Here's a political cartoon from the 1864 election. Drawn by Thomas Nast, it was a comment on the Democratic Party's "cut and run" Copperhead platform. The inscription on the tombstone is the Civil War version of I support the troops by not the war: "In memory of our Union Heroes who fell in a Useless War." Pre-election the Dems were uber confident that homesick, disgruntled and battle weary Union soldiers would vote en masse for their former commanding general, George B. McClellan. McClellan had been relieved by President Lincoln after the Battle of Antietam. McClellan had little stomach for actual combat and had a predictable Chicken Little tendency to always see a falling sky by consistently overestimating Southern forces and capabilities. He was more about spin and a whole lot less about win. Here's a quote from the History Channel website:
An able administrator and drillmaster, McClellan proceeded to reorganize the army for what he expected to be an overwhelming demonstration of Northern military superiority. Popular with his troops, the 34-year-old commander was also a conceited, arrogant man, contemptuous of the president and already suspect among Republicans because he vigorously opposed any tampering with the institution of slavery. Ultimately, his tendency to overestimate the enemy and his excessive caution wore out Lincoln’s patience.
His lack of fighting elan, and over-confidence in the enemy's forces, rather than his own, ultimately wasted lives through his failure to effectively capitalize on the near death blow Lee's forces recieved at Antietam September 17, 1862, and thus hasten the end of fighting. Lincoln sent him back to civilian life November 17 with the now famous quote, "If you don't want to use the army, I should like to borrow it for a while."
The Dems of that day were also heartened by the Draft Riots they had openly provoked, particularly in New York City, with inflammatory newspaper screeds about a failed mission coupled with the specter of emancipated blacks flooding the northern job market; blacks freed in a war originally sold as being more about restoring the Union and less about eliminating the institution of slavery.
Lincoln was convinced that he was going to be handed a historic loss. He couldn't have been more wrong. Naysaying and doom-mongering fell flat and Lincoln had a victory of historic proportions; 212 to 21 votes in the electoral college and 55% to 45% in the popular vote. The Union Army supported Lincoln with a 78% margin. America's resolve behind Lincoln and staying the course made the Emancipation Proclimation a permanent fact, rather than a passing fancy. If the Dems had had their way passports would be needed today to go from Pennsylvania to Maryland, and the Underground Railroad would be operating still.
What prompted today's post? An article in the June 23rd issue of The Washington Post about the ongoing presidential aspirations of failed vice-presidential candidate, former senator and North Carolina ambulance chasing lawyer John Edwards. Edwards is tauting a two pronged platform of eliminating poverty in the US and restoring America's place on the heights of the world's moral high ground. He advocates an immediate removal of 40,000 troops from Iraq (the remainder out in 12-18 months), and a re-deployment of tax money, to the tune of 15 to 20 billion a year, in a return to fighting the War on Poverty. So let me see if I've got him right....getting everyone in the world to think America is swell again is the cure for international jihad. And, throwing more money at poor people will stop poverty. The moral high ground is apparently reached through good PR rather than confronting evil. Telling everyone that we're all about democracy and a just world needs to replace actually doing something concrete about it. How zen! Do by not doing grasshopper. Stop evil by not stopping evil! Stop poverty by paying the poor for being poor! Think big thoughts, use big words, espouse big ideas! Before we know it est will be back. All evil requires to fail is for good men to do nothing (apologies to Edmund Burke). I wouldn't be surprised if 500,000 Rwandans don't just rise up out of their graves after realizing they had mistakenly run into machetes during the Clinton era, surely Edwards' golden age of America's death grip on the moral high ground. And the 7 trillion wasted on the previous War on Poverty....siphoned off by Haliburton no doubt.
Somethings never change. Politicians preaching easy pie in the sky solutions, trumpeting bad news and instigating open disloyalty during a time of war. The New York Times and the LA Times yesterday, disregarding pleas from our government, revealed to friend and foe alike a formerly secret operation that has since 9/11 effectively identified and thwarted our enemy. The death of Al-Zarqawi widely minimized, the horrendous deaths' of American servicemembers relativized in a haze of moral equivalency, a preemptive disruption of a terror plot in Miami marginalized (amazing how the Left gets away with buffooning these homegrown terrorists-I just listened to the NYTs' Maureen Dowd on FoxNews disparagingly lampoon the Miami conspirators as "not being able to find the local Sears, let alone the Sears Tower"), and attempts at downplaying three sets of elections in Iraq are but a few of the trends actively and predictably spun from folks on the left. Their hypocrisy is as transparent as their well-meaning rationalizations are delusional. WE ARE AT WAR.
Hey, remember, I'm not a ranting neo-con 24/7, check out my soft underbelly....visit my new photoblog. Thanks.