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According to most historians, the US Civil war ended on April 9th, 1865 with the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia by General Robert E. Lee to the top ranking Union General Ulysses S Grant in the courthouse at Appomattox, Virginia. There were a few skirmishes that continued for a time, but essentially the major combat operations between the two factions came to a halt on that day and the remnants of the Confederate States of America as a political entity dissolved shortly thereafter.

Just five days later, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Lincoln’s theater box as he was watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. Wilkes unwittingly set in motion the events which would produce a sustained period of strife and discord that continues unabated even today. Ironically, Lincoln who was of course the South’s chief adversary during the war, was apt to be their strongest ally in the aftermath should he have lived to see it through. He was interested in reconciliation and bringing the South back into the fold with a minimum of contention. His plan for reconstruction was comparatively humane and designed to essentially let bygones be bygones. Radicals in congress wanted vengeance and passed much more punitive legislation which Lincoln allowed to fail with a pocket veto.

Once Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson assumed office, the path toward a humane re-integration of the South was replaced with one of humiliation and vengeance, and it set this nation on an unabated path of conflict which continues today. Johnson’s plan required an "iron clad" oath of allegiance from Southerners certifying that they had never served in the rebel forces nor in the Confederate government. By definition this would exclude nearly every adult white male under the age of 50, thus setting the stage for a state of lasting disenfranchisement within their own communities for nearly every white family in the South.

Reconstruction, which under Lincoln could essentially be viewed as a welcoming back to the family of an errant son, became under Johnson one of retribution, forced hardship, and exploitation. An entirely new class of entrepreneur was established in the South with the arrival of northern businessmen and politicians who arrived carrying their personal articles in a popular type of suitcase made from Oriental rug remnants. The carpetbagger was born. These people, armed with a mandate from the federal government to essentially exploit the South, formed coalitions with freed slaves and local scalawags which treated the majority of the local population as adversaries.

This naturally gave rise to local insurgencies which ultimately congealed into what we now know as the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan remained strong well into the 20th century, until its eventual marginalization with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. But although the Klan as an organized entity is no longer a force to be reckoned with, it’s simmering hatred, anger, and intolerance lingers throughout the South even today, and it is no longer confined to the South. Controlled, but barely contained, it’s most effective antidote has been a combination of education and economic prosperity, but as this nation remains mired in what is now becoming known as the "Great Recession", both of those pillars of support are being eroded with shocking rapidity.

We are now seeing a rise of fringe groups with ideologies based on conspiracy theories which become increasingly implausible and outrageous as each new one is introduced.  Among these groups are the teabaggers, the birthers, and now the deathers; all stoked to action by the insane ravings of extremist right wing talk radio and cable "news" hosts such as Glen Beck, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, and Joe Scarborough to name just a handful. These groups, in some cases opportunistically financed and organized by health insurance industry goons, are becoming increasingly vocal, intolerant, deliberately intimidating, and even physically forceful under the guise of opposition to healthcare reform. They have gone beyond the vociferous to the dangerous. They are now showing up to town hall meetings not merely with hand scrawled signs and boisterous shouts, but with knives and even loaded guns.

As if on cue, militia groups like the ones which sprang into existence during the early 1990’s have become resurgent. And within the past few months we have heard talk of secession from the governor of Texas, and from the Georgia State legislature. We have heard talk and seen signs threatening bloody rebellion by political candidates and extremist lunatics willingly given a platform to spout their ignorance, intolerance, fear, and blind rage in major news media, while the desires for real reform by over 75% of the American population are either downplayed or ignored entirely by these same media titans.

With each new triumph of the Obama administration, these groups increasingly betray both their desperation and the real focus of their rage. Their entire claim to privilege becomes ever more transparent and unsustainable as each new milestone of progress into a new world order is laid. First it was the election of the first African American president, then it was the nomination of the first Hispanic Supreme court justice, and finally the confirmation of that same judicial nominee.

Each day it becomes increasingly clear that one need not be white to be successful, to be powerful, dare we say it, to be superior in some way.  Their last remaining refuge of unearned supremacy is being exposed as the patent fallacy it always was. They cling ever tighter and more desperately to anything and everything they can to reinforce their dwindling status. They search for anything, anything at all to bring the object of their furor down a peg. They’ve portrayed him as the anti-Christ, an ape, a monkey, and now as they reach the absolute limit of their patience, they find themselves at the ultimate breach of decorum by engaging in Godwinian insult, spray painting swastikas and nakedly casting the president as Hitler himself.

There simply is no level lower to which to sink. They don’t even understand the issues they use as the convenient vehicles for the venting of their frustration. They call democratic congressmen liars before they can even open their mouths, they taunt them with screams to "read the bill" when a cursory perusal of the relevant sections clearly shows they did not even bother to do so themselves. They fallaciously insist on the existence of provisions which are nowhere contained in proposed legislation, nor even alluded to.

They physically force their way into the dialog and take it over completely at town hall meetings to yell, catcall, screech, and scream so that no other constituents can even ask questions nor legislators can answer. No other issues of salience can be discussed, indeed, even the issues which concern them cannot be responded to as they refuse to allow anyone else to speak, precisely the tactics used the world over by aspiring totalitarians and fascists. That which they accuse, they are in fact the most vigorous purveyors of themselves. And as there are no newer levels of ideological depravity to which these people can further sink, their only remaining option for the spewing of their bile will be the one they are explicitly now calling for, an open and armed rebellion.

For the moment then, the Civil war is really not over, it has merely been in a state of ceasefire. The face of the conflict has evolved over time, the geographic regions have expanded to include a few new states that did not exist as states at the time, a few states have shifted allegiance, and some of the players have changed, but the conflict and underlying anger is still as palpable today as it was over 140 years ago.

Despite the breathless focus of the news media on radical groups who still attempt to cling to the ideologies of the antebellum South, or 1950’s Ozzie and Hariett suburbia, their profile vastly exceeds their actual potency. They are very small in number, and if they do actually begin any kind of armed insurrection, it will inevitably take the form of scattered small terrorist-like insurgencies. There will be no widespread public support for them, they will ultimately relegate themselves to the dustbin of history with what will surely be seen as the last dying gasps of undeserved racial dominance.

Originally posted to Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:13 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:13:38 AM PDT

  •  And let's not forget the geography of this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urizen, trinityfly, FeDhu, bamabikeguy

    The militia movement thrives in Michigan, the Neo-Nazis are centered in Idaho, the theocrats are constantly grasping for control of school boards in Pennsylvania and Kansas, Fox News is based in New York, and the two GOP Senators from Maine (and the Governor of California) still side with their party of loons too damn often.

    Anyone who thinks this is still a "Southern thing" is seriously missing the point.

    "If you don't stick to your values when they're tested, they're not values. They're... hobbies." -- Jon Stewart, Jan. 22, 2009

    by pat208 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:17:36 AM PDT

  •  Let them go (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EJP in Maine, Bruin1815

    Let the deep south secede.  Let them go.  They suck the federal treasury dry and then turn around and slap the government in the face.  Let them become the right-wing theocracy they want.  We are better off without them....

  •  Everytime a white person says "why can't (14+ / 0-)

    some blacks get over slavery already/", I ask them "why can't some white people can't get over losing the civil war?"

  •  Very good diary (4+ / 0-)

    What you say is true, and the scars from a civil wars don't easily heal.

    I used to sometimes ask Conservatives what they "conserve" without ever getting an answer, until I began to think the "con" is really for Confederate.

    We must continue repeating the facts of history, just like you did, because the stories get twisted.

    It's a Right-wing, conservative, Republican war.

    by J Royce on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:30:22 AM PDT

  •  Lee, Davis, Stephens and Benjamin... (7+ / 0-)

    ...should have been hanged as the traitors they were.

    The "choice" offered by capital is illusory. If you cannot afford the choice, you don't have the freedom to choose.

    by high bitrate on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:30:28 AM PDT

  •  I liked this diary, but I am somewhat in slight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, turnover, esquimaux

    disagreement with the characterization that the Confederate South was somehow , wrongly mistreated by the Johnson administration.

    I understand the need to not demonize that region in this day in age for the sake of their descendants, but to paint the Confederacy in any way , as some sort of victim after what they did , sort of stings me a little bit as an African American.

    But it was a great read nonetheless. I don't mean to be nit picky, but I see paragraphs three and four in a totally different light than you do and we'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

    But the rest, spot on.

    "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:32:35 AM PDT

    •  Well, the victimization of the South... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, cotterperson

      ...after the Civil War was somewhat similar to that of Germany after WWI. Perhaps it served as a learning experience and contributed to the gallant efforts of Allied occupiers after WWII in Germany and Japan.

      ........................

      by turnover on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:37:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, I can't just let that go unanswered (6+ / 0-)

      I'm not really trying to paint the South as a victim per se, rather I'm pointing out the foolishness of Johnson's approach to reconstruction vs Lincoln's approach.

      The South was certainly not blameless, but as we have now learned repeatedly since then, the best path to long term stability is one of reconciliation not one of retribution.

      "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

      by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not even Johnson's (0+ / 0-)

        as much as the nutbags in Congress.

        Calling torture enhanced interrogation techniques is like calling a skunk a rose. It really doesn't smell any better.

        by grada3784 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:55:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lincoln presented them with Reconciliation and (0+ / 0-)

        we saw their response.

        Johnson simply tried a different approach.

        "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

        by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:58:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who's response are you referring to? (0+ / 0-)

          "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

          by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:05:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I thought you were talking to me. I was (0+ / 0-)

            responding to you.

            I was saying that the idea of reconciliation was presented and they literally shot that idea down, so they got to deal with Johnson and his approach.

            Assassinations , like elections ,  have consequences.

            "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

            by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:10:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Er, I meant (0+ / 0-)

              who's response to Lincoln's idea of reconciliation were you referring to. Who do you think shot that down actually?

              "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

              by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:22:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, it wasn't just the enfamous Wilkes Booth. (0+ / 0-)

                He may have pulled the trigger , but the Confederacy loaded the gun.

                The war was not over in his mind and you will forgive me if I don't buy into that pathetic , "I'm not as good an actor as the rest of my family,  so I think I'll kill the President so I can be famous" meme that historians so conveniently slipped into their little history books.

                No, till this day, the sons and daughters of the Confederacy refuse to concede that they lost the Civil War, let alone that the war is even over as you have so eloquently pointed out in the bulk of your diary. They were never looking for , nor open to , reconciliation. They were looking for a return to things as they were.

                "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

                by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:39:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not accurate at all (0+ / 0-)

                  What really led to Johnson's approach was the fact that congress refused to seat duly elected representatives from the Southern states.

                  Being an incompetent politician, he was unable to cajole them into seating the southern representatives and senators, so he went with plan B, a complete capitulation to congressional radicals.

                  This rubbed salt into the open wounds of the south and exacerbated a general resentment into a lasting animosity which we are still paying for today.

                  "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

                  by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I'm a daughter of the Confederacy (0+ / 0-)

                  Believe me, I concede the goddamn civil war and wish to hell that reconciliation was still on the table, but there are too many people both in the North and in the South who are too goddamn stubborn and proud and vengeful to look around and realize that their hate and their intransigence is responsible for fanning the flames of hate that will be, I swear, the downfall of this nation.

                  Before you go bleating about how Southerners are unwilling to get over it, maybe you should take a look at your own attitudes and remember that little ditty about the person without sin casting the first stone.

                  •  That last line doesn't work on the sinless. (0+ / 0-)

                    Know who you're talking about before knee jerking.

                    Thanks.

                    "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

                    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:10:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh? No sin? (0+ / 0-)

                      No arrogance, no pride, no anger? I beg to differ.

                      •  No. As the daughter of a mother of the Slavery, (0+ / 0-)

                        my ancestors did nothing to get put in those cells. Nothing to get loaded on those ships , nothing to be stripped naked and placed on that block for sale, nothing to be sent into that field for hard labor from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm , nothing to be whipped and raped repeatedly by an ugly and smelly man, nothing to be forced to raise a child of rape while my own children were sent into the field at an early age to pick cotton and tobacco.

                        If I can't cast a stone on behalf of them who the hell can ? And the last time I checked , it's not the children of the North running around obsessing over the Civil War. I'm the wrong person you need to be preaching to. Now, if you'll excuse me. I have moved on from this contentious diary and am trying to assist a man from New York who was just denied a life saving test by his insurance company.

                        Thank you.

                        "We're the generation We can't afford to wait The future started yesterday and we're already late "~John Legend: If You're Out There

                        by WeBetterWinThisTime on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:26:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  The Johnson Administration (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judgment at Nuremberg

      did carry out punative measures with the backing of the "Black Republicans" (A term such as "Blue Dogs", not a racial description) and the punishment would have been much worse if not for Johnson and his defense of the South. There was a lot of sentiment in favor of (a) stripping the white landowners of all property and rights and (b) hanging many of the leaders of the Confederacy. Although Lincoln did have plans for reconciliation, it is questionable whether he could have placed them into effect with the opposition he would have faced from the Republican party and Congress.
         The South always thought they were treated unfairly because they "waved the bloody shirt" and always stressed their losses and the bravery of the Johnny Reb (anyone who has read accounts of the battles and thinks the Yanks were not just as brave is an idiot).
          The south has, since the beginning of the nation, thought of itself as special and privileged beyond all other sections of the country. It's sad really. The rates of poverty and the percentage of uneducated, the percentage of people who think of themselves as somehow more "American" than others and their willingness to fall into line behind demogogues without question; these things combine to form an arrogance born of pride and stubborness that defies belief.
         The point of this is: many southerners have moved out of the south and spread into other areas where their core beliefs, which derived from the old csa, have only been strengthened by the sparseness of their surronding areas. They will always be a small group but they will always consider themselves as dangerous to the country. They think that is a way to carry on the tradition of the south.

      •  Thank you for remembering (0+ / 0-)

        that the first President Johnson came to a certain amount of grief (as in escaping impeachment by a single vote) precisely because he tried to resist the wilder and more vindictive radical Republicans. Andy had his problems, heaven knows, but he did try to carry out Lincoln's plan to "let 'em up easy."

    •  I understand what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

      But keep in mind that a lot of civilians, innocent people who were just trying to survive, including blacks, Mexicans and Native Americans, were hurt during Reconstruction. When the dominant group - in this case whites - are squeezed, they turn around and squeeze those below them. In trying to teach the Confederates a 'lesson', lots of people who never raised a hand or held a gun - women, children, old people of all colors - were harmed. It left a very real mark on the South and yes, has led to some of the bad feelings that are coming out now.

      •  Your analysis is cogent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BrodyV

        but your wording is rather unfortunate. Did you really have to put it this way?

        they turn around and squeeze those below them

        That kind of terminology is clearly offensive and inappropriate, and a reinforces the view that South is something to be ejected rather than retained.

        It's also not particularly helpful in making the ase you are trying to make.

        "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

        by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:24:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  True but nontheless the Civil War (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewley notid

    was a tranformative event, both for the South and for the North, in American history. I think most everyone knows that.

  •  Politics the continuation of war by other means (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grada3784, Shhs

    When you think about it, the Civil War was the violent expression of sentiments that have plagued this country since its founding, and after the defeat of the South in battle, they've returned to waging a war of words ever since.

    In that, they've been far more successful. First the Dixiecrats and now the Republicans hold the country hostage with their stiffnecked extremism. What was once an exclusively Southern variety of right-wing populism is now synonymous with conservatism as a whole - having completely displaced the Yankee blueblood version and the Western "leave me the f--- alone" version.

    Also, what was once the culture of poor Southern whites has also assimilated poor whites everywhere else into itself, and gone truly mainstream in spite of the South always seeming to take a different course from the rest of the country.

  •  Decades after the Civil Rights era, the Old (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grada3784, WeBetterWinThisTime

    Confederacy is still under special civil rights laws like the Voting Rights Act because the deep South refuses to act civilized and continues the bigotry, hatred, and mean-spirittedness of the Civil War choosing to hide behind the respectability of a suit and tie David Duke-style and Christianity southern Baptist-style (Ku Klux Kristians) instead of cowering behind the anonymity of the hood and robe of the Ku Klux Klan.

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil In Denver

    and a very interesting take on recent and not-so-recent American History.

    The Reconstriction under the Johnson administration, including Gen. Butler and his draconian rules in New Orlens, resembles the period after the Treaty of Versailles ended The Great War.  Later, that period was accurately described as the "Carthaginian Peace" - humiliating and brutalizing a fallen enemey is no peace at all, just a prelude to a conflict yet to come.

    Hope this makes the rec list.  Well thought-out and well written.

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 09:58:01 AM PDT

  •  Clearly, Lincoln should have let the South (0+ / 0-)

    secede from the Union.

    Then we wouldn't have had 8 years of George Bush.

  •  Reconstruction ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judgment at Nuremberg

    You need to brush up a little on your history of Reconstruction.  Johnson was hardly a Radical Republican.  And since it was Congress that controlled the process of readmission as well as seating of members, it hardly mattered who was sitting as president.  Lincoln had greater political capital and skills than Johnson; thus, he would have been better situated to challenge aspects of Congressional Reconstruction - but the fundamental terms of Reconstruction were going to come out of Congress, regardless.

    BTW - you seem to buy into the myth that the "Bad Ole Yankees" were just too harsh and that's why Reconstruction failed.  You buy the "Bourbon" myth of the carpetbaggers and scalawags - most likely that the freedmen voters and the multiracial state governments in the South during Reconstruction were inept and corrupt, too.

    My great grandfather was, by most definitions, a scalawag. Born into a Alabama family that went back in the South to the 1600s, he chose to go North and join the Union Army as a young man.  Since he was one of the few loyal United States' citizens following the Civil War, he rose to an important judgeship in Alabama.  He was a Southern, white Republican.  

    There is much that has been written that revisits the role of Northerners and their Southern Republican allies in the Reconstruction South.  Eric Foner - perhaps the leading Reconstruction historian -  suggests that these groups tried to align the South with the emerging industrial capitalist North - rather than attempt to recreate the agrarian, antebellum South - dominated by the landed elite.

    Unfortunately, the myths of Reconstruction - foisted upon the nation by the Redeemers - remains alive and well - as seen in this diary.

    •  I never asserted that (0+ / 0-)

      Johnson was a radical republican. Where you got such an idea I can not imagine, it certainly did not emanate from my diary.

      But there is a reality, and I think you need to brush up on your own history a bit if you can't recognize it.

      The reality is that the treatment of the South was one of humiliation and exploitation. It created a lasting animosity that was unnecessary and counterproductive. We see the results today.

      I really don't care about your personal family history, and fail to see how it could possibly yield relevance to the topic at hand except as it might help to explain your own persona bias, but certainly does not lend it added credibililty.

      "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

      by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:29:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Garbage In - Garbage Out (0+ / 0-)

        Ironically, Lincoln who was of course the South’s chief adversary during the war, was apt to be their strongest ally in the aftermath should he have lived to see it through. He was interested in reconciliation and bringing the South back into the fold with a minimum of contention. His plan for reconstruction was comparatively humane and designed to essentially let bygones be bygones. Radicals in congress wanted vengeance and passed much more punitive legislation which Lincoln allowed to fail with a pocket veto.

        Once Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson assumed office, the path toward a humane re-integration of the South was replaced with one of humiliation and vengeance, and it set this nation on an unabated path of conflict which continues today. Johnson’s plan required an "iron clad" oath of allegiance from Southerners certifying that they had never served in the rebel forces nor in the Confederate government. By definition this would exclude nearly every adult white male under the age of 50, thus setting the stage for a state of lasting disenfranchisement within their own communities for nearly every white family in the South.

        Reconstruction, which under Lincoln could essentially be viewed as a welcoming back to the family of an errant son, became under Johnson one of retribution, forced hardship, and exploitation.

        This is the classic "Wronged South" argument of the Bourbons that has been repeatedly debunked by Reconstruction historians such as W.E.B. DuBois, Kenneth, Stampp, and Eric Foner.  And, yes, you do state that Johnson implemented a "draconian" Reconstruction - implying that he was in concert with Radical Republicans in their view of Reconstruction.

        Furthermore you continue with the racist, Southern myth in your discussion of carpetbaggers, scalawags, and Southern Reconstruction governments.  Thus, I used my grandfather as an example of a native Southerner who was opposed to a return of Bourbon control - not personal bias - thank you very much.  

        In fact, the power of terminology is often a salient discussion in current historical and political studies.  Your choice of the terms "scalawag" and "carpetbagger" in this case clearly indicates the views you hold - much as "socialist" and "big government" indicate right-wing bias in discussions of today's issues.

        When you decide to read some of the more recent scholars of Reconstruction history - get back in touch with me.  It's clear that you have not begun to do so.

        •  The terminology is not my invention (0+ / 0-)

          It is what it is. It is you who are ascribing a pejorative context to those terms, I'm simply using the terms as a historical reference.

          If you can really me a racist for using those terms when in the very same diary where I also said this

          Each day it becomes increasingly clear that one need not be white to be successful, to be powerful, dare we say it, to be superior in some way.  Their last remaining refuge of unearned supremacy is being exposed as the patent fallacy it always was.

          or this

          There will be no widespread public support for them, they will ultimately relegate themselves to the dustbin of history with what will surely be seen as the last dying gasps of undeserved racial dominance.

          Then you really only discredit your own argument.

          "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

          by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:08:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Andrew Johnson and the (0+ / 0-)

    post Civil War tactics remind me of Dick Cheney.  Treat adversaries like garbage and they will wilt in despair.

    Obama is trying to treat them as though they are fellow citizens and rational.

    Good post; sadly, amity has never been established for tne descendents of Confederates.  They are bitter.

    The End and the Beginning by Wislawa Szymborska

    by ThirtyFiveUp on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 10:30:45 AM PDT

  •  They Never Surrendered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man

    As Southern native son William Faulkner aptly put it,"Yesterday today and tomorrow are is: Indivisible :One." There is very little difference from the mainly Southern anti-health care screamers yelling , "Give us back our country (from that "uppity black man" and "non-citizen", "Arab" Obama) and a chilling 1950's Va. revival meeting described by Rabbi James Rudin in his book, "The Baptizing of America." There, the  preacher got the white crowd on their feet by telling them about the "plagues infecting" America, "communists, labor unions,sexual promiscuity, too  many foreigners, and the loss of "state's rights." He concluded by saying, "Let's take back America! They have stolen America. It's our country, our America!" The crowd then sang the National Anthem, followed by the South's "real" anthem, "Dixie." You saw this again when Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Ala., went after Sonia Sotomayor, basically implying she was a "dangerous Latina foreigner." Frankly, there was too little Reconstruction in the South, and we are still paying the price. For more on the Dixiecrat never surrender non-reality based GOP, read   this

  •  Johnson was easy on them. (0+ / 0-)

    How do most Civil Wars end for the defeated? Usually the losing elite are eliminated and losing area is totally occupied and harshly governed. I'm not saying that is right, that's just what happens.
    I would at least have disenfranchised any rebel who would not sign a confession of insurrection. Those men who led the south knew what it would mean to lose, and the north didn't follow through, so was born the sissy Yankee bullshit that continues to this day in much of the south.

    On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" President Barack Obama 1/20/2009

    by UndercoverRxer on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:11:30 AM PDT

    •  Er what exactly do you think happened? (0+ / 0-)

      You say

      Usually the losing elite are eliminated and losing area is totally occupied and harshly governed

      As I read my history, that's pretty much how it seems to have gone.

      Reconstruction went on for decades and it was no cakewalk I assure you. The South was occupied during much of that time, some might say it still is when you look at the large number of military bases scattered throughout it still today.

      "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

      by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:15:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except for 1 key point. (0+ / 0-)

        The losing elite were not eliminated, their cancer is still festering there to this day.

        On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" President Barack Obama 1/20/2009

        by UndercoverRxer on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:34:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Their "cancer" (0+ / 0-)

          would have festered regardless of their fate. I'm not defending the fact that Jefferson Davis and others weren't executed or imprisoned for life. Personally, I'd have strung up every one of them. In my view they were guilty of treason.

          But as someone born and raised in the south I have to tell you that I doubt that has anything to do with how the situation has evovled.

          Nearly the entire population of the south paid for the sins of their leaders, whom they reviled and rejected completely after the war. The south was truly exploited and humiliated during reconstruction, and a deep seated animus remains today as a result.

          "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

          by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:52:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That wasn't my take in Florida (0+ / 0-)

            Where I lived for 16 yrs, they worshiped the confederate leadership to an almost orgiastic frenzy. Schools, civic buildings, etc etc all named after Saint Lee and Saint Davis. Which convinced me more than ever that it WAS all about racism and slavery, the states rights crap was just about states rights to do whatever they damn well felt like to black folks. I know I'm in a minority here, but if I never go back south it will be just fine for me. All I saw was racism and Christianists, with a veneer of civility that was very thin.

            On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" President Barack Obama 1/20/2009

            by UndercoverRxer on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 12:49:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, did you live there in 1865? (0+ / 0-)

              I kinda doubt it. History has a way of picking it's heros, but directly after the civil war Jefferson Davis was truly hated by most Southerners, more for losing the war and bringing about the horrors of reconstruction than for anything else.

              Conversely they tended to idolize Lee right away.

              "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

              by Phil In Denver on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:42:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I thought Reconstruction is generally considered (0+ / 0-)

        to have ended with the very dirty deal of 1876, where the price of the contested Presidency was letting the south go back to its old ways. That's not plural "decades."

        What the unreconstructed south and the unreconstructed Germans and the unreconstructed deathers, neocons, and similar loons of today all have in common is the conviction that somebody somewhere has done them dirty -- but can be thwarted with enough hatred and violence.

        More a human condition than a regional one, although it looks like a high degree of cultural/social conformity (i.e. - failure of independent thought) may contribute.

  •  Very good diary, Phil... (0+ / 0-)

    President Johnson was a major disappointment... he vetoed the first Civil Rights bill, but thankfully it was overridden, and he tried to stop implementation of the 14th Amendment.

    "There is no red America, or blue America, there is the United States of America." 2004 DNC Speech

    by BarackStarObama on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 11:46:30 AM PDT

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