I was reminded this morning by TeacherKen, one of my favorite Diarists over at GOS, that 147 years ago somebody said something that was important.
It is worth it today to take a few moments to reflect on Lincoln’s words and the work that remains to be done to perfect our Union.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…”
is still a call to action that is as strong now as it was when Lincoln first uttered them by the fresh graves of Gettysburg nearly a hundred and fifty years ago.
The battles of the Civil War are still in play. As Faulkner said “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The Confederate Party had good number of victories this year. They firmly control the Republican Party, a majority of seats in the House and enough additional Senators to enhance their goals of protecting the oligarchs funding them, promoting policies of white supremacy and to continue their 150 year-old attack on the Constitution and the Federal Government of the United States of America.
We would do well to remember Lincoln’s words from 147 years ago (and the second Inaugural Address) as we work to deal with the coming waves of neo-Confederate extremism.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Ah, if it were given today by a gubmint official, Powerpoint would be used:
We sure have no Abe Lincolns anymore.
Yeah, the Gettysburg Address is pretty good, but imagine how much better it would have been if Lincoln had today’s speechwriters. The secret is to make sure every third sentence has something for your lackeys to stand up and cheer for.
Abe Lincoln’s failure to invoke 9/11 shows how unserious he was.
“Four Score and Seven Years Ago OMG NINE ELEVEN AND GAY MUSLIMS!!”
What we had in 1863 was a nation where the simplicity of moral righteousness had not been overwhelmed by economic stratification. The Neo-confederacy depends, paradoxically, on moral righteousness to advance its own cause. But that cause is delusional nostalgia, an America that stopped existing many decades ago.
There is no cure for our radical individualism that discounts the social compact and the necessary interdepedence of modern economic life. It’s this disease that’s killing us because it’s blind, greedy, dumb, and angry. There’s no cure here except the direct experience of this soul sickness. I wish it wasn’t so but we’re already too far gone.
Majority ONLY in the House.
Senate is not GOP majority, and should be a bit of a counterbalance to the House.
Well, it’s always good to hear from ol’ Abe (and thanks for the shoutout for the second inaugural, one of the greatest speeches of all time, outshining the Gettysburg Address by miles IMHO). It never hurts to have that reminder that we are still fighting that goddam war.
Hilarious, considering this paragraph from the 2nd Inaugural:
would in this day and age be ripped apart for “false equivalence” and/or being “glib” and “aloof”.
Sorry, but today’s rhetorical environment has no room for the likes of Lincoln.
Today’s media would have accused him of America-hating.
Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
Abraham Lincolns Inaugural Address 1861
Thanks for this, Dennis.
I’m just an amateur historian. From that perspective, I’d say that of all of the issues that were bubbling up during Lincoln’s ascendancy, he saw states’ rights versus the primacy of central government as the foremost. The secession of South Carolina probably did much to validate his conclusion.
Today, I would say that the issue of the concentration of wealth and the stacking of the deck to make certain that the concentration continues is the primary threat. I believe that Obama and his Cabinet were either unwilling or unable to rise to the occasion.
Great stuff. Coincidentally, I ran across this blog about the Gettysburg Address this morning. I particularly like this part:
And it is left to us to challenge, and to oppose, those who would insist on a selfish, narrow, crabbed, fearful refudiation of the best of what America can be.
Just want to point out that the Senate is currently preparing to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act S.510. Advocates of small farms/local food production managed to get an amendment sponsored by Senators Tester & Hagen added to the bill yesterday and now big Ag is pulling out the stops to shoot the bill down. If you have 5 minutes today, please call your senators and ask them to support passage of the bill.
If you are a resident of OK especially call up Coburn’s office as he is being his typical asshatted self about passage.
And if any of y’all frontpagers see this, feel free to write a post on it. The way food safety legislation in the U.S. procedes is a Big Fucking Deal.
Here’s a bit of fun, “Which Founder Are You?”
Surprisingly, my results linked me to Jimmey Madison.
So…apparently Joe Scarborough has been handed a two-day suspension now.
Does anybody have a book or set of books to recommend that do a good job of explaining how the party of Lincoln morphed into the party of McKinley over the course of the next four decades? I would love to find a reference for that era on par with say Nixonland.
Shouldn’t the title of this post be “seven score and seven years ago”?
@Brachiator: Nice. I was Ben Franklin.
J sub D
Hyperbolize much? This is sports bar politics at its worst.
The Dems are socialist and the GOP is racist. Stupid and stupid.
Yeah, where’s the Murican Ceptionalism in this here graph? Is this guy saying America ain’t the greatest, Fock Yeah!?
Paul in KY
@Brachiator: I won James Madison! I beat Virginia Tech this year, woo hoo!
Edit: Great minds answer questions alike ;-)
@Brachiator: Ha ha. That’s great!
I’m George Washington.
I visited the Lincoln Memorial earlier this year with my son and found it inspiring not just to read the words inscribed on the walls but also to see the many other people doing the same.
Meanwhile, on a much more pedantic level:
Really? Maybe I can watch Morning Joe those two days (oh, wait, I can deal with insipid Mika but do I really want to watch Mark Halperin and Pat Buchanan at all, let alone that early in the morning?). I think not.
Check out the podcasts here: The Death Throes of the Republic, addressing the last century and a half of the Roman Republic, is very relevant.
I used to live in DC. Every time I go back, I make sure to visit the Lincoln memorial. It is a perfect place. Such an elegant monument with beautiful stone. And I never tire of reading the words on the walls.
I use ‘House’ and ‘Congress’ interchangeably and forget that others do not. I’ve corrected it for clarity.
@J sub D:
Do yourself a solid and go through the archives here for Dennis’ Confederate History Month posts (which began in April), and then go over to TNC’s blog and read his posts on the same topic.
@Brachiator: Me too! James Madison, bitches.
Scott de B.
And the response from the Confederate-sympathizing northern Democrats:
“The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States.”
@4tehlulz: Certainly his failure to deal with militant Islam demonstrates his hatred for everything America stands for.
That had already been used here and I’m betting some other places as well.
But you’re right. It would have worked.
So did mine and I’m getting a bit suspicious.
Maybe Madison is the default case for folks who decline the obvious answers (for example, big library = TJ).
Speaking of Lincoln and our modern day Confederate Party, I thought this excerpt from Lincoln’s speech at Cooper Union in New York is still prescient:
What will ever satisfy them other than total capitulation to their beliefs?
Thank you! The end of the Roman republic and the subsequent rise of the Principate are one of the most interesting periods in Western history. I wouldn’t presume to invoke any historical parallel because the times and the circumstances were so different. I would note that, for me, the Principate was ascendant at first because it presented competence (By fostering the bureaucracy), stability, and security. The stability was onerous to all but the highest strata in Roman society but, it was taken as the price for personal security and for knowing one’s place in society while having someone else to look down upon.
@Scott de B.:
Back in the day, those were called Copperheads. I’m looking to revive the term.
I was Roger Sherman of Connecticut. That feels about right.
Me, too. No fucking way am I James Madison. Not shy. Not quiet. Yeah, I read a lot, but so did Tommy J.
Different, sure, but parallels nonetheless.
Expansion of power beyond the borders? Check.
Upper classes getting richer at the expense of the middle class? Check.
Liberal populist reformers offset by conservatives in the Senate? Check.
Conservative populist reformers pitting the upper middle class against the lower middle class, and playing the nativists against those who would extend the franchise outside of the traditional Italian borders? Check.
Nope. I picked big library and books books books all the way through and I’m George Washington.
Wow, another Confederacy post. At least it was topical this time. I’m just surprised you didn’t use your once clever/now trite elephant gif.
After 97 of these with the exact same message every time, I’m not sure whether to call you persistent in the face of a great evil or just embarrassingly single minded…
Get used to it, Bob. Four years of the 150th anniversary of something Civil War related, just about everywhere.
@R-Jud: Me too! Let’s go fly a kite!
been calling Boehner and the gang in Cincy that for years. very fitting.
Did you see this? Sure does sound like the Confederate Party.
Arkansas state leg sees Confederate flag as symbol of Jesus Christ.
And this little nuggets (the irony is rich that this guy is a “republican”):
Republican Loy Mauch, was recently elected to represent House District 26 near Hot Springs, Arkansas. A former head of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans post in Hot Springs, Mauch is a current member of The League of the South, a group which works toward the formation of an independent Southern nation.
When asked what the Confederate flag symbolizes, Mauch said: “It’s a symbol of constitutional government. It’s a symbol of Jesus Christ above all else. It’s a symbol of Biblical government.”
For seven years, Mauch was the commander of James M. Keller Camp 648 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He stepped down as commander last year. In 2004, angered by the city of Hot Springs’ refusal to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln displayed in the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center, the Keller Camp hosted a conference in Hot Springs called “Seminar on Abraham Lincoln — Truth vs. Myth,” with a keynote address called “Homage to John Wilkes Booth.”
@something fabulous: Heck yes!
@walt: Spot on! May I respectfully suggest ‘moralistic self-righteousness’ instead of ‘moral righteousnes’? The Republican party’s public self-presentation is a grotesque parody of morality, righteouness, principle, decency and the like & all in bad faith.
@lou…sorry, your comment wasn’t visible when i was writing mine
time to add that elephant gif to the post, dennis
@J sub D:
Not a close reader, but that’s OK.
Whenever one talks about the lingering Confederate Party and that the current Republican Party that is controlled by these neo-Confederates it is never very long before somebody plays the ‘white victimhood–you-called-me/them-a-racist’ card.
Control does not equal all and by no means does pointing out that the neo-Confederates controll the Republican also mean that all Republicans are racist. But it is a great way to try and change the subject.
Congratulations on being the first to go there in this thread.
And yet, the Republican Party is stilled in the control of the neo-Confederates and working for their policy goals.
Yep, these Confederates were experts at moving the goal posts long before the first game of football was played.
The Cooper Union Speech is another great one.
@dj spellchecka: Hey, great minds think alike and all that.
I’ve always loved that my birthdate came 100 years to the day after Lincoln’s address
@R-Jud: Aww, so much cooler than what I had in mind!
@R-Jud: Aww, so much cooler than what I had in mind!