May 9 2008
11:01 am

After anointing Obama as the nominee on Tuesday, the media narrative has shifted to the West Virginia and Kentucky "Appalachian" contests. They are reduced to quaint curiosities in which poor, white, uneducated mountain people from a "bygone era" have been trained to make their way to a school gym and push a button just like real people for the delight and amusement of the media elite.

The "dueling banjos" video in this post entitled "On to Appalachia" is a good example. Presumably it is a reference to the retarded West Virginia inbred voter demographic making up Clinton's 20% to 40% margin of support there.

Because it's "silly season," as Obama called it, let's analyze that more closely.

The scene is from the movie Deliverance. It was filmed on the Chattooga River, which is the border between Georgia and South Carolina. Obama won both of those primaries. Other scenes were filmed in North Carolina. Obama won that primary, too.

The "banjo boy" was a teen actor selected during a casting call at Clayton Elementary School in Clayton, Georgia. Obama won 82% of the vote in Clayton County. The teen actor did not actually play the banjo. The recorded banjo playing was performed by Eric Weissberg, who studied music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Juilliard School of Music. (Coincidentally, Obama also won the Wisconsin primary.)

So in the final analysis, the political humor backfires given the strong Obama connection to "dueling banjos." Political humorists should find a better vehicle for poking fun at West Virginia voters.

Speaking of West Virginia, did you know that the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services data center is in Clarksburg, West Virginia? The nearly 1,000 acre complex houses the FBI's largest division, which operates the National Crime Information Center, Uniform Crime Reporting System, Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, and the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Did you also know that the IRS's main data center is in Martinsburg, West Virginia? Data from every federal tax return filed in the United States is processed and stored at the IRS Martinsburg Computing Center. Your W4, W2, 940, and 1099 filings are processed there, too. Martinsburg also processes information for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which monitors large cash and other suspicious transactions and assists law enforcement with money laundering and terrorist funding investigations.

That sounds like a lot of complicated, high-tech work for a bunch of uneducated banjo players.

Rachel's picture

You left out the "bigoted"

You left out the "bigoted" part. I read a lengthy post on kos about 10 days ago whose premise was how those awful ignorant Appalachian bigots in West Va. and Kentucky were going to rain on Obama's parade by voting for Hillary. That, of course, was the only possible reason they would vote for Hillary - they were bigots.

The interesting thing was that I'm sure the writer of the piece didn't realize s/he sounded bigoted toward folks in Appalachia. And the comments - ooh boy - "white trailer trash" got thrown around a lot.

I don't deny there are bigots in them thar hills. Some are in my own family. But nobody's talking about bigots in Oregon (another primary coming up soon), and believe me, parts of that state are every bit as redneck as parts of Appalachia. And just as white.

I guess we do need to bring back the poll tax to keep these folks in line.

schmuck281's picture

Rachel, you seem very

Rachel, you seem very anxious to disenfrachise people that you don't agree with. Do you envision restricting participation to only members of the Democrat Party? Or are you only interesting in denying the vote to whites, or rednecks?

Interestingly the 'dueling banjoes" scene in "Deliverance" was filmed at a location in Washington County, Oregon. An area well known for bigots.

bizgrrl's picture



RayCapps's picture

Victim of an insta-launch...

This post got insta-launched yesterday, so lots of people are reading this thread who wouldn't know KnoxViews or Rachel from Adam. In this particular case, Rachel is making a cross-thread sarcastic reference regarding someone who had proposed bringing back "poll taxes" to keep allegedly uninformed people from voting. Her comment was purely tongue in cheek.

Rachel's picture

Thanks, Ray. And for all

Thanks, Ray. And for all you Instapundit readers, yup, it was a joke!

Read the thread on the poll tax if you're interested in what I really think.

gonzone's picture


That's the Democratic party there schmuck, only Rush and his minions refer to it as the Democrat party.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Sean_Braisted's picture

About that...

If we can't make fun of West Virginia, what states can we? How about Mississippi...Obama won that state, can I still poke fun at them? Or just latte-sipping "eggheads"?

Now, if we want to take a serious look at it (which wasn't really my intention), West Virginia has the lowest percentage of college grads in the 50 states (Arkansas has the second lowest); which makes it prime Hillary Clinton territory, and makes it hard for a black candidate to win (at least, if those non-college grads are white), as those who haven't attended college are more likely to be weary of other ethnicities and cultures.

That isn't to say there aren't smart, nice, well-educated, racially unbiased Hillary Clinton supporters in West Virginia and around the country...but it does not bode well for Obama no matter how populist or 'down to Earth' he tried to be.

Rachel's picture

Sean, What you just wrote is


What you just wrote is a reasonable analysis. A bunch of what I've been reading is just tired recitals of stereotypes instead.

Andy Axel's picture

If we can't make fun of West

If we can't make fun of West Virginia, what states can we?

Nebraska. That's about it.

the lowest percentage of college grads in the 50 states (Arkansas has the second lowest); which makes it prime Hillary Clinton territory

Massachusetts ranks 2nd (behind DC) for the percentage of citizens with a college degree. Clinton won that one.

Traitors to the caffeinated egghead class, every one of 'em.


"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

Sean_Braisted's picture


And if we really want to get into it, 19 of the 20 states with the highest high school graduation rates all voted for Barack Obama. Had John Edwards not been running, there is a good chance he would've gone 20 for 20.

West Virginia is 2nd to last after Texas.

With Massachusetts, I think one of the factors was Deval Patrick, whose popularity numbers have been steadily slipping since taking office, and some of his bad juju rubbed off on Obama.

Tom's picture

Obama/Deval Patrick

Re: "...bad juju..." And the difference between Deval Patrick & Obama is..?????

Sean_Braisted's picture

A decade of legislative

A decade of legislative experience under Obama's belt would be but one difference.

Hayduke's picture

Two Harvard lawyers, but

Two Harvard lawyers, but Obama was president of Harvard Law Review. IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that's huge. And the legislative experience thing. And they're different people entirely (the white guy currently infesting the office isn't like me at all).

P. Ingemi's picture

why mass is for clinton

The reason why Massachusetts is for Clinton and against Obama (McCain is actually leading Obama in the pols) comes down to our Gov.

Deval Patrick is a nice guy met him once but he is not up to the task. Although he had no experience he was greeted with the same messanic fervor that Obama has been greeted with.

It has taken only a short amount of Patrick to convince us that we don't want to repeat this mistake on the national level.

Justin's picture

I'm interested in what the

I'm interested in what the Hatfield and McCoy clans have to say about this. Then again the Mothman could have the final say...

RayCapps's picture

McCoy clan has not standing to comment:

The McCoy clan lived on the western side of the Big Sandy River, making them Kentuckians. From my understanding of the matter, Devil Anse would not have been likely to vote for either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama. There are, however, many descendants of the Hatfields still alive and kicking in West Virginia. They can speak for themselves as to presidential preference, and I'm content to let them do so.

Hayduke's picture

You're still here?

You're still here? It's over. Go home.

Zendo Deb's picture

Coast Guard

You missed the Coast Guard Vessel Documentation Center - also in WV. Probably the most helpful, most "have their stuff together" group of government workers I have ever dealt with.

gonzone's picture


It is interesting to look at a mapping of Hillary's strongest support does actually track the Appalachian mountains very closely. Don't know exactly why but it's true.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Joe Zekas's picture

Can you spell guitar?

Talk about uneducated - one of those "dueling banjos" is a guitar.

Tom W.'s picture

Chuck Yeager is from West

Chuck Yeager is from West Virginia.

So was Don Knotts.

'Nuff said.

JAL's picture

Latte sipping bigots

Why are"bigots" always connected with "rednecks" (As in there are bigots in Oregon too because Oregon has rednecks too ...)

Latte sippers have exactly all the same potential to be bigots as the rest of the human race. Check this whole primary season and look at the Obama crowd.

Latte bigots are the ones who can't discuss anything without the word "diversity." Diversity means one is keeping score. To keep score one has to mark differences and assign values. That's a bigot.

Anonymous's picture


Your point is well-taken, but are you sure Deliverance was filmed on the Chattooga River? I've never heard of it (I'm from Western North Carolina), and I always thought it was filmed on the Chattahoochee River.

DWPittelli's picture

"Deliverance" location

The Chattooga river is in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests.

According to this government site, "The movie "Deliverance" starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight was filmed on the Chattooga River."


Ragnell's picture

Retake on Kiplings White Man's Burden--Left Wing's Burden

With apologies to Rudyard Kipling the poet; Here's my reworded version of his poem “the White Man’s Burden* which praised the "benefits" of colonialism for the lucky colonists:

The Left Wing’s Burden

Take up the Left wing’s burden
Send forth the same old breed --
Go bind your journalists to brief exile
To serve your hillbillies’ need;
To wait away from starbucks
On fluttered folk and wild --
Your captive, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Take up the Left-Wing’s burden --
In condescension to abide,
To veil the threat of exposure
And hide the evidence of pride;
By duplicitous speech and lies,
An hundred times mad plain.
To take another's profit,
And steal another's gain.

Take up the Left-wing’s burden --
Our savage campaigns for “peace”
Shut down those coarse distractions
And bid “bitter” ignorance cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The presidency for others sought,
Watch guns and Small-town Folly
Bring all your hope to nought.

Take up the Left wing’s burden --
And reap an entitled reward:
The blame of those ye enlighten,
The hate of those you deconstruct
The vulgar cry of the working class ye condescend
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light: --
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
"Our loved Appalachian night?"

Take up the Left-wings burden --
Ye distort what Obama meant --
Nor call too loud on freedom
To cloak your true intent;
By all ye preach or publish,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your party and you.


*The White Man’s Burden (link...)

redmondkr's picture

There is some interesting

There is some interesting information at IMDB including this:

The movie was shot on the Chattooga River, dividing South Carolina and Georgia. The year following the release of the movie, 31 people drowned attempting to travel the stretch of river where the movie was shot.

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Anonymous's picture

OK, let me see if I have

OK, let me see if I have this right. Obama wins the primary. He gets the most votes, the most delegates, and the most states, but we shouldn't nominate him becuase he cant beat McCain? So why did we have all these primaries? You knew he was black all along. Why not just say "no blacks need apply" because even if you win, we will cave into the perceived racism of others, and choose someone else more "acceptable to the bigots". If we are to choose Hillary Clinton over the person who beat her in every objective balloting measure, how do we explain it in a non-racists way? Please tell me how do we turn Obama away after he did everything that was expected of him?

bizgrrl's picture

It's early. Are you on the

It's early. Are you on the right thread?

paul a'barge's picture

Sean_Braisted is a Bigot

"West Virginia has the lowest percentage of college grads in the 50 states (Arkansas has the second lowest); which makes it prime Hillary Clinton territory, and makes it hard for a black candidate to win (at least, if those non-college grads are white)"

Over 90% of blacks vote for Obama.

Now, let's have an honest conversation about American demographics and for whom it's hard to win.

Oh and Sean? Look up the word "demographic".

Sean_Braisted's picture

Paul, Lets have that


Lets have that conversation...whats your point? That Obama wins blacks? Nobody is disputing that.

Damarco's picture

If you celebrated Mothers Day this week...

If you celebrated Mothers Day this week then you honored a West Virginia-born tradition that enjoyed it's 100th anniversary this very week. Mothers Day was started at a churh in Grafton, WV and caught on around the country.

Therefore, Hillary, who is a mother no matter how you cut it, will win in the state that gave us Mothers Day!

Factchecker's picture

You got a stick of Beemans?

Chuck Yeager is from West Virginia.
So was Don Knotts.

Don't forget Jerry West and Morgan Spurlock.

Anonymous's picture

Favorite West Virginian

My favorite West Virginian....Jesscoe White the Dancing Outlaw

gonzone's picture


Seconded. And he's a REAL West Virginian.

And what's the girl's name who was in the Abu Ghraib photos?

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

redmondkr's picture

And Another Thing!

Mary Lou Retton - 1984 Olympic Gold Medal winner in gymnastics is from Fairmont, Marion County.

And what about Homer H. Hickam, Jr., Cyrus Vance, and Brad Paisley?

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Factchecker's picture

The lonely Maytag repair man?!

Jesscoe White the Dancing Outlaw

Anonymous's picture

Jesco White

edens's picture

Just FYI, all those federal

Just FYI, all those federal back-offices being in WVa are primarily a testament to the pork trough prowess of Robert "Big Daddy" Byrd.

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