Friday, September 26, 2008

Arkansas needs another Say McIntosh

Robert "Say" McIntosh provided a hell of a lot of entertainment to those of us growing up in the Little Rock area.

He reached his prime in the 1980s and was always doing all sorts of wacky crap, much to the delight of the media and the average cat who enjoyed his endless shenanigans.

Who was McIntosh? He was a political gadfly, rabble-rouser and loudmouth who took swipes at his targets in some of the more sensational ways imaginable.

He wasn't your boring, run of the mill activist, either. You never saw McIntosh engage in the thick-headed art of simply bringing a lot of people together to wave signs and gripe about what the Republicans were up to and he never sought to surround himself with a crowd of like-minded followers so that he enjoyed a certain amount of anonymity.

No, McIntosh hogged all the attention for himself and often attacked targets that damn well deserved it. He absolutely hated Bill Clinton and delighted in ridiculing the governor for his sexual misconduct -- more than a few fliers were circulated in which Clinton was accused by McIntosh of fathering a black kid with a prostitute and not taking responsibility for it.

He also punched Ralph Forbes on camera at least once. Forbes was a despicable former member of the American Nazi Party that tended to run for office from time to time. He deserved to be slugged in the face by almost everyone in Arkansas, but McIntosh actually had the guts to do it.

Ah, but McIntosh did a lot more than slug political pests. He once tied himself to a cross on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Little Rock and almost died of heat stroke -- crucifying yourself in the middle of an Arkansas summer is a terrible idea. He riled a heck of a lot of people in the state in 1989 when he decided to exercise his right to burn a flag on the Capitol Building lawn.

He tried burning that flag twice and was stopped by enraged citizens both times. He finally did burn his flag on a fishing pole outside of the Arkansas Democrat building on a Saturday. I was an intern reporter for the Democrat back then and got to write the story on that one.

I ran across McIntosh quite a bit in those days, usually when he was out sticking his anti-Clinton and/or anti-racism fliers on cars in the downtown area. He had a restaurant and I, like many people who disliked Clinton, would pick up a sweet potato pie every now and again because we knew the revenue raised from those things would be used to harass Bill.

Sadly, McIntosh is gone now and there's virtually no individual left who goes out of the way to irritate state politicians. McIntosh's tactics may have been extreme and I disagreed with him more often than not, but he at least kept things interesting. He picked on Democrats, Republicans and independents, so he was an equal opportunity gadfly.

Another reason to dislike Bush

I swore I'd stay away from politics, but there are times when I just can't help it. I watched a Republican president on television the other night advocating socialism and the whole thing makes me sick.

While George W. Bush was giving his idiotic speech on Wednesday, I could hear the great Ronald Reagan rolling in his grave in the background. Bush, of course, was talking about a proposed $700 billion bailout for banks that are struggling in the wake of the foreclosure mess.

During his sissified speech, the moron said that the free market isn't working and that government intervention is necessary to rescue financial institutions. Perhaps the man is just too stupid to realize that Republicans ought to resist nationalizing a large chunk of the nation's economy.

That's particularly true when the government shares a lot of the blame for the foreclosure mess. Why? The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, pushed for by Jimmy Carter, set up a system through which banks were strong armed into giving out mortgages to people who probably shouldn't have had them.

Clinton expanded that act and that lunkhead Bush authorized the very subprime mortgages that have caused a lot of trouble. I can understand Carter and Clinton willfully meddling with the free market, but I'm stunned that a Republican would play the "me too!" game.

So, Bush is advocating letting the same government that caused this mess burn $700 billion of our money to fix it. That's like putting the lion who escaped his cage at the zoo in charge of repairing it. What a bunch of crap.

And, it's probably going to get worse. Remember that bankruptcy reform package that Bush signed shortly after getting into office? Clinton wisely vetoed that garbage, but Bush signed that nonsense -- a bill that was bought and paid for by the credit card industry.

Yes, that's the credit card industry that thinks it's a great idea to give ridiculous amounts of credit to high school and college kids who don't have jobs. It's harder to discharge that debt in bankruptcy now, so guess what? Are we looking at a crisis in the credit card industry on the horizon? Will the feds bail them out, too?

Bush is a damned disaster. If Barack Obama winds up in office (God forbid!), we've got Bush to blame. You suck, Bush. Your father wasn't worth a damn, either.

4 comments: said...

Not being a native Arkansan, I've never heard of Robert "Say" McIntosh. Is there any video of him?

I think long term, the market should be allowed to fix itself. And those who are behind this mess should be investigated and prosecuted.

However, if the bailout does not pass in the Congress, I've heard that foreign investors will pull out their money, and our economy will suffer.

So pick your poison.

The Natural State Hawg said...


I don't know if there is any video of him. It seems there should be some floating around somewhere.

The market should be allowed to fix itself, indeed. The ones that are behind this mess will never be investigated and prosecuted -- half of them are in Congress, so we know how that will go, don't we?

It is an unfortunate choice of picking your poison in this instance. We're going to suffer quite a bit regardless of what we do -- either foreign investors will flee or we'll blow $700 billion in an attempt to nationalize the financial markets.

What a damned mess...

lala said...

Yeah, I don't think I've ever heard of McIntosh either. Great little tribute, Ethan!

The Natural State Hawg said...


Well, he was a bit far from the Fort Smith area. He raised a lot of hell here in central Arkansas, however.

Hey, I disagreed with him more than half the time. Still, he did manage to keep things interesting around here.

Yeah, I miss the radical.