Markey snubs former congressman 'Cooter' over Confederate flag

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Jones, who played mechanic "Cooter Davenport" on the TV show, was uninvited by a representative of the Markey campaign from a Tuesday fundraiser in D.C. after the campaign learned he has previously defended the Confederate flag featured in "Dukes."

The General Lee, the iconic car featured in the "Dukes of Hazzard," is emblazoned with a Confederate flag design on its roof, and Jones publicly opposed a decision by NASCAR officials to cancel a planned parade lap with the car at a race last year.

Jones, at the time, said NASCAR had "chosen to dishonor those Southerners who fought and died in that terrible conflict by caving to ‘political correctness’ and the uninformed concerns of corporate sponsors," according to The Globe.

The newspaper reported that Markey's campaign said it had asked him not to come to the fundraiser because Markey "believes such Confederate relics are highly offensive and should not be displayed in public settings, period."

In his op-ed, Jones wrote that he had planned to play with his band at the fundraiser but was instead "portrayed in the national press and on the Internet as some sort of antediluvian racist who should not be seen in the company of someone aspiring to the Senate."

Jones, who served in the House from 1989-1993, said that he hadn't heard from "Eddie" since he was disinvited from the fundraiser. He described Markey as "smart and funny and a very capable legislator." 

But he said that if he were to speak to him, he'd tell Markey that he's being too simplistic with his opposition to the Confederate flag.

"It seems to me, Eddie, that in this Internet world you and Al Gore invented, things are being simplified to the point of idiocy," he wrote, a knock on an ad from Markey's campaign that suggested his work on telecoms policy paved the way for new technologies like broadband Internet and smartphones.

"So rather than having a serious discussion about the use of symbols, and the context of symbols, and the meaning of symbols, the argument has been boiled down to something like this: 'Rebel flag bad. Racist! Me good. Not racist!'" he wrote.

Jones also suggested that Markey's decision to ban him from the fundraiser because of the connection between the Confederate flag and the KKK "raises a lot of questions."

"Are you assuming that black folks cannot tell the difference between a Confederate flag displayed at Antietam or Manassas and a Klan rally? Or between a Confederate flag on the “Dukes of Hazzard” and a Neo-Nazi meeting?" Jones asked in the op-ed.

And he goes on to suggest that the situation raises questions about Markey's "understanding" of voters.

"Eddie, you could have just said, 'Well, Jones is a pretty good guy and I agree with him on most things, but on this issue I disagree strongly.' And you would have heard some great music. Instead, I am left to wonder about your understanding of all those voters who grew up on our wacky TV show," he said.