Tuesday, October 01, 2013
burgessbytes October, 2013
“Neoconfederates” Try Again to Shut Down Democracy: Fort Sumter Back in the News
“Neoconfederate”? It’s not my term…it was coined by a Republican—writer and former G.O.P. staffer, Michael Lofgren, whose book The Party is Over, tells about the takeover of the Republican Party by right-wing “insurrectionists” based in the South.
He’s not alone in that view…Bruce Bartlett, former senior policy analyst for President Reagan, says that there has been a takeover of the Republican Party by “the South.” For those of us who remember our history, it was Nixon and then Reagan who followed a “Southern strategy” to victory, exploiting discontent over the Civil Rights acts of the 1960’s, authored by Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
And of course, a little further back, there was a walkout of Southern delegates at the Democratic National Convention of 1948 over a strong civil rights platform authored by Hubert Humphrey. The walkout was led by Strom Thurmond, who then led many segregationist Democrats into the Republican Party. He and his “Dixiecrats” managed to keep the President of the United States, Harry Truman of Missouri, off the fall ballot in the eleven states of the old Confederacy! Truman, who was hated as much or more than Clinton and Obama by the Old Guard, managed to win the election anyway.
Now, we have a Federal government shutdown emanating mostly from the South, aimed at our first Black President and at what they perceive as progressive Federal legislation in the Affordable Health Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Ft. Sumter Back in the News:
In an ironic twist, businessmen in the Charleston, S.C. area, were complaining today that Ft. Sumter was closed as a result of the Republican shutdown of the Federal Government and they were losing business because they couldn’t take tourists to visit the old fort in the bay—where the Civil War began when the original Confederates fired the first shots of the Civil War, angry because President Lincoln refused to recognize their government and refused to turn over Federal property to them. That war, of course, was fought because the Federal government, led by Lincoln, refused to agree to the expansion of slavery into other states, and the Confederates refused to agree to restrict that “peculiar institution” to the slave states of the South.
And if you’re feeling squeamish about comparing today’s Republicans to the slavers of old, remember, it’s Republicans who have used the term “Neoconfederates.” It’s also reactionary Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh who have compared forcing people to have health care—Obamacare—to slavery, or the Fugitive Slave Act. Of course, most Republicans of today are not as uncaring and repressive as the Tea Party leadership—just as most white folks in the Old South didn’t own slaves---but they tolerate the inherent racism of the current actions aimed at destroying much-needed health care law and at tearing down the President and our national government.
For the South wants the North, and though
Marse Robert was driven back
and driven down, still they come
forevermore. “Vengeance!” they shout,
pouring up through the green meadows
of Maryland, ghosts, powered by their revenge.
But this is not a mere romance.
If they win, these Rebels,
They crank back the universe
to their time, the time of the lash.
Get out your long skirts, women,
to hide your shame, and my brown brothers,
stay where you are, this is the end of the line.
It’s always Gettysburg.