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The Man in Black and the asshat

John Dolva

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The Man in Black and the asshat

Sunday, November 21, 2010 By Alexander Billet


Johnny Cash (pictured) was no fan of the Republican Party.

United States Republican representative from Ohio John Boehner is feeling pretty full of himself nowadays. Little wonder. With the Republicans winning back in control of the House of Representatives in the November 2 elections, Boehner looks set to be the next Speaker.

And like any pompous career politician who fancies himself cock-of-the-walk, he seldom lets facts get in the way.

Lately, Boehner has taken to using the name of Johnny Cash, the greatest rebel in the history of country music, in the same breath as former Republican president Ronald Reagan: "Remember when Ronald Reagan was president? We had Bob Hope. We had Johnny Cash. Think about where we are today. We have got President Obama. But we have no hope and we have no cash."

I care not a shred for Bob Hope's legacy; he was certainly a conservative and a mediocre comedian at best. Lameness of Boehner's joke aside, this latest in a long-running attempt to appropriate the Man in Black as a Republican icon is stomach-turning.

It flies in the face of everything Cash stood for. SocialistWorker.org's "Couldn't Make It Up" blog pointed out on November 2: "Republicans like to forget that Johnny Cash was a defender of social programs like welfare, and an opponent of the prison system, the death penalty and the war in Iraq."

The blog pointed out that when, in 2004, the Republican Party National Convention held an event to "honour" Cash's legacy, "hundreds of black-clad Cash fans showed up as part of a 'Man and Woman in Black Bloc' protest to tell the Republicans to keep their hands off the legacy of the man who famously sang that 'I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, / Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town, / I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, / But is there because he's a victim of the times'."

But really, the best response to this blatant hypocrisy came from none other than Cash's own daughter, country artist Rosanne Cash: "John Boehner: Stop using my dad's name as a punchline, you asshat."

[Reprinted from RebelFrequencies.blogspot.com.]

From GLW issue 862

edit add: link http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46195

Edited by John Dolva
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