No Defense for McDonnell

April 7th, 2010 at 9:48 pm | 7 Comments |

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I’m sorry Daivd, but McDonnell’s confederate proclamation was obnoxious, even if more subtle than Gilmore’s.

For one, it’s a historical whitewash. I’ll start with this: “the surviving, imprisoned and injured Confederate soldiers gave their word and allegiance to the United States of America, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace.” That sort of whitewashes the actual aftermath of the War, in which the former Confederacy in fact sought to undermine, often through violence, the principal achievements of the War. That was true in Virginia as it was throughout the South.

What’s worse is what was not said, which was that (as you note) the Confederacy was probably the worst “cause for which men ever fought” of the 19th century, whereas the declaration makes it sound honorable, which it was not (and I say this as someone whose parents are both from the South).

If a declaration on the Confederacy is incapable of saying the most fundamental thing about it–which is that it was a monstrous act of disunion in the cause of an even more monstrous system of racial slavery–then it is, in fact, better to just say nothing.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • rbottoms

    Republicans, world class jerks and A-Holes once again.

    As a Democrat I can’t thank you enough for this self-inflicted debacle.

    Maybe you’ll find some more strippers in the RNC accounts to take people’s mind of this story?

  • pre-Reaganite

    This is one of my biggest beefs with the current GOP: it, and its shrunken base, want to believe things are a certain way and so ignore anything to the contrary while turning up the volume.

    This attitude explains the appeal of Palin. Some want to believe in her brand – that she is who says says she is – that they ignore her blatant hypocrisy, distortions, and lies.

  • Go Dog Go!

    This is a symptom of the intellectual dishonesty so pervasive in the party today. To use some storybook myth as basis for history (a peaceful post-war South?!) and deny the African holocaust that occurred within our borders is not just a denial of basic history but unthinkably foolish politically.

    It’s akin to Germany celebrating “Nazi History Month” while denying the holocaust was “significant.” How might that go over?

    Conservatism has been hijacked by millions who think like McDonnell. It’s time to confront this radical element and bring enlightened, intellectual honesty back to our party’s thinking.

  • Red Phillips

    I have neither the time nor the energy to rehash this on every new McDonnell thread, so I will just refer you to the original two threads, “Bum Rap” and “Rethinking.” The pro-right to secession forces are mopping the floor with the anti-secessionists because history and the Constitution are on our side.

  • sinz54

    Steven Teles: If a declaration on the Confederacy is incapable of saying the most fundamental thing about it–which is that it was a monstrous act of disunion in the cause of an even more monstrous system of racial slavery–then it is, in fact, better to just say nothing.
    No.
    Slavery is monstrous; “disunity” is not.

    Nations have no automatic right to be nations. Jefferson’s revered Declaration of Independence states correctly that governments exist at the consent of the governed. We abolished “divine right of kings,” remember?

    I shed no tears at the breakup of the USSR, or even at the breakup of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. I would have been angry to see the Czech government impose its will on its people by force.

    There may well be reasons why a nation can and should be broken up. But in order for one section of that nation to continue to enslave a race of people is not one of them.

    The South had slavery, and slavery was based on racism. European empires were worldwide, but we didn’t have Hindu slaves or Malayan slaves working the Southern plantations. Blacks were enslaved, because back then the belief that blacks were more “animalistic” than whites was almost universally believed, even among Northern whites who sympathized with the plight of blacks. White people didn’t consider black people as equals, but as some kind of subhuman breed; hence no qualms about enslaving them, anymore than putting a leash on a dog or a bridle on a horse.

    For example: Ellen White, the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, had actually asserted that black people were the offspring of mating between white people and animals.

  • DFL

    And there is no defense for the deracinated Mr. Teles. If he is a Virginian, he should honor his ancestors. If he is not a Virginian, he should shut his sewer hole.

  • ottovbvs

    DFL // Apr 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    “And there is no defense for the deracinated Mr. Teles. If he is a Virginian, he should honor his ancestors. If he is not a Virginian, he should shut his sewer hole.”

    ….ultimately the hate always floats to the surface doesn’t it DFL?