Tropics on the 1972 Galifianakis v. Helms Race

Our Alex Sayf Cummings has a new piece up at Salon looking at the epic 1972 electoral battle between Rep. Nick Galifianakis and TV commentator Jesse Helms, in which a liberal antiwar Democrat lost narrowly to his archconservative opponent amid the historic Nixon landslide.  The story is particularly relevant today; Galifianakis’s nephew Zach is starring in a new film, The Campaign, in which his character runs for national office from North Carolina, and the Helms-Galifianakis race embodies many of the cutthroat, bigoted tactics that defined both Helms’s subsequent career and much of the poisonous politics of today’s Tea Party era.