Spin and the War of the Rebellion

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t find himself in agreement with E.J. Dionne regularly. Indeed, it is, at the very best, a once in a blue moon type of thing. But E.J. writes a piece in the Washington Post today with which your Maximum Leader completely agrees. Like E.J. enjoins us to do, “Don’t Spin the Civil War.” The money quote:

After the war, in one of the great efforts of spin control in our history, both [Confederate President Jefferson] Davis and [Confederate Vice President Alexander H.] Stephens, despite their own words, insisted that the war was not about slavery after all but about state sovereignty. By then, of course, slavery was “a dead and discredited institution,” [noted Civil War historian James] McPherson wrote, and to “concede that the Confederacy had broken up the United States and launched a war that killed 620,000 Americans in a vain attempt to keep 4 million people in slavery would not confer honor on their lost cause.”

It is all about slavery. Lets not forget that.

Oh yeah, and about that whole Haley Barbour thing from last week (Clicky here to read more about Barbour’s “Citizens Councils” comments), your Maximum Leader thinks it will torpedo any chance of Barbour becoming President of the US any time soon. He may still have a fighting chance in the primaries; but your Maximum Leader thinks he could be done before he got started.

FYI - Some well-connected Republican party types your Maximum Leader knows have maintained that Barbour was going to be the dark horse candiate in the 2012 campaign. They cite Barbour’s access to big money and his success in fundraising as support for this belief. Your Maximum Leader still thinks that the Republican nominee will be Mitt Romney in 2012. If the economy stays crappy, and all signs point towards the economy staying crappy; then Romney can run on economic issues (his strength) and downplay the social-conservative creds needed to win primaries.

Carry on.


One of the founders of Mondoville College actually gave the invocation at the writing of the Articles of Secession, and not surprisingly, they make a big deal about the Late Unpleasantness. (Side note: At least one Mondoville College building was occupied by Sherman’s troops.) Numerous Mondo ancestors wore the gray, and I respect their courage and their willingness to defend their homes. However, I too find it ridiculous that folks are still trying to spin a war that ended 145 years ago. Even if one concedes the idea that the war was for States’ Rights, the South mistakenly chose to support a State Wrong.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney remains a charisma-free zone. I’m just afraid that the folks down here in Mondoville will go for the Huckster, who is just another statist. At this point, I’m kind of pulling for Mitch Daniels.

Polymath said:

Was RomneyCare a strength or a weakness? The Republicans could, and should, do better. They could do a lot worse too, a la Barbour.

My Lovecraft fantasy has me wishing for a re-animated Reagan.

Republicans give their nomination to the last cycle’s runner-up.

But Romney may be the exception that proves the rule. Since Republicans are on a jihad against Obamacare, the fact that Obamacare is essentially Romneycare does not bode well for Romney. It will be difficult for him to squirm away from his record during the primaries, particularly given his preexistent reputation for flip-floppigng. Gingricha advocated a version of health care very similar to Obamacare in ‘94, but he may be able to sidle away because it never went anywhere - Romney actually got it passed.

Mondo, I kind of like Mitch Daniels too. But he’s a bit too centrist to survive the primaries. He would make a good VEEP to appeal to the middle.

Polymath, I doubt Reagan could actually get tea-party votes today. He was too much of a pragmatist, rasied taxes to balance the budget, was in favor of arms control, and advocated tax rates higher than Obama’s. Folks are in love with an idealized person who never existed.

Polymath said:


Could Jack Kennedy get the Democrat nomination today?

What “tax rates higher than Obama’s” did Reagan endorse? Do you mean the deal he cut with the Democrats to raise taxes $1 for every $2 in spending cuts, which the Democrats reneged? Reagan was a tax cutter. The highest rate Reagan inherited was 70%, unindexed to inflation. Under Reagan, rates were consolidated, reduced, and indexed to inflation at 28% and 15% in 1986.

What about the deficits, which appear microscopic when compared to the present? The economy grew at over 3% for more than 10 years, and the National Bureau of Economic Research called the years 1982 to 1999 the “longest sustained period of prosperity in the 20th century.” And we kicked Ivan’s dick in the dirt.

Reagan was a man of honor who respected his office and the Constitution. He made some mistakes, but he was human (at the time). You cannot legitimately make the claim that he was an “idealized person who never existed.” Tea Partiers would vote for Reagan in a heartbeat.

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