Mark Steyn: The Confederate flag is a Democratic problem
“The Democratic party has never come to terms with the evil of its past”
History has a way of bastardizing politically expedient talking points. For example, the Republican party’s long-standing though not widely reported history of standing athwart the institution of slavery.
As it turns out in 1987, then Governor Clinton boasted that the blue star on the Arkansas State flag was an homage to the Confederacy. Oops. Guess the New York Times forgot about that.
Mark Steyn joined Sean Hannity Wednesday to discuss the Confederate flag issue.
“The idea that Republicans can have the Confederate flag hung around their necks is ridiculous, it’s a Democrat flag. The states that seceded during the Civil War were all Democrat states. That’s their flag.”
“The slave states were democrat states, the racist states until the 1960s were Democrat states. The Democratic party was the largest and most powerful institution supporting slavery in the English speaking world, and it is the only one that has survived to the twenty-first century.”
“It’s their flag,” Steyn continued. “Hillary Clinton had it campaign bumper stickers when she ran for president in 2008. You mentioned Robert C. Byrd, Bill Clinton was doing Klu Klux Klan jokes at Robert C. Byrd’s funeral!”
Despite their racist past, the Democratic party has thrived for over 150 years, there’s simply nothing like it in the planet, Steyn noted. “People talk about apartheid Africa, the national party came to power in 1948 and they were gone 45 years later, that’s how long they lasted and they’re nothing now.”
“The Democratic party has never come to terms with the evil of its past,” said Steyn.
While I refuse to argue the Confederate flag should be a state symbol (it should not), the fact that Democrats chose to exploit mental illness and tragedy to pretend the entire South (which happens to be solidly Republican) is racist, is perfectly illustrative of egregious historical ignorance.
Thank GOD I’m not a Democrat. How embarrassing that must be.
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Mark Levin riffed on this last night, too, and pointed out something I’d only been tangentially aware of…
Wilson Federalized Jim Crow.
Prior to the Wilson administration (which was the most racist in history up until now), the Federal government was highly integrated.
Wilson and his cabinet immediately set about changing that when he took office.
It is a real shame that the history of the Wilson Administration and the writings of Wilson are not readily available in colleges and universities. We have a nation of functional illiterates when it comes to history of the country.
There will be a huge price to be paid for this collective ignorance.
Randy Barnett from The Volokh Conspiracy has been guest-blogging at Instapundit, and put together a post with a lot of revelations about Woodrow Wilson I wasn’t aware of.
Worth clicking over to read –> http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/209331/
The DemocRATs would love to get back the South.
Their meme: Those who belonged to the Democrat party in the past were really Republicans. That mantra is ingrained in their skulls. It has been repeated ad nauseam for years and will continue to be done. In fact, we may have one of our beloved trolls here soon to enlighten us with this “original” thought.
I know, right? Like, remember when Klan leader and prominent Democrat Robert Byrd became a Republican…? And Bull Connor, he of the fire-hoses and dogs…? And George Wallace, he of the school-house doors and the famous rallying cry “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”…?
Oh wait. Me neither. Nevermind.
If the South is now Republican, Lincoln is now a Democrat, http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/15283/
…and we have always been at war with Eastasia!
“1984.. who could ask for more?”
I wasn’t aware that there were Republicans who were actually, like, celebrating white supremacists.
Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
Republicans have not been denouncing the Confederate battle flag and its symbolism of white supremacy. If they had the battle flag in South Carolina would have been long gone by now. It was still flying because Republicans tip toe their away around Confederate heritagists who are Republican or vote Republican, some of whom interact often with white supremacists like the group Dylan Roof was following. The group he was following even called itself conservative. Republicans need to be running from away from such nonsense and going about it loudly.
If you be ignorant and stupid this though, you be ignorant and stupid about this. Do you understand me?
if you want to be ignorant and stupid about this
FFF — the current South Carolina flag was voted in by the legislature in 1962.
Every single member of the House and Senate there was a Democrat.
That bill was signed by the Democratic governor.
Perhaps you’d be willing to denounce that? Since you’re so eager to see these things denounced?
Steve, you are ignorant and your ignorance is leading you to say stupid things.
Yes, the Dixiecrats who used the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of white supremacy were Democrat, but then later those same Democrats became Republicans, like for example Strom Thurmond.
The Sons of Confederate veterans have involved themselves in local and state level Republican politics today. So it doesn’t matter that they were Democrats way back when, because most of them vote Republican or are Republicans in fact today.
And of course I totally condemn white South Carolina Dixiecrat Democrats for being white supremacists and supporting racial segregation.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans are a Democrat group, they are made up of people who largely vote Republican. These are people who wanted to put the Confederate battle flag on their official Texas license plate. Some of these folks are in fact white supremacists and that the very least they are celebrating a white supremacist symbol, even if fool themselves into believing they are not.
Stop being ignorant.
are not a Democrat group
You got it right the first time.
The KKK was the armed wing of the Democratic Party after the Civil War, much like the Provos were the armed wing of Sinn Fein.
The kleagles of the KKK were members in good standing in their local Democratic party machines.
The Sons of the Confederacy (and the Daughters) were Democrats.
And, by the way, Martin Luther King was a registered Republican.
The parties be damned.
It’s a flag. It’s part of our history. Leave it alone.
Isn’t it crystal clear that we’ve erased and perverted too much of our history already?
Perverting our history is exactly the goal.
And perverting minds.
Some liberals are in a meltdown over the fact that there is less reaction than what they expected. If this is for real, this guy is letting it all hang out:
“That’s how I feel! I feel cheated by the weak response of all those Southern rednecks and drunk yahoo trailer-park bunch of white trash who are NOT going apesh*t over the taking down of their beloved racist flag. I wanted to see them in the streets with torches, pitchforks, and rope, and with a Black American or two, in tow headed for the courthouse lynching tree, where an FBI Tactical Team could swoop in at the last minute to save the hapless Negroes from their foul clutches! And all caught by the MSNBC news team!”
“I am a former Kleagle [recruiter] of the Ku Klux Klan in Raleigh County. . . . The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia. It is necessary that the order be promoted immediately and in every state in the union.”
–Robert C. Byrd, 1946 Democratic Senator from West Virginia, 1959-present Senate Majority Leader, 1977-80 and 1987-88 Senate President Pro Tempore, 1989-95, 2001-03, 2007-present His portrait stands in the U.S. Capitol.
The intellectual argument is irrelevant – no enough voters hear it.
The ‘argument’ should be an outrage at the lie and the propaganda.
Do all of these calls to remove flags, remove monuments, eliminate all references to the Confederacy, remind anyone of ISIS blowing up Monuments of various religions?
Yep. Same impulse. Purity must be enforced. Plus, no time to think, just BURN IT…!!!
The entire media discussion (and much of this one) is historically misinformed. Lincoln stated at the beginning of the war that it was not his intention to liberate the slaves. The South, when it seceded, did not do so over slavery, but because of what they perceived (correctly) as infringements by the federal government upon States’ rights. Lincoln freed the slaves as a politically expedient measure that was also intended to hurt the South’s war-fighting capabilities. (The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to slaves in lands not controlled by Union forces, thereby creating a security problem in the Southern States.) The South also seriously considered freeing slaves in exchange for their military service, while it was also proposed to free the slaves in an attempt to separate foreign anti-slavery support from the Union. If the war had been about slavery, these things would never have been considered. Although many in the North believed they were fighting a war against slavery, many in the South believed they were not fighting in its defense. The idea that the Confederate battle flag is a pro-slavery and racist emblem is a modern one, derived from revisionist history concerning the nature and cause of the Civil War.
The deep South states purposefully seceded over the perceived and real threats to the end of slavery. Secession doesn’t happen without the issue of slavery. This is quite clear in the historical record. One only need look at the actual secession documents to know this.
Please read more history, especially the secession documents so you will not fool yourself and others into believing (not knowing) secession wasn’t about slavery.
The Republican party was formed specifically to fight the Democrats over the extension of slavery into the new territories and states opening up in the West.
It was not primarily an Abolitionist party. Lincoln was not himself an Abolitionist, and he made it clear that he wasn’t.
Certain gentlemen in South Carolina didn’t believe him. Fearing that the Lincoln administration would be the end of the Peculiar Institution in America, they decided to get the state to leave the Union before Lincoln took office.
The danger, as they perceived it, was that such a split would soon be seen as little but a silly tantrum, one which really made little political or economic sense, and that any seceding states would soon rejoin the Union. To make that more unlikely, they started a shooting war, by attacking the Federal fort on a small island in Charleston Harbor.
And that was a fatal error. In the mid-1800s, the lower reaches of the Mississippi-Missouri complex were vital to American commerce. If they could have put off the split for a decade or two, the tremendous expansion of the railway system might have provided an adequate substitute. But in 1860, travel and shipment of goods throughout the interior of the US relied as utterly on the rivers as it had when Jefferson was President—when he had sent commissioners to Paris to try to buy the port of New Orleans, which would guarantee inexpensive access to ocean travel for such a huge portion of the country.
As these southern gentlemen should have realized immediately, for its own economic survival the US could not tolerate having its waterways controlled by a hostile power to the south. So, of course, it would have to fight. And to fight the Feds, the only resource the South had in abundance was hubris.
There’s just a little more to this than meets the eye. Consider a peculiar fact of American history—for a century after losing the war, the South acted in far too many ways as if it had won.
President Grant used Federal troops to convince them otherwise, by doing useful things such as destroying the Klan. (The Klan we know today is a revival dating from the 1920s.) But the victory wasn’t complete, and several Southern states managed to put so many barriers in the way of freedmen trying to vote that the Feds simply threw out all the electoral votes of those states in the Presidential election of 1876. The result? No President. The mess was finally resolved in favor of Rutherford Hayes, but that result depended on a promise that Federal forces would no longer police electoral and civil rights reform in the South.
And this is the problem presented by the Confederate battle flag. These *******s were actually flying it over government offices in southern states, the most famous being South Carolina—perhaps not coincidentally, the first state to secede in late 1860.
So unfortunately, the question of just who won that damn war after all is, in a non-trivial sense, still alive.
Of course, this has nothing to do with those pansies at Amazon panicking over bits of bunting. The problem is the symbology of Confederate supremacy being displayed by a State government.
Exactly right, Tom.
(You also seem to have attracted the ire of the “down-dingers” for your trouble.)
Nor have they come to realize that they are the DEMOCRAT party and not necessarily a DEMOCRATIC party.
One is a noun (DEMOCRAT) and the other is an adjective (DEMOCRATIC) describing their type of political selection.
I wish that people in the news and particular those who claim the mantle of being their opposition would also “get” this.
But then Democrats, being liberals, are always screwing with language labels as a way of hiding what they truly are.