Patrick Blower cites the new Civil War, in which a divided country rages around a vestige of the old Civil War.
As noted here before, it was much easier when we had a geographical division based, for the most part, on a single, definable issue.
Even then, there were as many quarrels over why we were divided as there were things to be divided over. Yes, it was about slavery, as stated in the secession papers of those who left. But, at the beginning of the war, it was less about whether slavery should continue to exist than about whether it should be allowed to spread into new states and territories.
This not only allows the Lost Cause people to say that it was about states rights, but to point out Lincoln’s statement that he could tolerate slavery if that were the price of national unity. This not only ignores their own words in those secession statements, but one of Lincoln’s most famous pre-election speeches, in which he said the nation could not last permanently half-slave and half-free.
We might have stumbled along a little further before putting abolition to the test. The question today is how much further we can go divided not over such a clear issue but over the plain fact that we hate each other.
Not, mind you, that we ever honestly faced, and solved, the slavery issue. We freed the slaves into a divided nation in which they could be lynched in small numbers and slaughtered in large numbers and deprived of their rights across the board and we’re still, more than a century and a half later, arguing not over whether that was fair and just but over whether it had even happened at all.
It’s not just the barroom blowhards crawling out from under their rocks, either. We’ve got at least one serious presidential contender rewriting his state’s textbooks to teach and preserve the lies, and a significant number of voters supporting his twisted view of history.
I love Steve Brodner’s view of Trump and his legal problems, but I don’t believe for a moment that it’s true. Will he escape conviction? Probably not. But will his conviction do anything to change the minds of his followers? That seems even far less likely.
Ask yourself how John Brown would be remembered, had the South won the war or had it ended with some sort of armistice? He was properly tried, convicted and hanged, but became a hero in the eyes of those who agreed with his aims, even if they questioned his actions. His body may have lied a-mouldering in the grave, but his truth — their truth — went marching on.
Trump may legally be toast, but he will remain a hero to the MAGA crowd, whether as a living leader or a beloved martyr.
And while Blower may draw the sides arrayed around the Lincoln statue, that’s not how such wars are fought anymore.
Ron DeSantis spoke of a time when “we” — the good people — would have to start slitting throats of government workers and shooting migrants at the border. He seems to have been speaking figuratively, but you have to wonder if anyone was listening to him literally.
As Kal Kallaugher points out, the more evidence is arrayed against Trump, the more the Republicans cheer him on as their hero. And we’re not just counting up the poll numbers. Trump himself is luxuriating in the publicity, however much he may personally fear the jail cell.
As the old saying goes, “Just spell my name right.”
Meanwhile, those on his side of the battlefield are not even pretending to offer a counter to Trump’s disloyal actions, beyond a weak suggestion that maybe he believed he’d really won the election, despite the number of times he’d admitted he hadn’t, or that he took the advice of an attorney, despite the number of people who warned him of the illegality and ineffectiveness of his plans.
They aren’t trying to make a credible claim to their whataboutism, in which, as Mike Luckovich suggests, they simply drown out the evidence against Trump with half-baked accusations against Hunter Biden, claiming that unproven, irrelevant proof of his personal failings are the equivalent of Trump’s disloyal, official actions.
Repeatedly challenged to come up with some factual evidence backing their accusations, the GOP activists produced a witness who, instead, admitted that Hunter had never done more than make vague promises of parental involvement, and that there was no proof his father had ever entered into these alleged propositions. Nor does the time sequence nor evidence about US attitude towards Burisma back up the stories.
But Gary Varvel (Creators) counters by declaring that black is white, that hot is cold and that the witness backed up things that the witness could not, and did not, corroborate.
There is a point at which mistakes become lies. But that doesn’t matter if there is a point to be made.
Nor are all the troubling arguments sprouting from the same camp. Darrin Bell (KFS) joins in a drumbeat of continued criticism of Merrick Garland, even with the multi-point indictments in hand, for not having moved more quickly to get the former president into court and before a jury.
For the record, Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman were stabbed to death June 12, 1994. OJ Simpson was arraigned less than a month later, on July 22. The trial began in January.
OJ walked free in October.
Be careful what you wish for.
There remains some hope, although, as the elephant in Pat Byrnes’ cartoon says, it sure isn’t coming from an expected corner.
Trump’s loyal lapdog, now a contender for the presidency, has decided to speak his mind, and he’s not alone: Trump’s former attorney general, previously noted for having truncated and misrepresented the Mueller Report, has emerged as a honest judge of Trump’s motives and actions, while Chris Christie has also begun to speak truth in an ocean of self-serving lies.
So far, they’ve done more to comfort the afflicted than they have to afflict the comfortable, and Trump continues to run away with the GOP nomination, despite the clear evidence against him, even from those who once carried his spittle-cup.
Buckle up. The war has barely started.