Undoubtedly, A Welcomed Criticism

By Lloyd the Idiot

Gov.  Bob McDonnell is being criticized by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans for his “ongoing failure” to recognize that the War of Northern Aggression is still being fought by a crazy few.


Comments

  • Dan says:

    What a fascinating group the Sons of Confederate Veterans is. They are very much like the sort of folks who go to Star Trek conventions and learn to speak Klingon.

    I don’t expect Governor McDonnell to make their obsessions his priority. Which is to his credit.

  • “What a fascinating group the Sons of Confederate Veterans”
    They certainly are, Dan. Sure, I’m disappointed with this decree from the top, but as a member, I can’t let you sit here as a yankee and throw rocks at them.

  • Dan says:

    Monk, I suppose I was being a bit flippant about the Sons of Confederate Veterans. But then again, we aren’t talking some radical splinter offshoot of the group. These guys are the freakin’ leadership of the organization! And they are basically calling the governor to task for not fully endorsing their comic book revisionist version of the history of that period in our nation’s past.

    You misidentify me as a yankee. And I have ancestors who fought on both sides during the war. But even those in the family who most closely identify with the South wouldn’t likely identify with the fiction that slavery was only a tangential issue in the war or that the “happy darkies” really liked being slaves so much that thousands of them fought for the Confederacy.

    Maybe some of these guys really do speak Klingon.

  • Half of me likes them, because they care and they keep history alive. The other half of me dislikes them, because they push a revisionist historical agenda and want to downplay some aspects of the war that portray the South in a negative light.

    Neither side in the conflict had clean hands and there’s no reason to whitewash history. At the same time, these guys aren’t all crazy racist neo-confederates either.

  • “we aren’t talking some radical splinter offshoot of the group”
    Okay, you were fine with that….but then you became unhinged.
    Plantations were like big families. Many of the slaves were indeed close to the families that owned them. The life on that farm was intertwined in many ways. And indeed some actually fought right beside the South to protect their way of life. Some in my own family, slick.

    As for the reasons —in REALITY, it’s ALWAYS about the Benjamins, son. Any other reason is a friggin’ fairy tale be lefties. It was 80% taxes and tarriffs. One merely need follow the money. That’s true in EVERY facet of one grievance towards another’s.

  • I’m someone who takes the Civil War very seriously. (Family on both sides, and I take the point about unclean hands. One of my Union ancestors was pro-union because they would pay him more money for his land (railroad) than the Confederacy would.) I’ve been to nearly every battle field in VA, and my husband and I have actually taken vacation to see other battlefields in other states. One or both of us has read pretty much everything about the War, and we’ve seen pretty much every documentary. We’ve belonged to book groups, discussion groups, and love to talk about it with anyone at any time. We have the Mort Kunster print “Lee’s Lieutenants” hanging on a wall in our home.

    But fly the Confederate flag? Uh, no.

  • BlackOut says:

    Gretchen,

    I am with you. I too have been to a large number of Civil War Battlefields. I have done my far share of researching this important time in history. I still find it fascinating.

    One question I’ve never been able to answer. Why were all the major Civil War battles fought on National Parks? Was this arranged by Grant and Lee?

  • edmundburkenator says:

    BPM, indeed it is always about the “Benjamins”.

    Cheap labor (slavery) was worth fighting for.

  • Touche’ edmund. I’m not defending it, but it was but one factor in a much bigger reasoning. That alone is not enough to go to war over (and coupled with the fact that the North maintained some slavery up there, it gets further diluted.)
    Most of the reasoning was undue tariffs placed on the South by an over-reaching North.

  • Leesburger…I’m not going to discuss any racist efforts from your camp.
    Get a better grip and come back. That’s the lowest hanging fruit. If you cannot do better, you don’t get to play.

  • RichmondDem says:

    Read the secession ordinances themselves. Read the speeches in support of them, read what the emissaries of the Deep South said to the General Assemblies of the Upper South in between Lincoln’s election and Fort Sumter. You’ll see what the real cause was rather quickly, and there was only one cause mentioned in these documents and speeches.

  • RichmondDem says:

    As for the Confederate flag it really depends on the context in which it is flown, and which *kind* of Confederate flag is being flown. There’s the historical Confederate flag, and then the 20th century “rebel flag” that was flown primarily to protest school desegregation.

  • BlackOut — it WAS very clever of both sides to agree to that national park idea, wasn’t it? 🙂

    Anyone been to one of the battlefields and had an odd feeling or experience? For me, Cold Harbor, even in a hot summer day always gives me goosebumps and is eerily too quiet. Haven’t felt that anywhere else.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Gretchen, I have had odds experiences at Gettysburg and several other battlefields. My great (3 times I believe) grandfather fought for a volunteer co from PA and his name is listed on the big memorial.

    Further, when I went to the graveyard where he was buried in Punxsutawney (not knowing the location of his site) – I bee-lined to the edge of the cemetary and pointed – there he is. My Uncle said “Well, that was weird”. And it was!

  • Blackout says:

    Absolutely agree on the Cold Harbor feeling. It’s very similar to the feeling I get at The Sunken Road, or as some call Bloody Lane at Antietam. Walking along the road feels like walking through a grave. Intense!

    I must give credit where credit is due. The national park comment came from Tony Horwitz’s book Confederates in the Attic. Horwitz investigates why the Civil War is still alive amongst some, even though the War ended close to 140 years ago. It’s a great book! It certainly will piss off CW revisionists, but that’s part of the fun. The conversations and encounters he has along his journey are priceless. Especially the interviews he does with hardcore re-enactors. Horwitz weaves a ton of humor into the exploration of a very complex subject.

    It is on the required reading list for freshman that enter the University of North Carolina. Last I heard at least. There was some lawsuit against that by Southern Legal Resource Center.

    Here’s a little more flavor of the book:

    “Horwitz discusses the concept of a “useable past,” which he calls a “voguish academic phrase,” but which seems somewhat appropriate. As Horwitz describes it, people are “tailoring or cutomizing history to suit their own needs in the present, making use of what they can scoop up from the Internet and other sources outside the ‘mainstrea

    “Horwitz discusses the concept of a “useable past,” which he calls a “voguish academic phrase,” but which seems somewhat appropriate. As Horwitz describes it, people are “tailoring or cutomizing history to suit their own needs in the present, making use of what they can scoop up from the Internet and other sources outside the ‘mainstream,’ rather than what comes down on high from the priestly class of professionals” (15). Horwitz makes reference to this tendancy when he mentions people selling titles like “Facts the Historians Leave Out,” which he explains is “a Confederate apologia from the 1920s” (118). By reconfiguring and romanticizing history, reenactors avoid the issue of slavery entirely, as if the Civil War can be separated from the issue of slavery. And the enthusiasts have ways of making slavery a non-issue for the war, as if that wasn’t a part of the problem. While I’ve always been taught in school that the issue of slavery was secondary to economic and political concerns, the Confederacy was a slaveholding state. Rather than confronting all of the war’s issues head-on, “history,” in a bastardized, revised form, becomes the chief means to escape the past and ameliorate the present for most of Horwitz’s enthusiasts. And it is not as if many of the people he talks to aren’t racist. On the contrary, racism is rampant and guiding the actions of these people in many situations. They just happen to be situations not revolving around the Civil War.m,’ rather than what comes down on high from the priestly class of professionals” (15). Horwitz makes reference to this tendancy when he mentions people selling titles like “Facts the Historians Leave Out,” which he explains is “a Confederate apologia from the 1920s” (118). By reconfiguring and romanticizing history, reenactors avoid the issue of slavery entirely, as if the Civil War can be separated from the issue of slavery. And the enthusiasts have ways of making slavery a non-issue for the war, as if that wasn’t a part of the problem. While I’ve always been taught in school that the issue of slavery was secondary to economic and political concerns, the Confederacy was a slaveholding state. Rather than confronting all of the war’s issues head-on, “history,” in a bastardized, revised form, becomes the chief means to escape the past and ameliorate the present for most of Horwitz’s enthusiasts. And it is not as if many of the people he talks to aren’t racist. On the contrary, racism is rampant and guiding the actions of these people in many situations. They just happen to be situations not revolving around the Civil War.” – A review by Shawn Rider

  • Blackout says:

    Apologizes for the cut and paste mess. I’d fix it if I could. As we all do, I hate this editor.

  • Such a shame that Virginia has become so ashamed of it’s Confederate heritage.

  • Hillsboro says:

    Confederates in the Attic is one of my favorite books. Its a very funny and enjoyable book, something you might not gleam from the review BlackOut posted.

    Until recently, Mr. Horowitz lived in Waterford. He’s a master of warmly and humorously tweaking folks who are obsessed with reliving (and in some cases rewriting) the past.

  • Intriguing says:

    “And indeed some actually fought right beside the South to protect their way of life. Some in my own family, slick.”

    Monk – let me get this straight – are you saying that there were some slaves in your family, or are you saying that some of your family fought for slavery? I’m not sure what your point is here.

  • RichmondDem says:

    You can admire the bravery of Confederate soldiers and military leaders–as I do–while still believing their cause was flawed.

    Even leaving the slavery question aside, does anybody believe that North America, or for that matter the world, would have been better off had America been permanently split into two rival republics after 1865? I didn’t think so.

    The Europeans would have played both us and the North like a fiddle for their gain. One can imagine (at the very least) a major theater of World War I being fought on American soil. That’s a horrible thing to contemplate.

  • RichmondDem says:

    Or imagine Fairfax County being like the Korean DMZ instead of one of the most dynamic, wealthy suburbs in the country.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Bravery, chivalry, honor, a simpler time…

    There are many that long for a time when those things seem to be the rule. They really only rule our lore. There was plenty of cruelty and evil in those times. Just like now.

    Stories abound about great and simple men under fire. Some are even true.

    There are great and simple men under fire today — just as brave, as chivalrous, and full of honor as any during the past — dying for better reasons than tariffs or dehumanizing institutions like slavery.

  • Frylock says:

    “does anybody believe that North America, or for that matter the world, would have been better off had America been permanently split into two rival republics after 1865?”

    I don’t think you can automatically conclude that things would not have been better. The institution of slavery would have died on its own, as almost every historian believes would have happened w/o the war, and perhaps there would not have been the century of racism and segregation that occurred after the slaves were forcefully freed. The two Republics may have realized they needed each other and could have coexisted well, like we do with Canada now. Just a theory.

  • RichmondDem says:

    Frylock–

    Canada’s population is very small (both Texas and California are bigger, and New York nearly as big), most of its land is uninhabitable, and it was more or less under the thumb of Great Britain in terms of foreign policy until after WII.

    An independent South vs. a humiliated and angry North would be a very different proposition. Both would be far more powerful than Canada, and neither would be a semi-colony.

  • Loudoun Outsider says:

    Any truth to the rumour Bob Marshall is planning to introduce a bill to fund a study on the feasibility of bring back the Confederacy?

  • Squiddy says:

    Ditto on Cold Harbor, maybe it’s some geographic anomaly or something, but when I visited, it was oddly cold and quiet, and I found my attention drawn to some trees where I immediately found some of the old trenches. But what I found “odd” there was my distinct sense of being watched -and being most unwelcome – and the eerie feeling there were bodies in the ground, under my feet. I really couldn’t bear to be there – I was there perhaps 10 minutes, just walked back to my car and left. Aptly named, if nothing else.

    Any conjecture on what America would look like today had there been a different result of the Civil War or no war at all needs consider the enormous number of dead and wounded, the economic impoverishment of the South, both from the war, and a punitive Reconstruction that punished the South for years – it’s effects still echo today.

  • G.Stone says:

    Even leaving the slavery question aside, does anybody believe that North America, or for that matter the world, would have been better off had America been permanently split into two rival republics after 1865? I didn’t think so.

    The Europeans would have played both us and the North like a fiddle for their gain. One can imagine (at the very least) a major theater of World War I being fought on American soil. That’s a horrible thing to contemplate.

    Very good observation. We all just got smarter ! You are correct had the south prevailed it is quite possible the Power House America we know today may have never existed. One has to ask, who would have come to Europes rescue and defeated the Nazis ? Who would have repelled the japanese expansion ? Who would have been there to win the cold war ? Remember the Communist revolution in Russia occured in 1917 only 50 some years after the end of the Civil War.Marx himself used the civil war in America and slavery as justification for a workers rebellion. The world would be a much different place had America slintered into two seperate and different countries. The war between the states could very well be the most important event in not only our history but the history of the world.

  • “There’s the historical Confederate flag” Which I’m proud of, for the remembrance of those who fought with honor for their beliefs.
    “and then the 20th century “rebel flag” that was flown primarily to protest school desegregation.”
    What are the most obvious differences? I’m embarassed that the pride of the South’s honor was used in any effort for the latter.

    Intriguing…

    Yes. My family owned slaves. You hot and bothered to hold me accountable for something my great, great forefathers did?? How retarded that might be.

  • Stone got it right. We moved past the War, and although it took a great deal of time to accomplish it, we healed the seam in the country. There is but scar tissue on the issue now. That’s alot like a good weld. The metal may tear elsewhere- but never retears on a good weld.

    This is in no way reflective of actually stopping to honor men who fought for their convictions. That’s the American way…and what sets us apart.

  • Intriguing says:

    Monk – You misunderstood my question. In your earlier comment, I wasn’t sure if you were saying that your family owned slaves or if you are a descendent of slaves.

    Your response to my question was a little odd: “You hot and bothered to hold me accountable for something my great, great forefathers did?? How retarded that might be.”

    No, I’m not hot and bothered at all by what your forefathers did. Where exactly did I say, suggest, or imply anything of the sort?

  • Blackout says:

    Slavery, states rights, economic and social differences, are usually always mentioned as reasons for the Civil War. In additional, there was a significant amount of backroom haggling over the movement west and who would claim it. This issue was certainly driven by slave/non-slave state issues, but also the big one cash and treasure.

    Going along with the hypothetical, it could also be said that if we had stayed divided we would not have moved west with the same vigor.

  • Sorry I misread your question. I interpreted it as mean-spirited.
    My forefathers owned the slaves. I can not and will not say that the practice was proper…..but it is what it was in the day that it was done.
    I am involved with a growing group of fantastic folks who are striving to welcome African-Americans and many other conservative ethnic members to the local and regional efforts for membership in the local Republican Committees.

  • you HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING. And on the very next day after you reported that the Washington Times is a dying rag. They’re renaming the Washington Compost turd to ” The Dying Rag Times” sometime next month.
    Get serious.
    After the fiasco that the liberal retarded press just pulled across America, the ZERO credibility that they’ve had since 1990’s just went viral. You’re a mere fringe who actually believes anything they’ve go to say anymore. But , I understand how much you have come to rely on your slanted journalism (I’m being kind to even call it that), and if it were to dissappear today, I’ll grant you a couple of days to round up your talking points from somewhere else.

  • BO, I saw that, too, and thought it was odd – especially in comparing supporters of Bush’s tax cuts to poor, unenlightened southern farmers.

  • Frylock says:

    BO – Thanks for the link to that enlightening WaPo article. I always thought southerners fought because their homeland was being invaded, but I was wrong. Apparently, greedy subsistence farmers signed up to risk life and limb fighting for their right to one day own slaves and become wealthy plantation owners. It is so obvious when you see history repeat itself today with low-income people supporting tax cuts for the very rich.

  • squiddy says:

    Ah, the author is from the University of Vermont – that explains much.

    I particularly like how he took the “Right of Secession” to be the definition of “State Rights”, with the resultant strawman that “The Southern States Seceded to Defend Their Right To Secede” – a little circular illogic he no doubt inflicts upon his freshman History students as an example of how laughably stupid those Rebels were …

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