Skip to comments.(Vanity) A House Divided, or, You Can't Teach a Yellow Dog New Tricks
Posted on 11/02/2006 9:35:24 PM PST by grey_whiskers
A House divided against itself cannot stand, said Abraham Lincoln, echoing the biblical passage. He was speaking of the deep and bitter divisions within the United States over the issues of States Rights and (in a related note) slavery. As we know, the country was divided. Not only ideologically, not only geographically, but physically, in our Civil War.
It must be remembered during that time, that Lincoln was not universally hailed as the great figure etched in stone in the Lincoln Memorial, gazing out from Mount Rushmore, or on our coins and paper money. In fact, in some circles, he was quite reviled. For example, Baltimore was the scene of anti-Union riots which had to be controlled with Federal troops. It did not help matters much that Washington, DC is sandwiched between Virginia and Maryland. Technically Maryland was a border state, but anti-Union feeling was strong. The Maryland State Anthem Maryland! My Maryland begins with the stirring words The Despots Heel is on thy Shore and it is something of a surprise to find that the words refer not to King George III, but to Abraham Lincoln. It was not until the early 1980s that the offending phrase Huzzah! She Spurns the Northern Scum was removed from the State Anthem.
However, during the Civil War, there were not only divisions in the once United States, or in the border states between North and South, Union and Confederate; there were also divisions within the Northern States. These divisions had to do with the proper approach to the War, and to the whole question of the United States. Recall that after the attack on Fort Sumter, and before any mass battles, Union fervornot to say overconfidenceran high. Before the First Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run), there were reportedly groups of picnickers who laid out their repasts in view of the armies, hoping to be entertained by the battle. (These people were probably not the sharpest cannon balls in the battery.) And of course, when the Union troops beat a hasty retreat, it was the turn of the Confederates to become over-confident. And so, with the fortunes of battle now ebbing, now flowing, popular feeling or apprehension over the war changed; and with it, political opportunists thrived.
The political opportunists bore some interesting resemblances to today. In time of war, members of the military counseled caution, fearing high casualties; and then, when the injuries and fatalities mounted, calls were issued to withdraw from the war, which was deemed a failure. No, not John Kerry; John McClellan, former commander of the Union Army, reporting for duty. (Unlike Mr. Kerry, John McClellan never said that if you failed to study, you might end up in Virginia; and he was never awarded the Purple Heart for self-inflicted rice shrapnel.)
So why am I bringing this up now? The Presidential election is not yet for a couple of years, yet we are on the eve of another election, one which may decide the balance of power in Congress; and with it, determine the course of this country in its War on Terror. Even if you naively believe (contrary to fact) that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with global terrorism; even if you chant the slogan, Bush lied, people died! you should consider this: the War in Iraq is this countrys answer to the rope-a-dope. It is true that American troops are being killed and maimedbut at a fantastic cost to the Islamic terrorists, who are attacking people who have been trained to shoot back, rather than detonating in pizza parlors from California to Rhode Island. I know where I would rather have the front lines be!
Oh, and one other thing, speaking of slavery and Civil War days. There have been a number of calls lately for the US government to pay reparations for slavery, to the descendants of those enslaved. First, this is a grave insult to the many who gave their lives, over fierce opposition, to help free the slaves. And secondlygiven the extra cost in blood, sweat, and tears required to win the Civil war over the objections of Democrats, and all that has come since (the anti-war group was called Copperheads back then, but the same party has since opposed Viet Nam, confronting the Soviet Union, Gulf War I, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Act)isnt it the Democrats who should be paying reparations?
Lincoln was the John Murtha/Kerry of his time regarding the Mexican War.
psst... General McClellan's first name was George, not John.
I even Googled it and everything, but I was thinking of the comparison to Kerry--so it came out as John. D'OH!!!! So consider it as satire, to remind people of Kerry ;-)
Remind me to stop writing late at night :-)
How very true! But it was not due to Lincoln's wonderful sense of humanity or love of it. Lincoln preferred political power over his duty as president. When someone order's the death of many within his own country, a sad and sorry excuse of a soul exists. He would be a happy camper if he could see all the governmental power over the people that resulted from his deranged hunger for power...
And it is a rather pathetic ploy to use a Bible passage to explain away Lincoln's lusty self...
Works for me! ;-D
Yeah. Both Lincoln and Scary Kerry share the same STONE DEAD eyes. And what do ya wanna bet that Kerry has the same people attributes as the sorry Lincoln posessed...
Sure he was. And then he continued with those stirring words, "I believe this government cannot endure permanently half States Rights and (in a related note) slavery and half without States Rights and (in a related note) slavery. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of States Rights and (in a related note) slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new -- North as well as South.
Give it up. The division was over slavery. State's rights didn't enter into the picture except as an excuse to support slavery's spread.
Yes, slavery was the "camel that broke the straw back" to use Fred Flinstone's immortal words. But there was also the issue of whether the individual states would be allowed to decide for themselves, or whether dictum would come down from D.C.
(What concerns me right now is that human slavery is still practiced by Muslims over animists and Christians in Africa, and in the child sex trade in a number of places...we need to eliminate those TOO.)
there were also divisions within the Northern States...and divisions within the Southern States.
Kerry and Jefferson Davis share the same trait of both being power-mad Democratic losers in contests against our own Republicans, Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush.
Congratulations on your promotion!
Say hello to General Sanders for me.
(...my point was to take a swipe at the Dems, but thanks for the history lesson.)
You did make a good swipe at the Democrats and pointed out things about the Dems' historical tendencies that can't be stressed too much.
Okay ya little spin artist. If I said I equate Kerry's STONE DEAD eyes with Lincoln's STONE DEAD eyes, then guess what that means? Just because you cannot read and comprehend correctly, don't try and pull that BS with me. Go track down some little pinhead friend of yours and try it out on them...
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