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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:21 PM
Original message
Please allow me to explain West Virginia to you
Since no one ever actually thinks about the state, please allow me - a former Knight of the Golden Horseshoe - to explain it to you.

Politically, West Virginia desperately wants to vote for Democrats - and normally does. We've had three senators since the 1950s - and all three are Democrats. Our governor is usually a Democrat - unless we really really don't like the Democratic nominee. The House of Delegates and State Senate have both been controlled by Democrats as long as I can remember.

However, we aren't liberals. God, guns, and guts matter.
- Only 15 percent of the state has a college degree - roughly the same amount that served in the Armed Forces.
- Hunting season is essentially a state holiday; most school districts in the Southern part of the state have a fall break for hunting season since no one would be there anyway.
-We are 14th in the country in church attendance (by percentage). And my guess is that those who do attend really really really mean it.
- We are Christian - and that's it! 86 percent of the state is Christian; the other 14 percent list themselves as non-religious. And that 86 percent is pretty much all Protestant. Only 8 percent of the state is Catholic (inlcuding my dad) and I can tell exactly where each of those Catholics live - Weirton, Wheeling, Clarksburg, Morgantown, and Parkersburg. It really was a big deal when Kennedy sto-I mean-won the 1960 Primary.

As a native born son of the state, I would not classify the state as racist - certainly not in the sense that Mississippi can be called "racist" in a historical sense. We broke away from the Cofederacy because there were no slaves in western Virginia (we were too poor to afford them) and Richmond ignored us. However, it was a Southern state in mentality...sort of (The Ohio River was more of a rust belt mentality).

Still, the main reason, I would not classify the state as racist is simple: there are no black people here.

The state is 96 percent white. 3 percent of the state is white. And again, I can tell you where each and every black person lives - Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling. There are about 54,000 black people in the state and 8000 of them are in Charletson. 4000 are in Beckley. 3000 are in Huntington. 2000 are in Bluefield, and 2000 are in Wheeling. Beckley and Bluefield are - weirdly enough - the two most diverse areas in the state. Why? Coal mines. Blacks were cheap labor in the early days of mining. And unlike Hungarians, they spoke English.

If you grew up in - say - Parkersburg, which is a pretty big city by West Virgia standards, you could pretty easily live your entire life and never encounter anyone not a white Protestant. This is pretty standard. My high school graduating class had 350 students - 4 of them were black.

This is not to say that the state is progressive on racial matters. I've been present at two racially motivated fights at public events. However, I think it has more to do with the state's deep and ever-present fear of outsiders more than anything else. Anyone who cannot prove their ties to a community by at least three generations is suspect.

And I think this explains our deep deep deep love for a) incumbency and b) neptotism. In West Virginia politics, it is simply unfathomable for an incumbant to lose an elected office. Bob Byrd is going to die in office and we are simply going to prop his ass up with his finger on the yes button. Republican politics in West Virginia begin and end with Arch Moore and his family. Arch has as crooked as could be and we elected him three times. Why? Because we liked him. My father has voted for one Republican in his life and it is Arch Moore. To this day, he calls him "The best friend teachers ever had." His daughter will serve in Congress until she no longer wants to.

The current governor is a Democrat and comes from a family long-know for corruption and colorful politics. Joe's uncle was impeached...and he is still beloved. Joe's daugther was a phony degree from WVU. Joe has managed to piss everyone in the state off at least once. And Joe will probably win re-election by 15 points.

Why did George Bush win WV twice? These same fears of outsiders and love of incumbency. He seemed safer and more familiar than Al Gore...and we figured that if he got into trouble, his daddy would help. And once you are an incumbent, you are always going to win in West Virginia. The only incumbents I recall losing in my lifetime are Republican Governor Moore in 1988 (who was facing jail time) and Republican Governor Underwood in 2000 (who was 109 years old).

What else? We like veterans. We distrust outsiders. We don't know any black people. Catholics are mysterious (except in my hometown which is really a suburb of Pittsburgh in some ways). Unions are really important, even though they are kind of distrusted, even by their membership. WVU football is the one unifying force (Rich Rodriguez is the devil). A little corruption in politics is generally accepted - just not too much. We've got great interstates and far far far too much gambling.

And you can also identify us by the John Denver song we insist on playing in every jukebox in every bar in the world.
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent post! I love WV, btw.....it's almost heaven to me
as far as natural beauty and the few people from there that I know :-).
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iiibbb Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
116. The WV I know and love
Edited on Wed May-07-08 04:45 PM by iiibbb
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #116
178. Jesco!!! I've got his autograph. n/t
To this day, whenever I hear, "If you wanna get to heaven, you've got to raise a little hell," I think of Jesco.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've traveled the West Virginia Turnpike every year since 1978 or earlier.
I grew up in Ohio and I've lived in North Carolina since 1978. West Virginia is the way home. I've tried to explain your state here on DU but it takes a native to really understand and explain. Thank you for your post!
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. K & R
from a Southwest VA gal (now living in Chicago like a lot of transplanted hillbillies). :hi:
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:32 PM
Original message
Thanks for the information! K&R
:kick:
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. you arent racist cause there are no black people...but....
you can tell me where every one of them lives?

wow just wow.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I was making a joke. I also said I know where every Catholic lives.
I'm from the Northern Panhandle. We are not really a typical part of West Virginia. Lot of Catholics. Decent number of blacks. We live 30 minutes from a huge international airport.

Big difference between us and - say - Parkersburg which is a decent-sized "city" but isn't really near anything - 2.5 hours away from Columbus.

And it is world away from, like, Judy Gap.

PS. I'm an Obama supporter.
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futureliveshere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. Say do you also know how many of you are there in WV
you - i mean Obama supporters ...

just asking :) :shrug:
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. at last count, 8
I should point out that I don't currently live in WV. I vote in VA. But I still know the state and am heavily connected to the politics there through my family.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #25
43. Funny. But true, I'm afraid. n/t
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futureliveshere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #25
59. Yoiks... Sigh!! Thanks.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
179. My husband and I are two of them, lol.
Technically, my husband is a Ron Paul supporter. But he's planning on voting for Obama in the GE.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
107. I know you're an Obama guy..I remember.
Thanks for the West Virginia low down. I know one older statesman from West Virginia has endorsed Obama but I forget who?
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #107
157. Senator Jay Rockefeller.
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I'd say you missed the point.
They're not racists. They're racially isolated. Not the same thing.
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woolldog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
46. you can be both
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #46
126. But that's the racist you can actually talk to.

I grew up in that sort of environment. I like to describe most of the folk where I grew up with a play on a Will Rogers quote, "they hate every African-American they never met".

That describes them quite well. They will jeer and hoot at Blacks on the television and mouth the most ignorant and hateful shit you can imagine. Yet every single Black man they have ever met in their entire lives they liked and respected.

They will largely like and respect Obama.

It's not perfect. But we've seen much, much worse.


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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
34. I grew up in WVA, and the OP is correct. WVA AA population about 3.5%
I grew up in Bluefield, and the town was divided by the train tracks.

One side of town had some flat land, the other side was all steep hilly nearly
unlivable land.

The people were divided.

The economy has been horrible there since the late 70's when the coal mines
went bust.

Mining was the main job, with peripheral businesses (machine shops etc) that built
upon the mining industry.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Bluefield is strange because it is divided by a state line too, right?
Isn't the big rivalry with Bluefield, VA?

I'm telling you...there is no weirder place than West Virginia.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #36
168. There's two Blfds, Blfd WVA and Blfd Va
Bluefield WVA is almost dead to business, steep hills and flat land is at a premium.


Bluefield VA is doing better. This area is a bit more rural but pretty, more rolling hills.

Very depressing place to live, nothing to do.
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
189. That phrase isn't a joke
I've heard that same phrase almost verbatim from a Chinese man when I lived in China. He was trying to explain that the Chinese can't be racist, because they don't have black people.

It is meant in all seriousness (although the author here says it in jest). The speaker usually doesn't understand the true irony behind such a statement.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. What's the best way for Obama to campaign there?
Edited on Wed May-07-08 12:44 PM by rocknation
Intimate town meetings, like he did in Iowa, or big rallies?

This WV poll has Hillary up 55-27. With so many undecideds and a good ground game by Obama, does his getting 35-40% of the vote sound realistic?

Will Hillary's having been effectively eliminated have an effect? That is, will West Virginians vote for her out of loyalty? Will they turn up to vote at all?

:headbang:
rocknation
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. I don't think he has time for the town meeting approach.
And West Virginia is not an easy state to do that in anyway. There are 55 counties and you physically can't get to some of them.

I think he needs to find pockets were he can win - probably Morgantown and the Eastern Panhandle and just set up shop there. In all honesty, he is probably better served to get to Oregon.

There will be good voter turnout because of local elections that day. And voters will back her out of loyalty to Bill, who was and is extremely popular here.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. Fortunately, Obama's sitting so pretty that Hillary needs 86% of the vote
Edited on Wed May-07-08 01:02 PM by rocknation
in ALL SIX of the remaining contests to beat him.

If he can get even half of those undecideds from out of those pockets you mentioned, it would be time and money well spent. Thanks!

:headbang:
rocknation
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #27
40. He would do better to campaign in Kentucky, I think
It's got about 2.5 million more people. So, there is more danger of Hillary racking up big "popular vote wins there.

It has cities. Louisville has a half a million people. The largest city in West Virginia has 50,000. Bowling Green, KY would be the biggest city in WV.

It has more universities. It has more black people.

And it borders WV so some of his work could possibly carry over.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
60. "you physically can't get to some of them"
lol.

I grew up in Marietta, OH, and I'm pretty sure you're right about some of those counties. They appear on maps, they even claim to have roads and towns, but you can't actually get to them.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #60
65. I've been to most counties, but you really have to desire to get to some of them
There is no reason on earth to ever be in Webster County.
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Bill McBlueState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #65
76. Webster County demographics
Webster County's wikipedia page says, "As of the census of 2000, there were 9,719 people.... The racial makeup of the county was ... 0.01% Black..."

That means there's exactly one black person in the entire county. If there were two, it would have been 0.02% black. Wow.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. His name's John
Kidding. I kid.

If you lived there, I bet you would know his name though.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #60
180. When I was a child, I raised goats for 4-H . My dad and I drove to this place called Duck
in Clay County to purchase a nanny goat from this lady that had advertised in the market bulletin. The area was so isolated (10 miles out a dirt -- and I mean DIRT, not gravel -- road) that the woman fenced in her house and garden and let the goats roam free. Now that's rural!
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
170. I'd think the college crowd would be the best place to campaign.
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. I have a friend in West Virginia
generally a very pleasant person.

Until the name Rodriguez is mentioned. Then, talk about "bitter". Wow. And you can't mention a school named "Pitt".
:rofl:

(go blue)
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deadmessengers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm really glad I read all of this before responding.
I got up to this part: "there are no black people here." and started to respond. You see, my wife's family is from WV, and they're most certainly black folks. And, I was about to respond telling you that you didn't know what you were talking about.

Then I read this: "And again, I can tell you where each and every black person lives - Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling.". And then I realized that the only places I've ever really been in WV are on that list. My wife's family is from Bluefield, I've visited Charleston & Huntington, and I've spent some time camping in a state park not awfully far from Beckley (Bluestone State Park, which is one of my favorite places to go camping in the US). So, based on that, *I* was the one who didn't know what the heck I was talking about.

So, the moral of this story is: I need to read before I get all worked up and start to respond. :)
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. The point I was trying to make is, we aren't like other states.
We are sort of a rust belt state - except with no real ethnic diversity.
And we are sort of like a southern state - except our black population is less than minute.
And we are kind of like a western state, except we aren't in the west.

West Virginia is really a foreign country. We're a landlocked state with a bizarre border and a strange dialect.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #17
190. I can empathize with you there...
Alaska's not like other states either. You did a really great job of explaining what makes West Virginia special. I remember going to Wheeling when I was a little girl for some reason (we lived in southwest Ohio, so we probably had relatives down there). From what I remember, it's a beautiful state.
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nomorewhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. great post and a real insight about the "on the ground" politics
Edited on Wed May-07-08 12:46 PM by nomorewhopper
i appreciate these kinds of posts very much, warts and all, so thanks!

it certainly doesn't seem like the type of state where obama would play well, although the persistent economic troubles of the state (and i don't have a clue how they affect the politics of WV) may be of aid to him as i bet people are willing to give new ideas a chance.

also, i would imagine that many families from west virginia are personally impacted by the war. seems like the type of place where service to one's country is not only a tradition, but also a way to rise above the local hardships.

* i should also mention that i spent about 1 hour total in West Virginia, driving south on I-81. About 45 minutes of that hour were spent being harassed and fully searched (drugs, weapons, whatever) by the police who had pulled me over going about 5 mph above the speed limit. I obviously had no weapons, drugs, or anything, yet I will never forget lying face down on the pavement as a crazed drug sniffing K9 ransacked my rental car on the side of a major highway. My crime - Connecticut plates. This was about 11 years ago, but I sill won't be going back to WV anytime soon.

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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. We've had "persistent economic troubles" since 1863
It's just kind of a state of being.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. So are you saying it's the incumbency ALONE that is valued, regardless of what an incumbent is
saying? For Example, Bob Byrd has very well known issues with what has happened to our Constitution under the Republican regime? Can that be generalized though guilt by association to McCain? Or do they even care what Bob Byrd says or thinks, becaus the only thing that matters is his incumbency?

Also: Any increase in the rate of un-employment lately? Something to put the lie to the Republican message?

I guess what I'm thinking here is: If our nominee isn't White (and an ex-incumbent by association), will they vote for BHO? or McCain?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. No one particularly cares about Byrd's constitutional views
No one particularly cares about Byrd to be honest. He doesn't live here. He rarely campaigns. He's never on tv. He never interviews. I'm probably one of the few people to have ever actually met him face to face. He's kind of like a distant, benevolent god.

Byrd wins and wins and wins because of his genius with pork.

Rockefeller is far more in contact with West Virginia. He's here all the time.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. Okay, so how does the Constitution rate in a "Southern mentality"? nt
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. I don't get the question
West Virginia's relationship to the Consitution is kind of interesting.

Our very existence probably violated the Constitution.

And most people will state on the record that they believe in "state's rights" and "state authority" and "small federal government." But we suck up pork at an astronimcal rate.

Nothing about WV politics makes sense.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. You got the question okay. Just trying to understand what factors might
Edited on Wed May-07-08 01:17 PM by patrice
affect their attitude toward McCain's "Whiteness" and establishmentarian incumbency relative to Obama's new incumbency; was guessing the Constitution could be an issue (because of Byrd), but apparently culture precludes that.

It just seems, given what you're saying, that the issue can't be what can Obama do against HC there, because HC's going to be a given, but more, what kind of groundwork can he lay for the GE. This appears to be the track that the campaign is on now. Perhaps he should work on similarities in the VALUES of church-going people.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. McCain's military background will trump anything he can do on the ground, I think
I think McCain is an awful candidate who could lose 35 states under the right circumstances. But I think he will crush both Obama and Hillary in WV because of his military experience. Veterans are treated with reverance. POWs are spoken of in hushed tones.

In all honesty, I don't think "race" is as big a factor for Obama in WV as you do. I think it's just general "differentness." His name. Hawaii. Indonesia. Kenya. None of these things will play particularly well in New Martinsville.

I think McCain would beat Hillary in WV too for some of the same reasons.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. Thanks for the reality check. I hope the campaign demonstrates their respect
by making a serious effort of somesort, without doing more than they are going to "net" out of it in the long run. It is good to show respect for differences, when possible.
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kaybea Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #45
89. Unless it's John Kerry, yes? Then it's the purple heart band-aid treatment?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #89
100. Kerry had his own problems in WV
I think he was just disliked in WV for being kind of a douche.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #100
120. I thought the GOP put out a flier saying Democrats would ban the bible.
And Kerry is a not, well, what you said.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #120
127. Give us a little more credit that that
That flyer was a nasty hit, but I doubt it cost him any votes.

Just - generally speaking - being John Kerry hurt him. That and the fact that the steelworkers were split over exactly what Bush had done to "save" steel.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #127
137. Oh, that is true on the steel -- Bush, a free trader, went all protective on steel.
Now we understand why.

I have met John Kerry. Really nice guy. Fun to have a beer with, so I am told. Just sayin'.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. Bush's protectionism on steel triggered a fist fight that I witnessed
Two union guys debating over whether Bush saved steel or not....and led to the pro-Bush guy saying that he had a son in Iraq which the anti-Bush guy couldn't understand...at which point the anti-Bush guy reminded the Pro Bush guy that the Anti-Bush guy's brother died in Vietnam so he could fuck himself with hiding behind the flag....and then things got really unpleasant.
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kaybea Donating Member (129 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #100
135. Yeah, a douche, great reply, really answers that rank hypocrisy.
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knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #100
151. I can somewhat see where the poster is coming from
Say what you want about John's good qualities, he didn't exactly exude warmth or approachability.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #89
109. Hypocritical of folks, isn't it.
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knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
150. You just made me ROFL
"He's kind of like a distant, benevolent god."

I'm sorry but that line just made me bust a gut reading it, just the image of Sen. Byrd sitting on a cloud with light radiating out from him extending his hand with gifts pouring forth... :rofl:

Just to mention, if this was the Roman Empire or the Republic he probably would become one upon death.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #150
155. You have to experience life with Senator Byrd to understand it.
Edited on Wed May-07-08 07:31 PM by theboss
I am 34. When I was born, Byrd had already been in the Senate for 14 years.

The last time he faced any kind of Senate challenge was 1982. And you know what the big issue was then? That he didn't live in West Virginia.

And that was 26 years ago.

Everything in West Virginia is named after him. And yet most people have never seen him face to face because he rarely comes back and never campaigns.

The man already has a statue in the state capitol rotunda. You can attend Robert C. Byrd High. Take Robert C. Byrd Drive to Robert C. Byrd Highway to see the statue. Then attend college in any number of Robert C. Byrd buildings. And then go to work in Robert C. Byrd Office Park.

He is apparently immortal. Is rarely seen. And bestows largesse on his worshipers.

How is that not god-like?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #155
165. Your Own Personal Byrd... Someone who can answer your prayers / someone who cares...
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #150
163. WE NEED A PIC!! Photoshoppers?
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Aloha Spirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hey can you help me? I remember being about 12 and my family got lost on this back road off of
highway 81, and all of a sudden there was a sign that said "Lost River".. then a town called Lost City where everybody was dressed up like frontier people. Was that a dream?
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
81. Try this link to Lost River State Park:
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
13. My husband was born in Elkins and went to Greenbrier Military
Edited on Wed May-07-08 01:11 PM by Kukesa
Academy, in Lewisburg. His first two names are Jennings Randolph (and then his surname). When we visit Elkins I'm always amazed at how many buildings and highways are named after Jennings Randolph. He has a great uncle who's name is Robert E. Lee (and then the same surname).

I printed your post and read it to him; he says you hit the nail on the head!


:hi:

On edit: Jennings Randolph served as US Senator from West Virginia, 1958 to 1985.
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Aloha Spirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Oh man Elkins! That has got to be one of the prettiest places in the US.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Gotta agree with you. Almost heaven? n/t
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
29. Elkins is gorgeous country; impossible to get to though
My neighbor attended Davis and Elkins College. I had a shorter drive to New Jersey.

I spent two summers in a camp on Spruce Knob. Elkins was the last stop for gas and food before you fell off the map.
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NotThisTime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Is it a closed primary? And do you know how many Democrats there are roughly?
Very insightful post, thank you.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
186. Independents can vote in the Democratic primary.
I think that's one bright spot for Obama.
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Texas Hill Country Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
18. very interesting post, thank you for the info!
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futureliveshere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
21. Great post and great job at "Expectation Management"
I swear it sounds like if it was not for the 50-state strategy Obama would probably be very happy to go on a vacation with his family instead of campaining in WV.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
24. Shorter: Bigoted hillbillies who lost to Pitt last year - WOOT!!
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. My dad and I were trying to decide if that was the single worst day in state history
We came up with a few mining disasters that were worse. And maybe the Kennedy assassination. But that loss was in the top five.

This is what makes West Virginia different. Fans had paid for trips to Phoenix for the national title game before the Pitt game. And being a poor state, this was pretty much everyone's vacation budget for the year.

So, when Pitt won - not only did it mean that WVU was not going to the BCS title game. It meant that there was going to be no vacation that year, because a lot of the tickets and rooms were non-refundable.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Heh. That's what's so great about rivalries - each one is a coin flip...
no matter what the difference in talent may be.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
26. Excellent post!
K & R !
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
28. "my hometown which is really a suburb of Pittsburgh in some ways"
I'm from Follansbee, and you?

Hi fellow Golden Horseshoe winner!

:hi:
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
187. I was just going to ask him
because I'm from Steubenville, right across the water. I was thinking Weirton. :shrug:

I used to work in the coke plant in Follansbee! :hi:
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #187
202. Big Red, or Catholic Central?
:)

Incidentally, my parents live on Highland Hills now, a mile away from the coke plant.

How did you ever deal with the toxic shit that spews out of that place? It always reeks of sulfur dioxide. I'll bet working there cuts ten years off of your life!
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #202
204. I played Little League right next to it
Every now and then, games would have to be postponed when the winds shifted and brown smoke would float onto the field. You couldn't see the ball.

Painting the shutters each summer was always interesting too. That color brown does not occur in nature.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #202
208. Wintersville High School
I didn't move to Steubenville until after high school.

In a way, I'm thankful that I was layed off. It was tough getting through those years of no work, getting educated and starting a new career, but at least I probably won't die from emphysema or something from being there my whole life. This may be TMI, but it used to take a week's vacation away from there to blow all the black (cancerous) dust completely out of my sinuses.

I had an old ex boyfriend in Highland Hills! Wonder what became of him. :shrug:
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #208
212. I can probably tell you
Email me his name.
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Jane Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
33. Very interesting.
Thanks.

When I was seven, and on a train trip with my grandmother to see the sights of Washington, DC and NYC, I awoke in the middle of the night, realized the train had stopped moving, raised the window shade of our Pullman room and all I could see was a sign that said "Parkersburg".

I had no idea where that was at the time, but I remember it to this day as a numinous and mysterious place.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
37. This is a FACT that is both indisputable, and unchangeable:
Liberals have far more "guts" than conservatives.

Even the definitions of the two words confirm that fact.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I don't disagree
Not sure that matters in Nitro though.
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The Ghost Donating Member (557 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
39. Grew up in Martinsburg
not exactly the heart of the state, but know it enough to feel very strongly that WV will go Hillary BIG
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #39
47. The Eastern Panhandle and Northern Panhandle are outliers
One is a distant suburb of DC. One is a distant suburb of Pittsburgh. Neither are particularly reflective of West Virginia as a whole.
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The Ghost Donating Member (557 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. so do you think Obama can win WV?
i sure dont think so, but would be great!
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #50
54. No...in neither the primary nor the general
I think Hillary could make it interesting in the general, but I really think McCain's 'military hero' story will resonate too much there.

Weirdly, I think Obama can win Virginia in the general.
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The Ghost Donating Member (557 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:23 PM
Original message
Isnt ironic that WV seceded
over slavery/racism, yet Obama may not win WV for that very reason? Sigh. HAHA!

But I agree with you.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
58. We didn't really secede over slavery
We seceded over secession.
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The Ghost Donating Member (557 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. Technicalities! :)
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DeaconBlues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #47
207. the eastern panhandle may be an outlier, but it has a nice chunk
of the population of the state within its borders. It is also the fastest growing part of West Virginia.

A nice percentage of the population is black and hispanic. But because of urban flight (city folk coming to live in WV to escape crowding, etc.), it is also one of the more conservative areas of the state. Just look at the sitting congressperson, Capito - spawn of Moore.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
42. I think you hit it on the head! I was married to a W Virginian whose family changed their name from
Edited on Wed May-07-08 01:15 PM by 1776Forever
Mathias to another spelling because of the singer Johnny Mathias in the 1950's - no lie! I am from Ohio and it just never seemed to me any reason not to like someone just because of the color of their skin. There are a lot of more concrete reason's for me to like or not to like them! I tried to raise my son's like that but with a very open racist father it was a challenge. I think in the end I won though. Hope so anyway!

P.S. Never had a better meal in my life then the one I had in a little country home that had their own garden out back, where the entire table was chock full of absolutely scrumptious food the ladies fixed us for breakfast! It included ham, eggs, melons, homemade biscuits, fried potatoes, honey and homemade jams, butter that came right from the farm, bacon, and sausage! The people there have some good cooks now! Some of them are just still back in the 50's - in some ways not a bad thing.



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Maven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
44. OMG...I loved this post.
Informative and entertaining.

"...we are simply going to prop his ass up with his finger on the yes button"

:spray:
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. I loved it too. Nice to read something both funny and true. n/t
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JohnnyBoots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
49. Nicely put. Lived in Lewisburg for two years. I miss it. Beautiful down there. n/t
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. Are you an osteopath?
Just curious.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #52
56. The old Greenbrier Military Academy is now
an osteopathic college. Or at least it was the last time we visited.
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JohnnyBoots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #52
93. My wife is. The O-School was great for both of us. They really
seemed to care about the spouse's well being. I miss Lewisburg sometimes.
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
53. Now is the time for all good Dems to come to the aid of their party!
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. Nice! .jpeg!! Thanks. nt
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #55
63. I found it right here on DU :-)
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Alhena Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
57. Sorry, but Idaho and Wyoming are racially isolated as well. That didn't stop them from voting Obama
in large numbers. Hillary is leading by 30% in WV and KY because of racism, pure and simple. I know you love your state and that's fine, but we all know what is going on there.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #57
62. Obama might win a WV Caucus
He's a better organizer than Hillary.

Also, Wyoming and Idaho have no loyalty to Hillary. West Virginia feels tremendous loyalty to Bill Clinton.
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arewenotdemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #62
184. Did the Big Dog win in WV twice?
Edited on Wed May-07-08 11:51 PM by arewenotdemo
Great post and I always love that West Virginia scenery when traveling (VA to OH).

But I'm glad that you're now living in the Commonwealth to help turn it deep blue come November.

I'm sure you've seen this already; it seems to agree well with your description of a West Virginian ideal of loyalty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojrMTBeuOw0
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. What white people don't get their choice. and if it is not Obama
then they are racist?
Remember it was the white vote who helped Obama win in NC... This has got to stop... The word racist is thrown around more than the word Democrat... We need every vote come November.. Every vote, white black brown yellow red purple, whatever and to insult other Democrats will not help us further our cause to get a Dem in the White House?
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #64
122. Yeah, there is a distinction. I don't think racists voted for Clinton in NH.
I do think in pockets (only CERTAIN pockets) of IN, OH, and PA, there were people who voted for her because they didn't want the black guy. The white community is divided, and the ones who are enlightened didn't necessarily vote for Obama. It's just they voted for Hillary on experience, getting Bill back in the WH, or because she was a woman.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #122
159. I think most people vote what they know.... eom
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #57
67. Wisconsin as well. (I agree w the rest of your post as to the real reason)
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wvbygod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #57
94. Then what do you call 92% voting for obama???
Since you insist on calling my state racist what is it called when 90% of black voters
choose obama over hillary? Please educate us dumb hicks who live in your so-called racist state.

And just who is in this "we all know what is going on there" crowd?
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #94
99. Hi fellow Mountaineer!
:hi:

Welcome to DU!
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #94
101. Welcome to DU!
The part of the Obama crowd that loves the word "racist" will have no answer to your question tho..
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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
66. I lived in Buckhannon for a year
Edited on Wed May-07-08 01:40 PM by DesertedRose
And, as a woman of color, was frightened to be there the entire time.

It's kind of hard to ignore that stars and bars flag hanging up downtown in the store window, you know what I mean?

Or the KKK recruitment flyers on the campus of WVWC.

Buckhannon is a great little town, West Virginia is a beautiful state, and I made some good friends while I was there; but I don't ever want to live there again. That's just me.

Obama can forget about West Virginia, IMO.

PS-Long live the Dancing Outlaw :-)
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. Ok...Buckhannon deserves its own little section because scary shit happens there
I don't fully understand why Buckhannon is such a racist little nook, but it is. West Virginia Wesleyan is a lovely college. The town is pretty.

But there is some ugly stuff under the surface in that place.

True story: I had won a scholarship to West Virginia Wesleyan and was visiting the place with my parents. We stopped for breakfast in a little donut shop and this little group at the next table immediately pegged us at outsiders. They started immediately loudly talking about how they wished that David Duke would win the Republican nomination because he would "really straighten some people out in this country."

That pretty much turned me off Wesleyan even though I though it was a great little school.

I had a counselor who told a story (probably apocryphal knowing him) about having a big run-in with the KKK near Buckhannon when he was a minister there.

I've heard other KKK stories about that town.

I honestly don't get it. I've never heard this kind of stuff in other parts of the state. Is it because of Stonewall Jackson's connection to the place? Because of the mine owners who lived there? I would really like this explained.
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Kukesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #68
75. My husband's mother was born in Buckhannon and the KKK
stories are not a myth; they're true. The sheets and hoods are right there in the trunk along with great-granddaddy's Civil War uniform. And the worst part is that they're proud of it.

I just don't get it, either

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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. I'm not being defensive, but it's the only part of the state where I've heard extensive KKK stories
It's fairly well known and it seems completely insane for a pretty little college town.

You know, Braxton County, I could understand.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #66
119. "Long live the Dancing Outlaw "
Amen, sister!

Jesco White is my fucking hero!

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Fluffdaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
69. My Brother (who is black) lives in parkersburg and he loves it
Says the people theere welcomed him and his wife with open arm when he moved there 13 years ago. I don't know why he left Philly for Parkersburg, WV va ............but he did :)
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TexanDem Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
70. I have two questions about West Virginians... >
First, thank you for a very insightful and enlightening view into the state.

My questions are:
1. How do they feel about Mountaintop Removal mining and the fact that Hillary supports it and Obama spoke out against it?

(for reference)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPixjCneseE

CLINTON EXPOSED ON MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL IN WV! TOUTS ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MTR! OBAMA AGAINST MTR!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Obama Says that we MUST find a way around MTR!!!
http://www.appvoices.org/index.php?/frontporch/blogpost...


2. Will they still overwhelmingly and enthusiastically support Hillary now that she has virtually no real chance to become the nominee?

Thanks.


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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. The first one is tricky
1. I'm not from a coal region so I'm not sure exactly what the view on the ground of mountaintop removal mining. West Virginians have a weird relationship with environmentalism. We tend to be staunch environmentalists right up to the point that a coal or steel executive tells us that environmental regulations cost jobs.

I think mountantop removal is horrifying. But - by and large - I find coal mining in general to be horrifying. And I've never fully understood what the UMW's objectvies are. For thirty years, it seems that its only goal is to save "jobs" regardles of wages, danger, environmental impact, etc.

The politics of coal are byzantium. And it is almost always a local matter. At the end of the day, I think it is an issue that will only be solved by Joe Manchin.

2. Yes. As I said, West Virginians vote out of familiarity and loyalty. Turnout will be fine because of local elections. And Hillary will get votes because a) her relationship with labor and b) Bill.
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TexanDem Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. Thank you very much. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
72. my mother grew up in Charleston
the black community there is very well established.
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fight4my3sons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
74. I went to a Rainbow Gathering in WV 18 years ago.
Beautiful country you live in. Moonshine that'll make your hair stand right up on your head.

I also live in a 'white state'. Moving to Maine from NY was a culture shock to say the least. I thought on caucus day that I might be the only one in my small town standing in the Obama corner. I was pleasantly surprised. :)
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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
77. Wow. Freaking Amazing Post.
K&R

You really know how to tell a story!

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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
78. I'm familiar with the state
Edited on Wed May-07-08 02:10 PM by marions ghost
you did a really nice honest reflection on it, theboss

I've spent a lot of time around the Berkeley Springs area--yeah I know, Eastern Panhandle, not really the heart of the state but I've been to a couple family reunions way back up the holler even so. But I'm not real up on politics there. I don't talk politics when people are wanting to eat country cookin and play dead serious horseshoes. It would be rude.

I'm wondering if the support of the Rethuglicons under Boosh has eroded significantly enough to change some politics there, or has undying loyalty just turned into votes for McCain with a passing stab at Hillary? (I agree that Obama would not be perceived so much as black, as exotic--"not from around here..." for any number of reasons). I mean is there ANY opening of eyes about that undying loyalty thing, or will leftover pride just make going with McCain feel OK? It is hard to understand the mentality because WV really is a state that should be Dem all the way. And the people really are good, kind, intelligent people in general, no problems once you pass the test or prove to have the right connections. I think they could even come to accept somebody like Obama, with the right approach.Seems to me that W Virginians can see that not much is working right in this country.

Can ANY of Hill's votes be transferred to Obama in WV? Or is the only alternative Grandaddy McSame?
Isn't there any disgust with the Rethugs in general?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. There is no loyalty to the Republican Party in WV...never has been
For all intents and purposes, there is no Republican Party in West Virginia. We are a one-party state and have been since Reconstruction.

However, there is loyalty to certain Republicans. See: Moore, Arch. See also: Bush, George W.

I don't think George W. Bush could win re-election in West Virginia right now. But I wouldn't know for sure.

McCain is strong in West Virginia not because he is Republican. He is not strong in West Virignia because he is associated with George W. Bush. He is not strong in WV because his position on the Iraq War.

McCain is strong in West Virginia because he spent five years getting tortured by Communists.

That's it. That's the reason.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #82
92. sounds about right
I keep forgetting about McCain's being a Vietnam POW being a big plus for leading the country. I heard he crashed many planes... Also I would think that bogus "maverick" thing they've sold so well would appeal to a population that admires fierce independence (and yet they help each other out more than most groups --W Virginians put big stock in that).

I'm sure you're correct.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
83. Thanks for the thorough and informative description and a question for you
How significant (or not) is the fact that Jay Rockefeller has endorsed Obama. If he were to campaign with Obama in the state would it have any impact?

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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #83
84. Some...maybe....Our relationship with our senators is weird
Edited on Wed May-07-08 02:18 PM by theboss
They aren't "political leaders" in any real sense. They are basically employees. We hire them to go to Washington and get us pork, highways, and emergency support for the steel and coal industries. In return, they don't bother us much.

Like I said, we are used to Byrd who may or may not know where West Virginia is at this point.

Rockefeller is one of the strangest political stories of all time. He is pretty popular in the state and will be re-elected as long as he wants. But he is always going to be viewed in some ways as a carpet-bagger.

Our relationship with Jay is like this, "Look...you are a freaking Rockefeller so we are going to keep voting for you. Just don't think you can tell us what to do."

I actually know Jay fairly well. He's a great guy.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. thanks.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
86. Here ya go. Let's see if I look familiar...
I'm on the left.

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AspenRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #86
90. I liked Morgantown
I would escape there when Buckhannon got to be too much.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #90
98. I still live here in Morgantown, and ugh, I'm getting too damned old for this place.
Goddamned college kids... Although I've got to say, Morgantown is an awesome place to live in the summer, and over Christmas and/or spring break.

:hi:
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hillsidestrangler Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #86
91. Wow...you look amazing. n/t
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. Well thank you.
:blush:

Though coming from the "hillsidestrangler", I'm not so sure that I should be flattered.

:rofl:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #96
110. That was my first thought too.. You watch out
Use the buddy system :scared: :rofl:
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hillsidestrangler Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #110
175. Hey, I only go after the conservatives....
Everyone to the left of center is A-OK in my book.
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BigDaddy44 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #86
106. uhhh.......
WOW! (sorry, my usually expansive vocabulary is failing me)
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #106
121. Thanks, I think.
At least I'm getting compliments from someone who isn't a hillside strangler!

:rofl:
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #106
129. She's mine. I saw her first.
Though a cousin of hers will be at my wedding in September though this could be awkward.

West Virginia is a really really fucking small place.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #129
162. "Though a cousin of hers will be at my wedding..."
Ooh! Which one?

"West Virginia is a really really fucking small place."

You can say that again!

:rofl:
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #86
177. You're beautiful!
:blush:
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HooptieWagon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #86
182. Sky...
If you ever make it to Tampa for WV/USF, PM me. I'd be happy to show you around.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #182
199. "I'd be happy to show you around."
I'll bet that's not all you'd be happy to show me.
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HooptieWagon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #199
200. I'm busted!
:evilgrin:

But the offer stands, if you're in town and would like a guide around the local scene.
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ladywnch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
87. I was born and raised in a PGH suburb too and
this part has always been true:

However, I think it has more to do with the state's deep and ever-present fear of outsiders more than anything else. Anyone who cannot prove their ties to a community by at least three generations is suspect.

Even today,(I've been gone for some time now but my family is still there)it holds true. I just got married back home last summer and was trying to explain the area to my husband and his family. Both my husband and my father-in-law thought they knew PA because they had both gone to school in Philly. I tried to tell them they might as well had been in another country.

...Anyone who cannot prove their ties to a community by at least three generations is suspect. They'll be nice and polite to you.....but they won't trust you.

For reference point, we lived about 30-40 minutes across the border from Chester WVA.
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Khaotic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
88. I admit ...
I don't know much about West Virginia.

My car broke down there one time on I-70. Nice enough people, but I definately got some looks because everyone I encountered knew I was from somewhere else.

My car had Missouri plates at the time, and maybe there's not a lot of possitive thoughts about Show Me state people there.

My car was repaired though and I was on my way.

Other than that experience, I can only say that I stayed in a Holiday Inn in Wheeling on a different occasion. That's about it.

I do remember this t-shirt making national headlines.



If I remember right the state was up in arms over that one.

I live in Iowa now, where other bad remarks are made. Maybe not about relatives, but about the state name as an acronym.

If you haven't heard the joke, then I'm sure you can google it.

Anyway, good insight into West Virgina. I must admit though ... I'd rather live in Iowa anyday and am proud my state of residence voted for Obama and propelled him forward toward the Democratic nomination.

We don't have a lot of African Americans in Iowa either if you use percentages, but I'm proud at how intrigrated most people seem to be.

Drawing strength through diversity.

I like it.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
95. Do y'all grow a lot of weed? The demo's and geography suggest it.
You might mention to folks around that Obama seems closer to supporting legalization than Clinton.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #95
97. Marijuana is WV's #1 cash crop.
http://wvinformer.blogspot.com/2007/09/pot-largest-crop...

Of all the crops produced in West Virginia, marijuana has already exceeded crops such as corn and hay. In fact, West Virginia ranks in the top 10 of marijuana-producing states in the nation. Pot producers have been raking in around $494 million per year while hay producers only took in $68 million and corn producers barely scraped by with $10.7 million.

$494 million! That's a heck of a lot of money for a single crop in the great state of West Virginia. It averages out to an pot income of around $21,000 a square mile. With Hampshire County being just over 2,600 square miles, and all other things being equal, it's share of the overall production is $54 million.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #97
102. There was a program on The History Channel about pot-growing in Appalachia
State Parks are the favorite location.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #97
103. Think of the roads, schools, and healthcare
the tax on that would buy.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
104. "We are not liberal" Excuse me, whsat is your definition of liberal? Don't you care about economics?
Edited on Wed May-07-08 04:23 PM by Leopolds Ghost
I thought WVa was a pro-Union state. VIOLENTLY pro-Union. Anti-NAFTA and hostile to coal bosses who are currently raping the state. Further, the CHHRISTIAN Evangelical church (possibly not including Baptists with their wierd Calvinist ideas) has a long and proud tradition of siding with the poor (if they are native-born from Appalachia) against the rich. Blacks, eastern europeans and catholics were viewed as scabs (hence the racial hostility and paranoid church-based "anti-communism" that broke the back of the Union movement in WV.) That is a populist, liberal position. WTF else matters?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #104
112. 40 years ago, the Unions had power.
Today, both the UMW and USW are shells of their former selves. They don't have enough members, and those members that do have are often in fierce conflict with their leaders. They've been sold out so many times by leadership that it's no longer 1955 and they vote for who they are told to vote for.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #112
118. The more MR and other "efficiency" measures they endorse, the more jobs will be cut.
Underground coal mining, which everyone seems to hate because it is so
unsafe, is labor-intensive and thus pro-West Virginia having a population.

(Barring pot legalization.)

But everyone idolizes the ultra-capitalist crab fishing rigs of the
Bering Sea, where a life is lost on every other voyage.

Seemds to me WV needs to get away from the poisonous doctrine of Calvinism,
which teaches that it's OK to lose your life or your job so long as you compete with others
to make as much money as possible.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #118
131. I never thought of West Virginia as a paticulary pro-capitliast state
We have a long history of hating capitalists.

The real problem is simply that it's a tough place to get organized on economic issues. We don't really have "media" markets. It's hard to get from one side of the state to another. The interests in the north are not the interests in the south. And so forth.

And - as I've said repeatedly - we have a strange combination of fierce Scotch-Irish independent spirit running side by side with military and church mindset of "obey your leaders."
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #131
167. I might live with capitalism (the original version, not what we have now.)
Calvinism, not so much. Call me a Christian leftist.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #118
140. I'm really trying to explain how odd West Virginia's politics are
In Pennsylvania, you can paint a voter as "labor" and get a pretty accurate description of him. In Ohio, you can call a voter "Christian Conservative" and a get a pretty accurate description. In Florida, you can call a voter an environmentalist and get an accurate description. In Arizona, you can be libertarian and know what you are talking about.

A West Virginian may be all four of those at the same time but will still vote for Bobby Byrd because he helpd his daddy get on disability in '79.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:05 PM
Response to Reply #140
169. Sounds like it is a clannish place... not unlike parts of Scotland and Ireland
Edited on Wed May-07-08 11:07 PM by Leopolds Ghost
And Chechnya, and Kurdistan, and Kashmir... other mountainous "don't fuck with us and we won't fuck with you" type places.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #169
174. "other mountainous "don't fuck with us and we won't fuck with you" type places."
Yep. That's WV in a nutshell.

Isn't it weird how mountain folk the world over behave in similar ways? Check out the Basques some time. Just like WV folk, except they speak Euskara, French, or Spanish, and have a violent separatist streak.

Oh, and take my word for it, if certain parts of WV had their way, we'd secede from the U.S. in a heartbeat.

Ironic, given our anti-secessionist history, but there you go.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
105. Could be a Dem pick up this fall. Important to hold a Dem primary there to
get people invested in the Democratic race.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #105
115. As an Obama supporter, I think WV is one state that Hillary can win that he can't
Granted, it's not a lot of electoral votes, but still....
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
108. Also, those interstates and strip mines are filling every single holler with gravel and slag
Leaving a golf-course like environment riddled with poisonous culverts and rip-rap. Not something to be proud of.
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iiibbb Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
111. All Obama needs is to declare Jesco White as his running mate...
Edited on Wed May-07-08 04:48 PM by iiibbb
... and WV is his.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=731300778635771...



I'd still vote for him.

P.S. Jesco got a swastika tatoo when he did some time in jail and had no idea what it symbolized until his big trip to Hollywood and John Arnold gave him the low-down about the Holocaust. WV can be a pretty isolated state.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
113. West Virginians who work in the DC area (mostly building trades) like to joke about "Homey"
Edited on Wed May-07-08 04:42 PM by Leopolds Ghost
It is their considered-polite term for black people.

Many of them refuse to live east of the Blue Ridge
even if they have to get up at 3 in the morning.

I have a friend/acquaintance who lives on the Appalachian Trail
and is a pure-d Appalachian-American (his son got an RV when he
was 3 and a Hooter's T-shirt for his 10th birthday signed by the
waitresses -- which he promptly covered with NASCAR stickers.)
he has God Bless Our Troops on the bumper of his contractor vehicle,
etc. But he grew up in the DC area and has black friends in DC.
He would move back to DC area but his wife would never allow it.
Oh yeah and to be vague about it, I don't think he has anything
against people that grow marijuana in their backyard.
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UndertheOcean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
114. Yikes , I wouldn't like to be live there
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #114
134. Not having any zoning has its advantages
Cheap land with no rules is readily available.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
117. You forgot to mention Don Blankenship
President and CEO of Massey Energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Blankenship

He basically bought a State Supreme Court seat in 2004

I just wanted to mention him and the fact that for the most part the NRA owns WV's Presidential vote. They staked their claim to it and Arkansas back in 2000 and the Dems dutifully relented.

My whole family is from Southwestern WV and one part of them are Catholic too.

Hillary will win it and probably win it big.

great post theboss!
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
123. So Hillary wins because she's the incumbent (sort of).

But then the general election is up for grabs. Obama has the big D(emocrat) going for him. While McCain has the big V(eteran) and age going for him (age = incumbency in breathing).


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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #123
136. I think Obama has a hell of a hill to climb in the general
It is, in part, racial. I think he could overcome it, but it would take a lot of campaigning and I'm not sure the 5 electoral votes there are worth it to him.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #136
138. Considering Al Gore lost by 5....

On the other hand, given that West Virginia is so Democratic otherwise, he might be better off spending his time elsewhere helping down ticket races.

It's not all about the presidency after all.


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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #123
185. Obama doesn't stand a chance against McCain in WV.
Here's why, in a nutshell:

1. Funny, exotic name
2. He's a sleeper cell Muslim terrorist
3. He hates white people
4. He's black

Sadly, all of the policy issues in the world won't make up for the above.

Keep in mind that I'm an Obama supporter and I'm not trying to be flippant. That merely is the general sentiment here in West Virginia. Obviously not EVERYONE feels that way, and lord knows I've done my part to try to educate them. But there are far too many old folks who are set in their ways and simply don't understand anything that's foreign to them. They're SCARED of things that are different. Am I making sense? It's hard to explain.
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susankh4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
124. Nice synopsis.
Thanks! From a frequent visitor!
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MadAnne Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
125. I certainly would not recognize that as the state
I grew up in and lived most of my adult life. I just looked up current stats. Small, southern, WV town, 16.5% black. In the 1950's and early 60's the local Little League teams would not play neighboring Va teams because blacks had separate drinking fountains. By 1963 there were black teachers in the school system. You left out Cecil Underwood.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #125
133. Are you in Bluefield?
And I mentioned Cecil the 106 year old governor.
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
128. good post - sad, funny, frustrating
I'm looking for jobs now and WVa was one of my "off-limits until all other possiblities are gone" list. The others are in the south. WVa is more south than anything, imo. (For anyone who wants to fuss at me - I'm from the south, lived in three of the states there, visited all the others, live in a dumb ass-ish state now - okay?)

but the truth is that too many uneducated and isolated white people are their own worst enemies.

And this is what Richard Florida has noted again and again as proof of the growing democratic majority in this nation -via the re-distribution of population based upon qualities of life that represent democratic values. Diversity, tolerance, esp. religious tolerance, openness and not fear.

we live in a bizarre nation.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
130. You forgot Morgantown. There are plenty of black people in Morgantown.
Many are students from out-of-state of course, but they still live here 9 months out of the year. So when you say "We don't know any black people", speak for yourself. Growing up in Morgantown, I knew (and still know) plenty of them. When we moved from Morgantown to Virginia when I was in 10th grade, and I started attending high school in the Shenandoah Valley, THAT was when I truly saw NO black people. There was literally one black kid in the entire school. One. I can't even imagine how uncomfortable he must have been.

Otherwise I agree with most of what you said.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #130
132. Morgantown is only 4 percent black.
And WVU's student body is only three percent black according to US News.

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/ed...
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #132
152. Yes, but that only counts the people who live within the city limits.
Morgantown is the "job hub" for all of Monongalia county, as well as much of Preston county, Marion county, and several counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, so the number of black people actually *in* Morgantown and interacting with residents any given occasion is considerably higher than the number who actually live here.

As for when I was a kid growing up here, I don't know what to tell you; at least one-third of every class I was in was comprised of children who were black (as well as some other races), and the trailer park my folks and I lived in was near a part of town that has a significant black population (it's called Jerome Park), so there were lots of non-white kids to play with growing up. My sister married a man who's black, as did my cousin Stephanie, so counting all of their kids together, a large chunk of my own *family* is black. I've lived here the vast majority of my life, and I've never noticed a lack of non-white faces.

I guess because I grew up poor and lived in a poor neighborhood, it's not a surprise that my experience is so different than what the blind numbers suggest. Poor neighborhoods are often comprised of a far greater percentage of non-white residents than the better-off neighborhoods are, and the schools that serve those neighborhoods would obviously have a larger proportion of non-white students than the other schools in the area might.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #152
161. Hey!
Holy shit, there's another Morgantown DUer? I'll be damned.

:hi:
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backwoodsbob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
141. posting from my home here in Bluefield and......
the OP pretty much nails it.

Of course I live on that heathen Va side of Bluefield(go G-Men) but we wont hold that against you :)
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kwenu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
142. Is not having many or any blacks in your state really a justification for being racist?
What happens when they meet a guy from Sweden or New Zealand? Do they still act like an alien is invading from Mars?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #142
144. A guy from Sweden would probably be poked with a stick
Edited on Wed May-07-08 06:25 PM by theboss
In my high school, foreign exchange students typically did well when they had soccer skills that could translate to football.
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MadAnne Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #144
146. You know, I don't think I want to allow you to
explain West Virginia.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #146
172. Wierd albino ice-men should always be poked! Just look at Conan O'Brien n/t
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #142
147. One horribly ugly xenophobic/racial moment from my childhood
Keep in mind this is, 25 years ago and in West Virginia (which means the incident actually took place in 1957 because we are a tad behind). The local steelmaker is entering into an agreement with a Japanese steelmaker to build a plant in my hometown.

Now, keep in mind. This is a rust belt town in the 80s. New steel mills simply do not open.

Anyway, Senator Byrd had changed a federal law which allowed the town to loan federal grant money to the company at a ridiculously low rate to build the mill. So - and this is why Byrd will be a posthumous senator - the town receives grant money and then loans the grant money and then gets the money back plus interest and also gets the tax benefit of a mill. And once the money is paid back, the town no longer has to abide by the federal laws governing the money because it is no longer "grant" money.

Bob Byrd basically let my hometown launder federal money through a Japanese steekmaker. But that is neither here nor there.

The point is, this is big news. And to "celebrate" the city council invites the executives of the Japanese steelmaker to a council meeting to be followed by a reception. There is a key to the city and all that nonsense planned.

The Japanese respond by having a young women prepare a "cultural" presentation. I don't know what it was supposed to be - origami and sushi and stuff probably. Whatever.

The point is, this is a big deal for a little WV town and a nice evening and a lovely gesture.

The meeting begins. Intros are made. The young women is about to begin her presentation and....

One of the city council members stands up, announces that he spent four years fighting these "Jap sons of bitches" and would be damned if he was going to sit through a meeting with them.

That was bad times. Not good times.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #147
173. Did the steel mill get built? n/t
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #173
193. Yes
It's still there.
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kwenu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #147
188. I had to laugh at this. Simply because it is so ridiculous. I hope they've made a little progress
since the 50s. I don't see though how people with those sensibilities would be any friendlier to the idea of a female president.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #188
194. Dude. This was 1983
In the 50s, we were working on street lights.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
143. Obama plans to win Wyoming instead
:rofl:
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
145. I remember someone posting...
early in the primary season that Iowa did not have the kind of deep racist sentiment, that some of the other states do, is because they were never embroiled in the bitter racial battles involving civil rights. If people in this country can not vote for a black man, than they should vote for the party that represents their values.
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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
148. Why are the Appalachians so Hillarite?
Edited on Wed May-07-08 06:50 PM by carolinayellowdog
Hey,

I live in Southside Virginia, where Obama did well due to the combination of black voters and white liberals-- 62% in my Danville neighborhood. When we look at maps of Virginia and North Carolina primary votes, it looks a lot like the national red/blue elections. Republican counties go Clinton, Democratic counties go Obama.
http://wral.com/news/political/page/2803432 /

Behind the nice results in VA and NC I see a scary specter, which is that white Southerners in nearly all-white counties tend to be as racist as white Southerners in counties with lots of blacks-- unlike the non-Southern pattern as noted by David Sirota that racialized voting does not occur in places with tiny black percentages.

The overwhelming support for Clinton vs. Obama in WV and KY, as contrasted to big Obama victories in VA and NC, suggests to me that your whites are even more racist than ours-- without any blacks to be racist against. So thanks for a very informative post, but I would like your reaction to the idea that some states with no blacks are severely racist (WV, KY) while others (IA, SD) are not. Mountaineer xenophobia?

CYD
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Zachstar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 06:43 PM
Response to Original message
149. Thanks for the info!!
Overall it is better than I thought. Sounds more possible for Obama to get to the 10 percent range if we work hard for Obama victory!

So don't give up everyone! We can do it!! Please Phonebank! http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/phonebankmap/
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
153. Basically, West Virginia is full
loooosers then, only 15% graduated from university.... now I
know why this happened there;

http://media.www.guilfordian.com/media/storage/paper281...

these folks are not progressive and don't like new things
because of whats going on there, its a pity that at this
day and age we still find people that are so left behind.

What a shame.
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dansolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
154. What is the feeling in WV about the war?
Would a military VP, like Jim Webb or Wesley Clark help out Obama in WV in the general election, or is it pretty much a given they will vote for McCain?
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Willo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
156. Great info TB, throughout the tread. Thanks.
It doesn't seem that Obama has enough time to make much of an impression there. It also sounds like Hillary will be able to naturally exploit the people of WVA However, I think Obama should visit, introduce himself during the primary, during the GE, as well as from time to time during his presidency.

Things don't change unless something changes.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
158. Hmm..thanks for the heads up. I'll probably avoid that area for now nt
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MadAnne Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
160. One of the black people who live in WV
is Adrian Niesemeyer,(do you know where she lives?) whose father is Harry Belefonte. He was kind enough to speak to the southeastern chapter of the WV ACLU.
http://liberty.alterra-wv.com /

BTW, there are approximately 2000 ACLU members in WV.

Some people support the war, some don't. Here's a picture of a mountainside near Parkersburg.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

It was pretty funny when Harry Belefonte spoke. We saw him, hid under are seats, absolutely terrified. Most of us had never seen a black man before. Oh, the horrors.

Oh, and Mountain Stage, from Charleston, WV is one of the best shows on NPR.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #160
183. Mountain Stage is the gem of the state! LOVE that show. n/t
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
164. Wouldn't you say that anti-environmentalism has something to do with it?
I thought Gore lost there because Bush ran a bunch of ads saying that people would lose their jobs due to his "fringe environmental" policies.

I'm fine with campaigning in West Virginia and trying to win people over. But I don't think we should cave an inch on environmental issues to get their 5 electoral votes.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #164
171. No, it has much more to do with Gun politics than environmentalsim.
Bush ran a series of ads that explicitly said "Al Gore wants to take your guns!"

That did it. Fucking Assault Weapons Ban. That turned WV red for years to come.

:mad:
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #171
181. Agreed. The majority of West Virginians actually OPPOSE strip mining. n/t
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
166. Could you also recognize them by this flag ? Just wondering.
Edited on Wed May-07-08 11:04 PM by L0oniX


Thankfully there are some in WV that are speaking out against the Clinton dynasty.

<snip>End the dynasty! a young man holding an Obama poster shouted when Chelsea Clinton stepped to the microphone.
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Blondiegrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-07-08 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
176. West Virginian for Obama here checking in.
That's a very insightful post. I'd say you've summed it up nicely.

I live in South Charleston and I work in Charleston. I've seen quite a few Obama signs in downtown Charleston, which is heartening. Honestly, though, I haven't seen many presidential election signs (Hillary, McCain or Obama), period. Everyone here seems more focused on the local races.

Realistically there is no way Obama can win West Virginia, or even come close. My hope is that he can narrow the gap to fewer than 20 points. I'd love to see him win at least one or two counties, but I'm not sure if that's possible.

Thankfully, West Virginia is a really small state with a miniscule delegate count. It will be interesting to see Hillary crow about how important her win was here during her victory speech next week. The tide has turned! She's regained her momentum! LOL
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #176
201. Obama will win Monongalia county...
And maybe Berkley county, where Martinsburg is located, and maybe, just MAYBE a county or two in the Northern panhandle, but aside from that, WV is going to break for Hillary in a big way.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #201
203. Can you really see him winning Hancok or Ohio counties?
I can't. Hillary has too much of the union vote.

Maybe I'm wrong.
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Leftist Agitator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #203
205. Ohio county? Yeah.
Hancock? No fucking way. Not Brooke county either, that's for sure.

Correction: Obama has a chance in one Northern panhandle county.
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davidpdx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:27 AM
Response to Original message
191. Nice explanation
I honestly didn't know that much about your state and have never been there (the closest I've been is Virginia about 10 years ago, which is the only time I've been east of the Mississippi River). There's no doubt that Clinton will win the state big time and Obama will be lucky to pull 30-35%. Thankfully it's not a big state so it won't be that damaging a loss. Then again Kentucky will probably be about the same as well. I'm hoping he picks up 25 delegates between the two states, combined with a win in Oregon that should help put him over.
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hokies4ever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
192. As a black man who lived in Parkersburg, WV for 1 year
I can tell you it's not exactly a great place for minorities to live. I wouldn't declare it a racist area, just somewhere most blacks wouldn't feel comfortable living or even visiting.
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Fluffdaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #192
196. "most blacks wouldn't feel comfortable living or even visiting." Why?
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Apollo11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #196
197. There is a clue in the OP
"This is not to say that the state is progressive on racial matters. I've been present at two racially motivated fights at public events."


Black people stand out (because there are so few of them) and are at risk of being physically attacked by racist thugs who want to play their part in "keeping WV white". Not exactly ideal conditions for feeling comfortable.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #197
198. Don't overstate the case
It's not like there are bands of racist thugs wondering the streets. One fight was at a sporting event. One was at a festival where a lot of alcohol was present.

The real issue, I would think, about being black in WV is the isolation of it. I often wondered what it was like to be one of the five or six black kids in a high school of 1300.
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pettypace Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 02:32 AM
Response to Original message
195. Anyone think Obama will campaign there?
Doesn't look fruitful to do so if the goal is to keep it under 20 points.
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msallied Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
206. Absolutely fascinating stuff!
I grew up in Ohio and we traveled through W.VA on our drives to South Carolina specifically because it was so beautiful, but I know absolutely nothing about the state's culture. Thank you very much for this summary. I now completely understand Clinton's popularity there.
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mudesi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
209. You make West Virginians sound like a bunch of willfully ignorant morons
Since you live there, I may have to take your word for it.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #209
211. I think we sound like nice people
Who just happen to live in towns that are completely physically isolated.
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george_maniakes Donating Member (831 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
210. I'd like to thank the OP for a great post.
If they were all this entertaining...
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Secret_Society Donating Member (466 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-08-08 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
213. New Poll on RCP
Clinton +40...ouch for someone who pretty much is the nominee
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