"Fourteen karat son of a bitch with spare parts"
Yesterday I talked to Patrick Phillips, author of the riveting new book Blood at the Root, about the 1912 lynchings in Forsyth County Georgia, resurrected to national attention in 1987 by a young Oprah Wynfrey and one of the last hurrahs of Gary Hart. The quote above Phillips uses from Oney's book to describe Newt Morris, a judge in a bowtie in a pic with the hanging body of Frank, who was also key in the earlier lynchings in Forsyth.
What follows is an imaginative historical analysis with suppositions of how Frady would treat Trey Gowdy in this Trump, Billy Graham, Ben Ghazi, Fox News Moment in the South Carolina US 4th Congressional District.
Gowdy was onstage last night at Frady and my alma mater, Furman, for a conversation with his challenger Chris Fedalei. Later those two joined in a roundtable conversation with SC's first Black Republican Senator Tim Scott.
Scott has ties to Chic Fil A. CFA CEO Dan Cathy was in my religion class at Furman fall of 71. Small world.
Whether or not Frady would name Gowdy another "14 karat son of a bith with spare parts" we may never know. But Frady's familiarity with such language from southern pols, his insights in his biography of George Wallace and on to Billy Graham not hard to believe Frady would see a lot of Gowdy in the pattern.
In his bio of Graham, Frady compared him to the penultimate American Innocent,Billy Budd of Melville's Moby Dick. Said Graham saw the world through "welkin eyes".
Gowdy I don't think is that innocent. Gowdy to me carries all the weight and evil machinations of the worst of Nixon and the insidious Lee Atwater and Governor Carroll Campbell, Campbell as Nordic blue eyed and blonde as Gowdy, though never quite slicked his air that gelly.
Gowdy swims in the world of the dark money of the Koch Brothers, the NRA and Fox News. Investigate that world. How he maintains good standing in FBC Spartanburg with Billy Graham I don't know.
FBC Spartanburg every couple years or so sponsors an event, Truth for a New Generation. I've never been able to darken the door of one of those events, keep hoping George Singleton will do the honors and report in the Oxford American but that hasn't happened yet.
I think it fair to say not many of the proffs or administration of the folks I knew at Furman would find much in common with the values and ideological compulsions of TFNG and liberal arts vision of Furman; nor Wofford nor Converse for that matter.
So Trey Gowdy continues to pull off a hat trick with the Downtown Destination City Republicans of Main Street Greenville SC.
Take a look at Phillips book. Find Marshall Frady's collection Southerners. Google Rebecca West Greenville Opera from the 1946 New Yorker on the lynching of Willie Earl and see if there in Strom Thurmond's America you don't find the charlatan Trey Gowdy.