Conservatives are out in force on social media this week after a Tea Party protest included protestors waving Confederate flags at the White House of the first African American President. The conservative response has typically taken two directions; either the suggestion that the man with the flag was planted by a devious Democrat Party in an attempt to undermine the Tea Party and paint them as racist…. or that it is just one man who does not represent the Tea Party in general. Both presuppose that this is an anomaly. It isn’t.
In June this year, Rand Paul – potential Presidential candidate for 2016 – had to fire the co-author of his book, and his 2012 campaign blogger Jack Hunter, after Hunter penned an article with the by-line “Abraham Hitler“, in which he compares the Lincoln Presidency to the Third Reich. In it, Hunter neatly rewrites history to make the Confederacy seem freedom loving, State’s rights protecting heroes with a goal to be proud of:
“Dissuading the South from seceding by promising to protect slavery didn’t work, because the issue was secondary to the primary issue of constitutional government and states’ rights.”
– This is simply untrue. The Southern States seceded, because of the issue of slavery. There is no other way to spin it without completely disregarding the actual history itself. Any other ’cause’ was simply a device to win over more moderate forces. We know this, because Mississippi’s Declaration of Secession states:
“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world … a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.”
Perhaps most tellingly of all, is the Confederate Constitution. Section 9 of which states:
“(4) No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.”
– This shows how little the Confederacy cared about State’s Rights. The State’s have no right to abolish Slavery. No individual State can pass a law impairing the right of property in slaves. The Confederate Federal Government did not care for State’s Rights. They cared only about maintaining and spreading African American slavery.
Hunter isn’t the first to express sympathy for the Confederate cause. In 2009 – and only a month after the inauguration of the United States’ first African American President, Rep. Bryan Stevenson (R) of the Missouri State House said in reference to the Freedom of Choice Act:
“What we are dealing with today is the greatest power grab by the federal government since the war of northern aggression”.
– Yes, a Unite States, State Representative genuinely referred to the war that ended the hideous institution of owning human beings as slaves, as ‘northern aggression’.
Four years later, House Republican for Texas’s 36th District, Steve Stockman invited Ted Nugent to the 2013 State of the Union, noting in a press release:
“I am excited to have a Patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama.”
– We should perhaps then examine just what credentials Republican House Representative Steve Stockman believes a ‘Patriot’ must have. In 2012, the ‘Patriot’ Ted Nugent said of anyone that supports President Obama:
“Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America.”
In a 1995 interview, the ‘Patriot’ Ted Nugent said:
“I’m on top of a real America with working hard, playing hard, white motherfucking shit kickers, who are independent and get up in the morning.”
– In the same interview, when asked why he specifically mentions white people, and if he believe African Americans are equally hard working and independent, the ‘Patriot’ Ted Nugent responded:
“Show me one.”
In 2012, the ‘Patriot’ Ted Nugent told us all just how much he adores the United States, in the Washington Times:
“I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.”
In 2000, during controversy over the displaying of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House, Nugent said that those objecting:
“Can take the flag down, but I am going to wear it forever.”
– A “Patriot” to Tea Party Confederates & Republicans like Steve Stockman, wave Confederate flags, wishes the South had won the Civil War (thus upholding slavery), believes African Americans are not hard working, that only white people are true Americans, and anyone who votes Democrat is a “whore” and “Welfare brat”. Sentiments like that spewed by Nugent are not condemned by Republicans as completely unacceptable, offensive, vile, and entirely contrary to the American sense of justice and liberty; but are instead treated with either complete indifference, or promoted as the words of a Patriot.
On January 22nd 2013, whilst Sen. Henry Marsh (D) – a veteran of the Civil Rights era – was attending President Obama’s inauguration, Senate Republicans in the 20-20 split Virginia Senate sneaked through a redistricting bill essentially ensuring a Republican Senate in 2015. Republicans in the Senate went even further that day. Not only did they manipulate the absence of a civil rights veteran to ensure a majority in 2015… they called a halt to the day’s proceedings with the following announcement in the minutes of the day:
“On motion of Senator Stosch, the Senate adjourned in memory or [sic] General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson at 4:10 p.m. to convene Tuesday, January 22, 2013”
– They called a halt to proceedings not because the President had just been re-inaugurated a day before, but instead to honour a Confederate general. Furthermore, Senator Henry Marsh was a lawyer during the Civil Rights days. His law practice focused on civil rights cases. At the same time, Virginia’s Republican Senators were organising resistance to desegregation. That was the 1960s. In 2013, the children of those Republicans use his absence to advance their cause, and pay their respects to a Confederate general. Times change, attitudes and sentiment apparently don’t.
The spectre of the Confederacy follows the 21st Century Republican Party everywhere they go. The Tea Party Confederates aren’t just one man outside the White House waving a flag, it is a growing number of Party members in general, with an apparent air of Confederate nostalgia attaching itself to everything they do and everything they say. A man outside of the White House waving a flag, is simply a drop in the ocean of the thoughts, words, and actions of the Tea Party dream of Confederacy.