Opinion » Bill Cope

In the Heat of the Right

The South isn't rising again; it's creeping back


"Bob. Psst, Bob. Got a minute?"

"Gee-zuss, Cope! What the f***?! What time is it?"

"Two. Three. Something like that. I couldn't sleep. It's too hot."

"And, what? You can't sleep, so you thought you'd come sneaking into my camper in the middle of the night and... s***, Cope! Just what the f*** were you thinking?"

"Gosh, Bob, I had a lot on my mind. I couldn't forget how hot it is. And then I was thinking about how I felt like some kind of half-boiled catfish laying there in bed, and about how my sheets kept sticking to me like oily underwear. And then I was thinking how this must be what it feels like all the time down in Alabama and Mississippi and places like that. And then... all of a sudden, like... I was thinking about those darn Supreme Court judges, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, that Samuel Alito and John Roberts, all sitting up there in their air-conditioned robes. And I began to wonder how they could ever make such a decision as they did a couple of weeks ago. And that's when I decided I had to get up and come see you."

"Which decision? Every decision those four make is f***ed."

"Where they ripped the guts out of the Voting Rights Act, that decision. It's been eating at me since they did that, Bob. It makes me so darn mad, I can't even think of anything to write about it. I keep thinking, How in the heck do guys like that get to be on the Supreme Court of America? Ever since it happened, I've been trying to come up with something that would express how... how hideous those guys are. And Kennedy, too, at least on this ruling. But... well darnit, Bob, have you ever tried to write about something so disgusting and stinking and odious that all you can think to say about it is how disgusting and stinking and odious it is? That's where I'm at right now, Bob. I think we have to fight this decision tooth and nail. We have to stomp it to death forever. We have to tell the world how disgusting and stinking and odious this is, but I don't know how. So that's why I came over here, to see if you had any ideas on how to get across to decent Americans how terrible this really is. That, and also because I couldn't sleep because it's too darn hot."

"If it were me, I'd say that ruling is a plate glass window directly into the rotten, spiteful, sewage-soaked soul of what today passes for the Republican Party. Get it? We're closer now to the truth of what they're up to than we've been since the Civil Rights movement showed the country how vicious and brutal those old Dixiecrat bastards were. George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms. And we should realize by now they didn't all die off. Old racist sh** never really dies, Cope. And it doesn't fade away, either. It just slinks into the shadows, takes on different names at different times... 'John Birch Society,' 'Tea Party,' 'conservatism,' 'GOP'... and looks for soft spots to gnaw at. Affirmative action, voter ID, inner city public schools, welfare policies... you name it.

"I mean, for f***'s sake, Cope, look at the history. Where do you find any evidence they have ever truly accepted integration, equal opportunity for blacks or any other outside group--even the mixing of the races? Far as I'm concerned, they've been plotting like f***ing fraternity snots to undo everything that's been accomplished by better human beings. They can't even fathom how indecent they really are. They trot out a few excuse-making, self-loathing, hand-licking ethnic stooges to mask their true feelings... you know who I mean, and so does everyone else... but the occasional Michael Steele or Herman Cain aren't enough to hide their true intent. They're out there right now, Cope, in state after state after state... right now this f***ing minute!... dreaming up new ways to keep blacks out of the polling booth! And then that dipsh*** Roberts claims things aren't like they were 50 years ago. Lying f***ing sh***y c***s***er pr***!"

"Holy cow, Bob. Calm down. I didn't mean to get you so upset. I just thought maybe you could think of ways to pressure Congress into agreeing on new guidelines. Or something."

"Yeah, like that's gonna f***ing happen. If Congress weren't such a big bowl of reactionary cat s***, I don't think this would have even gone to the Supreme Court, Cope. And then, when they sent it back to Congress, they knew goddam good and well that limpd*** John Boehner and his merry band of Republican f***sh**s would see to it that any revision or clarification of the Voting Rights Act drowns in a tub of rancid obstructionist horsep***.

"There must be something we can do, Badger. Do we have to sit here and watch the darn South turn back into 'The South?'"

"Nothing we can do tonight, Cope. That's for damn sure. Tomorrow, we can start doing everything possible to throw those Republican f***ers out of Congress. If Democrats take back the House, we can pull for a national standard on election laws so a**wipe Mississippi and Texas and the rest of those Jim Crow fascists can never f*** with elections again. But for right now, I think it'd be a good idea if you waddle your fat a** out of here and let me go back to sleep."

"Golly, Bob. I don't get how you can sleep when it's this darn hot?"

"It's a little trick, Cope. I close my eyes and picture various global-warming deniers... tonight, it was that f***ing ape, James Inhofe... and then I imagine their testicles frying like eggs on a downtown sidewalk. Don't ask me how, but it puts me straight to sleep with a smile on my face."

"Huh. Nuts, sunny side up. Cool."