Chris Matthews: Obama Speech Akin To Gettysburg Address

220px-Abraham_LincolnPresObamaI have already given my view of the Inauguration Speech. However, I just read MSNBC’s Chris Matthews comparison of this unremarkable speech to the Gettysburg Address. I previously tweeted about the now formulaic approaches of Fox and MSNBC to covering the president. However, this comparison demonstrates the detachment from the actual observed news once filtered through these cable programs.


I liked the speech but I thought it was unexceptionable in both content and delivery. It was a safe speech that had a few good lines. I do not see how anyone could rank the speech as in one of the top inauguration deliveries, let alone akin to one of the greatest speech in the history of the Western World.

Within minutes of the end of the speech, Matthews said “It reminds me of another second inaugural, Lincoln’s, so much of Lincoln in that speech, from the Gettysburg Address to the second inaugural itself. He talked about the government that we want, which is infrastructure, education, regulation, all the good things, and then recognizing that government can’t solve all the problems.”

Really? I am not saying it was a bad speech but it was not a memorable speech in my view. It was predictable and largely contentless (not unlike most such speeches). I can understand liking the speech but to compare this to Gettysburg seems entirely detached from reality.

I am currently listening to MSNBC as another commentator, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is picking up the comparison to Gettysburg and agreeing with Matthews. Listening to MSNBC sounds entirely like White House press releases. That is a problem for any journalistic organization.

80 thoughts on “Chris Matthews: Obama Speech Akin To Gettysburg Address

  1. Chris has a penchant for bloviating.

    No president has to be like any other to be valid.

    What is required is a president’s advocacy of sane government policy and a populace that appreciates it.

  2. Remember that Tweety is the same guy who got a huge erection when Boy Blunder paraded around an aircraft carrier in a flight suit with a pair of gym socks stuffed in the crotch. He shared that (verbally only thank gawd) with us live on TV.

    The guy substitutes hyperbola for common sense and perspective. I don’t know if he is genuinely that in awe or if he just plays it for the attention. Sadly, this is the sate of what passes for journalism and the dawn of a new century.

  3. “Chris Matthews comparison of this unremarkable speech to the Gettysburg Address.”

    *************************

    Well, Chris, it must be the one Lincoln made in 1860 on the campaign trail ’cause it sure ain’t the one he made in 1863. But thanks for the excuse to repeat it:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    The listeners of today can judge against the words of the past.

  4. “So much of Lincoln in that speech,” observed Chris Matthews. “He talked about the government that we want, which was education, infrastructure, regulation – all the good things. And then recognized that government can’t solve all the problems. I thought that was a reaching out, if you will. A shout at, eventually, the tea party-right that’s rejectionist”
    There is nothing wrong with making a comparisoin of what Lincoln called for and what Mr. Obama did.
    Mr. Obama allso called for civil rights, of inclusivity in America.
    I think sometimes the professor’s apparent disdain for Mr. Obama colors his interpretations of anything positive said about him or what he says.

  5. What a great day in America, after a hateful campaign. Chris Matthews has captured the essence of what is positive about President Obama, his speech and the America we want to see.

  6. I did not watch the speech. Deliberately. I figured it would be more of the same, and apparently I would not have been disappointed. I have reached a point in my life where I am tired of most of the fare on the television machine. Marshall McLuhan was right.

    A friend of mine, a hard core Democrat, said he was at a political rally a few days ago. Said he told one of the speakers, “You are looking at the dumbest sumb!tch in the country.”

    The fellow smiled and asked him why he said that. My friend replied, “For the past four years I have been telling people that Obama is not coming for their guns.”

  7. I was there. Good speech, not Lincoln.

    Best part was hearing a few hundred thousand people boo Newt Gingrich and his latest wife, number four or five?

    But at least Newt showed. W had a game on TV, I guess. What Mitten’s excuse? It’s not like he HAS a job.

  8. I don’t dislike Chris Matthews, buy I also don’t respect his opinions. All one really needs to know about him is that he is the protege of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. That Senator was a flunky for the MI Complex and helped Reagan hide his huge tax increase on the middle class by pretending to save social security. Moynohan was as a professor responsible for spreading a mythology about Black people and poor people that is still in use on the Right today.

  9. JT if you have a problem with CNN or other commercial networks then do what I did and watch the program on CSPAN. USA Today is the last newspaper I read. We keep a copy in the outhouse for when we run out of tollet paper.

  10. You have commented before about the laziness (my word) of readers/viewers whose reading/viewing habits reinforce their existing beliefs.

    True. But it is also getting harder to find commentators who think.

    While my political philosophies differ from Mr. Matthews, nothing that he has said recently is likely to sway my opinions. If Mr. Matthews cannot be clear minded in his analysis, he cannot win my attention, let alone sway me.

    The polarization that you mentioned is the fault of both readers and writers.

  11. Funny, I liked Moynihan. And, Russert worked for Moynihan as did Lawrence O’Donnell I believe. The buffoon Matthews worked for Tip O’Neill. That makes sense now, doesn’t it.

  12. I am not surprised….. This is a happy lucky speech….. I bet he is a lot more divisive in the State of the Union address….. His loyalty ardent support will be like….. Did I really vote for him……

  13. nick spinelli:

    wasnt Tip a pretty good old irish politician? maybe a little left of Truman? An old fashioned democrat?

  14. MSNBC has been looking for ways to stay competitive in the cable news (their ship has been sinking every since they fired their $10 million man Keith Olbermann; and if it wasn’t for “Morning Joe”, I wouldn’t turn on MSNBC).

    There has been some historical debate about the significance of the Gettysburg Address. Was it just a speech to motivate the Union troops? Or was it a speech or eulogy given to those who have fallen at the Battle of Gettysburg? The speech or winning the battle didn’t free the slaves (the Civil War lasted 1.5-2 more years after this battle). What was the significance of the battle? Did it prevent the Confederacy from capturing the White House?

    To the slaves, the Gettysburg Address was meaningless (there were some slaves fighting on the side of the Confederacy; the Confederacy ‘lied’ to these slaves by telling them that they would be free it they helped fight; most slaves, according to historians, didn’t know that on of the reasons for the Civil War: their freedom).

  15. Obama’s real daddy.

    Saw Obama in person at the 39th floor at 230 South Dearborn in Chicago. Wasn’t that impressed.

  16. First, as far as we know, Lincoln did not have a team of speechwriters and a bunch of flacks to promote his agenda. Second, although we know that more recent presidents do have teams of speechwriters to assist in writing their speeches, they have, as a team, occasionally crafted some very memorable lines in the past, like “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” Third, we know that today, in spite of technological advances, making research far easier, that even with the “best” speechwriters, the best that modern presidents are able to communicate are vapid, banal word repetitions and other rhetorical devices that pass for profundity only among illiterates and sycophants.

    Chris Matthews, Piers Morgan, and Al Sharpton may be getting tingles from Obama’s every word–and they get a broad national platform to express their opinions–but that only reflects the sad state of affairs of our country today.

  17. The only two things Obama has in common with Lincoln are:

    1) The presidency,

    2) They both looked up to former presidents.

  18. Bron, Tip was the consummate glad handing, drink a bottle of Bushmill and hammer out legislation pol. Funny, that is what helped Republicans gain control of the House. They did cariactures of Tip in commercials..it was pretty easy. Ol’ Tip is looking pretty good now in some respects. Michelle would have to work on the 55 inch girth he had. However, there was no hiding that Irish, alcoholic nose.

  19. A 100,000 Americans were killed in the civil war.Lincoln didn’t have a better solution? I think he wasn’t much of a president. He wouldn’t send his stepson to fight in his war.

  20. nick said of Chris Matthews “He’s a court jester not a journalist.”

    That about sums it up.

    ***************

    mespo,

    Great link on the Civil War death toll stats. That story slipped past my radar last year. The story of Dr. Hacker’s numbers is interesting in and of itself. It can be described as what? Historical forensic comparative demographics? The subject is illustrative of something that has come up in discussion here before and that is the resolution of data moving backward in time. Still, 20% is a statistically significant change. Thanks for the link.

  21. Nick,

    You’re right about Matthews and O’Neil. Somehow how in my memory I transposed his mentors. What’s funny is I liked O’Neil, but dislike Moynihan, so at least had a chance to vent on the senator once again. uUnfortunately my reason for venting was incorrect. Thanks for making me aware of it. Good catch.

  22. “Terror Tuesdays” will continue:

    “Brennan is the hitman of this administration.” -Jeremy Scahill

    Dirty Wars: Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley’s New Film Exposes Hidden Truths of Covert U.S. Warfare

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/22/dirty_wars_jeremy_scahill_and_rick (a remarkable piece)

    Premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the new documentary “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield” follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill to Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen as he chases down the hidden truths behind America’s expanding covert wars. We’re joined by Scahill and the film’s director, Rick Rowley, an independent journalist with Big Noise Films. “We’re looking right now at a reality that President Obama has essentially extended the very policies that many of his supporters once opposed under President Bush,” says Scahill, author of the bestseller “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” and a forthcoming book named after his film. “One of the things that humbles both of us is [when] you arrive at a village in Afghanistan and knock on someone’s door, you’re the first American they’ve seen since the Americans that kicked that door in and killed half their family,” Rowley says. “We promised them that we would do everything we could to make their stories be heard in the U.S. — finally, we’re able to keep those promises.”

  23. I am not saying it was a bad speech but it was not a memorable speech in my view. It was predictable and largely contentless (not unlike most such speeches).
    —————
    nope, I cannot agree. It is incredibly gutsy to stand in front of the World and voice intent to support the elements that are wedge in a divided Nation. I don’t know about comparing it to the Gettysburg address but in this 1 speech he left no doubt about the Presidents stance on Gay marriage, Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid and etc. and I consider that to be wholly memorable. He is speaking to a whole Country and so he is speaking in the language that will be heard by even the least educated and most powerless ….so it is a broad and encompassing statement.

    He’s an elegant Manly Man….IMHO….

  24. Matthews aside … Obama is going to be a force to reckon with within the Democratic party for years to come. He and Clinton, together, will be organizing and rallying from sea to shining sea for decades to come.

    That’s reality, not Matthews-type hyperbole, and very, very bad news for republicans and those who wish to promote a third party.

  25. I watched one of the tv shows last night which had three smart historians discussing the Inaugural Address. They were all very approving of the speech. I watched the speech again on one of the networks and I agree that it was better than any speech since FDR. I watched all of the speeches on CSPAN from FDR to present day. Ike was tripe, Nixon was evil, Ford wasnt bad, Bushie One was a weenie, Clinton was so so, Bushie Two was weenie Two, Lyndon Johnson was very good and so was Truman. The “ask not what you’re country can do for you guy” was a phony. Obama had the best “Delivery” of word and gesture of any of them.

    Those who were present for Lincoln’s Four Score and Seven Years Ago speech were not as high on it as those who read the text in the papers.

    Of the other speakers yesterday I was not impressed by the Poet or the Preacher. Perhaps we could leave both of those speaker catagories out next time. After all, the President always asks for God to Bless the United States of America. Nuff said.

  26. (Blouise) “Matthews aside … Obama is going to be a force to reckon with within the Democratic party for years to come. He and Clinton, together, will be organizing and rallying from sea to shining sea for decades to come.

    That’s reality, not Matthews-type hyperbole, and very, very bad news for republicans and those who wish to promote a third party”

    Obama couldn’t get re-elected without resorting to stuffed ballot boxes and rampant voter fraud in all those states that didn’t require voter ID. Nobody wants his socialized healthcare. He has the whole country running to buy guns and ammo – record sales that even surpassed when the Brady Bill was threatening our liberties. His last four years in office literally stinks on ice. Record unemployment, record dependence on welfare, job market in horrible shape and no hope in sight. Not to mention Benghazi, which will eventually have to be reconciled sooner or later.

    Now, Blouise, how in the *%&$ do you think that all of that is bad news for the Republicans and a force to recon with??? The only force we need to recon with is his fraudulent ways and corruption. We can all only hope that it comes out in the wash.

    All the Republicans have to do is to stand firm in their beliefs, get rid of any turncoats, or wolves in sheep’s clothing, and carefully point out each and every blunder of Mr. Obama, in the past four years, and the next four years. Maybe he’ll be impeached or tried for treason so we don’t have to wait four more years to get rid of him.

    (anonymous) “He should either prove that he was deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize… or he should return it.”

    Mr. Obama has already shown that he isn’t worthy of any Nobel Peace Prize, or any prize, unless we give out prizes for the worst president in US history.

  27. ” He is speaking to a whole Country and so he is speaking in the language that will be heard by even the least educated and most powerless ….so it is a broad and encompassing statement.

    He’s an elegant Manly Man….IMHO….”

    Good Lord, sounds like Mr. Obama has handed out the poisoned purple cool-aid again. I failed to mention earlier, Mr. Obama had all three branches democrat, but he couldn’t do anything. It’s looking like in 2014 he will lose a branch to the Republicans and then he’ll end up like Mr. Clinton did. If you turn off the mainstream media and listen to what people have to say, people are fired up. People hate this man. You can’t find someone that said that they voted for him. People are counting the days until he leaves office for good.

    No, this is probably the sorriest excuse for a president we have ever had. He’s incompetent, horrible record as president in his first four years. Why should we think the next four years are going to be any different?

  28. “Obama couldn’t get re-elected without resorting to stuffed ballot boxes and rampant voter fraud in all those states that didn’t require voter ID. Nobody wants his socialized healthcare. He has the whole country running to buy guns and ammo – record sales that even surpassed when the Brady Bill was threatening our liberties. His last four years in office literally stinks on ice. Record unemployment, record dependence on welfare, job market in horrible shape and no hope in sight. Not to mention Benghazi, which will eventually have to be reconciled sooner or later.”

    Dave Mattingly,

    The words of a sore and deluded loser praying for the days of George W. Bush. By the way what does “stink on ice” mean?

  29. Obama couldn’t get re-elected without resorting to stuffed ballot boxes and rampant voter fraud in all those states that didn’t require voter ID. Nobody wants his socialized healthcare.~Dave Mattingly
    ———————————–
    Methinks your brain dyslexic in perception…..I had a front row seat here in Florida as the Red party played every trick in the book to disenfranchise potential Dem voters….it failed, everyone got inconvenienced and Obama still won… watching Rick Scott reverse his decision to deny early voting hours, AFTER the election, was like watching a snake get flushed down the toilet….so sorry, your aguement sounds a tad whiney.

    Why do I get the impression that some peeps look at the rule of law and governance the same way they look at a football game?

  30. “If you turn off the mainstream media and listen to what people have to say, people are fired up. People hate this man.”

    Dave Mattingly,

    So let me get this straight the people in Podunk, Arkansas where you live, have told you they don’t like the President while they’re caressing their firearms?

  31. DM “All the Republicans have to do is to stand firm in their beliefs”,

    No, because their Randian beliefs & policies are the reason they lose elections in the 21st century.

    “get rid of any turncoats, or wolves in sheep’s clothing, and carefully point out each and every blunder of Mr. Obama”,

    TeaPots have been trying this for years, to no effect. How many will be left? David Frum might be able to tell you, but never a majority.

    “in the past four years, and the next four years. Maybe he’ll be impeached or tried for treason so we don’t have to wait four more years to get rid of him.”

    the same way you sore losers spent millions and millions of dollars trying to do this to Clinton. While you all ignored the real business of the nation. Waste of time and tax dollars, buddy.

  32. Don:

    “No, this is probably the sorriest excuse for a president we have ever had. He’s incompetent, horrible record as president in his first four years. Why should we think the next four years are going to be any different?”

    ****************************

    I take great solace from the fact that he is viciously attacked from both right and left. That places him squarely in the “felicitous middle between the extremes of excess and deficiency” — with the rest of us.

    Viva the Golden Mean.

  33. “get rid of any turncoats, or wolves in sheep’s clothing, and carefully point out each and every blunder of Mr. Obama”,
    ——————
    or, I don’t know if possible, but maybe, you could evolve?

  34. leejcaroll
    I think sometimes the professor’s apparent disdain for Mr. Obama colors his interpretations of anything positive said about him or what he says.

    maybe maybe not. If so, that is a problem. However the FAR FAR FAR larger problem is those whose apparent worship of Mr Obama colors their interpretations of anything said about him. It is far more dangerous to refuse to see any aspect or action by President Obama as possibly negative.

  35. Woosty’s still a Cat
    the Red party played every trick in the book to disenfranchise potential Dem voters…

    not a single action taken was done to deny Democratic voters. Also there was no reduction in early voting. They reduced the number of days but had longer hours. Longer hours that made it easier for working folks to vote.

    The fact that you assume that such common-sense laws as requiring picture ID’s is harmful to democrats, that somehow democrats are more likely to be incapable of getting an ID says a lot about your opinion about democratic voters.

    However you are right that Obama didn’t win due to ballot-stuffing. Obama didn’t steal this election no more than Bush stole his election. Obama won because the republicans are inept at playing his game.

    Poll after poll showed that the majority of Americans believed in what Romney was saying. They felt that economy was made worse by Obama, they did not want ObamaCare. However Romney was made to look like some rich jerk who would make people live in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. Have them get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, and go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out.

  36. jeffld
    1, January 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    ——————
    I assume nothing and you are apparently adept at putting words in other peoples mouths. Given that, maybe you should cite some of your polls and sources, because the ones that I saw do not agree with your conclusions.

  37. Woosty’s
    I assume nothing and you are apparently adept at putting words in other peoples mouths.

    I’m sorry. Silly me. When you wrote:
    “I had a front row seat here in Florida as the Red party played every trick in the book to disenfranchise potential Dem voters… watching Rick Scott reverse his decision to deny early voting hours…”

    I simply thought you meant that the laws (or “tricks” as you put it) were meant to disenfranchise potential Dem voters.

  38. Dave Mattingly please dont let facts get in your way. He had a dem majority that was not filibuster proof for approximately 7 weeks. But with Franken not being seated immediately then the loss of Mr. Kennedy he did not keep it.

    I am not happy with a lot he has done but calling him “probably the sorriest excuse for a president we have ever had. He’s incompetent, horrible record as president in his first four years.” is fine if you ignore 5 million + jobs created in spite of a repub house that refused to pass a jobs bill, stock market back, auto industry back, Iraq war ended, housing rebounded, and more. Yep. that is one sorry record.
    (dont know what happened but suddenly the font changed and I dont know how to change it back).

  39. (weird it changed when I was writing it but posted fine so please ignore that last part about the font. Thanks.)

  40. jeffid, Mitt Romney was a “rich jerk who would make people live in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. Have them get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, and go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out.”

    1. Rich jerk
    2. Against SS, Medicare and Medicaid, against equal rights for women or any job protections whatsoever. Did the title “Right to Work” fool you? Yes, his turning America into a Third World nation for workers, the elderly and the poor did not seem to go over well.

    He is all these things, no one had to fabricate anything about Mitt.

  41. I simply thought you meant that the laws (or “tricks” as you put it) were meant to disenfranchise potential Dem voters.
    ————–
    what do you suppose having people wait for hours in the Florida sun was meant to do? Make things easier on the voting public? Have you seen the statistics for the districts most impacted by those ‘laws’ ?

    simple thoughts indeed….

  42. “Now, Blouise, how in the *%&$ do you think that all of that is bad news for the Republicans and a force to recon with???” (Dave Mattingly)

    I rest my case.

  43. Blouise,

    “Matthews aside … Obama is going to be a force to reckon with within the Democratic party for years to come. He and Clinton, together, will be organizing and rallying from sea to shining sea for decades to come.”

    A reasonable and accurate observation, however . . .

    “That’s reality, not Matthews-type hyperbole, and very, very bad news for republicans”

    Okay, I’m still with you, but . . .

    “and those who wish to promote a third party.”

    Which is simply bad news for everyone. If we are ever going to break the hold of corporatists and money over politics, it is becoming manifest that the only way we are going to do this is by first breaking the choke hold that the two-party system (an ultra vires construct with no protection in the Constitution) imposes on the system and is jointly responsible for our ever eroding civil liberties and human rights.

  44. Bloomberg would like to start a third party. He is a social liberal but definitely a corporatist. Thomas Friedman is another one that would like to start a corporatist third party, and there are others underway. A third party could very well be as corporatist or even more so than the existing parties.

  45. And the point of that statement would be what exactly, Smom? That we as a nation shouldn’t try to break the hold of the two party system simply because some third party might be as bad or worse? Pick a team and play through. Yeah. That’s been working out so well for us in fighting both the creeping rot of fascism and the steady erosion of our rights.

    The Tea Party was an attempt to build a third party masquerading as a populist movement when it is really just a flimsy from for the corporatist ambitions Koch Brothers and Dick Armey’s Freedomworks and they’ve sputtered and floundered under critical scrutiny. A prime example of astro-turfing. Both the GOP and the DNC are neck deep in corporatist corruption and the Libertarian Party’s economics aren’t just a bad idea based in a political polemic poorly disguised as economics (when it is nothing of the sort), but a corporatists wet dream as well.

    Omelets are not made from unbroken eggs. Every opportunity for change comes with risks and/or costs. This is simply the way of things.

  46. CORRECTION: “a third party masquerading as a populist movement when it is really just a flimsy front for the corporatist ambitions of the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey’s Freedomworks”

    That’s what I get for typing during a commercial break on “Justified” when the show comes back on.

    However . . .

    “Just saying that just because its is a third party does not mean it is not corporatist.”

    Nor does it mean that it is as a matter of certainty or necessity. That violates the Rule of Identity. A thing is what a thing is and one cannot be certain of that nature until the reality of the thing in question is interrogated by examination. But there is no avoiding that the stranglehold of corruption and corporatism isn’t going to be broken by either major party as they simply are too indentured in their servitude of their corporate masters and not paying attention to the needs and/or desires of their rightful bosses under the letter of the Constitution, We the People. Either one of the existent major parties is going to have to change in a substantive manner – which to this date they have shown zero inclination for doing – or a third alternative is going to have to enter the fray on the side of the people. It’s an inescapable logic. One outcome leads to ever increasing corporatism and decreasing rights, the other to the possibility of fundamental change which inherently brings a degree of uncertainty. If people want change, they are going to have to accept that a certain amount of both uncertainty and discomfort are going to be the price of that change. However, the status quo will never be broken without it.

  47. SwM,

    Bloomberg is a billionaire whose policies as Mayor were every bit as bad as Giuliani without the bluster. Friedman is a poppmpous ass who married into a billionaire family. Any 3rd party they would form would be equivalent to what conservatives were 40 years ago. Also they both promote the bi-partisan meme which is actually a bad idea and was created to ensure the Cold War continued. I know uou get that but any time I hear either of their names my bood boils. :)

  48. Mike S, I do get it, but Bloomberg and Friedman are the ones that were involved in starting a third party in 2011 but it did not go anywhere. If Santorum had been the nominee, it might have. “A third party” is too vague. What does the third party stand for? Is it just a group of former Ron Paul supporters? I am not against a third party but don’t expect a group of angry gun toting white men to attract young people, women and minorities. :)

  49. rafflaw:

    “Unless we get the money out of politics, it won’t matter how many parties there are.”

    ************************

    Where do I sign up for your party? The older I get the more of a classicist I become:

    “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.”
    ― Plato, The Republic

  50. RWL – your understanding of the American Civil War is pretty screwed up if you actually believe the propaganda that slaves fought for the South. Even a little research beyond the BS shove out by the apologists disproves that big lie.

    But believing the big lie certainly explains your appreciation of Morning Joe.

  51. For Dave;
    ‘In screwed news…Republicans in Virginia took an outrageous step Tuesday to rig the next state Senate elections. While the nation was focused on the Inauguration, Republicans passed legislation to redraw the state’s districts and increase how many of them are considered safe Republican seats. Currently, the Virginia state senate is split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans were only able to sneak this legislation through because one of the Democratic state senators was in Washington, DC attending the President’s inauguration – thus, giving the Republicans a one-vote advantage. …’

    [a clear example of Government FOR the People(some) BY the people(some), SCREW! the PEOPLE!!!!!!!! ;)

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/14075-on-the-news-with-thom-hartmann-filibuster-reform-debate-begins-in-the-senate-today

  52. Actually, Chris Matthews interviewed 2 fellows who claimed to have read and reviewed former inaugural speeches. Matthews asked these guides to rate the speech in an historical context. I believe one or both was a professor, btw. Anyway, they ranked the speech as one of the best, not as good as Lincoln’s. They noted that there have been some horrific speeches in the past.

  53. Frankly,

    One of the leading historical texts on slaves fighting for the south: Black Southerners in Gray (1994) by the late Richard Rollins. You can also look up the Civil War Gazette/slaves fighting for the south; or their is another text entitled “Forgotten Confederates”, delineating the slaves participation in helping South.

    Don’t worry about Morning Joe; it is not my favorite show, but Joe is the leading, realistic republican that I can tolerate (as an independent, I can barely tolerate both parties).

  54. Seems the only way you can get anywhere in any party is to have the bucks so even though they are more of the same I would t hink that someone with the $$$ of a Bloomberg could do it, even though just a rearticulation of what is already there.
    Nader could never have won, I don;t think, but maybe if he had real money behind him he might have made a better showing.
    Problem also is the way they are now they seem to mostly be siphoning off votes helping the other guy to win.

  55. RWL and Frankly,

    The idea of slaves fighting for the South to me signifies little other than they were slaves. Many grew up in slavery so it seemed the natural order. Slaves, for the most part, were purposely kept ignorant of the issues raised by the abolitionists and lived under a system where they were powerless. If ordered to fight, some would fight merely because their “Master” ordered them too. This does not speak to their acceptance of slavery, nor to their hating the conditions they lived under, merely to human beings accepting what seemed to them to be the natural order of things from which they couldn’t escape.

    When we look at a analogous, yet more modernly structured situation, the Shoah in Germany the question arises why did so many Jews allow themselves to go like sheep to the slaughter? While in fact there was fierce resistance by some and escape by others before the War, the majority were tied down by family,wealth ad a lack of knowledge of the true danger awaiting them. Also the power of the State seemed such that they felt helpless to resist and believed the well crafted lies that they faced certain death. The famous sign in front of Auschwitz “Arbiter mach frei” kept up the pretense that this death camp was merely a work camp.

    Many slaves no doubt rebelled, others sought freedom via escape and we know that many wound up fighting for the Union. We must consider though the handicap that slaves faced in a country whose majority population thought them inferiors and how overwhelmingly oppressive that must have appeared to them. Even abolitionists did not generally agree that the African was the equivalent of the White man. The true history of the rebelliousness of many slaves was also repressed by the fact that shortly after the Civil War the South regained control of history’s message and ended Reconstruction. After that there was a mythological representation that romanticized the Rebels and even the evil genocide of slavery. Think of the movies depiction of Black people as sort of carefree children which was shown in silents, cartoons and epitomized by “Birth of a Nation” and “Gone With the Wind”. The former, considered a film “masterpiece”, depicted black people in the ugliest terms, yet was immensely popular and was for years held up as the “greatest” American film. GWTW showed a kindlier stereotypical version of black people as sort of “innocent children” loyally supportive of their Masters and Mistresses, who were portrayed romantically as heroic people fighting a noble, but lost cause.

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