Dear Mr. Helms,...

"...Jessuvius, why do you not make haste to resign?"

I am not usually one to resort to flaming.
However, in the malodorous case of Jesse Helms
I make a rare exception.

Jesse Helms: blow-hard, small-minded petty tyrant
of a septuagenarian in office much too long.

William Weld, right, and White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry hold press conference at the White House on September 16, 1997. Weld, the moderate Republican nominated by President Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to Mexico, abandoned his fight against conservative Sen. Jesse Helms and told the White House to withdraw his nomination. "I asked President Clinton to withdraw my name from the Senate so I can go back to New England, where no one has to approach the government on bended knee to ask it to do its duty," he said bitterly during a 10-minute statement to reporters in the White House press room.

Helms used his powerful legislative power as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in an almost dictatorial manner to deny Weld's nomination without public hearings. Helms castigated anyone else in a brief meeting where he refused to let anyone else speak at length for Weld while he himself berated his colleagues for even considering going against him.

In my opinion, it is a perversion of the democratic process when a parochial bully like Helms can exercise a personal, exceedingly partisan foreign policy marked by shameful demonstrations of legislative power.

To: Senator Jesse Helms (
From: Richard Geib (
Date: 07:12 PM 9/12/97
Subject: asshole

      Dear Mr. Helms,

      You are such an unbelievable asshole that it defies belief. When you finally die/get thrown out of office, I intend to roam the streets singing, "Ding dong the witch is dead, the witch is dead!..." Until that fortuitous day, I will hold my nose when thinking about you.

      You make me ashamed to be a Republican.


      Richard Geib

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 11:44:26 -0400
From: Jesse Helms (
Subject: Re: asshole
To: Richard Geib (
Content-Description: cc:Mail note part

Dear Friend:

Many thanks for contacting me at my electronic mailbox address. I commend you for taking advantage of this latest method of communication. I must admit, however, that for an old newspaper man who still punches out letters on a manual typewriter, this innovation is mind-boggling.

You soon will receive a specific response via U.S. Mail if you have included your complete mailing address in your message.

Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to respond by e-mail inasmuch as we receive between 1,000 to 2,000 letters a week.


Jesse Helms
United States Senator

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 19:09:11 -9000
Subject: Re: asshole
To: Jesse Helms (
From: Richard Geib (

      Dear Jesse,

      I apologize for calling you an asshole. My letter was the product of an angry moment watching you kill William Weld's nomination as ambassador to Mexico for nothing more than petty and trivial personal reasons. Allow me to be more precise in my political expression: You are a petty and mean-spirited ol' cooter who verges on being a national embarrassment. Jesse, you are a one-man argument for term limits in politics.

      Not since the Anita Hill hearings have I felt quite such embarrassment in watching my government at work. I witnessed better examples of democracy in action during weekly fraternity meetings back when I was in college. And at least then we had the excuse that we didn't care about any of the business at hand and were usually drunk at the time.

      What is your excuse, Mr. Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? Whither such petty tyranny, Jesse? Why do you not make haste to resign?

      I look forward to the day when that poor staffer who you make attend to your "electronic mailbox address" can serve a less cantankerous and crotchety senator from North Carolina than yourself. Sooner rather than later, I hope to see you rusticating back on the farm "punching out letters on a manual typewriter" while the rest of the world moves past you into the 21st century.


      Richard Geib

P.S. Please do not call me "friend."

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