Monday, October 15, 2007

Why the South is Republican

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - It got the GOP's engines revving - a Democratic official suggesting staffers get immunized for several diseases before heading south from Washington and into the Red State wilds of NASCAR country to conduct research at a pair of races.

The reaction on both sides illustrates just how valuable candidates for elected office consider the votes of NASCAR fans who pack grandstands by the thousands every weekend and the donations of business leaders who spend millions to sponsor the sport.

It started last month, when an official with the House Committee on Homeland Security suggested that staff aides get immunizations before visiting health facilities at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway and North Carolina's Lowe's Motor Speedway, where the Bank of America 500 was run Saturday.

In an e-mail, a staffer who works for committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., noted an "unusual need for whomever attending to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B," as well as "the more normal things - tetanus, diphtheria, and of course, seasonal influenza."

The note didn't explain why the committee saw such concern. It didn't mention NASCAR or the races at the tracks at all. But the implication was enough to draw a snarky complaint from Republican Rep. Robin Hayes, whose district includes Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"I have never heard of immunizations for domestic travel, and ... I feel compelled to ask why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed to travel to my hometown," wrote Hayes.

Thompson responded to Hayes that such immunizations are "are recommended for public safety professionals working in areas such as hospitals, holding areas and similar locations." But the staffers were only scheduled to visit a few health care facilities - not work at them.

"What do they know about NASCAR that we don't?" said Dr. David Weber, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Weber said everyone should be up to date on standard vaccinations, he but saw no need for special vaccinations to visit a health care facility or a NASCAR event. Debbie Crane, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said such shots are recommended for "general health" for all adults - but not for any specific circumstance.

"The very idea of immunization is laughable," said Lowe's Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler. "It's like taping your ankles to go to the mailbox."

There really isn't anything puzzling as to why a bunch of Democrat congressional staffers would think you would need the same kind of vaccinations to go to a NASCAR race that you would if you were planning to do missionary work in Haiti. To urban liberals the map of the Unites States has detailed information about the Northeast down to Washington DC and the West Coast with everything else blank except for the warning "here there be dragons"

And of all the frightening unknowns in the vast wasteland of "flyover country" there is none more frightening and dangerous than THE SOUTH. To an urban liberal, especially one educated in the Ivy League, a Southerner is as alien a creature as someone who just arrived from the Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300.

Why did you know that people in the South owned GUNS!?! They also eat the flesh of dead swine in a bizarre ritual called the "pig-pickin'" and they actually BELIEVE IN GOD [spit] - and not even the acceptable Islamic god of oppressed foreign people of color, but the white patriarchal Christian God!

And worst of all they . . . I find it difficult to say this out loud. . . THEY EVEN VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!