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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Furman and The Case against Trey Gowdy

    October 24  Furman will host a conversation between Trey Gowdy and his challenger Chris Fedalei moderated by poli sci proff Danielle Vinson. Vinson is often on NPR especially during SC Presidential primaries and had an excellent piece in last Alumni magazine about the standoff in Congress.

     I am aware Marshall Frady and myself are not the only Furman grads and I am also aware I graduated near the bottom, the very bottom of my class, down there where The Talking Heads sing There is Water at the Bottom of the Ocean in Life During Wartime. Among alums who are right wingers or favor the Tea Party or some aspect of the legacy of Lee Atwater, Ole Strom, Carroll Campbell and Harry Dent are for starters: Former Gov Sanford, Atwater's Daughter Salley, Dent's daughter Dolly ( a beautiful young woman at Furman whose sister Ginny Brant is now my facebook friend), Lauren Cooley who brought Anne Coulter to campus; Clayte Hubbard, current sophomore whose Father former Bama Speaker of the House implemented a bleaching strategy to weaken the political power of minorities in the state--See Betrayal of Democracy,; and recently Mariel Calhoun, staffer for Trey Gowdy in DC though I'm not sure how thorough a Tea partier she is.

    Mrs. Calhoun is now at staff at Furman in the Alumni department. Hard to place on the Spectrum is George W Bush ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins. Wilkins is not a Furman grad but great friend of Governor Riley and Wilkins also recent Chair of the Clemson Trustees.

     Here are some things for the Furman community to consider and explore. Random sources and convictions of mine rooted in the implications of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention which caused Furman to break with the SC SBC.

    One, Gowdy is a member of FBC Spartanburg which champions the tea party and the fundamentalist side of the SBC while Furman's Baptist contingent is more closely associated with FBC Greenville who sides with the Baptist Alliance and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

   In that vein see my friend Randall Balmer's easily googled piece billy Graham and the Judgments of History and his take on Baptist progressivism in his Redeemer Bio of President Carter.

     Baxter Wynn, a nephew of Ga Gov Lester Maddox is great anchor for this conversation. And former FBC Gville pastor Jeff Rogers who also counts the Furman Religion department in his curriculum vita had great piece in the What Really Matters LD Johnson lecture collection on what it means to be a Baptist of the Wynn stripe versus that of Trey Gowdy and FBC Spartanburg.

   See my Ratified Blog with quote from Balmer, and blog on Trump's recent appearance in Asheville NC and what UNC chancellor Bill Friday prophesied would come to be the distinction between the likes of Gowdy and Baxter Wynn.

   The BX 6400 shelf in the Furman library is excellent resource for this upcoming debate. I am named in footnotes of at least two entries on that shelf.

   See Lee Atwater's "nigger memo" in Princeton's Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country. And read more of Atwater's legacy that set the stage for Trey Gowdy in Daley's Rat Bleeped book. And Garry Wills reviews of Scarborough and Dionne's books on GOP turn to the Right. Two separate books, two separate reviews.

     Former Furman President Gordon Blackwell stood with Max Heller against the shenanigans of Carroll Campbell and Lee Atwater. Now it is time for the Best of the Furman tradition, those who remember the best of the Furman Baptist tradition in the public square to be informed and stand against Trey Gowdy.

   If anybody can make the case LD Johnson were he still walking among us in the flesh would disagree, I would invite them to make the case and link their convictions on Furman's facebook wall where I am going in all deliberate speed to link my Baptist indentity on this matter.

  According to a staffer in Gowdy's DC office this morning Trey Gowdy has endorsed Donald Trump for President. That Atlantic says Karl Rove is undecided. Rove sat in a room in Downtown Greenville, I think the Hyatt in Feb 2000 with an acquaintance of mine from Gaffney and about ten other people when the group decided to go "negative" on John McCain on behalf of W. And re Gowdy we must remember with the help of Jim Demint he ran to the right of Bob Inglis to unseat by all measures a very conservative congressman willing at least to consider the wisdom of Danielle Vinson in her alum mag piece. In the best worlds, the New Yorker would do an expose on whatever it is considered the "Gospel" at Redeemer Prez just outside the Furman gates.

    The Cheat sheet list on Republicans and Trump. Barbara Bush has the high road as that group goes


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