CSA! CSA! CSA! CSA!

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As of late I have been immersing myself in some good old Civil War history. I just finished McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom and I have been enjoying David Blight’s lectures on the subject from his class at Yale, as well as the amazing discussions and ideas over at TNC’s place on the subject.

Great stuff. And through it all–almost as background–has been the political discourse of our day. As these two streams of information overlaid each other in my day to day musing one thing became pretty clear: the modern ‘Conservative’ movement and the TeaBagger movement are distinctly Confederate in rhetoric, historical myths, Constitutional understanding, talking points, memes and goals. Natuarly, a neo-FireEater from South Carolina like Jim DeMint is in the lead as are quite a number of Old South Confederates and more than a number of neo-Copperheads from the rest of the Country. It is also no surprise to find the age-old bedwetting Blue Dogs acting in 2010 much the same way they acted in 1860–some things never change.

In many ways it should not be a surprise that a political fight that led to so much blood letting 150 years ago is still an active force in American politics. Around the planet many other Nations and Peoples still fight about issues with much deeper roots. America is not exempt from this kind of ongoing multi-generational political battles. We are in one today.

Now some think the goal of the Astroturf TeaTards is to roll things back to pre-Obama. Other think pre-Clinton or pre-LBJ or pre-FDR. And yes, they would like to roll past all of the laws, rules, traditions and regulations of all of these guys. But the real target is Lincoln.

It was Lincoln changed the term “United States” from a descriptive term about States sometimes working together into a proper noun that named our Nation. It was Lincoln who began the move away from gold and issued paper money. It was Lincoln who could multi-task with an eye to the future. While he was kicking Confederate ass he also financed a transcontinental railroad, land grant schools and education and land for homesteaders. It was Lincoln who worked to protect free labor and to end slavery. Ending slavery, he also set up the first government run welfare effort to help former slaves transition to freemen. And it was Lincoln who led our Nation to soundly defeat the Confederacy and deliver to these traitors a well-earned ass whopping. Their ideological descendants are still holding a grudge towards the America that Lincoln shaped.

In all of these efforts and many more, Lincoln changed the rules of the American economy to favor the working class, the poor and to create new entrepreneurial opportunities. He totally screwed the Southern oligarchs who were used to running the Country. To protect their power, those Southern planter oligarchs created the Confederacy. The modern oligarchs in America have created the TeaTards to protect them from market forces. Then as now, the appeal to the gullible is racism, fear and the promotion of ignorance as a source of strength.

When I listen to these fuckers these days all I can hear is the echo of Confederate bullshit in their every statement, their every word. Their understanding of the US Constitution is a Confederate understanding. Their understanding of the Founding Fathers is completely informed by Confederate myths, memes and spin. When they wrap themselves in the American flag you know that they would rather wrap themselves in a Confederate battle flag snuggie. And when the chant USA! USA! USA! USA! you can be sure that they really mean CSA! CSA! CSA! CSA!

It is a common line of these wankers to state that “We need to take our Country back”. I believe them, but the Country they seek to rescue is the Confederate States of America. As for the United States of America, they are always quick to tell you that that government is their enemy. It is ironic that this group of neo-Confederate deadenders have captured Lincoln’s Party and killed it. Now they seek to do the same to the Union and Nation Abe gave his life for.

These neo-Confederates are serious in their goals. It is time to push their failed ideology back into the dustbin of history. We ignore them at out personal and National peril.

Cheers

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144 replies
  1. 1
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    It is also no surprise to find the age-old bedwetting Blue Dogs acting in 2010 much the same way they acted in 1860—some things never change.

    This scares me. I think you’re right.

  2. 2
    kdaug says:

    As it has ever been, and as so it will be again.

  3. 3
    Dennis G. says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:
    As it should…

    One can draw a straight line from James Buchanan, Stephen Douglas and the rest to almost all of today’s Blue Dogs. Their shared advocacy across the years in favor of moral capitulation to spare them mean words from FireEaters and/or taking any stand on any issue is uncanny.

    Cheers

  4. 4
    Funkhauser says:

    Another good, recommended book on the post-Civil-War South: Stephen Budiansky’s The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War.

    http://amzn.com/0452290163

    Don’t try to draw too many parallels there; it’ll frighten you.

    Some will never admit that they lost. And “states’ rights” is nothing more than white supremacy.

  5. 5

    It’s not often I read a blog post where every single word and sentence I agree with fully. This post is one of those.

  6. 6
    lacp says:

    No – it is USA, not CSA. David Neiwert has noted that this crap has been all over the country. You want some history? Check out the photographs of lynchings in Minnesota, or Klan marches in Maine. Here in Pennsylvania where I live, you only have to get a few miles outside Pittsburgh or Philadelphia to be in the heart of Tea Bag Nation. And we have the dubious distinction of being the state that the Aryan Nations moved to after they got booted from Idaho.

    Though I must confess, I’ve been involved with food security/hunger relief stuff too long – I thought the title of the post referred to community-supported agriculture. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  7. 7
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    I felt the same way about this:

    Now some think the goal of the Astroturf TeaTards is to roll things back to pre-Obama. Other think pre-Clinton or pre-LBJ or pre-FDR. And yes, they would like to roll past all of the laws, rules, traditions and regulations of all of these guys. But the real target is Lincoln.

    Outstanding post, Dennis.

  8. 8
    Stillwater says:

    When I listen to these fuckers these days all I can hear is the echo of Confederate bullshit in their every statement, their every word.

    I never thought about it quite this way, but I agree. You nailed it. It’s like deja-vu all over again. Especially the part about rolling civil society back to pre-Lincoln. Except for the Koch Bros – they’d be happy to leave it at 1884.

  9. 9
    Delia says:

    But the real target is Lincoln.

    Great post. But to close the circle, Obama has laid a certain emphasis on his empathy with Lincoln.

  10. 10
    El Cruzado says:

    @Stillwater: Sad that the movement is paid for by those who want to go back to the second half of the XIXth century, and manned by those who want to go back to the first half of the XIXth century.

  11. 11
    Xenos says:

    @lacp: The cultural and political poison of the planter class found an eager audience in the Appalachians, and it is useful to note that the Appalachians extend north right up to the Maine/New Brunswick border.

    In the west, however, settlers split between former CSA soldiers, who were not allowed to work for the government, and former USA soldiers and officers who became Federal officers, territorial administrators, and agents for the railroads and other industries. Thus the anti-authoritarian and libertarian nature attributed to westerners has much of its historical roots in the CSA as well.

  12. 12
    Andy K says:

    @Dennis G.:

    One can draw a straight line from James Buchanan, Stephen Douglas and the rest to almost all of today’s Blue Dogs.

    When the rubber hit the road, Douglas was a Unionist, and fervently so, unlike John Boehner’s forerunner, Copperhead Clement Vallandigham.

  13. 13
    Binzinerator says:

    @Funkhauser:

    Some will never admit that they lost. And “states’ rights” is nothing more than white supremacy.

    I’ve lived in Georgia for a good while; sadly and disturbingly these statements are as true as any I’ve ever come across.

  14. 14

    So that’s where these people want to go back to?

    I recognized the counterrevolutionary nature of the phenomenom but I wasn’t sure just how far back they were talking about.

    1950 wouldn’t get it because the 50s already held the seeds of the 60s and you know where that leads. :-)

    Maybe late 1850s? Before the Civil War?

    Well, you know guys, that’s what happens when you start a war that you can’t win. You lose. And things are different. And you can’t go back.

  15. 15
    Emma says:

    We should have kicked their butts into the ground and reshaped their society when we had a chance. So much for being the nice guys. And look, we’re still trying to do it.

  16. 16
    Mike in NC says:

    Their ideological decedents are still holding a grudge towards the America that Lincoln shaped.

    Plus the teabaggers are “evolving” (not that they believe in such deviltry). Read the insane Letters to the Editor in your local paper that are 90% generated by elderly right-wing cranks. Lots more lately about gays/minorities/commies/Baby Jesus and references to their trinity of Beck, Limbaugh, and FOX News. Less about government spending being out of control. Their true colors are showing (i.e., Confederate gray).

    Looking forward to “kingmaker” Jim Bob Demint, as the media has dubbed him, making a run for the White House himself in 2012.

  17. 17

    BTW, some of the statements of Miller of Alaska remind me of autarky and I wonder if there is a secessionist motive underneath some of that. There is a viable secessionist movement in Alaska.

    If Alaska were to break off from the US, how long would it be until they had new owners? Russia? China? Japan?

    Alaska could not in a million years defend itself against any country with a real, modern, standing army.

    But I guess that doesn’t matter.

  18. 18
    danimal says:

    Great post. I have nothing else to add, except Thank You.

  19. 19
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    I know it isn’t your fault, but right under the post, right under the little 11:06/Respond/Trackback area, was the Google Ads. The first one reads “Buy Confederate Flags.” The website? united-states-flag.com

    To quote Professor Farnsworth, and something I’ve been saying way too much lately, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

  20. 20
    lacp says:

    @Linda Featheringill: If they had clue, it would be Canada.

  21. 21
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    I know it isn’t your fault, but right under the post, right under the little 11:06/Respond/Trackback area, was the Google Ads. The first one reads “Buy Confederate Flags.” The website? united-states-flag.com

    To quote Professor Farnsworth, and something I’ve been saying way too much lately, “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

  22. 22
    Andy K says:

    @lacp:

    If they had a clue, they’d realize that they get more return on their tax dollars, per capita, than any other state in the union. Idjits…

  23. 23
    themann1086 says:

    @Andy K: I’d call them “ungrateful assholes” myself.

  24. 24
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @lacp: Pssh. That’s nothing. My home town, according to Wikipedia:

    A more reluctant notoriety of Kokomo was the involvement of people in the gathering of the Ku Klux Klan. There had been large numbers of followers for years, which culminated on July 4, 1923, with the largest gathering of Ku Klux Klan members in history, which assembled at Malfalfa Park in Kokomo for a mighty Konklave. Attendance is estimated to have been 200,000 people.,[12] or 60,000 according to Sir Calway’s History of the KKK

    As a kid, we’d heard rumors about the Klan history of the town, but we didn’t talk much about it in school. I was lucky to have a great Econ/Government teacher who, in addition to turning me onto liberalism, went over a bit of it when we had some free time. Its scary to think I had a friend that lived nearby and we used to play in that park.

  25. 25
    lacp says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: Yeah, I had heard that Indiana rocked when it came to some serious KKK.

  26. 26
    DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice. says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Well, you know guys, that’s what happens when you start a war that you can’t win. You lose. And things are different. And you can’t go back.

    Once you go black.

  27. 27
    lacp says:

    @Andy K: Alaska’s the worst of the bunch, but certainly not alone. I can respect people who aren’t too bright or who are delusional, as long as they have personal integrity. These red state bozos slurp up the federal dollars and have the fucking nerve to lecture everybody about how the gummint takes in too much money. Secession’s actually too good for them.

  28. 28
    Andy K says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Maybe late 1850s? Before the Civil War?

    I would guess somewhere between the invention of the cotton gin- 1793- and 1848, when a whole bunch of Europeans (following the nationalist revolutions) headed for the Free Labor states of the North, swamping the advantage that the Three-Fifths Clause had given to the slave states.

  29. 29
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Emma:

    We should have kicked their butts into the ground and reshaped their society when we had a chance. So much for being the nice guys. And look, we’re still trying to do it.

    2012, baby. Either we get the job done or the Mayans are definitely going to be right.

  30. 30
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    @lacp: Indiana is kind of a southern state as opposed to the weirdness of Appalachia that Xenos mentioned. In a map I saw recently we even use ‘Coke’ as the generic soda descriptor like the South does.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Andy K: 1825 but with SUVs.

  32. 32
    Ash Can says:

    Damned good point. I never thought of the USA as being a contemporary Czechoslovakia, but now I see that it could be the case. Quite possibly your best post yet, and that’s saying a lot, since all of your posts are outstanding.

  33. 33
    Binzinerator says:

    It was Lincoln changed the term “United States” from a descriptive term about States sometimes working together into a proper noun that named our Nation.

    I may be wrong but I recall reading somewhere (or was it Shelby Foote mentioning this in Burns’ The Civil War?) that before Lincoln people used the plural verb when the United States was the subject of a sentence, as in ‘the United States are …’ and after Lincoln it became ‘the United States is …’. Subtle but very significant.

    [aside — just a wacky thought — the Brits use the plural when talking about corporations, where in the US we use the singular. When ‘Acme corp are…’ it is obvious that it is made up of individuals. But ‘Acme corp is…’ is conceptually something very different.]

  34. 34
    lacp says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: Interesting – Pennsylvania’s great soft-drink divide is the use of the generic “pop” in the west and “soda” in the east.

  35. 35
    Andy K says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    Probably because, unlike most of the post-13-Original-States, Indiana (at least the southern half or two-thirds) was settled from the south rather than the east. So where antebellum Michigan was made up of settlers with roots in upstate New York and Massachussetts, and Ohio was largely settled by Pennsylvanians, Indiana was full of Kentuckians and Tennesseeans.

  36. 36
    Andy K says:

    @Ash Can:

    Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia?

  37. 37
    KG says:

    I’d go further back, it’s not just Lincoln they are aiming for. It’s Madison/Hamilton/Washington that they’re after. They are Anti-Federalists, pure and simple. Ever notice that they talk about the Declaration of Independence rather than the Constitution?

    The good news is that they have been losing for 234 years. And at the end of the day, the odds of them coming back from that long of a losing streak isn’t that great.

  38. 38
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Every time you write, Dennis, you strike a chord within me. I even gave you a shout-out on my blog in my last entry. This post is spot on. Taking the country back to pre-Civil War sounds about right. And, I do not take the teabaggers lightly at all. They may be in the minority, but their rage and desire to torch the country is palpable.

  39. 39
    Mike Furlan says:

    Why no contribution here from this blog’s pet member of a racist hate group, Mr. Larison? This is his favorite topic.

    “I don’t consider my membership or my views on the War to be shameful or requiring any apology. I don’t defend the legacy of the man who ushered in a destructive, illegal war that killed hundreds of thousands. It does take a certain fanatical mindset to see mass destruction and violence as the correct solutions to morally repugnant institutions. . .” http://larison.org/2008/01/16/my-noxious-views/

    Mr. Larison is a PhD graduate in history, but words fail him when the white supremacist rage takes hold of his mind.

    As we know:

    1. The slaveowners started the shooting war.
    2. The “repugnant institutions” in question at that time was The United States of America. It was repugnant in the opinion of the slaveowners and they dedicated themselves to destroying it in order to protect slavery. As A. Stephens explained: ” Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner–stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.” It was the slaveowners who saw “mass destruction and violence as the correct solutions to morally repugnant institutions.”

  40. 40
    Beauzeaux says:

    Battle Cry of Freedom is a splendid book. A friend recommended it to me saying “Read this book and you’ll understand how the US got to be where it is today.” She was so so right.
    It’s the best single-volume on the Civil War and is so much better than Shelby Foote’s bloated series.

  41. 41
    Ash Can says:

    @Andy K: I would HOPE it’d be Czechoslovakia.

  42. 42
    Beauzeaux says:

    Battle Cry of Freedom is a splendid book. A friend recommended it to me saying “Read this book and you’ll understand how the US got to be where it is today.” She was so so right.
    It’s the best single-volume on the Civil War and is so much better than Shelby Foote’s bloated series.

  43. 43
    Seebach says:

    On what grounds do the Confederates continue to suggest Lincoln started the war? Is there any potential controversy at all, or is this all just invented out of the cloth, as usual?

  44. 44
    KG says:

    @KG: I should add, they have always, always, always had a different vision for this continent. These are the ideological descendants of those who saw the Constitutional Convention as a traitorous act because rather than modifying the Articles of Confederation (there’s that word again), it replaced it entirely.

  45. 45

    @DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.:

    Once you go black.

    Never give up your right to make choices, honey.

  46. 46
    KG says:

    @Seebach: Lincoln started the war by winning the election as a known abolitionist.

  47. 47
    Andy K says:

    @KG:

    Yeah…I haven’t noticed that, and I’m sure there’s something to that theory…But after the compromises to the Constitution made to satisfy the South- again, the Three-Fifths Clause, which gave them artificial strength in the House and the Electoral College- they were happy as clams down there. They forced the Missouri Compromise and still retained their grip, but it wasn’t until those native-born Freesoilers and immigrants started filling up the western territory that the Kansas-Nebraska Act finally brought things to a head.

    And there’s no doubting that Kansas- which was allowed into the Union as a free state just as the first slave states were seceding- played a key role in the run up to the war.

  48. 48
    Redshift says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Rove was pretty open about idolizing the 1870s (I think), when corporations pretty openly owned the federal government.

  49. 49
    Seebach says:

    @KG: But didn’t he promise he wasn’t actually going to do anything? And no proposals were actually put forth yet? He was simply elected? And so now elections are actually how wars are started?

  50. 50
    Zach says:

    I pointed this out in the last thread, but it’s more appropriate here. The very first item in the GOP’s Pledge To America is:

    We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    My dog’s sitting next to me and flipping out (might have less to do w/ whistle than smell of pulled pork, though). The Contract With America was so tame and sane by comparison; its only race baiting was a provision to punish poor mothers.

  51. 51
    BR says:

    @Zach:

    I want to see these GOP teatards defend the 10th amendment this fall when California passes (hopefully, if we turn out the vote) proposition 19, legalizing cannabis. States rights! States rights! States rights!

  52. 52
    wag says:

    @MeDrewNotYou:

    What a cool map. Thanks for pointing it out. From my travels it’s 100% accurate.

    But I do have to wonder what the “other” name could be if not a “pop,” “soda” or “Coke.” “Pepsi?” maybe….

  53. 53
    feebog says:

    I keep remembering a vivid scene from one of the Town Hall meetings last year. The meeting was in Arkansas was invaded by a group of TeaTards. What I remember is one rather elderly white lady who was caught plainitively whining “I want my country back”. Up until now I was wondering just what country she was talking about. This post may have answered my question.

  54. 54
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @BR: Federal rights! And, abortion being outlawed should be in the constitution along with banning same-sex marriage for infinity and beyond. And, guns should be allowed across state lines! And, and, and…STATE RIGHTS!

  55. 55
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Seebach: The thought process by which you prove that Lincoln started the War was best explained by Lincoln himself:

    “But the South were threatening to destroy the Union in the event of the election of a republican President, and were telling us that the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us. This is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, with ‘stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer.’ To be sure the money which he demands is my own, and I have a clear right to keep it, but it is no more so than my vote, and the threat of death to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.”

  56. 56
    KG says:

    @Seebach: I was being a bit of a smartass, but honestly, I’ve always understood that as part of the reason the South seceded.

    For what it’s worth, here’s a link to the Declaration of Causes of Secession for Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and Mississippi.

    Georgia specifically references Lincoln and his election. South Carolina and Texas try to be a bit more discreet.

    ETA: Mississippi at least had the decency to say it was all about slavery.

  57. 57
    Mike Furlan says:

    @KG: And then there was Mississippi: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery. . .”

  58. 58
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @wag: Carbonated beverage? And, it’s pop. Case closed. End of discussion. Thanks for playing.

  59. 59
    KG says:

    @wag: cola, maybe?

    I’m in California, I’ve always called it coke, as a generic name.

  60. 60
    Dennis G. says:

    @lacp:
    You make the mistake of equating the neo-Confederacy with the South. Even 150 years ago that was not true. There were Confederate elements in all the States and Territories. There still are.

    Cheers

  61. 61
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    And, and, and…STATE RIGHTS!

    As someone at Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog pointed out within the last few weeks, those states that so loved the theory of states’ rights and nullification when it came to protecting their own interests weren’t so hip to it when some northern states tried to nullify the Fugitive Slave Act in the antebellum.

    (Hmm…Am I the only person who reads, “nullify the Fugitive Slave Act in the antebellum,” and think it comes across as a euphemism of a sexual nature?)

  62. 62
    Andy K says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    And, it’s pop. Case closed.

    Sing it, sister!

    And their tennis shoes, not sneakers or gym shoes or court shoes…Even when they’re designed for some activity other than tennis.

  63. 63
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Andy K: Yes. But now that you point it out, I can sorta see from where you are coming. Um. Maybe I should rephrase that.

    It’s always about using whatever they can to justify whatever they want–no more, no less. I am not saying we Democrats are the bastion of consistency, (‘coz lord knows we need love to argue amongst ourselves) but compared to the confederates and the teabaggers….

  64. 64
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Dennis G.: While there were “Confederate elements” elsewhere, I believe it is more significant that there were even greater Unionist “elements” in the South. Every Southern state raised a Union regiment. But you will find no mention of the 1st Massachussetts Infantry CSA in any book, unless maybe Newt Gingrich wrote it.

  65. 65
    Sloegin says:

    Nearly went blind in my 440 Civil War course reading mountains of poor quality microfiche period newspapers like the _The Charleston Mercury_.

    Worse than going blind though, nothing like mainlining the evil, the distilled essence of slaveholder invective, all the same attacks and arguments dimly echoed today, page after page of it, hour after hour and it starts creeping into your thinking and your very soul.

    I needed quite the mental scrub down after finishing that class.

    Oh and McPherson is the man. Amazing text.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lacp:

    David Neiwert has noted that this crap has been all over the country. You want some history? Check out the photographs of lynchings in Minnesota, or Klan marches in Maine.

    That’s the core of Dennis G’s theory, though — Confederate ideas and philosophy escaped the borders of the Southern states and infected the whole country, which is why you find people with Confederate flags in, say, Wisconsin.

    Confederate =/= Southern, and probably hasn’t been since before the war.

  67. 67
    Andy K says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    Heheh…Again, it’s the Three-Fifths Clause.

    Most of those regiments came from regions of the Confederate states that had a low population density of slaves: eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia, northern Alabama, western North Carolina, the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia.

    The Three-Fifths Clause was applied in slave states to the state legislatures, too. Where one state legislator might represent, say 20k in one of those regions I named above- one with few slaves- a state legislator in a district with 10k slaves inside its boundaries only really represented 14k free white men. So with the proper gerrymandering, slave districts would over-represent themselves in the state legislature and pass law that kept those Appalachian farmers poor and powerless.

  68. 68
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Sloegin: Maybe Mr. Larison skipped over the Charleston Mercury in his research:

    We Want No Confederacy without Slavery

    1865
    Charleston Mercury

    In 1860 South Carolina seceded alone from the old union of States. Her people, in Convention assembled, invited the slaveholding States (none others) of the old Union to join her in erecting a separate Government of Slave States, for the protection of their common interests. All of the slave states, with the exception of Maryland and Kentucky, responded to her invitation. The Southern Confederacy of slave States was formed.

    It was on account of encroachments upon the institution of slavery by the sectional majority of the old Union, that South Carolina seceded from that Union. It is not at this late day, after the loss of thirty thousand of her best and bravest men in battle, that she will suffer it to be bartered away; or ground between the upper and nether mill stones, by the madness of Congress, or the counsels of shallow men elsewhere.

    By the compact we made with Virginia and the other States of this Confederacy, South Carolina will stand to the bitter end of destruction. By that compact she intends to stand or to fall. Neither Congress, nor certain makeshift men in Virginia, can force upon her their mad schemes of weakness and surrender. She stands upon her institutions—and there she will fall in their defence. We want no Confederate Government without our institutions. And we will have none. Sink or swim, live or die, we stand by them, and are fighting for them this day. That is the ground of our fight—it is well that all should understand it at once. Thousands and tens of thousands of the bravest men, and the best blood of this State, fighting in the ranks, have left their bones whitening on the bleak hills of Virginia in this cause. We are fighting for our system of civilization—not for buncomb, or for Jeff Davis. We intend to fight for that, or nothing. We expect Virginia to stand beside us in that fight, as of old, as we have stood beside her in this war up to this time. But such talk coming from such a source is destructive to the cause. Let it cease at once, in God’s name, and in behalf of our common cause! It is paralizing [sic] to every man here to hear it. It throws a pall over the hearts of the soldiers from this State to hear it. The soldiers of South Carolina will not fight beside a nigger’to talk of emancipation is to disband our army. We are free men, and we chose to fight for ourselves—we want no slaves to fight for us…. Hack at the root of the Confederacy—our institutions—our civilization—and you kill the cause as dead as a boiled crab.
    http://teachingamericanhistory.....ument=1485

  69. 69
    Andy K says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Here in the Rust Belt, a lot of that was due to migration from the south as we were industrializing. There’s a neighborhood/school district in suburban Grand Rapids (it’s in Wyoming, MI), known as Lee, the HS mascot is the Rebels. The neighborhood was populated in its early years by southerners who came up to work the lines of the factories that were opening in the neighborhood.

  70. 70
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Andy K: You think the we’ll see a teabagger speak up for the three-fifths clause too?

  71. 71
    Stillwater says:

    @Mike Furlan: They were clearly seceding based on the slavery issue. But it’s interesting – especially given the OP of this thread – to recall the rhetoric they employed during the war: they were fighting for freedom, the freedoms accorded them in the Constitution, and to free themselves from the oppression of the United States government.

  72. 72
    Yutsano says:

    As always dengre, bringing in even more of teh awesome.

    @asiangrrlMN: Hi hon. Don’t got much. Brain still hurts and kitteh is on my bed purring.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    But it’s interesting – especially given the OP of this thread – to recall the rhetoric they employed during the war: they were fighting for freedom, the freedoms accorded them in the Constitution, and to free themselves from the oppression of the United States government.

    If you haven’t downloaded the David Blight lectures that Dennis G referenced, it’s well worth it. We listened to the first two (and half of the third) on a weekend road trip and he addresses the Confederate idea of “freedom” in there.

  74. 74
    Kryptik says:

    @Stillwater:

    The Freedom of Slavery. You really do have to wonder how long it took for someone to understand how balls out nonsensical that should be.

    Then again, if it was obvious on its face, we wouldn’t have gotten Orwell.

  75. 75
    jwalden91lx says:

    @General Stuck:

    I was thinking the exact same thing.

  76. 76
    KG says:

    @Mike Furlan: sad thing is, I could see them arguing the three-fifths clause should apply to illegal aliens or non-citizens, as a means of weakening the power bases of the Democratic party (they’ll argue that the population of a state like California should be reduced by 20%). Right after they do away with birthright citizenship.

  77. 77
    Kryptik says:

    @KG:

    Don’t forget the Muslins. Can’t forget about ensuring that them durty swarthy Muslins can’t breed us out and count as a full person each all the while. After all, Muslin life is less precious than ours, even teh Librul New Republic sez so.

    Oh yeah, and 9/11, Ground Zero, and Victory Mosque salt in the wounds, etc., etc. ad infinitum

  78. 78
    Andy K says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    No, but they’ll speak against the Voting Rights Act, because between the end of Reconstruction and the passage of the Act, there was something even more sinister happening: Blacks were counted as whole persons in the census, and Congressional districts were drawn up accordingly, but then blacks were stripped of their franchise.

    This is why, as much as anything else like sharecropping or other forms of cheap labor, that blacks were still enslaved in the South for so long…Are you familiar with the myth behind Robert Johnson’s Crossroad? You know, that he sold his soul to the devil for his guitar skills? Well, the crossroad, whether the intersection of two dirt roads or two railroads was a really fucking dangerous place for a black person to be, because any white person passing by might think that they were headed out of the district, weakening the whites’ power in the government. A lot of lynchings took place at those crossroads as a warning to anyone else who might be thinking of leaving. Johnson must have sold his soul to escape, right?

  79. 79
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Stillwater: Good point. During the War, it was good PR to sprinkle your speeches with “Freedom”, and after the War, slavery was a dead and discredited institution that it seemed everybody was against. And so, all that was left as a cause was, freedom.

  80. 80
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Kryptik: A big piece of the puzzle is that Jesus never said that slavery was wrong, and he was pretty clear about what he thought was right and wrong.

    So, if you were a good Christian, how could you condemn slavery?

    Only a bad Christian, like Lincoln would do that.

  81. 81
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Andy K: There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, of a blockade of riverboat traffic backed up with artillery with the intention of stopping black migration to the North in the years after the War.

  82. 82
    DPirate says:

    @lacp: I agree. Conflating the tea party with the confederacy is

    Can’t think of a suitable word or metaphor for that, without resorting to the name-calling exhibited by Dennis G. The original post reads exactly like what you find on loony rightwing sites ranting about Obamacare and Obamunism.

  83. 83
    Xenos says:

    @DPirate: Consider it a rhetorical assault on teapartyism. Let them disown the CSA, since they seem to like to use the language of the CSA.

    They won’t.

  84. 84
    ruemara says:

    Someone should make a commercial about how much these teatardian red states get in federal dollars vs how much blue states don’t get, to really drive home the hypocrisy.

    …I’ll see what I can do.

  85. 85
    Mike Furlan says:

    @ruemara:
    Abstract: In each year from 1984 through 2004, 25 to 32 of the U.S. states reap more in
    federal spending than their citizens contribute to the federal government in taxes. The
    remaining states provide more in taxes than they receive in spending. In the 2000 and
    2004 U.S. presidential election, George W. Bush won most of the states that are net
    beneficiaries of federal spending programs, while Democrats won most of the states that
    are net contributors to federal spending. A state’s ratio of federal spending to tax dollars,
    particularly non-defense spending, is a statistically and substantively significant predictor
    of Republican margin of victory across the states. The impact of federal spending on
    Electoral Votes is increasing over the period 1984 to 2004 and remains statistically
    significant as a predictor of the vote when controlling for differences in ideology and
    opinions on issues across state populations.
    http://www.allacademic.com//me.....8457-1.php

  86. 86
    Andy K says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    Not familiar with that story, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least- and not for the reasons I mentioned above. It’s not like blacks were completely beloved everywhere north of the Ohio River. A lot of the sentiment that sent northern men off to war had less to do with the peculiar institution and the treatment of black people, and a lot more to do simply with the preservation of the Union.

  87. 87
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    Sooooooooo…

    I was just over at HuffPo and noticed a headline about RedState disliking the GOP’s new Pledge…

    Went to take a look, out of curiosity… what follows is part of a screed by Erick Son of Erick…

    These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a serious of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama.

    I know people misspell things online when they’re in a hurry.

    And that folks don’t like grammar trolls…

    But srsly… using ‘serious’ when you meant ‘series’?

    Is Erick really THAT incoherent?

    That’s not a misspelled word… he doesn’t even know which word he’s looking for here… ouch…

    And the House GOP doesn’t have the ‘fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to’ Obama?

    Huh?

    Is this bumpkin series?

    What would Erick Son of Erick have them do… grab up their wives shotguns and go a-huntin’?
    I

  88. 88
    Mike Furlan says:

    @Andy K: Yes, see “Know Nothing Party”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Nothing

  89. 89
    TrishB says:

    @wag: In the Northeast, in some odd areas, it’s a tonic. Or at least it was 25 years ago.

  90. 90
    Martin says:

    @ruemara: I propose a simple policy: The state balanced budget amendment. During deficit years, the federal government will cap spending to states at the federal tax revenue level of the state, beginning with earmarks and proceeding through highway funds ending with entitlement programs. Funds from surplus states will be used to balance the budget and pay down the national debt.

    Now let’s watch the GOP vote against spending cuts.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    Now some think the goal of the Astroturf TeaTards is to roll things back to pre-Obama. Other think pre-Clinton or pre-LBJ or pre-FDR. And yes, they would like to roll past all of the laws, rules, traditions and regulations of all of these guys. But the real target is Lincoln.

    Uh, no. You can pick almost any period in American history when nativism and reactionary fear took root and find an echo of what the tea party is up to. There is simply no reason to try to root the tea party goons in the Fables of the Confederacy.

    In all of these efforts and many more, Lincoln changed the rules of the American economy to favor the working class, the poor and to create new entrepreneurial opportunities.

    Huh? The feudal, agriculturalist oligarchs of the South were pikers compared to the Northern industrialists who raised the exploitation of the working class to unprecedented levels and gave us the Gilded Age and Robber Barons.

    And at their worst, the tea party people, as another poster has noted, have a vision of a pre-lapsarian America that existed after the Declaration of Independence (which lets them blather about liberty) but before the Constitution (which lets them imagine a white Christian alternate universe America empty of later immigrants and any nonwhites with a claim to citizenship).

    Also note that in this vision of America, the concept of separation of Church and State is noticeably absent.

  92. 92
    JR says:

    I think the problem is that we have no defined concept of what “liberty” is.

    At different points in our history, “liberty” has been used to mean everything from the right to white male self-government, to slaveholding, to preventing official discrimination, to practicing coordinated private discrimination, to actual, honest-to-god individual freedom from persecution by the state and society. It’s the concept of liberty used by conservative forces that’s the problem, because it tends to overemphasize the “freedom from persecution by the state” and completely ignore the freedom from social persecution (which may or may not be state-sanctioned, and which may have devastating ramifications for the victim’s ability to pursue happiness).

    Want to see something amazing? Check out what $107,000 can get you: http://historical.ha.com/commo.....t_No=72101

    Now, think about this: from the time Movement Conservatism was founded until now, it has always made the conscious decision to base its rhetoric around the concept of liberty, however one might define the term. Barry Goldwater had voted against the Civil Rights Act less than two weeks before issuing what became the clarion call of the Conservative Movement: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!”

    This isn’t to say that liberty as an ideal is bad or unobtainable, just that the people who tend to crow loudest about it have little concept of it beyond “the freedom to get my way.”

    Until we actually settle what it is that “liberty” means, we’ll continue to see a perversion of the concept at the heart of conservatism.

  93. 93
    Andy K says:

    @Mike Furlan:

    Oh, I already know the Know Nothings. My great-grandparents didn’t get to Boston from County Mayo until the late 1890s, but my grandfather (b. 1900) still remembered the “Irish need not apply” signs, a long-lasting Know Nothing sentiment, even though they moved to Michigan when he was under 10.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @Andy K:

    Are you familiar with the myth behind Robert Johnson’s Crossroad? You know, that he sold his soul to the devil for his guitar skills? Well, the crossroad, whether the intersection of two dirt roads or two railroads was a really fucking dangerous place for a black person to be, because any white person passing by might think that they were headed out of the district, weakening the whites’ power in the government.

    You are entirely missing the significance of crossroads in black culture. Hints of it are retained in the blues, especially in references to the Devil and hellhounds, but it clouds older references to Yoruba religion, specifically to the powerful trickster deity Eshu, sometimes also referred to as Elegba and sometimes confused with the more powerful Xango (X marking the spot and an easy representation of the crossroads). The Wiki gets it close to right:

    He has a wide range of responsibilities: the protector of travelers, deity of roads, particularly crossroads, the deity with the power over fortune and misfortune, and the personification of death.

    See Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo for a playful fictional treatment of themes related to the Vodou and Yoruba deities.

  95. 95
    Origuy says:

    I grew up in Bloomington, in southern Indiana. I remember KKK activity in the 60s. Between Bloomington and Indianapolis is Martinsville, which had a reputation as a sundown town. These were towns, scattered from Ohio to Oregon, where no blacks were allowed after sundown. When I was in high school in the 70s, the integrated sports teams from Bloomington would run to the bus after a game in Martinsville; our black cheerleaders wouldn’t go to those games.

    I don’t think it’s as blatant as that now, but the website I linked to has some fairly recent stories.

  96. 96
    Andy K says:

    @Brachiator:

    You are entirely missing the significance of crossroads in black culture.

    Or I’m not, and it’s just that I think that a different myth sprung out tangentially from the African myths, or mashed up with the European-Mediterranean tradition of executions at crossroads.

    Hate to go all Joseph Campbell on you, but crossroads are significant in quite a few different cultures. They are the places where new and, possibly, frightening things can happen. Does the crossroads at Har Megiddo mean anything to you? What happens when the the myth from one culture runs into the myth from another? Sorta like traditional western African music running into Celtic instruments, ya know?

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Andy K:

    Or I’m not, and it’s just that I think that a different myth sprung out tangentially from the African myths, or mashed up with the European-Mediterranean tradition of executions at crossroads.

    You obviously have no idea how pervasive and central Yoruba beliefs are in African cultures, from North America down through Brazil, and how Africans in the New World deliberately wrapped their African gods in the cover of European religious and mythical figures in order to preserve their beliefs.

    Hate to go all Joseph Campbell on you, but crossroads are significant in quite a few different cultures.

    Hate to go all Robert Farris Thompson or even Mircea Eliade on you, but Campbell was notably weak on African culture.

    And let’s not even get into the controversial claims that Greek myths and other religions appropriated African deities (as in Hermes as a later or parallel version of Eshu).

    What happens when the the myth from one culture runs into the myth from another? Sorta like traditional western African music running into Celtic instruments, ya know?

    You mean like when white Southerners appropriate an African instrument like the banjo or when a musician like Taj Mahal takes a Scottish ballad like Blackjack David and turns it into Blackjack Davey?

  98. 98
    Nancy Irving says:

    Excellent post.

    But you mean “descendants,” not “decedents,” which means dead people.

    Unfortunately, as you point out, these folks are still very much with us.

  99. 99
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Excellent summary of our situation today contrasted against the history of our internal division and past war. One reason you saw the Klan in Indiana and other northern states is due to natural movement of our population and the fact that not all northerners were against slavery. It seems that some in our country can not function without having a victim or an ‘Us versus Them’ mentality, as if someone is always out to screw them and invariably the ‘screwer’ is not one of ‘Us’.

    Sad fact is that invariably it’s the ‘Us’ ones that screw them over but never mind that data point.

    One of my customers is a Georgia transplant to south Oregon and works at a prison in northern California. He loves to hate on Obama and makes no bones about it. I had to repair his laptop the other day and when he came by to pick it up we got into a bit of conversation. For some reason he wasn’t bagging on Obama and I decided to ‘talk shop’ on the “Obama tax increase”. I asked him a question about the “Bush tax cuts”, prefacing it with ‘you want an idea how crazy people are right now?’.

    What is your opinion on them?

    He knew I was aiming for something and played it safe by saying ‘Well, it would only be my gut feeling as I don’t know the specifics about it other than taxes will go up for businesses and some people’. I asked if he wanted them left as is (to expire), for them to be extended for two years with either everyone getting them or only those earning less than $250,000 a year. He said he wanted them extended for everyone below $250,000 but that it seemed unfair that the rich would not get the same cut. I pointed out that the first $250,000 of income of the rich would get the very same tax cuts as everyone else but anything above that would be at the old rate (before the Bush tax cuts were passed). When he heard that he said:

    Oh. Then I guess I don’t have to worry about that.

    We went into the Teabagger bit and I pointed out that while the idea of the tea party may have been good, it’s been co-opted by the Republicans like Dick Armey and the usual culprits on the right. I didn’t delve into the racist elements or the like, I just hit them where he would understand. How can it be the new game in town when it’s being run by the same old crooks?

    I was very surprised by his lack of ‘attitude’ about Democrats and Obama. Hopefully it’s a good sign that the crazies are getting out of hand.

    Either way, excellent post Dengre.

  100. 100
    SciVo says:

    Hate to go all deconstructive post-modern on you all but gateways and crossroads have a meaningful role in speculative fiction (including my favorite genre, urban fantasy) because of their authentic psychological significance. A transition to someplace else? A presentation of a three-way (magical number) choice with the possibility of conflict/opportunity? Of course they’re considered magical!

    Any culture could see it. The sources of our modern myths are overdetermined, like how every new word that I make up has already been made up by someone else, and I’m just reproducing the same natural reaction to the same reality. It’s humbling to realize but these days, if you’re one-in-a-million, then there are a thousand people just like you in China. No one person is original anymore, and no one cultural heritage is the only source of a trope.

  101. 101
    JPL(formerly demo woman) says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Good points. A friend and I were discussing the same thing and I added one additional detail. I said that the only way to pay for the tax cuts would be to take the money that I’ve paid into social security to fund it. I’m not ready to give up my social security so that millionaires and billionaires can keep a few extra dollars. The top 1% already has 24% of the wealth.

  102. 102
    Davis X. Machina says:

    A hundred posts, and no one’s quoted Faulkner?

    “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.”

  103. 103
    Andy K says:

    @Brachiator:

    Hahahahaha…..

    And let’s not even get into the controversial claims that Greek myths and other religions appropriated African deities (as in Hermes as a later or parallel version of Eshu)

    No, let’s. Seeing that there’s no real history of the Yoruba before 400 BC, and the Greek mythology is already written down by then for hundreds of years…And explain to me the West African links to to Hindu shrines to Shiva, guardian of the crossroads, please.

    Nothing against African culture here- I’m sure that the Yoruba myths rose independently of the Hindu and Greek myths, the same way the similar Celtic and Native American myths concerning the raven rose independently….But I’ve got to go with TNC here, who was once deep into the belief that he came from royal lineage, sub-Saharan Africans as the founders of Egypt, like those of us of Irish descent, who are the inheritors of Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool), giants in our genes….When the fact is that what we really share- lots of real oppression and misery- makes us want to glorify ourselves by depicting our ancestry in mythical ways. It’s alright to say that, yeah, the crossroads myth in America is partially from one culture, and partially from another, because, more than anything else, it allows us to show that we can adjust to times and situations, and that we can be just as creative with our metaphors as the ancients.

  104. 104
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @JPL(formerly demo woman):

    I really think the way to combat the teabaggers is just this way. There’s no need to point out the obvious. Instead, point out what the Republican party doesn’t want them to know.

    It’s the same shit in a new package. It’s hard to support what has been a large cause of the problems we have had, and the Republican party know that. There may be division in the party but it’s an invasion of the crazies who are being pushed by the same old assholes against the entrenched assholes in the party.

    No matter what happens the Republicans lose. Tie that dead fish around their necks.

  105. 105
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @wag: tonic, in coastal New England east of the fall line. That’s all we ever called it when I was a child. The usage is eroded some since then.

  106. 106
    Dennis G. says:

    @Mike Furlan:
    A fine site for original source documents.

    This justification of Secession was written in South Carolina (naturally) back in 1860. Their core reason (in the second graph) could come from the mouth of any TeaTard or any self described modern ‘conservative’:

    It is seventy-three years, since the Union between the United States was made by the Constitution of the United States. During this time, their advance in wealth, prosperity and power, has been with scarcely a parallel in the history of the world. The great object of their Union, was defence against external aggressions; which object is now attained, from their mare progress in power. Thirty-one millions of people, with a commerce and navigation which explore every sea, and with agricultural productions which are necessary to every civilized people, command the friendship of the world. But unfortunately, our internal peace has not grown with our external prosperity. Discontent and contention have moved in the bosom of the Confederacy, for the last thirty-five years. During this time, South Carolina has twice called her people together in solemn Convention, to take into consideration, the aggressions and unconstitutional wrongs, perpetrated by the people of the North on the people of the South. These wrongs, were submitted to by the people of the South, under the hope and expectation, that they would be final. But such hope and expectation, have proved to be vain. Instead of producing forbearance, our acquiescence has only instigated to new forms of aggressions and outrage; and South Carolina, having again assembled her people in Convention, has this day dissolved her connection with the States, constituting the United States.

    The one great evil, from which all other evils have flowed, is the overthrow of the Constitution of the United States. The Government of the United States, is no longer the Government of Confederated Republics, but of a consolidated Democracy. It is no longer a free Government, but a Despotism.

    And this is what they felt before Lincoln even took office. It is what they still feel to this day. The reason that the occupants of wingnutopia promote the idea that the Government is the enemy is because–for them–that is a core belief. They have been fighting the Government of the United States of America for generations.

    Cheers

  107. 107
    Xenos says:

    @Davis X. Machina: You can see it on the map, where “soda” drops once you get to greater Boston. I thought it was a northern shore going Down East sort of thing, but the map shows a similar pattern for the south shore too. I used to live down there, and never heard ‘tonic’ used. But visiting a friend in Lynn once, and sure enough, still going strong.

  108. 108
    Andy K says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Discontent and contention have moved in the bosom of the Confederacy, for the last thirty-five years.

    1825? I’m drawing a blank. What happened in 1825 that would have caused discontent and contention in the bosom of the Confederacy?

  109. 109
    Andy K says:

    Never mind. It’s gotta be this:

    February 9 – After no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States.

  110. 110
    Joyful says:

    @lacp:

    And here in the middle of Pennsylvania, we say “soft drink.”
    Except for all the people here who’ve come from someplace else, like my southern “cocola” spouse.

  111. 111
    Dennis G. says:

    @Andy K:
    That may have been the Nullification Crisis when South Carolina (of course) passed an ordinance to nullify certain laws passed by Congress within the borders of that boiling mad state. The President at the time was Andrew Jackson and he took a dim view of this action. Things got pretty heated and a law was passed to allow Jackson to send troops down South to enforce the Federal law. In the end a compromise was found and the fighting was delayed until 1861. Still, this became a real source of discontent among the FireEaters of 1860s and the ideas that fueled the Nullification Ordinance form the philosophical foundation of the TeaTards and the modern ‘Conservative’ movement. These folks really, really hate the idea of power in the hands of a Federal Government which might tell the oligarchs in any given State what property the can and can not own and what they can do to maximize profits from that property. This unrestricted view of property rights is what the Confederates/TeaTards mean when they use the words “Liberty” and/or “Freedom”.

    Calhoun, who John Quincy Adams beat in the 1824-25 election was a champion of Nullification, the concept of “states rights” and slavery. In the minds of 1860 South Carolina FireEaters these things all merged into one thing.

    Cheers

  112. 112
    Andy K says:

    @Dennis G.:

    Yeah, but wouldn’t that have been written as 28 or 30 years then?

    I mean, I get your comparison between the tebaggers and those proto-Confederates who pushed the Nullification Crisis, and I agree with it, but in an era when someone is so exact to use “Four score and seven years ago…”, I think that the reference in the link is to something that occurred in 1825, not in 1832. And the rather surprising election by the House of Quincy Adams- about as popular to South Carolinians as was Lincoln- to the Presidency is the occurrence.

    Okay, you made me do a lot of reading through the wee small hours. I need sleep.

    Either I missed it or you added on edit, but Calhoun withdrew from the 1824 Presidential election early. He ran for and won the election to the Vice Presidency. Quincy Adams three opponents were Jackson, William Crawford of Georgia and Henry Clay. Clay didn’t garner enough Electoral College votes to be eligible for election in the House, but he used his Speakership to sway the vote in that chamber to Quincy Adams.

  113. 113
    LGRooney says:

    @Zach: I want to see any of those unborn baby worshipers, abstinence pushers, gay bashers, deniers of separation, and anti-drug fetishists explain to me the meaning of the 9th Amendment!

  114. 114
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    Great, and scary as hell, post.

  115. 115
    valdivia says:

    late to the party but absolutely great post.

  116. 116
    El Cid says:

    You call it a “Nullification Crisis” — but maybe it’s a Nullification Opportunity!

    Okay, the whole things about federal laws undesired before the Civil War and during Reconstruction up to Redemption might have been somewhat controversial.

    But can’t we come together in a bipartisan manner to help states refuse most of the new health insurance reform law and maybe financial regulations?

    We’re tired of all this division and extremism. We need to tone down the rhetoric on both sides.

    You know, one side says they want to shoot you and kill you, the other side goes to the other extreme and says they should not be allowed to shoot and kill you.

    A good balanced response would be to allow them to shoot you, but not kill you. Or, perhaps, stab you, with or without death.

  117. 117
    debbie says:

    It’s not often I read a blog post where every single word and sentence I agree with fully. This post is one of those.

    Definitely. Now, how does this post get itself onto the political stage?

  118. 118
    someguy says:

    This is exactly why there can be no civility, no quarter given, in debate with the Republicons – and why John’s post yesterday about civility in debate is oh so much bullshit.

    You shouldn’t bother arguing wiht somebody whose goals are fundamentally evil no matter how nicely they dress up their rhetoric in talk of fiscal conservatism.

    This does beg the question, of course, about how long we intend to sit around and jaw-jaw and pretend it will get solved at the polls, as they firm up their grip on the idiot electorate.

  119. 119
    James Hare says:

    @lacp:
    If only the Canadians weren’t so against aggressive wars. Even though their current leadership is kinda sucky, I’d take their politicians/political system over ours in a heartbeat.

  120. 120
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Yutsano: Sorry about brain hurt, but glad kitteh is adjusting. I crashed hard last night, so now I am up.

  121. 121
    WereBear says:

    Marvelous post, with a lot of stuff coalescing on me now that I’ve read it.

    And yes, Indiana is just Jawjuh with snow, essentially.. my own father, a kind hearted man who fed some orphaned fox kits all one summer, was proud of our distant relation to Jefferson Davis.

    No wonder, in his old age, as his mind slips, he can’t stay away from Faux News.

  122. 122
    redoubt says:

    Late, but thanks for this. Thoroughly co-sign. (Born and grew up in Chicago, with a Grant Park, a Sherman Park, a Sheridan Road and a Farragut High School, and the license plates always said “Land of Lincoln.”)

    @Andy K: @Brachiator: Speaking of crossroads: Gettysburg.

  123. 123
    Citizen_X says:

    So, a good response to/protest sign for Tea Partiers would be, Your country surrendered at Appomattox!”

  124. 124
    Original Lee says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Another good point to keep in mind: when the Senate Republicans are talking about small businesses, they are not using the SBA less-than-500-employee definition of small business. They are talking about S corporations. You know, like Bechtel, The Chicago Tribune, and Mrs. John McCain’s beer distributorship. Once people know that, they are much less likely to be in favor of extending the tax cuts and tend to get all riled up about the oligarchs screwing them over.

  125. 125
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Emma:

    We should have kicked their butts into the ground and reshaped their society when we had a chance. So much for being the nice guys. And look, we’re still trying to do it.

    The society reshaping thing ended with Lincoln. The Confederates lost the war, but they won Reconstruction.

    That is why the Old South never died. It is a bit like a vampire…you can’t just ‘kill’ it. You have to put a stake through the heart.

  126. 126
    LittlePig says:

    @Funkhauser: Some will never admit they lost.

    Thus a not-so-rare bumper sticker around these parts:

    North 1, South 0

    Halftime

  127. 127
    tessl. says:

    @KG: Georgia mentions Lincoln’s election because of the influence of Howell Cobb (and his brother, T.R.R. Cobb) on the convention where Georgia decided to secede. Cobb had been Secretary of the Treasury for Buchanan, but was seen as a traitor by some in Georgia because he was Speaker of the House when the 1850 Compromise went through, and it always seemed to me like he felt the need to prove his loyalty to the south after that or lose his home.

    (Athens had 2 weekly papers at the time–one was supportive to Cobb, was sympathetic to Unionist arguments; the other comes across as the World Net Daily of 1861. There’s a difference in tone, if not bias toward the confederacy, after Georgia officially secedes.)

    Sorry, I write a bit about Athens history for work, and while I do try to avoid the Civil War in most instances, it’s kind of hard to avoid at times when I need something for a certain date. I’ve learned a lot of things that have depressed me, and some things that are pleasant surprises. I know some Cobb descendants; it’s important to remember that racism, elitism, and general inhumanity are not always passed down through the family.

  128. 128
    Dennis G. says:

    @Andy K:
    I think you may be more on point than I with the 1825 reference and the Election of Adams, but the root of the Nullification Crisis began with the passage of the Tariff of 1828. Another flash point was the fallout of the Missouri Compromise which made it clear that the days of the Slave economy were numbered. All of these factors and more fed the imagined insults to the honor of FireEaters.

    Cheers

    @Citizen_X:
    NIce

  129. 129
    RalfW says:

    As I read this, I recalled moving to Houston in 1980 from the effete, Yankee northeast as I entered 10th grade. I was shocked that kids who were, what 15 years old, were still litigating the civil war. It seemed bizarre.

    This post puts that in perspective, and I can really see how TeaBuggery has inflamed that segment to (re)action.

  130. 130
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @LittlePig:

    Thus a not-so-rare bumper sticker around these parts:
     
    North 1, South 0
     
    Halftime

    If the argument made by Kevin Phillips in his book The Cousin’s Wars (based on the political demographics of the two sides and their cultural history) is correct, and I personally find his arguments and evidence to be pretty persuasive, then this conflict goes all the way back to the English Civil War of the early 1600s – it subsequently crossed the Atlantic and continued over on this side of the pond. So perhaps we are more like tied in the late 4th Quarter, with an indeterminate number of overtime periods stretching on ahead into the forseeable future. Not a cheering thought, but there you go.

    Excellent post Dennis G @top.
    Do try to take a look at Phillips’s book if you get a chance, you should find it very interesting.

  131. 131
    milhous451 says:

    you’re right about everything except the solution. the only way the Northern States of America regains its status as a developed world nation is if we secede from the South. unless we get the groveling dumbfuck republican votes of cracker nation off our voting rolls, we are doomed to living in a 19th century cesspool for the rest of our existence.

    remember the True State Motto of South Carolina:

    If at first you don’t secede, try try again.

    the North shall rise again!

    who’s with me?!!?!!

    YEARRRRRRRRRRRGH!

  132. 132
    Dr. Squid says:

    I wonder how well T-shirts with General Sherman’s face would go over.

  133. 133
    Tom Hilton says:

    Great stuff, Dennis, and exactly right.

    When I was reading Redemption (which should be required reading for every single citizen in this country), I was struck by how much the non-racist portion of the anti-Reconstruction agenda overlapped with today’s ‘conservative’ agenda: it was all about protecting the interests of the wealthy and the big corporate interests. (And taxes: BAD!).

    And to the extent that today’s ‘conservatism’ is more a collection of impulses than a coherent political agenda, they are largely the same impulses that fueled the Confederacy: demonization of the Other; fetishization of violence; rejection of modernity; an exaggerated sense of grievance.

  134. 134
    Poopyman says:

    I’ll be latest to a now very old post, and I’m just here to add my “me too”. The first thought I had when I saw that crying cracker lady say “I just want my country back” was that the CSA was not going to be back, if we had anything to do with it.

    Echoes of the Confederate sentiments and the festering anger at having lost the War Against Yankee Aggression have long been apparent to me. Thanks to Dennis G for tying several threads together.

    And it’s been a while since this was published. I think it’s time for an update.

  135. 135

    […] don’t have much to add to this post by Dennis G. over at Balloon Juice, except to pull out this quote… “It is a common line […]

  136. 136
    jake the snake says:

    @Funkhauser

    Faulkner clearly delineated this attitude.

    “Well, Kernel, they kilt us but they aint whupped us yit, air they?”
    Wash Jones to Colonel Sutpin in Absalom, Absalom!, Vintage Corrected Text, p. 223

  137. 137
    Dennis G. says:

    @Andy K:
    On more searching it looks like South Carolina traced the roots of the Nullification Crisis to 1825. This is from page 68 of The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Milton Stampp:

    It was the tariff question … that was soon to cause the planters of South Carolina the same bitterness of spirit thaI the merchants of New England had felt roward the embargo. A high tariff to foster manufacturing could be of no possible assistance to the South, and indeed damaged that section by greatly raising the prices of the manufactures they must buy. So by December, 1825, the South Carolina legislature made the expedient discovery that a protective tariff was “an unconstitutional exercise of power.” In a like category, it placed federal aid to internal improvements, a measure which was chiefly beneficial to northern merchants seeking to broaden their domestic markets. In the next few years South Carolina was joined in her new convictions by the nearby states of Virginia. Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

    This I think fits the Confederate causes of Secession better than the Election of Adams by the House of Representatives in 1825–although I have no doubt that was a grievance as well.

    Cheers

  138. 138
    Bruce says:

    @MeDrewNotYou: Like that map — nicely shows the great soda/pop divide in my native state of Pennsylvania.

  139. 139
    Deb T says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Does that make Palin the Virgin Mary?

  140. 140
    mazareth says:

    I was so hoping this thread was going to be about Community Supported Agriculture.

  141. 141
    liberty60 says:

    OK, a bit late to this thread, but I foound it so compelling I posted the link on both my Facebook page and the page for The Other 98%

    Which is also a terrific FB page for anyone who wants to engage in Teatard pushback.

  142. 142
    JWL says:

    Dennis G: If time and inclination persist, permit me to suggest:

    Purchase a copy of Steele’s Atlas Of the Civil War (warning: it’s expensive) , and use it as a reference book while reading Shelby Foote’s three volumed narrative.

    I did just that some twenty years ago. My comprehension of the battles themselves (already pretty good), as well as the sheer geography over which the struggle was waged, was dramatically enhanced. It remains one of the most fantastic reading adventures I’ve ever enjoyed.

  143. 143
    DPirate says:

    @Xenos: I don’t know why they need to disown anything.

    @Dennis G.: I think it is more a question of whether you believe in centralization versus decentralization. The candidates the tea party presents may very well represent “the oligarchy”, but so do the candidates of the other parties. The point is moot, I believe.

    The nullification idea is very attractive to me. I think more localized democracy could do a much better job of guaranteeing protections than the federal government. It seems obvious that congress and the executive are not only unable to enact and enforce protections for the people, but that they have been fairly well co-opted by capitalist interests.

    I expect that localized democracy will do a much better job.

  144. 144
    Neil Templeton says:

    In the end it comes down to a rock fight.

    @130 English Civil War circa 1640? Long before that. Maybe several thousand years before that. You have a pioneer culture (rednecks, hillbillies, Scots-Irish, glacier retreat first adopters); a mid-stage culture (New England mechanics and entrepreneurs, Yankee inventors, English Puritans); and a late stage culture (lethargic parasites who live off of wealth created by others). Plus of course the native Africans and Americans.

    Remember that the hillbillies owned few slaves and for the most part had no interest in the fate of African-Americans. Also remember that the Northeastern and Midwestern working classes did not welcome blacks with open arms in 1750, 1850, or 1950.

    Before you start throwing rocks, be sure of your target, and what you’re fighting for. Also consider whether you may also live in a glass house.

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