Tuesday, April 22, 2008


John McCain visited Gee's Bend, Alabama, and bought some quilts made by the ladies there.

At least one of the quilters, Mary Lee Bendolph, said she was learning toward supporting Mr. Obama, but she praised Mr. McCain for turning up in Wilcox County, which locals say has never before been visited by a presidential candidate.

“He came here and he did something, and you know what, nobody else did,” Mrs. Bendolph said.
And he bought quilts. Maybe he likes their style, maybe he thinks they're crap, but either way, he participated in helping them earn an honest living.

I've got mixed feelings about the Gee's Bend quilts as art, but the women were living in serious poverty--"dirt floor" poor, not "couldn't afford health insurance for the kids but have cable and a flat screen and a manicure" poor--for decades, supporting themselves somewhat with sewing, before a private citizen took notice; now their quilts sell for thousands of dollars (there's a controversy raging because that citizen made money marketing Gee's Bend quilters; does anyone complain that Drew Rosenhaus or Sotheby's make money when they present goods and services to buyers?).

I expect HRC and BHO to pop down there shortly to explain additional government programs they want to start to "help" women like the quilters (who would have been eligible for any number of existing federal programs between 1964 and when they started making money...). And they're not going to give a dime out of their own pockets to purchase anything these women are selling to support themselves and their families. They don't care; they just can't let the rich white man be seen talking to poor black women they've overlooked.

Still don't like McCain's agenda, but he's a decent human being. Can't say that about either of the other two candidates.

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