Arthur Herman Bremer, the man who attempted to assassinate George Wallace (D-AL, d. 1998), will be released some time this year, according to the Washington Post, having served 35 years of a 53 year sentence. Wallace was the last, greatest hope for segregationists around the nation, and this assassination attempt put an end to his bid for our nation's highest office.
What Mr. Bremer did more than 35 years ago was reprehensible. There is absolutely no excuse for attempting to murder someone just because you disagree with their views, no matter how heinous and indefensible. Voltaire once said, "Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write." His was a sane and rational view, and one that perfectly summarizes the most critical cornerstone of any free society, one that is liberal in the 18th and 19th century sense of the term. While I disagree vehemently with the tactics the coward Mr. Bremer used, I cannot think that, though it should have been done electorally, the United States is much better having not had him as a president. As awful as Nixon was, at least he wasn't George Wallace, a man I find disgusting not only for his expressed views during and prior to the 1970s, but also for the fact that he didn't even believe in what he said. He was, and I hope I can manage to fit in the deep contempt I have for the term and most of its adherents, a populist, a parasite of the lowest order, and one of the least fit men to ever run for any elected office. If he truly repented of his ways, I hope he's in the heaven he believed in, though I hope he had to do some recompense for the sins of his past. If, as I suspect, he merely did so for cynical political reasons, I hope the opposite.
Now, onto sports: I rate the SEC's football coaching staffs as follows:
1) Urban Meyer, Florida, defending NCAA Div. I-A and SEC Champion
2) Tommy Tuberville, Auburn, one of the most fortunate and talented coaches in the SEC
3) Nick Saban, Alabama. He has one hell of a lot of rebuilding to do after years of neglect by Mike Shula, but can be counted on to pull off a few upsets. He should really come into the height of his powers during the 2008 season.
4) Steve Spurrier, South Carolina. I may hate his little smirk, but he's still one of the most dangerous coaches in the SEC, with 1 national title and 7 conference titles under his belt. His team may not look like much, but he has one of the sharpest minds in all of college football.
5) Houston Nutt, Arkansas. After a spectacular 2006 season, he's still very much on the bubble after a particularly dismal 2005 season. Still, I expect great things from him.
6) Les Miles, LSU. This season will really determine if he has a future in the SEC. Still, he's a fitting replacement for Nick Saban, who led LSU to a national title.
7) Rich Brooks, Kentucky. He's really done well in his efforts to build a solid football team at a school more frequently associated with basketball. He's shown fairly consistent improvement, and I expect this to continue.
8) Mark Richt, Georgia. If he's to continue to build his team into an SEC power, he has his work cut out for him. In any other conference, especially the grossly overrated Pac 10, he would be a star. In a conference loaded with current and former national title holders, though, he has to do more.
9) Philip Fulmer, Tennessee. I think he's the fucking Antichrist, and he's still very much on the bubble after a couple of disastrous seasons. Still, his coaching woes have been ameliorated somewhat, although team discipline seems very much an open question.
10, 11, and 12) I honestly don't know which one of the three is worst, so I'll give a brief description. Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State has shown exactly why Alabama was right not to hire him, even if they were wrong to hire Mike Shula. His teams have been consistently awful, and have shown little to no improvement over that of his predecessor. Just when his teams have started to show promise, other problems have cropped up. Bobby Johnson at Vanderbilt is, well, a Vanderbilt coach and seems almost allergic to success, or at least, unable to grow it in the infertile soil that is Commodores Football. Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss has, during his tenure, managed to prove that, even with very successful recruiting, it is possible to be one of the worst teams in the nation. He should be demoted back to offensive coordinator, a job better suited to his talents. I honestly can't say which of the three bottom coaches is the worst.