SHARE

Yeah, yeah, noble cause. Freaking slavers.

One hundred fifty years ago today, the American Civil War ended with Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, which wasn’t a courthouse but a town named after a court house, and the actual house belonged to Wilmer McLean. This is generally considered a fortunate thing, since “The Surrender At Wilmer’s Place” would not look nearly as good on a commemorative print. The relentless romanticizing of the Southern cause — state’s rights, the Old Noble Ways, the Southern Aristocracy, and the Fight for Freedom for people of a certain pale hue — started well before the war, and the mere fact of Southern defeat did little to slow it. After all, what’s more romantic than a Lost Cause? It was a good enough reason for a delusional actor to shoot Abraham Lincoln just a week later, and it was a good enough pile of romantic mush to keep the Lost Cause ideology alive long after the Confederacy and all its leaders and followers were dead and in the ground.

If you’re in the mood for an awfully good thinky piece about the survival of Confederate ideology into a century when no one mourns other briefly existing nations of the 19th century — we’ll bet nobody has the flag of the Confederation of the Rhine (1806-1813) on a bumper sticker — check out this terrific essay in Politico Magazine by Euan Hague. Hague notes that it’s not just a benign interest in Southern genealogy that draws modern Confederate sympathizers to get passionate about putting the Confederate battle flag on state license plates, and also cautions that it shouldn’t be “simplistically understood solely as an exhibition of racism, although the power of the Confederate flag to convey white supremacist beliefs cannot be discounted.”

After all, if the Confederate flag were solely an expression of racism, then people who proudly display the Confederate flag would also have no qualms about openly wearing Klan hoods and other more overt symbols of white supremacy. Those racist symbols are shunned, but the banner of Nathan Bedford Forest still sells pretty well. What makes Hague’s essay so effective is that, while keeping in mind the Civil War definitely was about slavery and the racist baggage of the Confederate flag can’t be washed away, he also looks at the broader appeal of Confederate nostalgia and kitsch:

Rather, displaying the Confederate flag in 2015 is an indicator of a complex and reactionary politics that is very much alive in America today. It is a politics that harks back to the South’s proud stand in the Civil War as a way of rallying opinion against the federal government—and against the country’s changing demographic, economic, and moral character, of which Washington is often seen as the malign author. Today’s understanding of the Confederacy by its supporters is thus neither nostalgia, nor mere heritage; rather Confederate sympathy in 2015 is a well-funded and active political movement (which, in turn, supports a lucrative Confederate memorabilia industry).

Without ever agreeing with the ideology driving Confederate nostalgia, Hague does a compelling job of getting inside the heads of those who argue, with all apparent sincerity, that “it’s about Heritage, not Hate.” And of course, arguing that is actually fairly easy if you just sprinkle in enough denial and focus only on the romantic crap, which in turn is also a lot easier if you can feel terribly aggrieved about the corrupt Yankees who “invaded” the South and spoiled all the good stuff. Just shunt slavery aside and pretend that the South seceded over tariffs, or taxation, or States’ Rights. It also helps if you can convince yourself that slavery wasn’t all that bad after all, or if you are persuaded that Big Government is just a new kind of slavery that has entrapped everyone, not just The Blacks (but especially The Blacks, who are enslaved on the Democrat Plantation).

What we’re getting at here is that Hague’s article is a terrific read and you should go read it. And it looks like we’re headed over to the Great Big Online Store to buy a copy of the anthology that Euan Hague co-edited with Edward H. Sebesta and Heidi Beirich: Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction (University of Texas, 2008).

Oh, and also, as we always note on solemn occasions like this, neo-Confederate groups like the League of the South can go fuck themselves. Wouldn’t want to leave that unsaid.

[Politico Magazine]

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • whatwhomever

    ” terrific essay in Politico Magazine”

    There’s some words you don’t see strung together very often.

  • yet we have had 150 years of neo confederates who are still fighting the war. until the south and texas are removed, the USA will never get ahead. the only thing that will save us, when texas turns blue in 2016. thats the regressives worst fear…

    • OrdinaryJoe

      Blue Texas. From your keyboard to God’s inbox.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      What’s Anne Richards’ daughter up to again these days?

  • Whollyholeyholy

    The “shop the look” ads appearing below the post are an especially nice touch.

    • Bitter Scribe

      No kidding. Google insensitivity strikes again.

      • kindness

        No shit. Like I want to buy any of those 5 Stars & Bars wifebeater Ts.

  • Steverino247

    Rheinbund bumpersticker? No, Rheinbund patch? Yes. I was once a member of the Rhine Confederation Wargame Society, made up of historical miniatures gamers stationed in Germany. Good group of guys. No problems with rank, branch of service, nationality or any of that shit. (We didn’t allow Soviets, though…)

    • Blank Ron

      Bigot!

    • Boscoe

      What about Tyranids?

    • jqheywood

      What rules set?

      • Steverino247

        There’s a question that will get you in trouble with Napoleonic guys. Column, Line and Square vs. Napoleonette was the argument then, if I recall correctly. 25mm figures at 20-1 scale. We once played Waterloo at that scale on the floor of the cafeteria of the Wiesbaden dependent school. Amazing sight.

        • jqheywood

          Oh, I know. We play ancients with DBA rules (15 mm) and there are religious differences over variations.

          • Steverino247

            And since you’re playing ancients, you can slay everyone in the room and it’s okay.

  • chicken thief

    Sugar coated bull shit is still bull shit. Fuck them goobers.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      Sepia-toned, horehound flavored bullshit.

  • JoeChristmas

    And the South would have won if it weren’t for that Walter Cronkite.

    • whatwhomever

      Actually, I heard it was Obama’s fault.

      • Anarchy Pony

        It’s that damn time machine.

    • Msgr_Moment

      Were you THERE?

      • say wha

        BILL O’REILLY LIBEL!!!!

  • Left Coast Tom

    I’ll have to read it when I get a chance. However, for now…

    After all, if the Confederate flag were solely an expression of racism, then people who proudly display the Confederate flag would also have no qualms about openly wearing Klan hoods and other more overt symbols of white supremacy.

    Maybe he addresses this, but it seems possible that the Confederate flag, and not Klan hoods, are displayed as a sign of racism because the former is seen, at least in parts of the south, as socially “acceptable”, whereas publicly wearing Klan hoods isn’t. So it could be a socially acceptable way of publicly displaying racism.

    • chicken thief

      Plus hoods are hot and cumbersome.

    • Blank Ron

      Pretty much hits the nail on the head, if you ask me.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      Plus, separated from it’s racist, secessionist, traitorous overtones, the Stars & Bars isn’t a bad bit of graphic design. I give it 13 out of a possible 34 stars.

  • deanbooth

    How do you get a 28th amendment on the political agenda: Any state may secede from the union. All federal property at the time of secession reverts to the federal government.

    I’m not so much in favor of it as much as wanting to see the dancing around it by the Republicans.

    • willi0000000

      let the people secede . . . we keep the land . . . all of it . . . and the nice people who want to stay.

      their own slogan: “Murrika, love it or leave it” . . . they’re free to go.

      [once again . . . too much blood and treasure spent to keep that land]

  • Alan Williams

    The Tea Baggers have risen from the basement of the outhouse the Confederarsey collapsed into following the direct hit from Sherman’s last shelling.

    Christ. How do you get rid of these people?

    • Poly_Ester

      Meeting at the end of the war, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan estimated that they had killed 95% of hard-core Confederates. It wasn’t enough.

    • georgiaburning

      wipe and flush

      • Riley Whodat Venable

        Thank you WT Sherman.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          Next time, no soft WT Sherman hands.

  • chicken thief

    Little known fact is that Wilmer McLean originally wrote “Bye Bye Confederate American Pie” but it didn’t take off so his great-great-great grandson, Don, retooled it in the 70’s. And the rest is history….

    • weejee

      ♪ So bye-bye, to those slaves and their sighs

      Drove my surrey to the levee, and tossed my gray hat aside
      And good ol’ boys like Bedford Forrest drank rye
      Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
      Til I gets my hoodie ‘n sheet Klan disguise” ♪

      • Amy!

        Long, long time ago,
        I can still remember how the spir’chals used to make me smile.
        And I knew if I had my chance,
        That I could make the [n-word]s dance.
        And maybe I’d be rape-y for a while.
        But William T made me shiver,
        With every cross-tie chopped to slivers
        Bad news that my o’erseer gave:
        I couldn’t buy one more slave.
        I can’t remember if I cried
        When I read about their widowed brides
        But something made me puke up my insides
        The day the Confed’racy died.

        • bobbert

          That’s … beautiful.

  • Skwerl King

    And a toast to all our Northern ancestors who marched alongside such great generals as William Tecumseh Sherman.

    • Steverino247

      Franklin Sourbeer of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Well done, sir.

    • georgiaburning

      Also to those brave Southerners, white and black, who fought for the Union. Such as the 1st Alabama Cavalry, USV, who rode with Sherman and were there at Appomattox

      • Anarchy Pony

        Splitters!

      • Even for the Virginia counties who seceded from the secession and became West Virginia (a pity about what happened after that).

    • Msgr_Moment

      youtube.com/watch?v=9iSXrZYhJt4

  • Callyson

    I love how the apologists for the Confederacy call it the “War of Northern Aggression.” Because there’s nothing aggressive about owning slaves or anything…

    https://p.gr-assets.com/540×540/fit/hostedimages/1398800872/9465658.gif

    • DarkSyn

      Never mind that it was the South under the leadership of Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard, that actually fired the first shots on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. Northern Aggression mumble mumble mumble….

  • Nounverb911

    Needs more General Sherman’s March to the Sea.

  • deanbooth

    For an in-depth look at how the history of the war was rewritten see David Blight’s Race and Reunion.

    Video of his course on the Civil War is also available for free on the Yale site.

  • whitroth

    “War of Northern Aggression”, my ass. How ’bout “War of Southern Stupidity”? I mean, is there something in the South that makes people stupid? The nearest good definition I’ve come up with, in addition to yes, it was about slavery, is that the ultra-wealthy Southerners, the ones with hundreds or thousands of slaves, who kept the rest of the white Southerners poor, convinced the poor whites to fight, bleed and die to decide whether rich Southerners or rich Northerners got to exploit them.

    And they’re *still* doing it (can you say “wrong, er, right to work states”?)

    And the self-proclaimed Tea Party are nothing more than the Rebellion’s Second Coming – they *do* want to break the Union, and make it a confederacy (which the multinationals would *adore* (WalMart, I’m talkin’ ’bout *you*). And if what they say, compared to the Constitution of the Confederacy isn’t enough, let me assure you, having lived in Texas and Florida, that there’s no one south of the Mason Dixon line who doesn’t know Jeb Bush’s PAC, “Right to Rise” as meaning The South Shall Rise Again….

    mark, yankee, socialist, and proud

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      ah yes, the carpetbagging Shrubs.

    • Riley Whodat Venable

      The Historic Unpleasantries Between the States

    • Villago Delenda Est

      ‘Right to Rise” because “Triumph of the Will” was already taken.

    • Fun with Cthulhu

      … is there something in the South that makes people stupid?

      duh, hookworm! It worked for LouSarah.

    • malsperanza

      War of Southren Treason.

      • whitroth

        As the t-shirt says, “Treason in defence of slavery is no excuse”.

        mark

  • Nounverb911

    And in South Carolina:

    “It’s OK to have the Confederate flag at the statehouse because not “a single CEO” has complained”
    –Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley (R-Anchorbabystan)

  • weejee

    Confederation of the Rhine

    The Hun in the family tree traces back to one of those bits, but left after it got sucked-up by Bismark and the true Huns of the Norddeutscher Bund. Don’t recall any decals in the olde treasures. But they clearly did not have a lot of lurve for the Kaiser’s Germany that evolved from the Holy Roman Empire. Yes, yes, neither holy nor a real empire.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Intulekshul!

    • malsperanza

      Kingdom of the Two Sicilies libel!

  • Steverino247

    Let us appreciate the efforts of those blue-clad gentlemen in the portrait and those they led to end the rebellion. They are (from left to right): Major General Philip H. Sheridan (Commander of Grant’s cavalry which effectively bottled up the rebels), Colonel Orville E. Babcock (an aide-de-camp to Grant who brought Lee to the place of surrender after choosing the spot himself), Lieutenant Colonel Horace Porter (Grant’s aide-de-camp), Major General Edward O. C. Ord (Commander of the Army of the James and the man who bought the table Lee sits at, which is now in the Chicago Historical Society’s Civil
    War Room), Major General Seth Williams (Grant’s Inspector General and the man who took Grant’s surrender terms to Lee), Colonel Theodore S. Bowers (one of Grant’s adjutants), Colonel Ely S. Parker (Seneca Indian and another of Grant’s adjutants) and Major General George A. Custer (who blocked the rebel retreat and accepted the first flag of truce). Nearby was Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who was given the honor of formally accepting the surrender. The desk where Grant is sitting was given to Custer’s wife by Sheridan along with a note praising her husband’s bravery. It is now in the Smithsonian.

    Well done, gentlemen.

    • Nounverb911

      Where’s Bill O’Reilly?

      • Steverino247

        “Well, I shoveled shit in Louisiana…”

      • Anarchy Pony

        On the right.

        • Querolous

          On the far right.

      • Callyson

        At the falafel stand.

      • mellowjohn

        in Buenos Aires.

      • Sam Hain

        at the door listening for gunshots…

    • OrdinaryJoe

      So glad the US Army finally went back to those beautiful dark blue uniforms.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        We’ve always had them…they’re called “Dress Blues”.

        • Steverino247

          Yes, but now that’s all they wear for a “Class A” type uniform.

          • Villago Delenda Est

            I was wondering about that, seeing Generals wearing blues all the time. Makes sense, actually, just to have ONE formal uniform.

    • richardgrabman

      Did anyone ever pay Wilmer for his furniture? Just curious what he thought of it all.

      • Steverino247

        One of the tables went for 40 bucks. The one Sheridan bought.

    • mellowjohn

      and the table Lee signed the surrender document is now on display at the Chicago History Museum.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        The Civil War Museum in Atlanta had on display when I visited it 40 years ago and may still have on display a square of the red flannel underwear the Beloved Jefferson Davis wore next to his Beloved Ass when he was in Federal Prison.

    • bobbert

      My favorite part of the painting is the difference between Lee’s boots and the Union fellas’.

  • Poly_Ester

    We Yankees need a bumper sticker — STOP SPENDING MY TAX DOLLARS ON THE LOST CAUSE!!!

  • JoeChristmas

    And the difference between a Confederate flag and a Nazi flag is?

    • Steverino247

      The Nazis didn’t say “all y’all”?

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Sie alles!

    • Msgr_Moment

      Rhymes with whittler?

    • Blank Ron

      The Nazi flag is way easier to draw?

      • OrdinaryJoe

        Different shapes, same race hate.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      Nothing?

    • Well, once again, the CSA never built a factory to annihilate all the Blacks; although, according to Harry Turtledove, they may well have gotten around to it had they lived to see the invention of poison gas.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        I love Turtledove’s alternate history in which the “Freedom Party” is the Southern standin for the Nazis. Brilliant!

      • willi0000000

        i’m sure that if the confederacy had lasted until the invention of large-scale plowing, planting and harvesting equipment for cotton there would have been the question of what to do with all those ‘extra’ mouths to feed.

        [never read Turtledove . . . probably should]

  • a_pink_poodle

    Well NOW I’m going to get a flag of the Confederation of the Rhine AND the North German Confederation!

    • malsperanza

      Don’t forget the Confederation of Dunces.

      • ButIKnowWhatILike

        You mean, the Tea Party.

  • Anarchy Pony

    And the southern baggage has been dragging us down ever since…

  • maxneanderthal

    Reminds you of ill-informed people who go around in winter with Russian surplus Ushankas on, with a hammer and sickle badge on the front. Obviously they were behind the history lesson door when The Great Terror, the Holodomor, Dalstroy and the gulags were being covered. I mean, would they go around with an SS field cap on? (not even Rand Paul would do that- wait, what?).
    On the other hand, given the average cousin fucking, sister marrying southern in-breed, maybe they aren’t that ill-informed..

    • doktorzoom

      Also, it’s considerably harder to fly a Confederate flag ironically.

    • Yeah… the only people who equate Nazis and Communists are those who want to sanitise the Nazis. Joe Stalin’s regime was a terrible totalitarian nightmare and it didn’t get much better after he died. But the Soviet Union never actually built factories to annihilate an entire ethnicity.

  • schmannity

    When Southerners do Civil War reenactments, why is it never the Siege of Vicksburg, Pickett’s Charge, the Burning of Atlanta, or the March To The Sea? “Would y’all like another heppin’ of Vicksburg rat stew, dahlin?”

    • Blank Ron

      Never heard of ’em.

      – Southern Civil War reenactors

    • sohadicouldsplit

      Or Jefferson Davis running away in his wifes dress?

      • Jeff Davis did only a couple of years jail time for being the traitor “president”, then lived to a ripe old age, unlike poor Abe Lincoln. Hardly seems fair.

        • sohadicouldsplit

          Committed revisionists insist that it wasn’t his wife’s dress– because who y’all gonna believe, them or the Yankee eyewitness soldiers who helped apprehend him– but Davis’ own long, black, gleaming raincoat.

          Who says you can’t shine shit?

          At least Abe died with his pants on.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      Yah. Let’s re-enact Appomattox Court House. That should give everybody a really great sense of history.

  • Good to see that our Editrix allows her Dok to read stuff besides deleted comments.

  • BeliTsari

    The fat, drunk, inbred bitches LOST? Howcome everything on this internet is by & for racist GOOBERS?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRxUbv90lLI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtakUulufNk

  • Michael Smith

    Man, Napoleon can’t catch a break.

    • richardgrabman

      IF it wasn’t for the collapse of the Confederacy of the Rhine, my ancestors wouldn’t have fled to Pennsylvania.

  • docterry6973

    Suck it, everyone who waves the Confederate flag. You raised it to impose slavery, you killed hundreds of thousands of people to impose slavery, and you lost. All it represents is the dying embers of racial hatred.

    • Blank Ron

      Though said embers seem to be taking an awful long time to die. Probably because every now and again some dickwad adds more fuel…

    • Villago Delenda Est

      I so wish this were true, but the embers are going to be around for a long time…and they seem to have heated up a bit over the last six years.

      • Riley Whodat Venable

        Because no one urinates on the embers enough.

        • BackDoorMan

          “… this is not the trickle down you are looking for.”

      • shastakoala

        Well tomorrow is another day.

        • Querolous

          Scarlett would be so proud.

          • BackDoorMan

            Scarlett was always proud. Y’all might say it was the cause of her downfall. “Pride goeth…” and all that. Certainly seems to be a recurring southern theme.

          • OrdinaryJoe

            Whenever Gone with the Wind is on TV, I cheer for the fire.

          • bobbert

            I hope for a meteor.

          • Vienna Woods

            Whenever it’s on, I don’t watch it. My god it’s racist.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    “I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.”

    Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885)

  • Bitter Scribe

    Lewis Grizzard, the southern-fried jackass who used to write for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution or some such rag, recounted in an autobio how he was sports editor of the Chicago Sun-Times for ten minutes. In between the complaints about the weather and having to deal with an uppity black writer who thought he was just as good as a white man, we get this little nugget:

    A story had something to do with Columbia, S.C., and the writer used a “Sherman burning” metaphor. It irritated Grizzard so much that he claimed Sherman had never burned Columbia.

    When the writer proved that this was in fact the case, Grizzard retorted, “I was taught that when the little bearded fireplug reached Atlanta, they hanged him.”

    I have no doubt you were, Lewis.

    This was in a book called something like “If I Get Back to Dixie, I’m Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground.” The Sun-Times sports staff would probably have FedEx’d him the hammer.

    • Alan Ramsey

      Grizzard, now there’s a blast from the past. IIRC, someone at Atlanta’s version of the Chicago Reader used to write something similar to the Reader’s ongoing feature “We Read Bob Greene So You Don’t Have To.” about the usual groaners and shoddy pieces that Grizzard churned out for the AJC. One of the Atlanta alt-papers writers was at a conference of southern print media, and he was introduced to some AJC writers. The AJC staffers couldn’t wait to shake the guy’s hand and buy him a drink, as pretty much everyone there despised Grizzard except upper management.

    • malsperanza

      Not only did Sherman burn Columbia, but to judge by the ugly, generic architecture, no one got around to rebuilding the place til 1960. Whole town looks like a parking garage made of precast concrete.

      • Lot_49

        All the beautiful old stuff in New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah that we admire…people in slavery built it.

        The modern south is more Waffle House.

        • thud

          And so was the glory that was Rome built .

          • Lot_49

            And classical Greece, and Israel, and the pyramids in Egypt. The idea of slavery being abnormal, bad or illegal is pretty damn recent, and still hasn’t reached some parts of the Middle East.

          • Axomamma

            Actually, more recent thinking on the pyramids is that most of the people who built them were not slaves. “If not slaves, then who were these workers? Lehner’s friend Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, who has been excavating a “workers’ cemetery” just above Lehner’s city on the plateau, sees forensic evidence in the remains of those buried there that pyramid building was hazardous business. Why would anyone choose to perform such hard labor? The answer, says Lehner, lies in understanding obligatory labor in the premodern world. “People were not atomized, separate, individuals with the political and economic freedom that we take for granted. Obligatory labor ranges from slavery all the way to, say, the Amish, where you have elders and a strong sense of community obligations, and a barn raising is a religious event and a feasting event. If you are a young man in a traditional setting like that, you may not have a choice.” Plug that into the pyramid context, says Lehner, “and you have to say, ‘This is a hell of a barn!’”
            http://harvardmagazine.com/2003/07/who-built-the-pyramids-html

          • Lot_49

            Yes, I’ve heard that argument and can’t dispute it. But Empire of Cotton by Sven Beckert is convincing on the subject of slavery, in America at least, to the effect that, no they were not at all happy darkies singing their spirituals while they baled up the cotton and brought it to the Big House, but rather human beings exploited like farm animals.

          • thud

            Yes and in many cultures was it not considered bad form to abuse a slave?

  • Riley Whodat Venable

    God bless the dead, and thank God it’s over.

    • willi0000000

      you get an up-carrot from an atheist . . . for the sentiment.

      [unfortunately it isn’t over . . . even if they win it won’t be over . . . they’re like that]

    • thud

      Whats over?

  • BeliTsari
    • Villago Delenda Est

      Deserting coward “watch this drive!” libelz!

    • TheBidenator

      Oh Jesus, there really isn’t a thing Bamz can do that doesn’t piss these jackholes off, is there? I mean not a thing, and clearly he is golfing in Pismo as his nefarious pot to nuke South Carolina happened…Jim Garroway was right, take his straight jacket off! No, on second thought…leave it on.

    • CriticalDragon1177

      I guess our president is so tough that nukes can’t harm him. Run wingnuts, run! LOL!

  • shastakoala

    The only acceptable Confederate flag is the white one they waved when they surrendered.

  • Lee’s fried fucked chickens is a staple down south.

    • PubOption

      But their customers are not the demographic they would like.

  • Paperless Tiger

    The South has always been a nicer place to live though, even while Sherman was burning it.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Air conditioning is the only reason the Sun Belt booms. Houston could not exist without AC.

      • Lot_49

        I’d give Phoenix about three days if the power went off in August.

        • Steverino247

          Optimist!

    • malsperanza

      Selected portions of it, yes.

    • Me not sure

      If you have never been black.

  • Beaumarchais?

    Thomas Lovell was also a far better painter Jon McNaughton will ever be. So there’s another thing we beat them at.

    • Anarchy Pony

      Mcn0n isn’t that bad of a painter, he’s just dumb.

      • Lot_49

        Skilled draftsmanship ≠ art, necessarily.

        And yes, he is profoundly dumb.

        • Anarchy Pony

          Fair enough.

  • weejee

    So in terms of the War of Northern Aggression, today is the Sesquicentennial weeping and gnashing of teeth over Apoplexy Day.

    • Me not sure

      That should be wawah.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Too bad the south isn’t like Germany, where the hammer comes down on neo nazis fucking hard.

    • weejee

      We can hope for more of this…

      • mike

        shouldn’t that say, “I’m NOT with stupid”.

  • mellowjohn

    BTW, of Wilmer McLean it is sometimes said that the Civil War began in his front yard and ended in his front room. He owned a farm in Manassas VA on which a large portion of the Battle of Bull Run was fought. He moved to Appomattox Court House to get away from the war.

    • Steverino247

      Should have moved to Canada.

      • Vienna Woods

        With the Fenian invasions going on?

  • A Bashful Nobody

    What is the name of the native American aide in the painting. I has forgotten.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      Brig. General Ely S. Parker. He was a college educated engineer. He was a friend of Grant’s from Illinois and served under Grant for most of the war as an engineer, entering the army as a captain while Grant was still in the West, and later in the war became Grant’s secretary and adjutant. He helped draft the terms of the surrender documents and the actual signed surrender is in his handwriting. In his memoirs he recounted that at Appomattox, Lee “stared at me for a moment. He extended his hand and said, ‘I am glad to see one real American here.’ I shook his hand and said, ‘We are all Americans.'”

      • Steverino247

        Nice response by Parker on that one.

        • Me not sure

          Do ya know who the gay man next to Massa Robert is?

          • OrdinaryJoe

            His adjutant, Lt. Col. Charles Marshall. He was the sole confederate officer with Lee. He was responsible for selecting the site of the meeting. The name may sound familiar. His great uncle was Chief Justice John Marshall. And he was the uncle of General George C. Marshall.

          • Me not sure

            Now I understand where George got the idea of sending money to those we had just defeated. Uncle Charlie.

  • Sam Hain

    The South lost back then and they’re STILL losing now…treasonous bastards.

  • Me not sure

    I own a real antique Confederate battle flag. I know it’s genuine because the dried snot on it tested positive for Bill Sherman’s DNA.

    • Steverino247

      Cump Bumps Dump–headline on days Sherman did pretty much anything down there.

      • Me not sure

        HISTORY!

  • Joshua Norton

    neo-Confederate groups like the League of the South can go fuck themselves.

    The real confederate flag:

    • CriticalDragon1177

      Now that’s one way to make a bunch of drunk Klansmen angry at you, even if you’re white.

      • Joshua Norton

        Probably. Mainly because they forgot the eye holes.

  • beatbort

    I grew up in the South. I escaped after high school. I have never looked back except to occasionally flip a middle finger in its general direction.
    I do like Southern barbecue, however.

    • thud

      Yes the food and the music!

    • CriticalDragon1177

      A lot of people like Southern BBQ. When and where exactly did you grow up in the South? Are you sure it is still as bad as you remember? Things do change after all.

      • Anthony Blanche

        The South isn’t the total shithole that people (who don’t live here) think. What info you get from TV, movies, or just passing through, doesn’t give you an accurate picture. I work in HR (gods help me) for a large company in the South, and the number of job applications from people who have recently moved here from other parts of the country is significant. Just saying.

    • david green

      Had a southern fellow in my SeaBee Battalion back in the 60’s who would go into the head every night and practice getting rid of his southern accent in front of a mirror.

  • Left Coast Tom

    OK, I’ve read the Politico article now.

    Regarding Doktor Zoom’s text that I responded to, below:

    After all, if the Confederate flag were solely an expression of racism,
    then people who proudly display the Confederate flag would also have no
    qualms about openly wearing Klan hoods and other more overt symbols of
    white supremacy.

    The author does discuss the ideology around the Confederate battle flag, but it’s pretty clear in the article that the ideology in question is explicitly based on racism. For example, he describes the “appeal” of Confederate bullshit as:

    Confederate sympathy offers an ideology that explains why life in
    America is not what one expected it to be, why Spanish is increasingly
    heard in towns across the country, why despite working hard one never
    seems to get ahead, why African Americans have recently occupied highly
    visible leadership positions as attorney general, secretary of state
    and, of course, president.

    The large bulk of that appeal is explicit racism. In fact, later he seems to echo my take about socially palatable symbols, though he discusses them in terms of political palatability:

    By the late 20th century, undisguised support for white supremacy was no
    longer politically viable; thus, arguing that your ancestors fought
    honorably for their homes and families against a dictatorial federal
    government that usurped the natural, constitutional, God-given order of
    things was considerably more palatable.

    And this is immediately followed by another mention of the racism involved, in Lee Atwater-like terms (the “although rarely articulated directly” part):

    Even so, racial differences, although rarely articulated directly,
    remain central to the task of rallying support for neo-Confederate
    organizations.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      My feelings toward Confederate sympathizers are very, very negative for precisely these reasons.

      I think the reason so many want to judge by the color of skin is that so many (particularly those with melanin deficiencies) don’t want to be judged by their character, because they would be sadly lacking.

    • doktorzoom

      I hope it was clear that I wasn’t in any way suggesting that the Confederate battle flag isn’t overtly racist — what I was getting at was that it and the romanticized Confederate cause have also been freighted with a lot of additional mythology that neo-Confederates cling to as a means of denying that racism, and, as you say, making its display more socially acceptable. It’s racism with an added dose of “plausible deniability.”

  • Jerry

    If you want to waste some time, try doing a thought experiment on how a state, if it wanted to secede amicably and the federal government was OK with that, could untangle itself from the feds with all the assets and liabilities fairly divvied up.

    Sounds effin’ impossible to me.

    • ThisNameInUse

      Especially given the fact that most of those ex-Confederate (red) states are today basically dependent wards of the blue states in the North, which subsidize their existence.

      There’s that too, yes.

      • Jhary Kenshura

        It was fun explaining to a man from the state of South Carolina how, no it was not California draining the vast resources of this nation dry with our immigrants and liberal ways, but states like his, which was receiving something like $1.64 for every dollar it put into the Fedearl coffers. Also, go ahead Texas, seced, but remember, Ft. Hood will be a pretty large occupied territory in your midst.

        • GreenEagle

          Or not. I think it would be interesting to see how much of Texas could be seized by the drug cartels that are already the de facto government in large parts of northern Mexico, before Texas could create and equip an army. I suspect that giving Texas its freedom would end up being the equivalent of giving it back to Mexico.

          • dshwa

            I would happily watch to see how it turns out.

    • Vienna Woods

      Yeah, Quebec separatists keep trying to explain to the rest of us how it would work. Meanwhile, the Mohawk and Cree nations (in Quebec) keep saying umm…. I don’t think so.

  • TundraGrifter

    Part of the first major battle of the Civil War – Bull Run – was fought on the McLean farm. McLean moved his family as far awy from the conflict as he could get – and the war ended in his parlor.

    I believe both Gen. Lee and Grant signed the surrender on that little wooden table US Grant is sitting at. Gen. George Armstrong Custer purchased it as soon as they were finished.

    Today would be a great day to read the wonderful story “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox” by James Thurber. Highly recommended!

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Doktor Zoom,

    Why is it that oddly enough, I see a bunch of confederate flags being sold on this page under “shop at look?”

    • HSkol Purging

      Those crazy marketing bots. That does seem rather odd; but, it’s likely the result of a simple program that doesn’t parse information all that accurately.

      • CriticalDragon1177

        Hmm… You’re probably right. It is odd through.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Prezactly.

      • david green

        So they don’t really know that my great granddaddy was from the south?

    • RecreationalPilot

      Those marketing bots track your IP address’s history stored in servers, the data collected from 3rd party sites who report in, and the cookies on your machine.

      It looks like you’ve got some reason to get those flags appearing.

      • CriticalDragon1177

        Well I don’t know why that would be. I’ve never been a Neo Confederate in my life. I’ve never really sympathized with the confederacy. I won’t even watch “Gone With The Wind” since I feel like it romanticizes the antebellum south too much. There’s no way I would ever be even remotely tempted to buy a confederate flag or anything with one on it.

    • shocktreatment

      Get Ghostery, spare yourself some petty annoyances.

      https://www.ghostery.com/en/

  • Tovarish Z
  • Last Hussar

    The War wasn’t about slavery. Secession was, but the war was about keeping Washington’s major export: cotton.

    Many in the North were just as racist as those in the South. Many didn’t want to fight for (insert racial epithet of choice here). ‘Freeing’ the slaves was to keep Britain and France from intervening to protect the cotton supplies. Conditions didn’t change for the ex slaves after the war- they still had to work for rich white men for nothing more than food and shelter.

    And before all those comments about ‘white flags’, if you think that is apposite, then the Union one should have a streak of yellow: it took the North 4 years to defeat an opponent that had 1/3 the population (25% of which were slaves), when the north had all the heavy industry and gold. US troops would refuse to follow orders because “they were fighting for democracy”, and would vote on officers, because god forbid you should be lead by someone Jewish or Catholic.

    Doesn’t excuse the modern day fuckwittery in the South, but let’s not pretend Lincoln was a great idealist.

    • Tovarish Z

      And what was the key to the cotton industry in the US before the Civil War…slavery.

      • DahBoner

        #we have a winner

      • GreenEagle

        A sort of minor section of Thomas Piketty’s recent groundbreaking economics book is a short section where he discusses the economies of the South and the rest of the United States before the Civil War. It is quite illuminating. If you happen to get your hands on a copy of the book, you will find it well worth reading.

    • Joshua Norton

      Let me play Dixie on the world’s smallest violin.

    • alnnc

      Well, it is true that most of the soldiers that fought for the South did not own slaves. And although they had freedom that was denied to slaves, many of them were only slightly better off financially. So you do have to wonder why they fought when there was no obvious benefit to them. I guess it’s the same reason why poor southern whites vote for the GOP and against their best interest today. They don’t want Washington telling them what to do, even if it helps them (think health insurance). And they want to make sure blacks are still worse off than they are. Of course, there is a big benefit for southern whites now. Generally, no one is shooting at them.

      • Vienna Woods

        “And they want to make sure blacks are still worse off than they are.”

        Relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlzaBi_QxPw

        • nightmoth

          Some phrases I often heard while growing up down South:
          “That’s not a job for a white man”
          “That’s nigger work”
          “I’m free, white, and 21”
          “Not worth a nigger’s life”

          The poorest white could always comfort himself that at least he was white. He was used by the power structure, mocked by the wealthy, lied to by demagogues, but at least, by God he was white! Very sad history here—very, very sad.

      • and this is the reason why the myth of the confederacy continues so strongly today. TPTB know there’s nothing like a mythical, fanciful, romantic Cause story to stir people’s hearts and emotions. never mind that it largely ignores the real history of the pre-war south.

      • nightmoth

        IMO, one reason poor whites fought was the human desire to better themselves by owning more. Only 2% of slave owners in the South were wealthy enough to own more than 200 slaves. Those “aristocrats” were the ones whose names are still emblazoned on highways, small towns, and bridges throughout the South. The rest generally owned fewer than 15 human souls. But even the poorest white could dream of working his way up to get a slave or two, like his descendants of a later day would dream of selling the mule to buy a tractor.
        As for the other reason, the “states rights” motivation which persists today: I believe it is a carry over from the Scots-Irish immigration to the South in the 1700s–they had been brutally oppressed and robbed of their land by the British and consequently despised any “big government” telling them what to do.

    • tomsveb

      I’m not sure what intellectual jiggery-pokery you’re going after here. Secession was about slavery. The Union effort to prevent secession was about the fact that governments rarely — and it was certainly unheard of in the mid/late-1800’s — let a large chunk of their territory walk away. Really. Was there a single example as of 1861 of a nation peacefully deciding to allow the secession of a big chunk of its territory? I’ll wait.

      I’m sure that the fact that cotton was extremely valuable had some importance. But if you’re claiming that but for the South’s big cotton industry, the US would have allowed 11 states to secede from the Union without a shot fired? You’re nuts.

      There were surely lots of racists in the North, but the (sadly brief) Reconstruction experience surely indicates that quite a number of Radical Republicans had a very sincere, if imperfect, intent to make life better for blacks in the South (and around the country). The 14th and 15th Amendments were passed for a reason. Conditions for slaves briefly improved quite a bit; they fell back into terrible conditions in large part because Reconstruction collapsed, not because the Civil War was some sham effort.

      • Last Hussar

        To be clear. No intellectual jiggery Pokery. For starters i m British, and the fuckwits who try and minimise/excuse/ignore slavery are fuckwits. The Stars and Bars should be up there with Nazi Swastikas in the league of flags you shouldn’t want to own.

        Read what I wrote. Secession was about slavery. There were a number of other complaints, many of them legitimate, that the South had, but the reason they chose to secede was the fear of abolition, something that wasn’t really on DCs agenda. The south assumed the because new states were not allowd to be slave states there was a conspiracy to abolish slavery. The states right they chose to go to secede over wasn’t actually under threat- the right to keep slaves (which is totally biblical and allowed).

        My point was the North didn’t go to war to free the Slaves, it won’t to war out of political and economic expediency. By seceding the south actually hastened the abolition of slavery, something that had beenleft in US culture and law by the ‘founding fathers’ who had argued over the matter, with the pro slavers winning.

    • OrdinaryJoe

      “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

      Oh, it was always about slavery and everything that slavery did to undermine the foundation of the nation.

    • Unforgotten

      Well, the South attacked first and won many battles in the early days (to the point that Lincoln had to change his ‘number one’ in the war effort, hadn’t he?), so the South wasn’t unprepared for the War, the North was (at the very least) not that prepared.
      Plus you’re being ‘smart’, the population of the North (or Union) was bigger, true, but did that meant that all men able to fight could be made soldiers? How and with what money? There was a revolt in NYC that was caused, among other factors but that was one of the main ones, by the fact that there were rich folks buying their right to not fight for the Union, such was the need of money to pay for the war! Draft dodging was legal and wanted actually!
      The war wasn’t popular, the ‘Copperheads’ were around and opposition to it was tolerated in many degrees. Wasn’t the Gettysburg Address mocked by many newspapers in the days that followed Lincoln’s speech?
      And yet, with all the internal struggle that the North faced, who won the war again?

    • GreenEagle

      I think it is important for anyone tempted to buy in to the nonsense above, to read the famous “Cornerstone Speech,” by Alexander Stephens, the vice President of the Confederacy, in which he spelled out exactly what the Southern secession was about. Here it is, if you are not familiar with it:

      http://legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1861stephens.asp

      This should put to rest any notion that slavery, and the inherent inferiority of blacks, were not the central values that Southerners were fighting to maintain.

      • Unforgotten

        Thanks a lot for the link! I always heard about this speech, but I thought it had been Davis who gave it…
        OOOOOPPPSSS!!!!

      • Vienna Woods

        Holy shit. Thanks for that; I’ve taught US history and never read that speech. They really were unmitigated fuckers, weren’t they?

        • janecita

          Were?

    • Scott550

      It was about slavery. The economics of the south made them want to own human machinery cheap. The whole “states rights” lie is just that. A lie.

      The south lost. Get over it.

    • JohnE_o

      The important thing is that folks who get all hard and nostalgic about the “Lost Cause” in two-thousand-freaking-fifteen are a bunch of of fuckwits.

      I think we can all agree on that…

      • Last Hussar

        Yep.

    • nightmoth

      And Lincoln wrote in an open letter to Horace Greeley:
      If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. … What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union.”

      And Northern factories charged the South way too much for needed industrial goods.
      And there were plenty of racists in the North.
      And cavalry was a significant factor early in the war and the South had magnificent horsemen. Yes, yes, yes.
      BUT!! That doesn’t change the fact that the entire economy of the South was based on the labor of slaves held under conditions in which they were treated as sub-human.
      That’s why there was a Bleeding Kansas, Missouri Border Wars, the Dred Scott decision.
      That’s why there was a Civil War.

      • Takoma DC

        I believe “Bleeding Kansas” was what brought Lincoln out of retirement from politics. So I do believe he was anti-slavery. Perhaps he wasn’t as progressive as some of us would have liked, or formerly believed but he was progressive and open-minded for his time.

        • nightmoth

          I totally agree. But the quote to Greeley has become a right wing talking point to minimize slavery as a cause of the War. Another myth I hear a lot is that “slaves were not mistreated, because they were valuable property” and you would take care of a slave just like he was an expensive car today. Heard both of those from my high school history teacher.

  • DahBoner

    It’s traditional on this day for Northerners to invite Southerners to the Mall…

    http://media0.giphy.com/media/4CP58gxwbBy2Q/giphy.gif

  • willi0000000

    time forthe US Bureau of Engraving and Printing to put this on the back of the $5 bill

    with the inscription “We did it once”

  • Spurning Beer

    Save your Confederate money, boys! It’s old, and looks official, and lends a sense of legitimacy to garden variety hateful white supremacy!

    • Vienna Woods

      AND you can donate it to Rand Paul 2016!!

    • It’s also stupidly inflated. By the end of the war, a bar of soap cost $75 Confederate.

  • gomerel

    Always wonder why southerners who want secede from the Union, again, are also two hunnert per cent ‘merican

    • tomsveb

      Why Lee and Davis aren’t mentioned in the same breath with Benedict Arnold remains bizarre to me.

      • ThisNameInUse

        I blame Lincoln. It was all that “and malice toward none” BS he felt compelled to spout as he tried to put the country back together.

        • GreenEagle

          I blame Nixon. No reason, I just do.

          • chicken thief

            “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.” So then he gets elected, so we can kick him around some more.

            Thanks, Nixon!

    • Because the CSA always thought of themselves as the “real” union of sovereign States that Washington and Jefferson (slaveowners) would have wanted. That’s why their constitution was copy-and-pasted from the Union constitution. According to them, LIBERALS are traitors to “real” America, the CSA.

  • I celebrated the holiday by drinking a General Sherman cocktail: one shot of Southern Comfort, set ablaze and dropped into a pint glass full of a klansman’s tears.

    • SJLAW

      Sounds delicious.

  • Walter Wellstone

    The whole “Heritage Not Hate” bullshit is as authentic as Marcus Bachmann’s heterosexuality. The fucking thing is all about hatred of The United States of America and everything the Union represents. On this day I say to the South: Fuck you. You lost. Now go make us a sandwich, bitch.

    • tinker12

      I have this to say to the South: I want a fking divorce. NOW! You freeloading, ignorant, hateful, hopeless, perverted POS! NOW!

  • LutherZBlissett

    Treason Not Tradition

  • Jhary Kenshura

    The next time one of these folk say the words “War of Northern Aggression” explain to them that the South started the war by attacking Fort Sumter. Tis the War of Southern Aggression.

    • GreenEagle

      When I hear it called the “war of Northern aggression,” I just respond by calling it “the war of Southern treason.” More to the point, I think.

      • david green

        Had a history professor who had written a book about the war. This was back in the 50’s and the publisher wanted to change “Civil War” to “War Between the States”. He told them that he would change it, but only to “The Southern Insurrection”, and they stopped asking.

    • janecita

      Like they know crap about real American history!

    • Hemidemisemiquaver

      Guy I worked with was from Alabama. He once told me that the Northern generals were a bunch of alcoholics while the Southern generals were all fine, Christian gentlemen. I asked him who won the war. He got red in the face and stomped off. He then punished me by refusing to talk about the Civil War with me.

      As you can see, I’m still not over it and that was 40 years ago.

      • Takoma DC

        Someone complained to Lincoln that General Grant was drinking too much whiskey and Lincoln replied something along the linesof: Find out what brand of whiskey he drinks. I want to give a barrel to all my other commanders!

  • Alex Grey

    Big load of butthurt…

  • bernieo

    Funny how all the Southern newspapers were obsessing about the threat to slavery in the buil up to war since the conflict was not about that. They must have been distracted from what people really cared about……

  • janecita

    Let sorry losers fly their sorry loser flag. If they are happy to be delusional racists, and losers, who are we to stop them?

    • nightmoth

      It’s just that they seem to be affecting the rest of the country into sharing their delusions.

      • Athirson

        Which is why the time has long since come for a divorce. I for one am tired of subsidizing a bunch of toothless, shoeless, overall-wearing, moonshine-guzzling, sister-marrying hayseeds. The South wants to secede? Get on with it already

  • Takoma DC

    Nah. It’s all about hate. They simply use their anti-government stance as their main “concern” to distract the clueless liberals from their real mission which is hate – pure violent hate. I only know a handful of people who display the confederate flag and each one is a proud racist. They feel comfortable openly displaying the confederate flag because people like Hague (although not as intelligently) give rational logical sounding reasons for their love and want of displaying the confederate flag but are wrong. These are the same people who are pro-state’s rights (just another way to make hate legal) and these are the very same states which proudly celebrate confederate general (the LOSER) Robert E. Lee’s birthday – several on the same day as MLK Day (do you see the thread of hate now?). Why do you think we’re seeing the confederate flag more and more since 2008? Just a coinydink? Nah it’s all about hate. And they hate him, hate his n***er-lovin’ mother, hate his Kenyan father, hate his wife and hate his daughters too. These are dangerous people filled with love for the confederacy (the LOSER) and hate for everyone and everything else. Their nostalgia is yet another mask of hate. It’s not “kitsch” but proud racist bitch (as in the verb “to bitch”) which drives them.

    • jmk

      Some are certainly driven by that… but I don’t think all of them are. I think many are driven by the same assholery that makes them vote to protect the interests of the 1% in a misguided effort to think of themselves as part of that clique.
      People like that are motivated by a need to maintain the delusion that they are/were part of something that made them better than the hordes they look down on, and it ultimately doesn’t matter to them if they’re looking down on people for the color of their skin, or for not having the right genitalia or employing their genitalia wrong), for not being a member of the right religion or not speaking the right language or not being in the right club.
      These are the folks who aren’t celebrating slavery but who try to forget or downplay slavery to maintain their illusion. They are also usually the people who claim that THEY are really protecting women by restricting their rights, or that non-Christians are persecuting them with secularism. They yearn for a past and a future in which they matter more than other people, in which they are the top of the social pyramid.
      So they fool themselves into believing utter fucking lies.

      • Takoma DC

        Maybe but I still believe it’s all about hate. Those who pine for the confederacy and southern “tradition” can pretend all they like; it’s a mask for hate.

        If a person worships the 1% and desires to join them, then they cannot truly be a Christian. It’s not difficult to understand the teachings of Jesus Christ. In fact a true Christian would never mix their religion with politics. When they do like Huckabee and other gop reps – that’s all you need to know about them. If they’re willing to shill for Jesus they’re nothing more than a conman/woman. You see I don’t believe they’ve fooled themselves into “believing utter fucking lies.” I believe they know the truth but hate so much are using a twisted form of magical thinking to try to make manifest their “quaint” traditional society of ignorance, violence and hate into America’s 21st century.

        When someone decides to “downplay” slavery, or the Holocaust, or the genocide of Native Americans in North America (aka “Indians”), or the murder of protesters in Tiananmen Square – then they’re not only delusional but they’re perpetuating hate and ignorance. There’s no excuse for these delusions in the 21st century other than to build a foundation from which to spread hate and violence.

        With the internet – no one can lie anymore – well not for very long. The disingenuous will be mocked. The posers will be parodied. The racist murderers will be shunned and fingers crossed imprisoned. The rapists will be brought to justice regardless if those in red states believe the victim was asking for it because “she had her tits hanging out” and besides her body “knows how to shut that whole thing down”. Those exploiting and abusing children will be found out and hopefully, with more women on the bench sentenced to stricter sentences. Gay bashers will finally be understood as the paraiahs they truly are. Anyone abusing or exploiting animals will be shunned and again, fingers crossed, receive strict punishment. Anyone abusing and exploiting the earth’s natural resources – they’ll be imprisoned and receive fines that actually mean something. With greater diversity our legal system will be better. It will make government and governance better too. I see this potential for goodness in the confederate states as well. The progressive 35% in these hate-states will grow and have a positive affect.

        Science, truth, logic, reason, diplomacy and compassion will eventually win over all the ignorance and hate the hateful confederate states can dish out.

  • Takoma DC

    Sorry Hague. It’s all about hate.

    Savannah, Georgia March 21, 1861, Confederate vice president, Alexander Stephens proudly proclaims:

    ………………………Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause.] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It is so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North who still cling to these errors with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind; from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is, forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics: their conclusions are right if their premises are. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights, with the white man…. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the Northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery; that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle-a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of man. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds we should succeed, and that he and his associates in their crusade against our institutions would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as well as in physics and mechanics, I admitted, but told him it was he and those acting with him who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal…………..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech

    And many more than you would ever think still believe this hateful speech to be truth.

    • Ranina

      Thank you. That is sickening…and needs to be “shared” often.

      • Takoma DC

        Yes, I agree. I hope you read the entire speech. If not yet, I encourage you and others to please do so. I believe this speech proves the war WAS about slavery and all the ugliness that went with it. What was said proudly and in public in 1861, is still whispered proudly in private conversations in 2015.

        • GreenEagle

          Takoma, I always think this speech is the most important thing with which to confront people who refuse to recognize the truth about the Confederacy. Thanks for excerpting it, and I want to agree- everyone should read it in its entirety- it isn’t that long, and no honest person can come away from it and still buy into the Calhoun line that the Civil war was all about States’ rights.

          • Takoma DC

            Agree GreenEagle. I find it extremely interesting that whenever there’s a shift in America’s social consciousness – the confederate states are the ones that always balk. It’s always the confederate states which are troublesome and refuse to adapt and progress. It’s the confederate states and a few outliers – sadly Kansas is one of them. Even though Kansas did have a strong abolitionist movement the majority of Kansas folks were pro-slavery, anti-women’s rights, anti-civil rights and now they’re anti-gay rights and marriage equality – as are all or almost all of the confederate states. These are also the same states which rate high on the poverty and crime stats. These states also tend to have fewer college educated residents and their own public education system more-often-than-not rank the worst in the country. It’s very interesting to me that these troublesome states are also anti-ACA and they tend to have very bad health rankings for their residents. AND they have more residents on welfare than blue states. It’s always been the sanity and tolerance of the west coast, east coast and northern states which have kept these troublesome states in check. I fear they have won a few recent battles and I find it frightening.These troublesome states are also connected (sometimes with very deep ties) to KKK and other white supremacy groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, since President Obama was elected, the number of these groups has increased tremendously. It’s as if the the ghosts of those who hated Lincoln have been unleashed. There’s a lot of ignorance and hate in America. It saddens me to admit that but I cannot deny this any longer. I live in DC and actually see Virginia auto tags with the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ Gadsden flag design. I’ve also seen in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs – just 15 or 20 minutes from DC – confederate flags flying from cars, trucks, houses and apartment windows.

          • GreenEagle

            An excellent and very inclusive statement of the dysfunction of the Republican States. I’ll just add one fact that you may have never run across, since you mention the Gadsden flag. Here is something that every neo-confederate person knows and almost no one else does: The first flag raised in the Southern rebellion, on November 8, 1860, was the Gadsden flag. You can see a famous engraving of it, which was widely circulated in the Confederacy, here:

            http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.19610/

            This is what that flag means to them. It is one of the ultimate dog-whistles.

          • Takoma DC

            Wow! Thank you for this info. I’ve always wondered what the difference is between the confederate and Gadsden flags. I’ve been meaning to do some research about it. As a Philadelphian, I’ve been thinking I should be flying the Betsy Ross flag of the original 13 colonies.
            :-)

    • chicken thief

      They believed in science back then?!

      • Takoma DC

        I don’t know what your comment means chicken thief, please explain.

        • chicken thief

          “This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science.”

          Yet the GOP in general isn’t real fond of recognizing any form of science today, ie climate change, etc.

  • Guest

    Actually the war would have been over sooner if Lincoln would have sacked McClelland earlier. Then the surrender would have been less of an historical bittersweet, but mostly bitter cinematically emotional moment for the contemporary unreconstructed (yet fully deconstructed) confederates, and more of a hands up you rapacious slave selling miscreant rebel sort of thing. And it might have been signed off in Giuseppe Baloney’s barn out back of beyond, or in Grant’s tent in the middle of a trampled bok choy field.

  • nightmoth

    You can’t imagine what’s it’s like to be an aging liberal, who has fought for integration during the sixties and gay civil rights during the eighties, and tramped the streets of poor black neighborhoods talking people into registering to vote for Obama—and to have lived this life in the Deep South. My husband is the same—we have a timber farm which he has nurtured back into productivity from being worn-out cotton fields with no topsoil. The land of the South can be so beautiful—right now springtime will take your breath away—but most every day we talk about chucking it all and retiring Someplace Else—anywhere, just as long as it’s away from here. And we could be in the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy groups, ancestors on both sides were Rebels–my great-great grandfather was at the Appomattox surrender, but thank heaven we had parents who were not proud of that mess.
    I try to make allowances for my teatard neighbors—it’s the only part of the country to have Lost a War and that causes lasting butthurt—you can see that kind of generational animosity all over the planet. And the school system down here has failed miserably for over a century to educate Southern children about the causes and results of the Civil War. But still. Sorry for the self-pity, and don’t play a little violin for me, because at least we live near a university town where we can find people to relax with, and hey, we’re white. Which is a damn sight better than living in the South and being black.

    • Randy Riddle

      I live in the South. I think I’d rather live somewhere there’s a dry heat.

      • nightmoth

        We’ve been out West a few times, and liked it, especially Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona. But it seems like they’re all becoming as politically nutty as the South.

      • OrdinaryJoe

        You’re welcome to come to California. Our current governor is the heir to the great California legacy laid down by his father and that progressive generation of really great Californians and great Americans and he is working hard with our legislature to preserve and build on that legacy. We need to fix our school system, sort out the water thing and get a handle on some alternative energy technologies, but we will. The climate is warm, the scenery is magnificent, the people are friendly and the politics are progressive. Head up to I 40 and turn left, you can’t miss us. Just in case, we’ll leave the porch light on.

        • Takoma DC

          CA is a beautiful state with mostly wonderful people. The water situation is scary but the thing about CA is that it has so many intelligent ingenious forward-thinking revolutionaries, not only will CA overcome these current problems but the systems and inventions created out of these problems will go out into the world to help others all around the globe. Ca is always at the forefront of American innovation.

  • Big Googootz

    Fear and greed fueled the secessionist movement. It was the aristocracy that supplied the fuel to the ignorant poor of the South. The wealthy, for the most part, left the South for the duration of the War. Only the die hard racists that fell for their own bullshit stayed and fought and were usually high ranking officers, far from the front lines. There were a few zealots who fought with extraordinary courage. They had the most to loose. With newly acquired wealth, the nouveau riche plantation owners needed the slaves to maintain the newly acquired wealth. Of course, there were the plantation owners that were never able to move on to greener fields such international trade or sell the plantation to new comers and invest in industry.

    It is the same with the new South; fear and greed is being injected into the social fabric of the South by the radical Tea Puppets fueled by the wealthy. Fear and greed is sustained by refuting the truth of science and history by altering the text books and only watching fear mongering Fox Noise. It is the equivolent of the intire South firmly covering their ears and loudly chanting La!, La!, La!, La!,…It is hopeless in trying to reason with these idiots…especially in Texas(excluding Bexar and Travis counties).

    The point is that the poor ignorant whites are being used by the wealthy AGAIN! and it is the poor white southerners that suffer but it is at the expense of the Union as a whole. And now the wealthy have refined their evil and have become even more powerful in their influence of the poor white Southerner.

    Ohio, Indiana, and other states are showing their depression era roots to the KKK.

    Read up on the Nueces Massacre. This is the true Southern Noble Ways.

    • freshwaterdrum

      “I can always hire half of the working class to kill the other half” Jay Gould, 19th century American industrialist. Anyone who is Republican and not a multimillionaire is what I call a “Gould-American”. Willing to sell out his own, thinking he’ll catch a scrap that may fall from the table of the elite.

      • Big Googootz

        True that, freshwaterdrum.. You’re feeling me.
        BTW,The freshwater drum in Amistad are good, but I prefer the brackish drum of Sabine Lake.

        • freshwaterdrum

          Great Lakes drum are awesome fighters!

          • Big Googootz

            Sabine drum are easy to fry. They come with their own grease.

  • mfp

    “It is a politics that harks back to the South’s proud stand in the Civil War as a way of rallying opinion against the federal government—and against the country’s changing demographic, economic, and moral character, of which Washington is often seen as the malign author.”
    what is it about the second half of that sentence, esp “…and against the country’s changing demographic…” that isnt racist?

  • Athirson

    Hate to burst everybody’s bubble but the Confederate flag isn’t about heritage or hate.

    It is about armed insurrection against the United States, or if you prefer as I do, treason. Which in turn begs the question of why those who display this particularly odious symbol should not be hanged.

    Having gotten that off my chest, I sincerely hope they try it again, and soon. Maybe this time the rest of us will give them the correct answer, in terms that even the most simpleminded of them (and that’s a pretty low limbo, but I digress) might understand, to wit:

    Don’t let it hitcha where the Good Lahrd splitcha

    • Big Googootz

      The states that sport or once sported the Confederate flag as part of their State flag did so around the turn of the century after the myth(lie) of the noble “Cause” was constructed. Georgia adopted their Confederate-ish flag in 1956, just at the height of Black struggle for freedom and rights. The followers and promoters of those false flags are as false as their flag and their cause: Liars and and bigoted racists all, then and now.

  • sfthomas

    Really, you have to work your own fields now, now stealing the work of others and beating and killing those who challenge your lazy asses!

Previous articleNow Arkansas Says You Can Reverse Your Abortion With This One Weird Trick
Next articleIf Rand Paul F*cks Up One More Day This Week, He Wins A New Car!