Skip to comments.60 Min - Sen. Hollings on Dr. Rice - "She ought to go back to teaching Russian or whatever it was"
Posted on 12/12/2004 4:16:31 PM PST by Libloather
Sen. Hollings: A Feisty Farewell
Dec. 10, 2004
Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings tells Mike Wallace that Americas lawmaking system is addicted to money.
"[Special interests] get their piece of the pie. That's our problem. Today, you can't find the real interests of the country." Sen. Fritz Hollings
(CBS) South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings has long been known as the tartest tongue in the Senate. But now, this feisty senator is giving up his seat. He didn't lose it, and a younger Republican didn't defeat him. But after 38 years, he just decided enough's enough.
He says the Senate has changed and not for the better. "I'm sick of raising money to get re-elected, so I'm going home to Charleston," says Hollings.
And that's where Correspondent Mike Wallace sat down with Hollings to let him fire a few final barbs about what's wrong with Congress. These are insights from an insider who knows better than anyone the unhappy differences between then and now especially when it comes to money.
"When I got up there, it was hardly a breakfast or an evening reception. Now there are three breakfasts, three receptions," says Hollings. "Now, we dont work here on Fridays. We're back home doing fundraisers. You gotta collect money."
He says it's all about money. "There ain't no question. At my last campaign six years ago, it was $8.5 million. That factors out to about $30,000 a week, each week, every week for six years," says Hollings. "So if I miss a week this time, Christmas week, or New Year's week, Im $60,000 in the hole. I gotta hurry up and start playing catch-up ball."
Hollings says senators spend hours a day, almost every day, just working the phones to raise cash. What's in it for him? "A good government," he says, laughing. "And Russell Long said, 'Those who give the money are getting more than good government.'"
"In other words, I'll get access," says Wallace.
"There ain't any question about that," says Hollings. "We say it's otherwise, but it's sort of adulterated us in a sense that we can't see everybody. So you're bound to see those who are the big givers."
But does access mean his vote? "Not only the vote. Wait a minute, it's all those K Street lawyers now and lobbyists and interests making up the legislation, and they work with staffs and everything else. The bills, and the special interests overwhelm us with submitted legislation," says Hollings.
"Communications, defense, you got them all farms, agriculture people and everything else like that They get their piece of the pie. That's our problem. Today, you can't find the real interests of the country."
Hollings won his first campaign at 26 for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives. And there, surprisingly, he helped pass an anti-lynching law and became the state's youngest governor at 36. He managed the peaceful integration of Clemson University back when other Southern governors were fighting to keep their universities all-white.
But in the Senate, the one vote he cast that he knew was wrong, and that he's always felt guilty about, was voting against putting Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court. Why did he do that?
"I couldn't get re-elected. Thats the honest answer," says Hollings. "And if I had voted for him, I might as well withdraw from the race. It, I mean, it was political."
But the political landscape changed on his watch. And he saw the South switch from a Democratic bloc to a Republican stronghold. What happened?
"We had a sweetheart deal with the National Democratic Party. 'Well go along with all your programs, if youll go along with our segregation.' But once that Civil Rights Bill passed in 1964, then Lyndon friend became Lyndon the enemy," says Hollings.
"And now, the Republican party is white, and the Democratic party is the majority black, I would say [in South Carolina]. And in Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia. You can just go right across the spectrum."
"What are you saying? That all of these folks that keep voting Republican are racist," asks Wallace.
"Not quite. They are conservative. They honestly don't believe in government, like we do in the Democratic Party," says Hollings, laughing.
"We believe in feeding the hungry, and housing the homeless, and educating the uninformed and everything else like that. They believe in private education, a privatized Social Security, privatized energy policy -- privatize, privatize. They dont believe in 'We the people' in order to form a more perfect union.
Then why are Republicans so successful? "Because we ran a lousy campaign," says Hollings. "He [Sen. John Kerry] was a good fellow; he's still one of the finest. But he got over-coached. He had too many consultants, too many pollsters, and really too many in that they call it 'Noahs Ark.' He had two or three of everything. And he never could make up his mind."
Hollings has a richly deserved reputation for blunt, refreshing honesty, especially when referring to Republicans like Condoleezza Rice and Senate Majority Leader Dr. Bill Frist.
"He's the finest physician in the world. There ain't no doubt about that. If I had a heart transplant needed, I'd go to Dr. Frist," says Hollings of Frist. "He's now running for president. He's out of his element. Come on, he ought to be back in the operating room."
He says Rice is a real mistake: "She ought to go back to teaching Russian or whatever it was. I've been in security, I've been working on intelligence. And for her to come on to the television, and saying on 9/11 there was nothing specific. Nothing specific. You don't say that. You don't ever get a call and say we're gonna bomb you tomorrow morning. I mean, that's piecing together. That's intelligence work."
He also told Wallace that neither Kerry, nor President Bush, could begin to compare with his hero, Jack Kennedy. Hollings ran JFK's presidential campaign in the South.
"The world loved him, the most popular president of the United States ever. And hes the most unpopular president, George W, whether its in Europe, whether its in the Mideast. Whether its out on the Pacific Rim or whatever it is," says Hollings.
"Oh no, they like America still. They dont jeehaw with George W, I can tell you, because of his policy. You know, 'I'm gonna do it on my own. You're either with me or against me.' You've got to work with people in things. Leading is not fussing and cussing' them out and insulting them."
Hollings wishes this President Bush had learned a lesson from his father's war in the Gulf, when George Bush Sr. stayed out of Baghdad.
"Papa Bush said, 'Never lead American troops into an urban guerrilla warfare and bog down in a quagmire and turn the Arab world against us,'" says Hollings.
"I mean, he was against going into Baghdad. But I think George W. wanted to say, 'I can do what Daddy cant. Im gonna show him that he should have gone on and everything else of that kind.' And it wasnt a problem. And of course he had the cheerleaders: Pearl and Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld and everything saying, 'Whoopie!'"
Hollings voted for the Iraq war, but he believes the war has been a colossal mistake. He also believes that getting out of Iraq won't be easy. He blames Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for mismanaging the war, and trying to do too much with too few. He also blames President Bush for huge budget deficits, saying that Mr. Bush fought for tax cuts instead of raising taxes to help pay for the war.
With a pension of $124,000 a year, we're not going to hold a tag sale for Hollings, who's been married to his wife, Petsey, for 33 years. They had four children, and seven grandchildren.
"They talk about couples in Washington. We get along better than any. And one fella that knows me says thats easily explained," says Hollings. He said, 'Theyre both in love with the same fella.'"
Hollings may be 83, but he doesn't act like it and he believes it's the Senate that has kept him young. But he says Congress is not as convivial as it used to be. When he made his farewell speech to the Senate, no senators were on the floor. In fact, senators watch live pictures from the Senate floor on TV, and they rarely come to the floor, except to cast a quick vote.
"That's why I stopped. I wanted to get into Iraq. I wanted to get into several other subjects. But I was boring me," says Hollings, laughing.
And now, he returns home a hero to many, but not all. And that's just fine with him.
"The newspaper had, in my hometown, one of the Letters to the Editor ended, 'We hope Hollings enjoys his retirement, because we sure as hell will,'" says Hollings, laughing.
JFK had a lot of potential, but put Franklin back on the 50 cent piece.
When is the main stream right wing media going to attack back?
There is no need to impeach Hanoi Kerry from the US Senate
He is there illegally!
Hanoi Kerry is in violation of
US Constitution 14th Amendment Section 3
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President,
or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State,
who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress,
or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature,
or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States,
shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same,
or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.
But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Violation of 18 USC 2381
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States,
levies war against them or adheres to their enemies,
giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere,
is guilty of treason and shall suffer death,
or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined
under this title but not less than $10,000;
and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Violation of 18 USC 953
Private correspondence with foreign governments
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States,
directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse
with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof,
with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government
or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes
or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply,
himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents
thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained
from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
Violation of UCMJ Section 904. ART. 104.
AIDING THE ENEMY
Any person who--
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or [protects or gives intelligence to or
communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;
shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.
Petition to Investigate and Indict
Hanoi Kerry for acts of treason
Timeline of Hanoi Kerry
VVAW, FBI files and John Kerry,
What stockpirate has found
Viet Nam Vets are NOT going away
until Hanoi Kerry is removed from office!
212 LINKS to Anti Kerry sites
Viper's Vietnam Veterans Page
Contact your current
senators and representatives
and main stream right wing media
and find out why Hanoi Kerry still is in the US Senate.
Demand that this traitor is removed from the US Senate now!
Don't be like the silent majority in the 60's and 70's
and turn your back on America and cave in to the anti war minority.
Speak up for America today!
Distribute these url's!
EXPOSE HANOI KERRY!
Full details on these url's!
There is a backup site
if the 1st url is unavailable.
Easy for this jerk to say...he stole all he could. I can say what I want...I was born under this guy's reign and he's been stealing my entire life. I'm about to retire and now he wants to repent? Screw Fritz.
The spin begins now...
38 years in the Senate, making a fairly good income. But what is his net worth after all of those years?
Hopefully this is the last article we'll see out of Senator Cornpone T. Leghorn.
Hollings can rewrite history to his heart's content.
He's still a dumba$$ fool.
Fritz, as we say in Texas, AMF.
Hollings "retired" from the senate cuz he knew South Carolina was now a deep red Republican state and was destined to lose.
Hollings voted against putting Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court. Why did he do that?
"I couldn't get re-elected."
Fritz should remember one thing, at least Dubya has been elected President twice, something that he, Hollings, could and will never do.
Thar's too much VOTIN a-goin on here.
Eh - Fritz? Let's start investigating some Dem vote fraud - one of these fine days.
To borrow from a Pfeiffer cartoon during the Carter administration: "Do you long for good old days when Ernest kept us in a haze? Just pass the grits. Puttin' on the Fritz."
Yes he is, in his own idiotic way, but he won't get called on it. And Republicans are the party of racists? Uh-huh.
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