For what it’s worth, this was a conservative blog with Republican readers when John asked me to join as his first co-blogger in 2005. You could hear the bitching and moaning from space. I grew a thick skin (tip: unproductive comments are a waste of time. If a comment is mostly unproductive, answer the productive part and ignore the rest), readers who couldn’t handle it left and the blog is a different place now. Personally I think friction is fine as long as everyone tries to argue in good faith.
In other news, people talking about the new Confederate party would enjoy reading this. It’s a Civil War blog that treats the war as if it’s happening in real time. The author just observed on NPR that teabagger commenters pretty much all embrace the Confederacy as if they never left.
It’s disappointing to read all the outrage and intolerance from last night. While I wish Kain would respond to the arguments here, and I understand readers’ frustration at not getting responses, there are just too many people here to be able to do that.
It is an interesting article about how the term “Tea Party” came to be used as it is today. It was once an episode of the Revolution that embarrassed the folks from that era–our founding fathers as it were–so much that they actively shun talking about it and nobody bragged about taking part in it. It was thought to be a childish act.
“Tea Party” was first used as an expression of resistance to the US Government by slave owners during the nullification crisis. later some abolitionists tried to use the term when they rescued slaves from slave hunters in Boston. But it was the Confederates of 1860 who went to town with it and who are the real founding fathers of the modern Tea Party movement.
It is good to this Confederate Party meme filter out.
Stupid thing ate my comment.
I wanted to say that I have learned a ton from the “Confederate Party” meme and it and the concept of the Confederate Party as a kind of political virus that infects the body politic–jumping from Tories to Democrats to Republicans at different times–has really helped me explain things to less political people. Its a very easy concept to grasp and it has tremendous explanatory power.
I also recommend Jill LePore’s new book on the teaparty.
As for the infighting. I love all the posters except for Kain but I don’t m ind his posts–I like to read the rebuttals. As far as I can see he’s always wrong, in totally predictable ways. But there’s no harm in it. I love Anne Laurie’s political posts and I think she has a depth of political insight that isn’t even really tapped yet.
At the NC State Fair, I spent a very interesting half-hour talking with the three members staffing the “Sons of the Confederacy” booth. The most striking thing about them was that while they definitely harbor some delusional obsessions about the Civil War and the Southern position, and their political beliefs (though we did not talk overtly about that) are almost certainly in line with Tea Party nonsense, nonetheless these are not wicked, evil-hearted men. They struck me as the type of graying, 50+ish men who would be delightful to have as somewhat eccentric neighbors, and on a personal level, don’t harbor any malice whatever toward black people. That’s not AT ALL to say that their isn’t a gargantuan disconnect between this personal-decent level and the obvious implications of where their very Rand-Paul like glibertarian ideas would lead for racial relations. They still idealize the states’ rights format of the Confederate government, even while maintaining that they would certainly not bring back slavery or anything like it.
I realized that taking them on directly would be futile, and picked a much more subtle, subversive tack: I pointed out that for the overwhelmingly vast portion of the Southern (even white) population, the reasons the war was started and fought had nothing to do with any of their own interests at stake, but had instead to do with the interests of economic and political elites whose interests were threatened. Just like – TODAY! when Wall Street and huge corporations corruptly run our government (cleverly taking off on some remarks a couple of them made to this precise effect). These three SOC members were ordinary middle-class guys, the kind who would almost certainly not been wealthy enough to own slaves or been engaged in any of the sorts of economic activities the southern elites were engaged in or defending. They would have wound up common soldiers, at best lower-order officers in the CSA, the ones getting killed for the plantation owners’ benefit.
I think that’s the best way generally to force cracks in the political worldview of a great many ordinary middle-class wingnuts whose economic interests are obviously divergent from the Tea Party and the GOP…gently force them to see some instances close to home of how some of the causes and people they are supporting lead to results directly against their own interests. Not broader social justice, their own interests that the elites like the Koches have successfully deluded them into working against.
After Grant took Vicksburg, West Point pro’s knew it was all over.
Still, West Pointer Jeff Davis and his mother-fucking ilk chose to fight to the last southern corpse.
Flash forward: I almost envy the French the excesses of their Revolution.
This is why I enjoy reading you, specifically, and mostly ignore the rest (with exceptions for ED and John, on occasion.)
@cmorenc: And how did that tack work out? Did they agree with you?
So the cycle continues.
Confederates, Repdemptionist overthrowers of Reconstruction, 1920s anti-Red hysterics, 1930s Liberty Leaguers, 1950s Birchers, so on and so forth.
Rewind the tape, change the names and the current context references, and you hear it over and over and over and over and over. And each and every time funded by and organized by a section of that era’s super-rich.
But it is nice for someone to notice.
After 30 years of hyper republicanism, and the deregulation craze fueled largely by quasi libertarian ideas wrapped up with conservative bells and whistles, I am just not in the mood these days to spend time discussing quaint libertarian notions over tea and crumpets. It is like folks lounging on the deck of the Titanic chit chatting over more freedom to build unsinkable boats.
I think it is important to name things what they are.
If one thinks of the Confederate movement as in the past, those dedicated to it our quaint, sometimes interesting characters.
If one thinks of it as an active force in American politics for the last 180 years, then it is a movement that one should be very concerned about.
I think it is safe to say that 90% of all American blood spilled domestically for political reasons in the last 18 decades can be traced back to the Confederate movement, their beliefs and their quick embrace of violence whenever cornered.
The fact that this movement has taken over a National Party again and is actively working to recreate the gridlock of the 1840s and 1850s (along with the street mobs to intimidate opponents) is something to worry about, identify and fight.
I don’t think anyone should take lightly a culture, or sub culture in America, where it’s proponents were once willing to sacrifice the amount of blood and treasure the Confederacy did, to preserve a way of life. And again are making noise that is not much more than echoes of past noise.
If you read all the way to the end of that opinonator piece Tim F links to the writer turns out to be a pimp for the Tea baggers from the National Review. No wonder he doesn’t mention LePore’s work on the Tea Party and also fails to grasp that at its inception the real Tea Party was in fact a cover for elites acting thuggishly to protect their elite financial interest. Once we won the Revolution the actual Tea Party members, who couldn’t be farther from the low and middle class shock troops who are the tea partiers today, kept quiet about what they had done because they had deep financial pockets and interests that would have been harmed if they’d come out and admitted to it. They were more like the Koch brothers if they ever did their own dirty work.
Good morning Tim.
If we treat you with respect, will you respect us when you are out playing with other kids, or will you gossip about us and giggle and talk about how dumb and hysterical we are?
Actually, I’m not worried about you.
I am worried about SOME PEOPLE. I feel that posters and commenters alike should maintain a certain amount of loyalty to the community or leave the community. Yes, I am old and may have an oldfashioned sense of right and wrong. But I still might be right.
To the issue at hand:
The opinionator piece about the Civil War is interesting. We all have studied the War and might feel pretty complacent our knowledge in that area. I’ve been surprised a few times already with new facts and insights. This surprise is good for my character. Keep the good stuff coming. :-)
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
About EDK, I’ll update one of my tenets: If who is on a blog is the most important thing you have to worry about, you’re doing pretty good.
As for Tea Partiers: How people can vote against both their own interests and the interests of the country as a whole I am still trying to figure out. In part it has something to do with conservative’s inability to see beyond themselves. The only worldview they have is based on their only little world, and in that world, having less money means having less to spend, so taxes are bad. They are unable to see far enough out to understand the flaws in this line of reasoning. This probably also explains why they cannot compute a marginal tax rate.
To choose this moment to start a no-end-in-sight nation-wide column allowing such fine folks as this National Review writer to relive the Confederacy in ‘real time’ is NOT stoking a fire, no, nor is it encouraging a new focus on the fissure in our culture or validating the idea of a valiant, slightly misguided but honorable season of bloody treason.
Two very interesting, promising stories today.
Federales were actually building cases against insider trading for the last 3 years, apparently coming after them now.
Including the Untouchables, Goldman Sachs.
You really should read this. I anticipate that if carried out this will meet a howlstorm of condemnations and excuses and calls for delays and/or Obama anti-corporate conspiracy, from various sections of government and Chamber type lobbies.
Also, this, in no small part for the group’s kickass name:
Personally, it has been a very good thing Cole bringing in a number of new Front Pagers with different styles and thinking. If a particular thread post doesn’t interest me, it usually isn’t long till one pops up that does.
Kain is okay with me, though rarely do the topics he writes about interest me. It usually isn’t long till one of the other FP’ers post a thread that does.
Good luck with this with the new House.
Will. Not. Happen.
We’ve gone meta, meta, meta – what’s the matter?
Some people have Civil War Blogs, we have blog civil wars.
Timmy, I think yer exaggerating a little bit here. John was already waffling a bit and DougJ’s personalities were probably doing the most moaning.
Of course, as more strident members of their ideology adopted more repressive measures toward the minorities in their community, those “brave southern men” would clam up, participate in the repression as part of the societal status quo, reap whatever scant economic benefits that the inequality and repression generated, and would sigh and make pretend concern noises in private.
There is nobody more gutless in the face of repressive white supremacist ideology than the “courageous” white southern conservative male.
They’re a bunch of fucking chickenshits, and are more than willing to stand at the back of the pack of axe-handle wielding assholes ready to clear out a lunch counter sit-in.
On the Civil War:
This will take you to TOCWOC, which is a Civil War blog, and the author’s list of like blogs that he likes.
Another interesting site is http://www.wig-wags.com/. It contains lots of stuff.
And if you are as concerned as I am about the centrifugal forces roaming across the land, it might be good to put a little history under your belt. [But no, it won’t make you feel better.]
I have read both “Battle Cry Of Freedom” and Shelby Foote’s 3-part master work on the Civil War (the first volume deals with the years leading up to the actual war). And I am here to tell you that the battle lines and arguments are the same in every way. While the issue then was slavery the driving force was, would America be a modern nation build for the betterment of every person or would it be a feudal state built for the enrichment of the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
The weak government being bullied and hampered by the moneyed interests, The refusal by half the country to want progress, the wealthy having the heavy lifting done by poorer segments of society that are most hurt by their work, threats by states to leave the Union; its all so familiar.
The Civil War created an America that was a world power but I think the current battle ends with “the South” winning and America just a faded empire.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Thanks for the link, interesting reading and I intend to read more of it. In another post I was reading there, this bit caught my eye:
The lament about how the south needed to expand because slave labor was “wasteful labor” is really twisted. If only the ‘economical labor of the white man’ could have been brought to bear on this horrible situation they found themselves in, their problems would be solved. So they really had no choice in the matter, right? Southern arguments in support of slavery included the economic theory that whites couldn’t do the job needed so slaves were essential to the economic well-being of the southern states.
What the fuck were they going to do when they reached the Dakotas, bring in Eskimoes because they are used to working in cold climates? Exactly what is the right climate for white people to work in? Oh, right. That war was all about rich white people inciting the rubes in a selfish attempt to keep their slaves and “way of life”.
We like to comment about how many idiots and crazies are in our country but stupid and crazy has been a part of our nation since day one. In the past the rich have used crazy people to get what they want. The crazy incite the stupid and then it’s off to war!
ETA: I wonder what Davis would have said if he was confronted with the fact that even if slavery was extended from the south to cover the planet, that would mean that expansion would stop and his nightmare scenario of the whites being out-bred by the browns would come true.
I am sure he would have a very teabaggy response handy!
You raise an interesting point. We (And I reluctantly and ashamedly include myself) tend to demonize Southerners. They are, on a personal level, some of the most decent people whom I’ve ever met. If you get a flat tire they are the ones who will help you jack up the car and they’ll take you and the offender to the tire place and then help you to bolt everything back up and get back on the road.
I’m neither an apologist for Confederate politics nor am I an apologist for some of their more hare-brained notions. I would suggest that appealing to their sense of decency might yield better results than telling them how stupid they are for not appreciating our great ideas.
@Odie Hugh Manatee:
The real profit in slavery was not the crops planted in the fields. It was the ‘breeding’ and selling of slave. Selling Slaves was big, big business in Old Virginny.
When the international slave trade was outlawed the domestic slave trade boomed. To sell domestically required more markets under the American flag, hence the battle over slave vs free Territories and new states.
It was also the reason for efforts to take over Cuba and land in Central America. As well as the wars with Mexico. The fight for Texas Independence was also all about slavery. When Mexico banned slavery that is when folks decided they had to fight give Texas the ‘freedom’ to own slaves. One should remember that when remembering the Alamo.
Also, too, Jefferson Davis is one of the all time douchebags of history.
@Dennis SGMM: well, yeah.
edit: the below is a response to Dennis G (I kleverly [sic] hit the wrong reply button):
i don’t agree with you that often, but i did want to say that i think you’ve been doing yeoman’s work in highlighting of the recycling of those persistent themes in american discourse. my disagreement with you rests on the notion that you are propounding an analogy rather than a direct descendant: old clothes, but new body. why do i say it’s an analogy? at the time of the civil war there were no major corporations to speak of and the US was not, to take just one example, on a permanent war footing and the largest arms merchant in the world. so it seems to me that while calling out the recycling of memes is an excellent idea, the underlying problem (and consequently, the solution) is significantly different, and, unlike the civil war, requires destruction or reduction of different elements of US society.
Appealing to that sense of alleged decency will yield…nothing.
They had a century after the Civil War to do the right thing, and those chickenshit fuck “moderate” southerners kept saying “slow down, take off the pressure, we’ll deal with it in our own time”, and then, then never did. It was pre-internet concern trolling.
You think that it was an all Klan state jury that acquitted the Philadelphia MS murderers?
In all the wrangling over civil rights, where were those with a sense of decency? It took Northerners, intellectuals, “wimpy” Jewish kids from the East Coast to give the assist to the southern black leadership to help make it all happen.
Of course, in the minds of “decent” southerners, those are the precise people to despise, mock and belittle. Hell, look at Caribou Barbie’s latest plagiarization of Mein Kampf – there’s so much grievance in there that the Hitler estate really needs to sue for an intellectual copyright breach. The only real difference is that the original had snappier cover art.
Bubbles then, bubbles now.
Should have hanged. So should Lee.
Unless you’ve ever lived in the South, you can’t fully appreciate to what extent their defeat in the civil war shapes its cultural and political identity.
For the North, the civil war ended at Appomatox. For the South, Appomatox was just halftime.
You got it
You know who else wrote a Civil War blog (or its 19th-century equivalent) that treated the war as if it was happening in real time, because it was? A couple of guys named Marx and Engels. Some of the best contemporary analysis out there. And yes, they highlighted the aggressive nature of the Confederate cause: the South was fighting to expand slavery, not merely defend it.
It’s just words, folks.
For fuck’s sake.
The odious Roger B. Taney and his vile Dred Scott decision practically invited them to do it.
Another one of the mostly forgotten great villains of U.S. history.
I remember! John was one of the only right wing blogs I could read without a barf bag.
ED would be booed as a “leftie” there, or a RINO :p
I think the very essence of this blog is about respecting people’s right to have an opinion, no matter which side they come from.
And then tearing it to pieces with facts and logic, not with ad hominen.
Oh, bullshit. The biggest douchebags I’ve ever met in my life have been Southerners. I’ve spent quite a bit of time below the Mason-Dixon and have yet to find any evidence of that fabled Southern hospitality or anyone who would offer to change a tire on a car with PA plates. Two exceptions would be the Mexican-Americans one encounters in Texas and pretty much any majority black community of the South. Southern whites I have found to be angry, aggrieved, prejudiced (against all brown-skinned people and white Yankees) assholes, for the most part. The idea that people who are still whining about getting their asses whupped in a fight they started 140 years ago and who are crying today about how whites face worse racism than blacks or Hispanics (right along with their Northern Teabagger and GOPer comrades, according to a poll of them released just this week) are not people who can be gently or reasonably convinced to change their ways. It’s a nice thought and typically liberal thinking at that but is a fantasy. We’re at war. I plan to fight.
This is an oversimplification. Despite the ability to avoid the draft by purchasing a substitute or paying a $300 commission fee that led to cries of “poor men fighting a rich man’s war,” statistics show that poor farmers were just as likely to be excused from service via one of those two methods as white-collar workers.
The biggest element of the anti-abolitionist Copperheads were poor Catholic immigrants, who didn’t want blacks free to come north and compete for their jobs. The draft riots of 1863 in New York were led by Irish immigrants, who railed against rich, Protestant New England abolitionists.
In the Confederacy, we don’t have good statistics, but the evidence that does exist indicates that, in the words of MacPherson, “adjusted for age, both skilled and unskilled laborers were under-represented in the Confederate army, while business and professional classes were over-represented.” We can’t tell whether the planter class, in particular, was proportionally represented, though.
This. That piece is another version of “the Tea Partiers are smarter than everyone else” puffery.
Basically all he says through the article is that because abolitionists (i.e. Commies/liberals/progressives) turned the Tea Party into a symbol of civil disobedience and Lincoln mentioned it once to protect the temperance movement (i.e. more Commies/liberals/progressives) then clearly we can’t just act like this iteration is dumbass.
Oh, and they’re not dumbass because they have a superior grasp of American history than the rest of us, because they know the year in which the Boston Tea Party occurred. Wonderful. Does that mean that because I know the year of the Spanish-American War I’m smarter than the other 300 million when I cry for independence for Puerto Rico?
Every time someone who isn’t Stanley Fish posts on the Opinionator they manage to somehow make fun of Kos while doing it. Jesus.
You understand that she’s from Alaska, and that Alaska is not a Southern state, right?
And you understand that the TBer who beat Russ Feingold will now be the junior Senator from Wisconsin, and that Wisconsin is not a Southern state, right?
You get that Michele Bachman is a Congresswoman from Minnesota, and that Minnesota is not a Southern state, right?
The list goes on and on and on. California, Washington, Kansas (the ORIGINAL free state), New York, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc. ALL have A LOT of elected officials who would fit right in in the Confederacy. Hell, doesn’t Indiana still hold the “record” for most lynchings in one year? You get that all of these states are not in The South.
You get that, right?
Now let me point out something that you might have trouble getting. You know all those old photos of Dr. King, John Lewis, and others crossing bridges and marching down thoroughfares? You notice that there’s a lot of black people and a lot of white people marching with them? Most of those people, of both races, were Southerners.
I don’t have much of a dog in this fight in terms of geography or historical background; I’m a Westerner. But, I know a lot of those marchers (well, more accurately, their kids and grandkids). I also know their intellectual children, the Stephen Brights, John Rappings, and other seekers of justice from the South. Painting the South with such a broad brush just makes it harder for them and like-minded people to get the job done.
Got to agree with Michael on this one. Look, its a total red herring to oppose “nice to some people” with “mean to other people” as though its not exactly the same person doing both. Would Hitler change some ladies’ tire if her truck broke down near his retreat? Sure! Ask the Mitford sister who shot herself for love of him. Would he have had the communist sister committed to a death camp and killed? Sure! She was not only a communist but had the temerity to marry a jew.
There’s not some amazing line between nice people and evil people–its all circumstantial and depends on stuff that’s quite variable. Dennis SGGM wants to imagine that those nice white guys run out and change your tire when it breaks down on the highway? Unless you are black, or obviously jewish, or the wrong kind of white woman (as I recall they shot one of those during the civil rights era) or sitting next to the wrong person.
That isn’t to say that in Morenc’s position I’d run up to the guys at the confederate booth shrieking “die, mother fuckers.” But I see no reason not to as them whether they ever imagine going back in time and *not being white* or *not being white men of a certain age* and whether the Civil War and Southern society would look the same to them or seem as desirable to them as it does now. Civil war romancers are like the dopey people who like to imagine that they were Kings and Queens in Egypt or the reincarnation of King Arthur. They never think they would have been insects, or thralls, or serfs with a short, nasty, and brutish life of servitude.
Mmmm… Just read all the “ombudsman” posts and it seems to me is a classic case of the nerd who got invited to be part of the popular crowd.
His old buddies miss him and ask how can he stand his new friends. He misses them a bit but still wants to be in with the “in” crowd. So here he shows one face. To his old friends he shows another, highly critical of us dirty hippies.
It is perfectly understandable, just childish to the core. ED doesn’t have the strength to defend his convictions here, or to stand up to his old glibertarian friends and own the fact that he has decided to write and be part of BJ.
I wouldn’t get too offended he decided to call himself our teacher. Heck, I too called myself boss / teacher / mentor without the employee / student / pupil knowing my role. Only I did it when I was 18, but who am I to judge the age people find wisdom ?
He was just boasting to his old buddies. Ignore it. He will grow out of that.
Boy, talk about rewriting history. The black folks in the marches were southern, the white ones, not so much.
And yes, the idiocy that was the Confederacy goes to all borders. However, institutional control is pervasive more often is a southern thing, and as a son of the south, I can and will be critical of all that I know and hear.
E.D. Kain is simply the Angry Black Lady of right.
When discussing the Confederate Party it is important to know that you can not use Southern and Confederate interchangeably. While the Civil War was was geographically sectional, there were Unionists in the South and Confederates in the North.
When discussing the Confederate Party it is important to know that you can not use Southern and Confederate interchangeably. While the Civil War was was geographically sectional, there were Unionists in the South and Confederates in the North.
When Mexico banned slavery that is when folks decided they had to fight give Texas the ‘freedom’ to own slaves.
And they are still looking for ‘freedom’ for them and not their lessors. The rational they use may be slightly different but the results they are looking for are the same.