The following is a classic result of what happens when you consume a little too much of the right-wing Kool-Aid.
The New York Sun, who obviously must see the New York Post as a bastion of evil liberalism in comparison, decided to bring forth an editorial on the “sellout” of Dimocrats in Iraq. (For them, though, the sellout is not in backing Dubya’s war, but in having the gall to criticize Dubya’s noble mission in the first place.)
And to that end, they envoke the earlier period of “Manifest Destiny”; the acquisition (or, as real honest historians would call it, the outright theft) of half of Mexico to justify the present campaign.
Nezua does such a good job of dissecting this pile of horse dung over at his place..but this deserves a special can of SmackDog Whupass(TM) on its own. So, if you will pardon my indulgence, on with the fisking.
New York Sun Editorial
May 29, 2007
News that Senators Clinton and Obama, acting on the eve of Memorial Day weekend, cast their votes against funding our GIs in Iraq put us in a mind to read about Abraham Lincoln and the Mexican War. This had been suggested by Governor Cuomo, in his spirited letter to the editor in response to our editorial about how President Lincoln turned away the editor of Chicago Tribune, Joseph Medill, and a delegation that had gone to see him, late in the Civil War, in hopes of getting him to back off a draft call from Cook County.
Of course, we all know the reality of that vote (and how Hilary and Barack really maneuvered themselves to act like they were in opposition…but why let facts get in the way of a good McCarthyite smear??
Lincoln had listened to the Illinois pleaders in the cavern of maps that was the office of his war secretary, Edwin Stanton. As Stanton recited the sanguinary statistics that illuminated the need for yet more men for the battle, Lincoln bowed his head. Then he turned on Medill, long a supporter, reminded him of how the Tribune had supported the war and called for Emancipation and told him to go back to Chicago and get the men. Medill retreated, saying that it was the first time he’d ever been whipped and that he didn’t have an answer.
The better analogy, Mr. Cuomo argued in his letter to the Sun (http://www.nysun.com/article/54464) , is the war that President Polk started with Mexico. “As a Congressman in the late 1840s,” Mr. Cuomo wrote, Lincoln, “objected passionately to America‘s war with Mexico.” The former governor quotes the man who would become the 16th president as warning, on the floor of the House on January 12, 1848, of the “exceeding brightness of military glory that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood that serpent’s eye, that charms to destroy.”
The more we read about Lincoln and the Mexican War, however, the less it strikes us as offering a historical harbor for Democrats seeking to legitimize their appeasement line in Iraq. It is certainly true that Lincoln objected to the war, demanding that Polk show him the spot where the first firefight took place, Lincoln believing that it was not in America at all but in Mexican territory. Then a Whig congressman, Lincoln reckoned that the war would lead to an expansion of slave territories. Much of his term in the House was consumed to his opposition to the war.
OK…so tell me how giving the President a virtual blank check with timetables that he can basically ignore like so much chaffe in the wind amounts to legitimizing “appeasment”?? I guess that according to the Sun editorialist, only outright boosting for the war and unswerving allegiance to the President will count as anything other than “surrender”.
But what does this illuminate that could possibly help the Democrats in their current predicament? In contrast to Lincoln, Mrs. Clinton did not object to our entry into either the global war on terror or the battle of Iraq. On the contrary, she voted for it. Mr. Obama, who was not yet in the Senate, opposed Iraq expedition. In any event, there is another difference; once our military was engaged in battle in Mexico, Lincoln always voted to supply our soldiers, a point underlined for us by one of the city’s notable Lincoln scholars, Harold Holzer, co-author of part of Mr. Cuomo’s ” Why Lincoln Matters, Now More Than Ever.”
Lincoln’s support for our soldiers in the Mexican war is something that the Illinoisan boasted about in his debates with Judge Douglas. After all, his opposition to the war with Mexico, however high-minded, was costing him votes. This was particularly true because, even if Polk’s motives were ignoble and the fight seemed unjust at the beginning, the Mexican war had a favorable outcome for America. The Mexican Cession, made under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war on February 2, 1848, established our border at the Rio Grande, ended any dispute over Texas, and gained us not only California, Nevada, and Utah but also parts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Translation: Hey, who cares about moral considerations….WE WON!! And who cares about principles if it costs us votes??
But here’s where the cesspool really meets the Cat 3 hurricane (and this is exactly the money paragraph that Nez grabs):
Can it be that Mr. Cuomo and his fellow Democrats want to go into the 2008 election questioning the bona fides of the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico? That’s a lot of electoral votes. The fact is the fate of those states illustrates one of the great truths about America — that those who either threw in with us or were won by us prospered and lived more freely than any of them would have under the ancien regimes. This is something that has been learned by other peoples, in Europe and in Asia, even into the late 20th century.
Oh, yeah….like the brown folk down there really do appreciate everything that the gringos have done to “liberate” them..just as the Iraqis really do, despite popular protests to the contrary, appreciate all the freedom that “we” have brought to them through the democratic means of torture chambers, carpet bombs, and pilfering their assests. Why, there really are flowers underneath those suicide bombs.
I wonder what these asshats would say about Black folks benefitting from slavery and Jim Crow. Or…maybe I shouldn’t.
As for Lincoln, his comprehension of the responsibilities of leadership changed radically when he acceded as president. He prosecuted the Civil War relentlessly, and his generals knew who was in command or suffered the consequences. Lincoln’s officers arrested the most troublesome of the Copperhead Democrats. In the case of Clement Vallandigham, who was discouraging enlistees in Ohio, Lincoln himself sent that particular Copperhead down through Confederate lines and into exile. Lincoln tested the Constitution as it had never been tested before. He fought his war to win.
Now…not that I as a Black man don’t appreciate the fact that the North won the Civil War and slavery was vanquished…but what the hell does that have to do with Iraq?? That because Honest Abe was the Commander-In-Chief who did manage to run the war and outgun his critics, that justifies his running roughshod over the Constitution?? And how does that justifies Dubya’s war games during a war in which 3/4ths of Americans do not support, that the supposed “benefactors” of such war (read, the citizens of Iraq) do not support, and was justified on base lies about Saddam’s invisible WMD and ties to al Queda and September 11th???
Oh, but I didn’t know…to the editorialists of the NY Sun, Saddam was in cahoots with bin Laden making nukes with Iran’s mullahs with the full connivance of those “cut-n-run” Democrat appeasers….which more than justifies making Dubya our supreme Emperor and protector against Islamofascists, illegal aliens, and evil socialists/liberals/radical feminists/whatever the particular right-wing panic button is.
It’s hard to imagine what Lincoln would have made of Mrs. Clinton, who started out in Illinois, when she claims to “fully support our troops” but votes against funding for the war in which they are risking everything. Or what he would have made of another Illinoisan, Mr. Obama, when he declares, as he did last week, that “enough is enough” and that the president should not get a “blank check,” or even, at least on these terms, any check. The more one reads about it, the more one gets the sense that Lincoln might have wondered why Mr. Bush has been so punctilious about the legal niceties. It’s hard to imagine Lincoln would not have understood Mr. Bush on the larger issues, particuarly his understanding of, and his willingness to shoulder, the responsibilities of the president in a time of war.
How nice that these editorialists have such wonderous powers of mindreading, that they can extrapolate the motives of a President who passed from this earthly coil nearly 150 years ago, and read him exactly to fit the mindset of our current occupant of the White House…and be so perfect to say that Lincoln would be smiling at Bush today, cheering him on to do more shredding of the “goddam piece of paper” that the former took to heart to defend the unity of the nation against the Confederates.
Ahhh…the mind of a right-wing wingnut….so simple in its complexity, so brutal in its subtlety….and so genocidal and arrogant in its equnamity.