Cooter Is Not Happy with Ed Markey
The weird incident in which Ed Markey’s campaign uninvited former Congressman and Duke’s of Hazzard actor Ben Jones from performing with his band at a fundraiser is undoubtedly an absurd sideshow in the Senate campaign. But let’s revisit it, because it says something about Markey’s campaign, and also because of this: Cooter. Is. Pissed.
Jones (who played Cooter in the show) wrote a piece in the Boston Globe describing his irritation with Markey, who uninvited him when he learned that Jones speaks in favor of displaying the Confederate flag which appears atop the car in the Dukes of Hazzard. This after he told the Markey staffer who notified him to “fold it four ways and put it where the sun don’t shine.”
Writing in the Globe, Cooter first established that he’s not a member of the Klan. (“During the civil rights movement I marched, demonstrated, sat-in, went to jail, was sucker-punched, shot at, had ammonia thrown in my eyes, and was threatened on a daily basis.” Okay then.) He then made his larger point, which is that Markey should probably be willing to stand in the same room as someone with whom he disagrees on a relatively tangential issue:
Eddie, you could have just said, “Well, Jones is a pretty good guy and I agree with him on most things, but on this issue I disagree strongly.” And you would have heard some great music. Instead, I am left to wonder about your understanding of all those voters who grew up on our wacky TV show.
He’s not the first person to make that point. “If Markey addressed the ‘issue’ before Jones’ appearance and made clear that his invitation was about friendship, not politics,” writes Jerold Duquette on the Mass Politics Profs blog. “He could have used the incident to highlight the dangers of the ‘politics of personal destruction,’ which coincidently would surely be made worse by “unlimited outside money” being poured into elections.”
The Senate is a place where people often have to play nice with those who disagree with them on substantive (and relevant) issues. Markey knows that, having been in Congress for a while. He could have said that he disagrees with this guy about an issue that’s been long debated but has little relevance to his candidacy, but hey, he likes his music. Oh well … missed opportunities. Maybe Markey just really, really feels strongly about the Confederate flag.