Helms deep

By Tim Murphy

This new ad by the North Carolina GOP is causing a bit of storm. John McCain was quick to condemn it, which was nice of him, but it will hit the airwaves anyway, proving once again that in the “national conversation about race,” the Carolinas are still the That Kid.The ad is notable not just for the implication that black churches are somehow “too extreme” for Tobacco Road, but also for the fact that they bleeped the word “damn.” I guess I follow the logic, there, but it’s natural to associate the bleeping sound with, well, you know: The Word. The big one. The queen mother of dirty words. The F dash dash dash word—Which of course would have made Rev. Wright sound that much more belligerent than he really is.I was going to refrain from poking fun at the lady at the end of the ad, but she probably voted for Jesse Helms, like, five times, so I’ll just go ahead and say it: She looks like an elf. There, I feel better already.Speaking of Helms, this ad is brought back memories of the glory days of the North Carolina GOP, when they ran ads like this:Fortunately, North Carolinians decided to repeatedly give that job to the less qualified white man instead.