Saturday, August 26, 2006

Is Ronald Reagan a spiritual direct descendant of Jefferson Davis? Southern Partisan magazine thinks so.

The cover of the Vol. 25 No. 1 issue of Southern Partisan magazine is a picture of Ronald Reagan giving a salute with the head line “The Legacy of Ronald Reagan,” which is the title of the article by P.J. Byrnes on pages 16-21.

The article is interesting to review in what it reveals of the Neo-Confederate idea of the South and what being a Southerner is and the Southern Partisan’s understanding of the nature of Republican Party’s politics in the South.

The introduction to the article is as follows:

“If Bill Clinton was the first black president, as some have argued, then Ronald Reagan was the first Southern president of the 20th century. You can[’]t count Woodrow Wilson (governor of New Jersey and an internationalist), Lyndon Johnson (architect of the welfare state), and Jimmy Carter (liberal at home, sissy abroad). Reagan believed in the things we believe in: less government interference in our lives, a tough policy toward the Soviet Empire, and a fierce commitment to God as a pervasive presence in every aspect of our lives, including the public arena.

Reagan reconstituted the Solid South and gave Southerners an opportunity to vote together in opposition to our old political enemies. In 1984, he swept the region; and as a consequence, voting Republican became respectable. (To be sure, the GOP ticket carried the South in 1972, but we were voting against McGovern rather than for Nixon.) When we voted for Reagan, we meant it. That[’]s why we were especially moved when we learned of his death. We felt as if a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis had died. Hence the following.”

After this introduction in the magazine is the main body of the article. I don’t know if the apostrophes “’” were intentionally omitted or not. There are various schools of Neo-Confederate writing of English. They don’t like the letter “z” and have adopted other spelling conventions and writing conventions. I have inserted the apostrophes for purposes of clarity.

There are two major themes in this introduction. One, this introduction concisely reveals the application of the idea of being Southern and Southerness by Neo-Confederates. Two, the what the politics in the Republican Party in the South is about.

For Byrnes, to be Southern is to have a certain systems of belief and persons who don’t have these systems of belief are not Southern, regardless of whether their families and forebears are multiple generations in the South. Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and Lyndon Johnson are thus not Southern for they have un-Southern thought. It might be argued that Lyndon Johnson is Western or Southwestern, but Woodrow Wilson certainly was Southern. He was born in Virginia in 1856 and lived in the South during the civil war. His administration introduced segregation into the Federal government. He praised the movie “Birth of a Nation” stating, “It is like history written with lightening.” His retrograde racism is discussed in this short article.

As a conservative democratic and professor of political science his career advanced until he was president of the University of Princeton and from there started his political career, first as the governor of New Jersey. This is a link to a short summary of his career (The Bush White House has White Washed the issues of race out of Woodrow Wilson’s biography.)

As with most Neo-Confederate writing, P.J. Byrnes carefully selects a few historical facts to create his historical presentations.

In order to exclude Wilson, Carter, and Johnson and others in the South from being Southern P.J. Byrnes adeptly uses the terms “we” and “our”. Byrnes states Reagan believed in the things “we believed in.” And thus those who don’t believe in those things are un-Southern. Byrnes talks about “our old political enemies” and thus those who don’t share these enemies are un-Southern. Byrnes states “We felt as if a direct descendent of Jefferson Davis had died.” If you didn’t feel this way, you are un-Southern.

Byrnes writing is a process of exclusion to define a political and cultural viewpoint as Southern and to exclude and denigrate those who don’t share those viewpoints in the South as un-Southern. Southern patriotrism, such as pride in the south, Southern identity is harnessed to press individuals to support these beliefs, with the implication that those who don't, are not good Southerners.

Byrnes is fairly direct about what Republican party politics in the South is about. It is reconstituting “The Solid South” and solidarity “in opposition to our old political enemies.” Though not elaborating on who the “old political enemies” are, these “old political enemies” are surely the forces for civil rights and modernism in general. The “Solid” in the expression “Solid South” was always about the issue of race.

However, it isn't limited to the issues of race. Women voting, gay rights, immigration, evolution, and a host of other issues is part of the Neo-Confederate Southern identity in the opposition to modernism. Southern Partisan had a cover issue theme for one issue rejecting the 18th century Enlightenment as an attack on the South. (2nd Quarter, 2001, cover theme, "Sitting Amongst the Ruins: The South versus the Enlightenment, article by Thomas E. Woods, professor at Suffolk County Community College in New York, and associate editor for the magazine Latin Mass.)

Finally Byrnes fuses the issues of Southern identity and Republican Party politics in the South with the Confederacy with his closing statement. “We felt as if a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis had died.”

After the introduction, the article starts out with the subject of Reagan dying of Alzheimer. From this, Byrnes launches into a complaint that metaphorically America is suffering from a form of political and cultural Alzheimers and forgetting what Byrnes asserts are America’s older virtues which to him is a religious right America. Reagan is held to be a champion of these values against the modern age. Reagan being defined by the Southern Partisan as a hero of southern values, these values of Ronald Reagan asserted by Byrnes are therefore Southern values.

Brynes is engaged through the use of Southern nationalism in the construction of the South as a reactionary fortress and being Southern as being a reactionary and a Confederate. This is what Neo-Confederacy, Southern nationalism, is all about. It is about building an internal reactionary fortress in the United States, a form of internal secession, which a national reactionary politics can use as a base. If you can reserve 25% of a nation for a reactionary politics, a progressive idea has to garner two-thirds, 67%, of the vote elsewhere to pass.

(0.67) X 75% = 50%

You might as well give up on a progressive politics with these odds.
For conservatives, whether Southern or not, this is a very appealing set up. The reactionary fortress, internally seceded through a separtist identity, would find it had allies elsewhere.

In discussing Neo-Confederacy the focus has been primarily on certain groups like the League of the South, Southern Partisan, Council of Conservative Citizens, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but this is just one expression of Neo-Confederacy.

Reviewing two statements in Byrne’s introduction again:

“Reagan reconstituted the Solid South and gave Southerners an opportunity to vote together in opposition to our old political enemies.”

And the conclusion:

“When we voted for Reagan, we meant it. That[’]s why we were especially moved when we learned of his death. We felt as if a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis had died.”

Quite clearly to Byrnes the Republican party in the South is, or at least functions as, a Neo-Confederate Party, a resurrection of the “Solid South” by Ronald Reagan who Byrnes identifies with Jefferson Davis.

Indeed, it is a region in which most states have Confederate holidays and celebrate and identity with the Confederacy and use Confederate symbols. It is a Confederate identified region, and it has a politics. Of course Dick Army, Phil Gramm, Jesse Helms, Trent Lott and others would interview in the Southern Partisan.

The politics of Canada is Canadian politics, the politics of Scotland is Scottish politics, the politics of Japan is Japanese politics, and so on.

Neo-Confederate politics is a program of a separtist nationalism of a Confederate identified region with a Confederate civil religion. Look at that region, observe the politics, and that is Neo-Confederacy. The politics of a region that defines itself by the Confederacy is Confederate politics.

I elaborate some of these ideas in my paper, “Breaking the White Nation, “ at this link

Note 1: This issue of Southern Partisan has both an issue date, Jan./Feb. 2004 and a publication date, Nov. 2004.

Note 2: I have never figured out who P.J. Byrnes is.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Council of Conservative Citizens George Allen Items

UPDATE (8/29/06): An article quoting me regarding George Allen and Neo-Confederacy was published online at "The Nation" magazine website. The following is the link to the article.

I finished reading Ryan Lizza's article on George Allen for The New Republic. In reading the article, I found George Allen sinister. There are parts of it which I think suggest something worse. The article was in the May 8, 2006 issue. I haven't found a complete article online.

I have already put some of George Allen's Confederate items on my Presidential Candidates 2008 page.

I did a search of my hard disk and came up with a couple items.

In the Citizens Informer, official newspaper of the Council of Conservative Citizens, Vol. 26 Summer 1995, on the front page, is an article about the CofCC ( national convention. The article in reporting the afternoon session states:

"... , R. Jefferson Garnett, Esq., an advisor to Virginia Gov. Allen, discussed the Tenth Amendment Resolution." [Italics in the original]

Another interesting item is a photo of George Allen and Charlton Heston with the leaders of the Council of Conservative Citizens on page 4 of the Citizens Informer, Vol. 27 Summer 1996. The caption reads:

"At CPAC'96. (L to R) Virginia Gov. George Allen, Citizens Informer editor Fred C. Jennings, CofCC C.E.O. Gordon Lee Baum, national CofCC President Tom Dover, and actor Charlton Heston." [Italics in the original.]

The CofCC was one of the co-sponsors of CPAC for several years until the expose of the CofCC and their links into the Republican party in the Washington Post in Dec. 1998

The Vol. 26, Spring 1995, page 4, "Virginia legislation update," reported by Michael W. Masters, Fredericksburg, VA, gives some explanation of the CofCC's enthusiam for Republican Party politics in Virginia, quoting:

"Residents of the Old Dominion are rejoicing because the Virginia General Assembly passed the Tenth Amendment Resolution in February. In a related development, a new Federalism Commission was created to study abuses by the Federal government of constitutional powers that rightfully belong to the states." [Boldface in the original]

The Federalism Commission item is troubling. During the Civil Rights era, Virginia had an anti-civil rights effort called the Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government. The following is a link to one of their pamphlets. "Just for historical interest" this commission republished the Confederate constitution.

Garnett was able to get his agenda pushed as a Allen appointee ( and do some real damage based on his crackpot ideas.

The attack on the Child Care organization was because of a curriculum they adopted to promote tolerance.

I think it could prove very productive to track down George Allen's activities in Virginia during the 1990s up until 1997, and his early years in Los Angeles. I would go to the genealogy sections of the local libraries, and the emphemera sections and see what he did with the local SCV and UDC chapters.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"Washington Post" use of the term "Flap"

The Washington Post uses the term "Flap" to discuss George Allen's use of the term "Macaca" to refer to a campaign tracker who he presumed was an immigrant based on his skin color.

The article is here:

Click here for article in Washington Post.

I wrote up an essay regarding the use of the term "flap" in news stories and though it was on another topic, I think it applies here.

Don’t let arguments that are dismissive of the importance of historical narratives and symbols deceive you. One of the favorite phrases in reporting the news on the Confederate flag in public life is to use the phrase, "flag flap." This needs to be recognized as the editorial comment it is in reporting the news. The phrase is a comment that the topic of controversy is trivial. This dismissive tone is never taken in reporting controversies over burning the American flag. If a reporter used the term “flag flap” in reporting a controversy over the American flag, assuming that the editor would let it slip by, there would be a storm of protest. This dismissive tone is never taken in reporting holocaust deniers. You won't see an article titled or using the belittling phrases, "holocaust hassle," "history hiccup," "history hissyfit," or "holocaust hallabaloo."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pro-Confederate George Allen and his Macaca remarks.

You Tube has George Allen's remarks and you can go to this link and listen to them.

A variety of excuses have been spun. One is the "Mohawk" excuse, but the tracker doesn't have a Mohawk.

Click Here for article from "Washington Post," August 16th.

George Allen is on my Presidential 2008 web page with the link on the right side of my blog. He has an interesting Confederate record documented on that page which hasn't been covered by the press.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Another Item about the attack on Voting Rights

This link is about the new effort for a 21st Poll Tax which the Bush Justice Dept. approved.

Click for "Washington Post" article here.

I discussed the Ashcroft/Bush Justice department turn from supporting Civil Rights to not supporting them in yesterdays post and both these persons Confederate mentality.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bush administration and Ashcroft subvert Civil Rights Enforcement

There are three links to articles about how the Bush administration starting with attorney general Ashcroft is subverting civil rights enforcement by appointing lawyers who aren't supportive of civil rights for the civil rights enforcement division of the Justice Department.

Boston Globe article, click here.

Article about the Boston Globe article.

I have written on George W. Bush's history of promoting the Confederacy and have an article on it here. Read article about George Bush and his support for the Confederacy, click here..

Ashcroft interviewed in the Southern Partisan and gave ample evidence of his Confederate viewpoint.

However, it was NPR and Peter Applebome which came to the defense of Southern Partisan. The Civil Rights organizations, anti-racist groups, and the liberal-left establishment didn't criticize NPR for this defense and largely forgot the issue of Neo-Confederacy. A great many people didn't see the problem, after all neither Ashcroft or Bush were ranting like some member of Aryan Nations.

The Confederacy was a white nationalist revolution for the purpose of white supremacy through slavery of Africans. It is just that simple. So when people support the glorification of the Confederacy, such as Bush being a lead fundraiser for the Museum of the Confederacy, it means something. Bush wasn't wearing funny clothes, and he had good middle class manners, and did lots and lots of photo ops with black children. So what, the plantation mentality doesn't have a phobia of African Americans in their lives.

Now, surprise, surprise, the Bush administration is pulling the plug on Civil Rights.

Neo-Confederacy is a mental framework, and its politics is the output of those who have a Confederate consciousness.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"Southern Partisan" Editor elected head of Sons of Confederate Veterans

Christopher M. Sullivan, editor of Southern Partisan, has been elected Commander-in-Chief, the head, of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) according to their webpage

This is a very important development in the Neo-Confederate movement. The different elements of the Neo-Confederate movement, academic groups, intellectuals, activists, genealogical, are now all brought together by Christopher M. Sullivan. Also, Sullivan's succession to Sweeney, is a continuation of radical Neo-Confederate control of the organization and the SCV being in the harness of Neo-Confederate nationalism.

There has been speculation that Southern Partisan shut down after the McCain campaign in 2000, there was a very slow period afterwards, but it has been publishing at its usual pace, which has always been irregular. With Christopher M. Sullivan it should be able to draw on the 30,000 members of the SCV for subscriptions. What Sullivan will do regarding the Southern Mercury, a publication with the same mailing address as the SCV, and which seems to be a competitor with the Southern Partisan remains to be seen.

This recent election further makes the League of the South irrelevant, which seems to be an organization of just a few people. I don't see a purpose for their existence in the Neo-Confederate movement.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

From the "Onion," America celebrates the first 750 years on independence

It is hilarious and makes clear the basic problem with the Wikipedia, no editorial oversight.

Mel Gibson given free pass by Neo-Confederates. Also, when bigots are not marginal members of society.

Incidentally the following is a great column by Tim Rutten in the "Los Angeles Times" about the people who gave the movie "The Passion" a free pass regarding anti-Semitism.

Click this link for article.

The Neo-Confederates are exonerating or explaining away or making excuses for Mel Gibson at these links. In some cases as time goes on you will have to look down the page or search for the word "Gibson."

The most interesting defense of Gibson is an essay by Thomas Fleming, stating:

"Theories of history are matters of fact and reason. The fact that so many troublemakers of the past 150 years have been of Jewish extraction—Marx, Freud, the Neoconservatives—is certainly no argument in their favor. Jewish “intellectuals” continue to be in the forefront of the movements that aim to destroy our religion and culture. " Has on their web page as the lead item an attack on the critics of Mel Gibson and an exposition that is fairly anti-Semitic in itself.

This is the direct link to the essay by Thomas Fleming, a former founding director of the League of the South, and leading Neo-Confederate. The Council of Conservative Citizens has an item that Gibson has a Jewish body guard, so that means Gibson isn't aSemiticitic. This is a sort aSemiticitic parallel to the tactics of the Neo-Confederates parading around some African American who says he likes the Confederacy. "Dixie Daily News" states that Gibson makes great movies and just made a mistake.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans sell a book, "The South Under Siege" which has whole chapters which I believe to be and I think most people would believe to be anti-Semitic.

It is on page 6 of their catalog.

I blogged on the white supremacy of this book and you can read that part at this link.

The Neo-Confederates aren't the only ones looking for some excuse to get Mel Gibson off the hook. Others are two.

The so-called anti-racism and opposition to bigotry in society is often just an opposition to marginal members of society, people who have a great social distance from ourselves, stirring up trouble. When someone who is a part of "us" is found out to be racist or bigoted the excuse machine is really cranked up for them. I discuss this in my paper "Breaking the White Nation."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"C.S.A. The Movie" is now for sale on DVD

You can start pre-ordering Kevin Willmott's film in DVD. The release date is 8/8/06.

The website for the film is:

Interesting article about the film published in the UK.

The Neo-Confederates are upset by it.
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