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as a trusted Democrat and then told the Republican leadership what the Democrats were about to do. “Gramm is now putting on this martyr act,” Downey said. “He’s not being punished for being a conservative. He used a position of privilege against his own party, actively and zealously. He served the interests of the other side as though the Republicans had planted a microphone in the meetings.” The question about Phil Gramm is not whether he has been true to his convictions. He has. The question is whether he has been true to colleagues who trusted him. He has not. If the voters of his district want to reward him for betraying the trust of his Democratic colleagues, they can do so. But they should realize that they are doing it. On the merits of the issues, themselves, Gramm is not only conservative, he is a hard-rock Reaganist on all the brutal budget cuts and the help-therich tax cuts. He was a relentless advocate of cutting the minimum benefit under Social Security long after that abandoned as a pox by the Congress at large. Gramm is the kind of right-wing extremist who thinks his ideology answers everything, but actually he knows little and cares less about the lives and sufferings of average people. FINALLY, a practical word concerning this short-shank election. Gramm is well-known, exceedingly, in his district, and the one thing most needed to beat him is a comparable notoriety. Kubiak does not have that; Faulk does. “Hee-Haw,” on which Faulk was a featured performer telling political stories for many years, is the longest-lasting serial on television and its corniness, fast format, and downon-the-farm sexiness command a huge audience, especially throughout the rural areas. The rural South is exactly what the 6th district is. JOHN HENRY TALKS TURKEY Faulk and yellow dog at announcement Oscar Mauzy, one of the best members of the Texas Senate and the sagest politician in it, returned from Washington with the bad news about Phil Gramm’s deal with Bill Clements, and the first thing Mauzy did was call John Henry Faulk. “Johnny,” Faulk says Mauzy told him, “Gramm’s gonna grandstand a deal. Announce he’s being misunderstood and abused by the party bosses and switch to Republican, and he has a deal with Bill Clements to call an election in four weeks knowing nobody can mount a campaign against him in that time. Johnny, somebody’s got to run against him, and you’re one of the few people that I know who has name recognition enough and you’re fearless enough to do it, too.” “Yes, Oscar,” Faulk replied, “but what I worry about is, what if I won and had to go up among that bunch of horsethieves in Washington?” John Henry Faulk decided to run. Just as Mauzy said, because of Faulk’s notoriety and courage he is the candidate with the best chance to beat Gramm. And just as Faulk had no time for hesitation, neither do the real Democrats of this state. The election of John Henry Faulk would be the best thing that’s happened to the Texas delegation in Washington since Ralph Yarborough was re-elected in 1964. As Faulk might say in one of his discourses with his Cousin Ed Snodgrass, Time’s a-wastin’ the election is Feb. 12! “I want to go to Congress,” Faulk told me in an interview the morning of January 14th, “to see if I can open a dialogue on matters that are literally matters of life and death. Not only about Reaganomics, which is fallin’ apart like an old sick prostitute in a police lineup, but namely about the threat of nuclear holycaust. I’m sorry to say that not a congressman from Texas has done it, and I just don’t understand why. “Folks, let me tell you somethin’ ,” Faulk said, as if addressing the voters. “They said I shouldn’t bring it up to the good people of the Sixth District they don’t care about that. You don’t care whether every citizen within the city limits of Dallas, every citizen in Conroe, Texas, is turned into vapor in a single ex plosion? You have not been told about this by your representatives. How well are they representin’ you? I want to go up there and open a dialogue on something to do with the children yet unborn, not to mention everybody who’s alive now. “Cousin Ed Snodgrass told me the other day,” Faulk said, “that he peeked in through Ronald Reagan’s window of vulnerability and saw the truth. ‘Johnny,’ he said, ‘Ronald Reagan knows that the only safe kind of war you can run is a limited nuclear war. Nuclear war is dangerous! And he wants to limit it to somewhere else. Now, I know the kind of man Ronald Reagan really is, and if it turns out that he’s wrong and he tries but just can’t limit it to the Sixth Congressional District, and everybody gets kilt, he’ll .be the first one to apologize.’ Running for Congress, Faulk said, the only thing he knows to do is use ridicule, irony, and satire against the outrageous things Gramm and other Reaganites are saying and doing. “Ronald Reagan is a very sweet, pleasant fellow,” Faulk said. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3