Hamilton/Burr – Matthews/Miller

July 11, 1804 – prominent Republican Aaron Burr kills Federalist Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Two hundred years, one month, twenty days later – September 1, 2004;

(Zell) MILLER: Get out of my face. If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer.

(Chris) MATTHEWS: Senator, please.

MILLER: You know(…)I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel…

Zell Miller wanted to get antebellum on Chris Matthews’ ass. Mike at Topdog04 narrows down the transcript to the good parts.

Zell basically said, ‘step off, beeyotch.’

Man, any other time I’d be delighted at such old skool rhetoric from a politician, but because it was Zell, frontin’ for Republican cronies, probably angling for that cushy cabinet level position Dubya will reserve for him to appear bipartisan, it disturbs me, and rather embarrasses me. Southerners get enough of a bad rap from the rest of the country at large. All of us, Tennesseans, Georgians, Alabamans…to have one of our most prominent Georgia Democrats not only give the most hectoring speech heard at the Republican convention but also get redneck on a (admittedly acerbic and irritating) commentator is piling it on our shoulders a bit thick.

I regularly work for a person who does not allow baseball caps to be worn while we are working together, among other things. This person is a native southerner, but has endeavored mightily to reject and pull away from the most crass and ugly side of southern life – it’s almost an aesthetic decision for them. I tend to have a sense of humor about it, because I have no choice – the rest of my own family don’t pay no never mind.

When I hear Zell on TV in one of the umpteenth replays of the exchange above or just read it on the page, I better understand that person I mentioned and their aversion to drawls and baseball caps. Here was a prominent southern politician, who truly did some good for Georgia while governor – my wife’s a teacher, I’m required to point that out – showin’ all his crackah colors on an internationally broadcast interview.

Y’know, I used to wonder why when I’d visit New York the cabbies seemed surprised upon hearing my (very slight) accent that I was actually wearing shoes. I used to wonder.

Here, for further fun, is very good blogification of the event at blogcritics.org.

11 Comments so far

  1. chuck (unregistered) on September 5th, 2004 @ 12:31 am

    At least we have John Lewis….

    When I watch horror films, I rarely get frightened. After watching Blair Witch Project, I shrug my shoulders and go for a hike. But Zell scared me.

  2. Dana (unregistered) on September 5th, 2004 @ 3:16 am

    I just love Zell Miller. Matthews so had that coming. I’ve told you a million times, he’s the only politician the state of Georgia has produced in recent memory that cared about Georgia teachers and tried to support them in any way (most of them either point the finger or figure out ways not to pay us cost of living raises).

  3. Steve (unregistered) on September 5th, 2004 @ 7:23 am

    Hello, dear wife. I’m sorry, but you can’t challenge me to a duel over this. It’s against the dueling code.

  4. Jen (unregistered) on September 5th, 2004 @ 10:08 am

    Great post. I think a lot of Atlantans, myself included, tell our Non-Southern friends that we’re the “New South”.. none of this backwoods shit for us. And then our Senator goes and pulls something like this. Brings us back 50 years. (Or 200 years back)

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