The Epiphany of Jesse Helms

I still can’t believe that I’m writing this. First the formerly dishonorable Sen. Jesse Helms met Bono, member of U2 and leading activist, and shook his hand. Then he pledges $500 million in aid for pregnant women around the world, in order to prevent mother-child AIDS transmission. What’s is going on here? Has the Earth’s polarity changed already? Is Satan shopping in Sears for a heater?

Say what you will about Bono, ANYONE who can make Jesse Helms CRY is a-okay in my book.

Probably trying to make up in the Lord’s eyes before he croaks. Good luck Jesse! :rolleyes:

Oh, great! That means he’ll have to live another 2000 years.

I’ve noticed the same thing, and I can only chalk it up to Bono. For whatever reason, they seem to have hit it off.

Well, from what I understand the Christian Coalition has decided that they will accept the fact that helping people with aids is the right thing to do. Sooo…the senator recently apologized for not supporting aids programs and calling it a gay persons disease and by god, the man did one good thing. Under pressure I think, but he did it nonetheless. Will the wonders ever cease?

Whatever’s going on, it started last June.

How many of these people are running for re-election this year?

Also, I’m guessing that the Christian Coalition can handle addressing AIDS if the victims are innocent African women and children infected because their evil husbands had unprotected sex with prostitutes, but not if the victims are gay American males infected because they had unprotected sex with other gay American males. If it’s not a “gay thing”, Jesse & Co. can deal with it.

Great balls of fire! I’m surprised that hard-rock conservatives aren’t pooh-poohing this story as a scurrilous lie about “a good Christiona man” because it appeared in the “left-wing dominated media.”

Actually, IIRC, Helms has supported fighting AIDS in Africa in the past – it’s fighting AIDS in the United States that he doesn’t give a patootie about. So this incident with Bono sounds like par for the course.

DDG hit the nail on the head. Jesse’s comment is that in Africa, AIDS is a heterosexual disease, and people who have not “done something to deserve it” (meaning gay sex) are suffering from it. (There are no gay people in black Africa – at least according to their spiritual and political leaders!)

I’ve been disgusted by the man for years, and was looking forward to campaigning for his opponent this fall until he surprised everyone by retiring. But I’ve got to say this – given how much a threat AIDS is to virtually everyone (can you guarantee your internal tissues will never be exposed to the bodily fluids of someone HIV+ under any and all circumstances?), everything helps – and Jesse is using a lot of his accumulated clout to push for large sums for helping African AIDS victims and for prevention over there. That’s money that doesn’t have to be raised somewhere else to help fight it.

Epiphany? Please!

The OP proceeds from the assumption that Jesse Helms is Evil Incarnate, that he’s utterly heartless and cruel, and that ANY act of kindness or compassion on his part represents a 180 dregree turn.

Isn’t it possible, even LIKELY, that whatever you think of Helms, he’s a man of principle? That he regards himself as an idealist and a staunch defender of values he holds dear?

If you thought Jesse Helms was utterly incapable of compassion or charity, that probably says a lot more about YOU than it does about Jesse Helms.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Jesse Helms is a man of staunch morality who stands by his principles and refuses to bend for political reasons.

Unfortunately, they’re the wrong principles. That was the point.

I live in NC. Jesse is not one of my favorite people but at least I know where he stands. I don’t agree with him most of the time but I respect his honesty, something we could use a little more of in congress. I know that Faircloth gave his endorsement to Elizabeth Dole, anyone heard anything from Jesse ?

Well, they’ve hugged each other every time they’re in public together, Liddy’s bent over backwards to talk about Jesse’s legacy, but no, he hasn’t formally made a public statement explicitly endorsing her. (Of course, there are a couple of other Republicans running, and it’s SOP down here for an incumbent not to endorse in advance of a primary, unless one candidate is so close to his/her position and the others are so far away that it’s almost obvious anyway.)

Hm. Do you think that one of those principles is that “cruelty is acceptable in the pursuit of the higher good”? Jesse certainly seems to have embodied that maxim (he was frequently cruel to his political opponents – not merely honest or forthright, but thoroughly vicious, nasty, and mean), which I have trouble equating with being “principled”.

I repeat: the notion that Jesse Helms had a “conversion” or an “epiphany” of some kind makes sense ONLY if you begin with the assumption that Jesse was a heartless, inhuman fiend.

IF you believe that (and, clearly, many on the Left believe just that), then I suppose ANY sign of humanity from Jesse Helms seems like an epiphany. I think it’s far more likely, however, that Jesse was and is more complicated than his (now astonished) detractors ever cared to admit.

Possibly. But it’s more likely he’s a heartless bastard. As Polycarp pointed out, Jesse has said (in so many words) that he doesn’t care about curing AIDS among gay Americans.

–originally from the New York Times

Hey, wasn’t Helms the guy who was making thinly-veiled threats at then-President Clinton, warning Clinton not to visit military bases in South Carolina because someone might try to take a potshot at Bubba’s head? And last I heard, threatening the President’s life is treason, and worthy of investigation by the FBI.

So (assuming I haven’t misremembered anything here) can we count “traitor to his country” among the principles that Jesse holds?

Well, let me think, hmmm:

“I’m going to do it till she cries. I’m going to sing Dixie till she cries!” -

Helms, to an aide while sharing an elevator with a newly-elected African-American Congresswoman

… Nope! Not possible.