Saturday, January 27, 2007

Neo-Confederate Fictions: Brilliant military leaders and patriotic Confederate nationals.

Neo-Confederates like to go on and on about their "Brilliant" military leaders. However, I would like to point out that the Confederate armies lost the war. Now, some might think that losing a war is a small technical detail in evaluating military competency, but I think that winning a war is a criteria that you could use to judge military commanders at war.

Now the cry of the Neo-Confederates has been that the Confederate armies were outnumbered. Being outnumbered is certainly no advantage. However, it isn't a insurmountable obstacle either. Alexander the Great, defeated Persian armies in battle many times the size of his army. The Swiss triumphed over the armies of the Austrians. The Dutch won against the Habsburgs. The Vietnamese won against the United States.

Prince Eugene de Savoy defeated armies much larger than his much to the chagrin of Louis XIV and others and is considered great.

Great military leaders overcome odds, that is where they get the reputation as being "great." Average military leaders meet the expectations set by the odds.

It seems that Robert E. Lee was rather clueless on the idea of fighting a defensive war and squandered the Confederacy's military resources in battle, when he could have just sat tight.

A lot is spoken and written about Gettysburg and Pickett's charge, and it being the "high water mark" of the Confederacy. This "high water mark" comment is a real sign of the lack of comprehension of what war is about. Was Moscow the "high water mark" of Napoleon's French Empire? But supposing Lee had won the battle of Gettysburg and the American armies retreated. What would be next? Well another battle with the American armies which he might lose or suffer further casualties. Or would he have to retreat back to Virginia before the American army trapped him in Pennsylvania and capture him and his army?

Patriotism in the Confederacy

Wars cost money. Loads of it, lots of it, vast quantities of it. The American government knew it and went to raise it through taxes. Congress added tariffs to provide the funding for American war bonds around the beginning of the war. Later the income tax was added. With this cash flow there could be credit. You can borrow money when you have an income.

The Confederate government didn't raise taxes. They decided to print money. You can print loads of paper money, lots of it, vast quantities of it. You can reset the plates and add a zero or zeros. However, it is very inflationary and you add zeros in a race against its depreciating value.

Taxes would have required the use of the Confederate currency to pay them so money put into circulation would come out, and an income from taxes would allow the issuing of bonds, to raise funds without printing money. However, with runaway inflation, you are not going to get anyone to purchase bonds, when they are going to be worthless.

Inflation doesn't fall evenly on the population. It hit people who are paid wages and have their wealth in savings and cash on hand. Landowners and slave owners would have their wealth without the burden of taxation.

There is an expression "Put your money where your mouth is." The Confederates, despite all their bluster and oratory and blather about honor, weren't going to dig into their pockets to pay taxes for the war.

Richardson takes stand against Confederate flag.

The article on Bill Richardson taking a stand against the Confederate flag is in this article here.

As the article points out, he had been reluctant to speak on it previously.

Article here.

I updated the Presidential Candidate page.

I think that we can expect almost all, if not very likely all Democratic presidential candidates to take a stand against the Confederate flag.

I am updating the Presidential Candidate page as small things develop, such as candidates dropping out, etc. and don't announce every revision in the blog. There is a link to the page in the right side bar of this blog.

Monday, January 15, 2007

South Carolina Primary in 2008/ Neo-Confederate protests

The above article reports on Neo-Confederate protest against the NAACP MLK event at the State house protesting against U.S. Senator and 2008 Presidential candidate Biden.

We can expect to see a lot of this in the upcoming 2008 presidential campaign. However, I think most Democratic presidential candidates will be disappointed if they don't get a protest against them by Neo-Confederates. A Neo-Confederate protest would be an image booster for a candidate hoping to attract Democratic voters across the country.

The question is, whether the Neo-Confederates will be disruptive. That is, will they pull down signs and posters, and harass campaign workers and operations. I don't know if they will or will not. I think it is possible.

It seems Biden is dropping his "slave state" Delaware identity.

Also, this makes two Democratic Presidential candidates who have taken stands against the Confederate flag on the statehouse grounds in South Carolina. I have not heard of any Republicans taking a stand against the Confederate flag, if someone has documentation of such, please email me and let me know.

I will be tracking the issues on my page.

The Bilboization of the Republican Party in the former Confederate States

As most everyone has heard, if they read a paper or watch news, Rep. Goode (R-Virginia) and numerous rightwing commentators had a fit over Rep. Keith Ellison taking his oath of office using a Koran.

It would seem to me the big issue would be the effectiveness of any of these oaths by any religious faith. For right-wing conservatism it seems that the necessity is to have hysteria over nothing all the time. A recent example of this is the outrage worked up by conservatives over Pizza Patron accepting pesos. The fact is that stores accept foreign currency all the time with some type of exchange rate charge when it is a feasible thing to do. U.S. Dollars are accepted in Canada where U.S. tourists go.

Theodore Bilbo,, U.S. Representative and later Senator from Mississippi was notorious for his hysterical racism.

With the defeat of the Republicans in 2006 and likely further defeats in 2008 it seems that it many Republicans are independently setting their own course to make sure they are elected, national Republican party strategy be damned. The national Republican party seems to have much less authority with individual Republicans office holders who rather risk the wrath of the Republican National Committee (RNC) than the voters in the next elections. So the political philosophy of some of them seems to be talk-radio conservatism and also what plays locally. The concerns of the national Republican party to build a majority coalition by reaching out to various groups seems to be of little concern.

We have seen this last year when many Southern Republicans campaigned against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, with language right out of the Southern Partisan.

Further back in time was Barbour running with the endorsement of the Council of Conservative Citizens (

I think the contest in the Republican party will be between what the national Republican party wants, and their control over funds, and what it takes to be elected locally, especially when some competitors in the Republican primary may not be at all concerned with what the national Republican party wants. Also, some allowance will be made so nationally backed Republican candidates can get elected. So there will likely be allowances and concessions to hysterical talk show radio. However, this runs the risk of becoming a runaway process as the center of debate gets shifted to extremism by degrees. This will effect some type of shift to the hysterical talk-show right (Am I being redundant?) in the Republican party in the former(?) Confederate states.

This will make it difficult for Republicans elsewhere outside the former Confederate states to run for office. It won't be like Dixiecrats in the Democratic party in the 1950s and 60s, since the Dixiecrats were obviously not the political center of the Democrats, but the Republican Dixiecrats have been central if not the center of the Republican party in the 90s and certainly are now becoming more the center. The Republicans have captured the former Confederate states, but they are losing the rest of the nation.

With national media, the hysterical crazed yelpings of persons like Rep. Goode and others will cause a cringe with the public elsewhere and it will be very difficult for a Republican party in Wisconsin. When you have always start your conversation that you are not like those Dixiecrat Republicans, it must be fairly demoralizing and a rather uphill climb. Indeed as people leave your party you run the risk that your base and then membership are extremists and you leave also.

The Republican party having so completely captured the former Confederate states, but at the same time losing the rest of the nation with their increasing extremism, and with the increasing public discontent over George W. Bush, many Democrats are realizing that they can win without the former Confederate states. In fact, they certainly realize they can run a fairly good presidential primary campaign without the former Confederate states, and not compete with the few presidential candidates that might want to reach out for the Confederate vote. The book "Whistling Past Dixie" which asserts that the Democrats should bypass the former Confederate states has been getting a lot of attention.,0,4959229.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

I don't know if a national political party can ignore completely any region, but I think the policy of centering the Democratic platform to eke out one more electoral vote somewhere in the former Confederate states is not going to be the automatically given policy anymore.

One developing trend might be that the Republican party will publicly embrace the Confederacy and the Democrats will increasingly reject it. That the issue of the Confederacy will become partisan. Of course there is the complication of James Webb, U.S. Senator (D-VA). However, in 2008, the Democrats will likely pick up more Senate seats outside the former Confederate states and not need Webb.

All of this will be occurring during the political debate over Iraq and likely an increasingly contentious debate over Iraq policy which I think will be agitating politics in general.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, calls for Confederate flag removal.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., called for the removal of the Confederate flag that flies at the South Carolina Statehouse as he attended a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial event at a Greenville church Sunday night (1/14/07).

Article in Kansas City Star

I have updated the 2008 Presidential Election page.

Patriotism or White Nationalism, The American Legion

Over the years the American Legion has and continues to have activities with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Evidently, a movement that would have shattered the nation is okay with a group that purports to be patriotic.

The old name for the Civil War and was used in the Congressional Record for decades was the "War of the Rebellion."

As long as the American Legion continues to work with Confederate groups, we are quite right to consider their "patriotism" to be dubious, and permeated with white nationalism.
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