Apr 14

I guess the South will rise again

Gone_with_the_Wind(070311092656)Via_col_Vento_6A just-released CNN/ORC poll marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War showed  an astounding 42 percent of respondents said slavery WAS NOT the main reason southern states seceded from the Union. Holy Abraham Lincoln!

When broken down by political party affiliation, most Democrats said southern states seceded over slavery, independents were split (which is why they're independents, I guess) and MOST Republicans said states' rights and not slavery, was the reason for secession. Gimme a break.

The South seceded solely to protect 'the curious institution' as they called slavery. Period. To say otherwise is to rewrite history and reminds me of the nut jobs who claim the holocaust never occurred either.

I'm not surprised the Tea Party-inspired Republicans believe the way they do. It actually fits like a glove. Still, it's a sorry commentary on the current state of affairs and an affront to the hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers who were killed and wounded to preserve the union and end slavery.

I think the survey speaks volumes about the image of the Republican Party and, frankly, am surprised the Rachel Maddows of the world aren't making a bigger deal about the findings. I'm also surprised reactionaries such as the Reverend Al Sharpton aren't leveraging the survey to further fan the flames and advance their personal agendas.

BTW, here are a few other key findings:

– One in four Americans surveyed sympathize more with the Confederacy's cause than the Union's. Nice.
– That statistic increases to an astounding 40 percent among Southerners. Even nicer.
– 80 percent of Republicans admired the leaders of the southern states (all of whom were slaveholders, BTW).

I suggest CNN/ORC survey the same group in November of 2012, when we mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. I wonder if an overwhelming number of Republicans and Southerners will still insist the Civil War wasn't fought to end slavery? Silly me. Of course they will.

I guess the South will rise again.

Tip o' the hat to Chris 'Repman, Jr.'  Cody for suggesting this post.

Mar 14

And Gettysburg citizens should be proud of their contributions to the oil and gas sector

Like the late, great Wall Street firm, Merrill Lynch, Tea Party candidates are a breed apart. They provide a steady stream of malaprops, mangled grammar and misinformation that make me laugh, cry and sigh.

The latest Tea Partier to demonstrate an utter lack of knowledge about U.S. history is Michele Bachmann.

Speaking before a group of supporters in Concord, New Hampshire, Ms. Bachmann praised them for living on the hallowed ground where the fabled “shot heard 'round the world” was fired. There was only one thing wrong with her comment. Bachmann was in the wrong state. The opening salvos that touched off the American Revolution were fired in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, not New Hampshire. Oh well, who cares about a minor thing like historical accuracy when one is a high-profile, elected official advocating for the  dismemberment of, among other things, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which provides American citizens with the type of daily information necessary to learn such tidbits as where this country of ours  began.)?

But, far be it from Tea Party types such as Bachmann, Christine O'Donnell and Alaska's momma grizzly to let things like facts and figures get in their way. Since they believe they're re-writing history, why should they need to learn it in the first place? And, why stop with things like misunderstanding the First Amendment (O'Donnell), or, being unable to name one newspaper she'd recently read or Ms. Bachman's geographic blunder?

Even though they're consistently wrong in their facts, street smart Tea Party candidates know two key facts about their public gaffes:

A) They create news and
B) They really don't matter much since their adoring fans know less about history and geography than they do.

In analyzing the 'gaffe potential' of the various primary states, I'm pleased to report the upside potential is literally limitless. Among other  opportunities, Tea Party candidates can:

– Congratulate J.P. Getty for saving the Union in 1863 when he defeated
 Robert E. Lee on a battlefield subsequently named him.
– Visit Christ's birthplace in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
– Tour the site of the actual witch trials while campaigning in Salem,
 Oregon.

America hasn't experienced a more inept, more out-of-touch political party since the 1850s when Nativists did their very best to prevent further immigration by Irish Catholics.

Knowing the average Tea Party candidate, though, she'd probably embrace the “Know Nothing” moniker as a badge of courage: “I may know nothing about history or geography, but I do know how to undo collective bargaining for unions, strip funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and accuse an entire religion of fostering terrorism. With accomplishments like those, who needs to know where the shot heard 'round the world was fired?'