the false doctrine of communistic amalgamation that we will not surrender our system of government . . . our freedom of race and religion . . . that freedom was won at a hard price and if it requires a hard price to retain it . . we are able . . and quite willing to pay it[. . . .]

September 10, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.
rolando said...

OllieH sez: "...the sinister (even dangerous) extreme that a 'states' right' philosophy can take."

Yes, indeed, OllieH, thet thar Yew Knighted Staights Kon-stee-two-shun [sic] is one sinister and dangerous peace of paypaw [sic] and should be avoided at all costs.

Yeah...right. But don't feel are not alone...others think that way too; both of them are left-wingers.

September 10, 2009 at 1:06 p.m.
EaTn said...

I could have more empathy for the Tea Partiers if they did not pick and choose from the Constitution like it's a smorgasbord. .....I'll take the govt job with retirement and a double-dip of Social Security, throw in a portion of Medicare and federal highways, but hold off the Medical Reform cause it's looks like it's a little tainted.

September 10, 2009 at 3:41 p.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Woody writes:

"I watched a man evolve from a narrow-minded, seemingly devout racist into a more broader-thinking individual before his death."

Fair of you, Woody. So let's broadcast a sampling from across the decades of Wallace's political life.

Wallace Quotes


"The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted, and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the central government offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this state by officers of the federal government."


"Integration is a matter to be decided by each state. The states must determine if they feel it is of benefit to both races."


"We’ll use the power and prestige of the governor’s office to try to awaken the American people to the trends that are rampant in our country, a trend that says we must fight the Communists in Vietnam while at the same time the Communist-controlled beatnik mobs in the streets influence national affairs in Washington, D.C."


"We haven’t been against people. We’ve been against big government trying to take over and write a guideline for you and tell you how to cross the street, what to do with your union and your business when you know how to do it yourself."


"And whether or not you’ve agreed with me at everything that I used to do, and agreed to -- I know that you do not -- I, too, see the mistakes that all of us made in years past."


"I did stand, with a majority of the white people, for the separation of the schools. But that was wrong, and that will never come back again."

Late ’80s

"I would like to be remembered as one who opened up equal opportunity for all people…"

Late ’80s

"I don’t expect people to forget my brash words or deeds. But I ask that they try to remember the actions that I took that were designed to help them."

Shortly before his death

"I don’t hate blacks. The day I said ‘segregation forever,’ I never said a thing that would upset a black person unless it was segregation. I never made fun of ‘em about inequality and all that kind of stuff. But my vehemence was against the federal government folks. I didn’t make people get mad against black people. I made ‘em get mad against the courts."

September 10, 2009 at 4:01 p.m.
woody said...

InspectorBucket, I commend you. I would like to think I would have put together something very similar this morning, had I had the extra time.

However, since returning to the everyday workforce, I find my 'writing time' cut tremendously. But I still have time to follow those of you who have more time than I can make.

In closing, I'd just like to say, while I am not sure in which direction Mr. Wallace finally wound up, I'm fairly sure it would be safe to say he made his peace with the "One who really matters."

Thank you again for your time and attention, Woody

September 10, 2009 at 4:30 p.m.
rolando said...

Gov't retirement and Social Security are based on one thing -- the employee's forced deposit into a "trust fund" to be dispersed at a later date. NO interest is or ever was paid on it, not even simple interest; instead, the gov't SPENT and CONTINUES to spend the entire "fund" on pork and earmarked projects instead of investing it at prime rate with compound interest for the benefit of the eventual retiree. THAT, my friend, is how it should have worked. Had the idiots done THAT -- and paid it out ONLY to those who paid into them [and their survivors] and can no longer work at their specialty -- there would be no Social Security shortfall or crisis abuilding. We would all quite literally be millionaires -- numerous economic projections over the last 50-odd years support that. Much the same can be said for Medicare, etc -- although there are fewer similarities.

It is not the Tea Party-goers who instituted those mandatory contributions into the gov't Ponzi schemes -- which are squandered yearly. Let us place the blame exactly where it belongs -- at the feet of those who rape the fund down to nothing year after year.

Federal and military anticipated retirement pay, along with the value of military health care, were and are included in all pay comparability studies to justify lower pay for the same work by federal employees [and military members]. Those groups -- along with women -- were discriminated against this way for decades.

In summary, that is the employees' money in those funds -- earned the hard working for it. Name ONE corporate business executive, responsible for a business with thousands of employees, who draws less than a six-figure salary...or higher. [Philanthropists excepted, of course...they already made their pile.]

So why do and military take short pay and long hours? A man I seldom quote or much admire said it best in three short words in a speech of the same name at West Point upon his retirement; Duty, Honor, Country.

In closing, have you looked at Congressional retirement packages? One short stint in office guarantees them an obscene salary for life. Military members must literally put their lives on the line for 20+ years to receive their pittance.

September 10, 2009 at 4:44 p.m.
rolando said...

I dare say it again, woody...good post. Yours too, Inspector.

People change over the years.

September 10, 2009 at 4:55 p.m.
moonpie said...

In principle, I support a governor who offers himself as a check and balance against federal government power. In principle I am for it in the same manner as I support the checks and balances offered by our executive, legislative and judicial branches of our federal government.

It's the practices employed by each branch that need to be evaluated.

While I may differ with Zach on many of his ideas, I think it's good for him to tell everyone he'll draw a line with his principles. I hope any elected official would do the same. This, as he said himself, does not rule out negotiation and compromise.

September 10, 2009 at 5:16 p.m.
khargis said...

Well said, moonpie.

September 10, 2009 at 7:42 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Zach's principles against the federal government may be clearly stated, but how does he deal with his friends and roommates? There is a double standard. I recall just two months ago, Zach wouldn't reveal about his comrades in C Street who were engaged in immoral and illegal activities.

Even the old bigot Gov. Wallace can't hold a candle to these hypocrites. Zach is void of principles and morals. He looks after himself and other charlatans, then uses his dislike of the federal government to distract everyone.

September 10, 2009 at 8:14 p.m.
Clara said...


I agree about the Medical Reform Bill. I can only hope that by the time it gets through the various stages of procedure in the House, Senate and Executive, it will be discarded, and a more useful "Socialist" bill will be introduced following the foreign countries of Sweden, Canada, Germny, and France.

I've just had the pleasure of going through the movie, "Sicko", which, although it touts Hillary Clinton's health reform attempt, shows the same problems that exsisted a few years later.

I'm still going through Obama's{?) health reform bill and find nothing that justifies its passage.

September 10, 2009 at 10:04 p.m.
alprova said...

Zach Wamp is a man who loves talking outside of both sides of his mouth. He's good at it too.

Like many politicians, the words that come from his mouth will likely appeal to the group of people that he is standing in front of at the moment. And he has clearly brought this most recent criticism and contrast upon himself.

"Part of the reason I'm running for governor is because states are going to need to declare their sovereignty, stick together with other governors to protect freedom in our states and be willing to meet the federal government at the state line whether it's environmental regulations, the speed limit, gun laws -- whatever the federal government's doing that's onerous."

"We need two dozen governors who will stand together and say the 10th Amendment has been run over too long. We're going to protect freedom in our states, and we don't want the federal government running all over us."

At a Maryville town hall meeting, sponsored in part by an indoor shooting range, he was reported to have stated that if President Barack Obama ever issued an executive order "taking up guns" that, as Tennessee's Governor, "we will meet him at the state line."

Compare the above to some words that were uttered by George Wallace, at a time when he too considered himself to be an anti-federalist, for far different reasons of course;

"As your governor, I shall resist any illegal federal court order, even to the point of standing at the schoolhouse door in person, if necessary."

"The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted, and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the central government offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this state by officers of the federal government."

I think that Mr. Wamp is attempting to appeal to what he feels is the silent majority. We will know by next year if that silent majority does indeed exist.

'till them.

September 11, 2009 at 6:02 a.m.
alprova said...

Uh....'till THEN....

September 11, 2009 at 6:39 a.m.
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