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February 11, 2009

'WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION'.... It's 2009. One would like to think we've moved beyond non-satirical references to the "War of Northern Aggression." (via Show Me Progress)

The [Missouri] Capitol is abuzz about Rep. Bryan Stevenson, R-Webb City, who said this morning on the House floor the federal Freedom of Choice Act is the most egregious federal power grab since the "War of Northern Aggression."

He later apologized at the urging of Rep. Don Calloway, D-St. Louis.

Stevenson made the statement during the discussion of a resolution that would urge the U.S. Congress to reject the act, which would prohibit government interference in abortion.

Although President Barack Obama has made his support for FOCA clear, state Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, pointed out that no bill has yet been filed.

"This is a meaningless resolution about imaginary legislation," he said. "It does not do one single thing to decrease the number of abortions in the state of Missouri."

Calloway, an African-American lawmaker, reminded Stevenson that the Civil War helped abolish slavery and it was "inappropriate to refer to that war as the war of northern aggression."

When the right ponders why the Republican Party continues to struggle with race, conservatives should remember it's not just "Barack the Magic Negro" CDs, or Republican congressman referring to Barack Obama as "uppity" and "boy," or the Ashley Todd hoax, or "Obama Bucks."

It's also that no one seems too terribly surprised to hear a Republican official in the 21st century refer to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression."

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (66)

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Another name for the Civil War was "The Lost Cause." GOP take note.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 11, 2009 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well, this sort of shite has been being passed since Alexander Stephens (Vice President of the Confederacy and confirmed bachelor) wrote a history of the 'Waughwa' that called it "the War Between the States".
I'm a rural southerner, and had an aunt, a schoolteadcher, call it "the Late Unpleasantness".
I think this started as a joke, but I had an NC state history course where she used this, in the 7th grade.

Posted by: MR Bill on February 11, 2009 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

no one seems too terribly surprised to hear a Republican official in the 21st century refer to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression."

Given that the modern Republican Party seems to be desperate to form itself into a Southern regional party, there's no reason to be surprised.

Stevenson committed the classic gaffe of accidentally saying what he really thinks.

The more these jackasses align themselves with treason in defense of slavery, the more they marginalize themselves.

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

number of delegates at the RNC meeting to elect new chairman: 168

number of those delegates who were black: 3

remember...

number of delegates at the 2008 GOP Convention: over 2300

number of those delegates who were black: under 40

meanwhile...

anyone heard limbaugh's "michael steele the magic negro" song yet?

Posted by: mr. irony on February 11, 2009 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

If there is a Magic Negro anywhere around, it's got to be RNC Chairman Steele, whose job is to convince the world that the GOP does not condone racism. "Just look at me!" his very presence is supposed to scream, "A Negro in charge of the Republican Party." Perhaps he'll join Rep.Stevenson in a rousing chorus of "Dixie".
OOOOOOH ah wish ah wuzz inna lan uh cotton...

Posted by: Richard Greenslade on February 11, 2009 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

This is what the racist, gaybashing, fake-christian party is all about these days. They are the party of discrimination. All they do is hate and try to hurt democrats...America be damned. They have no other raison d'etre.

Posted by: Patrick on February 11, 2009 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.

Posted by: William Faulkner on February 11, 2009 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not terribly surprised to hear a Republican official say this; I am surprised to hear this from a Republican official in Missouri.

Maybe I'm completely misremembering my American history, but wasn't Missouri a Union state?

Posted by: Brock on February 11, 2009 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Calloway, an African-American lawmaker, reminded Stevenson that the Civil War helped abolish slavery"

"HELPED" abolish slavery?! "HELPED"?!

A guy here at work is one of the Jesus dead enders. On inauguration day a company-wide email was sent saying it would be shown in tv's in all of the conference rooms. He grumbled, "Why does everyone have to watch HIM?"

He's very into the Civil War and one day gave us all an angry history lesson saying the war was NOT fought over slavery. He didn't use the term "war of northern agression" but he definitely said it was fought because the south was being tortured by the Union.

Even to say that the Civil War "helped" to abolish slavery is conceeding too much ground to these hate-filled idiots.

Posted by: Saint Zak on February 11, 2009 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Concerning the yet to be filed bill, my church took time at rthe beginning of Mass to advise us to send postcards to our representative and Senators urging a "no" vote, if we felt the need to do so. Of course, the prewritten postcards were available in the pews.

Posted by: howie on February 11, 2009 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Er, maybe I'm wrong about all this, but weren't the first shots of the Civil War fired AT Fort Sumter BY the secessionists?

Posted by: BruceK on February 11, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

As a supporter of the Dems, the total ineptitude of the GOP really bothers me. There is now less pressure on the Dems to keep their own house in order and govern effectively. Lack of a viable opposition makes ruling parties sloppy and leads to their eventual defeat.

Posted by: g. powell on February 11, 2009 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

One would like to think we've moved beyond non-satirical references to the "War of Northern Aggression."

Polite folks down here call it Mr Lincoln's War.

Happy Birthday (a day early) Abe!

Posted by: martin on February 11, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't the Republicans once oppose slavery and the South?

Posted by: freelunch on February 11, 2009 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

HA! I knew MO would come through again.

"I am surprised to hear this from a Republican official in Missouri... but wasn't Missouri a Union state?"
Only in name. Down here in the Ozarks, you see more Confederate flags then US flags. I have black friends in St Lou who refuse to come visit.

Posted by: tom p on February 11, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Missouri was a Union state, and the party which defended the Union was, of course, the Republican party.

My question: If it's OK to refer to the Civil War as the War of Northern Aggression, is it also OK for me to refer to pro-Rebel Missourians as border ruffians?

Posted by: Raenelle on February 11, 2009 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

"the war of northern aggression..."

as opposed to "the war of southern treason."

Posted by: mellowjohn on February 11, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps, he was still caught up with the Border War stories in the KC Star and St Louis papers. KU met MU in the Border War series, on Monday night. The real Border War was the true beginning of the Civil War. Vicious fighting between the Abolitionists of Free Kansas and slave owning Missourians. Quantrell's Raiders sacked Lawrence, Kansas, killing many and burning most of the town. To this day, there are many in those two states who harbor grudges. It has never completely healed. There were, also, battles fought in Missouri, and, even in Kansas, between Northern and Rebel forces during the Civil War. The Missouri pol did not speak due to any slip of the tongue.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Definition

Gregory notes "the classic gaffe of accidentally saying what he really thinks"

Isn't that pretty much the very definition of "gaffe": accidently telling the truth?

(Of course, VP Joe Biden is in a gaffe class all of his own.)

Posted by: Zandru on February 11, 2009 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

With the exempting of only Mr. R. E. Lee, a few of his subordinates and general staff officers, and some of the rank-and-file soldiery of the CSA, I've always viewed the Civil War as "The Four-Year Frat-Fest of Southern Treachery."

Posted by: Steve W. on February 11, 2009 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Raenelle, considering students at the University of Missouri still celebrate William Quantrill's raid on Lawrence and the slaughter of 183 of its citizens, yes, it is perfectly reasonable to call them ruffians.

Posted by: eric on February 11, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Steele will drop some four year old urban lingo on us and everything will be okay again.

Posted by: doubtful on February 11, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Down here in the Ozarks, you see more Confederate flags then US flags. I have black friends in St Lou who refuse to come visit.

I'm white and refuse to go to the Ozarks!

(By the way - thanks for the link-live Steve!)

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 11, 2009 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it amusing that the base of today's Republican Party still hasn't gotten over losing the CIVIL WAR? Man they sure can't take a loss in stride..

Posted by: reader on February 11, 2009 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I was taught you could tell what latitude someone lived on by how they referred to the Civil War. From North to South it typically went:

The War of Southern Secession (or Southern Treachery)
The War to Free the Slaves (or The War for Abolition)
The Civil War (or War Between the States)
Mr. Lincoln's War
The War for Southern Independence (or the Second American Revolution)
The War of Yankee Aggression (or Northern Aggression)

I'm guessing Rep. Stevenson's family migrated north to Missouri. Did they own slaves?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 11, 2009 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm completely misremembering my American history, but wasn't Missouri a Union state?

While Missouri was in the Union, the population was split between Northern and Southern sympathizers, and pro-Confederate forces formed themselves into guerilla bands under such men as William Quantrill. Frank and Jesse James and the Younger brothers fought in one such band. The 1999 movie "Ride With the Devil" was a good overview of what happened in Missouri.

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

One would like to think we've moved beyond non-satirical references to the "War of Northern Aggression."

Until we do, I'm still referring to it as The War of Southern Treason.

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I was taught you could tell what latitude someone lived on by how they referred to the Civil War.

Here in South Carolina, I've always heard it called "The Civil War".

Posted by: Pee Cee on February 11, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still referring to it as The War of Southern Treason.

Great minds! Did you happen to look at the comments at the link?

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 11, 2009 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I kinda liked it when the South wouldn't recognize Lincoln's Birthday on the 12th. Attending Kansas schools, we enjoyed both the 12th and the 22nd, Washington's Birthday, being vacation days. Plus, one of those corresponded with mine. Thanks, Abe.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

no one seems too terribly surprised to hear a Republican official in the 21st century refer to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression."

Dang, you're right. I live in KC and I hadn't heard anything about this. Crazy stuff.

Posted by: J on February 11, 2009 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

As other formerly red or reddish Midwestern states get bluer, Missouri keeps showing disturbing signs of regressing.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"never going to the Ozarks" But, missing the Osmonds at Branson?

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Well, there's missing and then there's missing, if you see what I mean, bert.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

However, before we, collectively, get all high and mighty about being Northerners, do not forget Brown vs. The Board of Education was not between Brown and the Board of Selma, Alabama; it was the Board of Topeka, Kansas and that grade school in KCK, where we celebrated both the 12th and the 22nd, was segregated, until 1954.

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe someone already said this but Missouri was admitted into the Union in 1820 along with Maine as a part of the Missouri Compromise. It was admitted as slave-holding state as a way to even out the voting blocks between slave vs non-slave states since they were adding Maine to the free column. And I seem to recall that MO was a border state during the war? The point is that it has always been sort of a cultural melange born out of expediency.

But, lets not reduce every southern-ish state to easy stereotypes, shall we? Or we can also mention such bright spots of forward thinking/former Union states and their indigenous redneck/reactionary populations. Pennsyltucky, anyone?

Posted by: Whatever on February 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

But, missing the Osmonds at Branson?

Good news, the Osmonds are playing exclusively in Vegas at the Flamingo now! That's a far superior venue in which to miss them than Branson.

Posted by: trex on February 11, 2009 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Missing the Osmonds is a feature, not a bug.

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 11, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Stay away from the clams.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Stay away from the clams

Indeed. Avoid shellfish in months whose headliners begin with "O."

Posted by: trex on February 11, 2009 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Dammit! Are we going to have to come down there and kick Missouri's ass again!!??

Posted by: ADad on February 11, 2009 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Just more evidence that we should not only have let the South go, we should have accompanied the departure with a rousing four-part rendition of, "Don't Let the Door Hit You In the Ass On the Way Out."

Posted by: Keori on February 11, 2009 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Missouri was a slave state and I assume that, like other border states, had a heavy Union army presence to "keep the peace." In other words, there's a fair chance it would have seceded given time and opportunity.

When my northern born mother in law moved to the South as a teacher, she was completely dumbstruck by the obsessive level of remembrance for all things related to the Civil War. When she asked a native Virginian colleague why this was so, she was told that "You'd remember too if you had lost."

Just as an example of this obsession: my father in law's father refused, forever and all time, to stand up in church when any version of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" was played, even just the music.

Posted by: Barbara on February 11, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Keori, I guess the slaves would have been expected to free themselves?

Posted by: Barbara on February 11, 2009 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

It wasn't "The War of Northern Aggression," it was THE WAR OF SOUTHERN TREASON. Treason they've been committing since their prisoner ancestors were first transported there for having sex with animals.

Posted by: TCinLA on February 11, 2009 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

And if you subscribe to "Human Events" this month, you can receive your copy of "The Politically-Incorrect History of the Civil War," which the magazine proudly tells one and all "puts forth the reasons the South had the right to secede" and goes on to describe a world that would be so nice today had the South won, with such perks as "vacations in in the state of Cuba."

I'm not kidding - they sent that out by e-mail to one and all on their list. This is the "modern American right wing."

Posted by: TCinLA on February 11, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Another name for the Civil War- The North Kicked your asses because you were a society based on slavery, bitches.

Posted by: RebornAmerican on February 11, 2009 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Treason they've been committing since their prisoner ancestors were first transported there for having sex with animals.

This is a grossly unfair generalization. People were transported here for all kinds of reasons. When my aunt excitedly traced our fam's arrival here to the colonies' earliest days, for instance, she discovered that we were thieves and possibly prostitutes. (I don't think that's what she was hoping to find, but the rest of the family finds it hilarious and we can't stop torturing her with fake-sympathetic reminders that she's still eligible for DAR membership.)

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I want to know what kind of mind considers a law prohibiting the federal government from interfering in something a "power grab" - it sounds to me as if it's the exact oppoisite.

Posted by: Andy on February 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm from Missouri.

As I recall from history class, Missouri was a slave state, of course, the Northernmost. Much of Missouri was initially settled by people following Daniel Boone from Kentucky and Tennessee. Harry Truman's ancesters were part of this migration and they settled in Independence near Kansas City today.

But St. Louis, the largest city by far in 1861, was filled with Germans and Irish who were in opposition to slavery. Also St. Louis was a Western outpost for a lot of Federal institutions. There was a large arsenal and Federal barracks.

The Federal Army moved on Jefferson City (the state capital) and prevented legislatures from voting on the question of succession.

Almost all of rural Missouri south of the Missouri River was pro-confederacy. There is still a Confederate's soldier's Memorial in Lexington Missouri, overlooking the Missouri River, just east of Independence Missouri. A day in traffic court there a few years ago was a spitting image reflection of the Alabama court in "My Cousin Vinny".

People are often surprised by how far north red-neckism spreads in Missouri.

Posted by: Bub on February 11, 2009 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

When my northern born mother in law moved to the South as a teacher, she was completely dumbstruck by the obsessive level of remembrance for all things related to the Civil War. When she asked a native Virginian colleague why this was so, she was told that "You'd remember too if you had lost."

Some years ago I dated a Virginia sorority girl (yes, really) who was very into Civil War history. One night, while in her cups and defending her state's martial valor, she claimed that "why, one Southerner can lick ten Yankees!" To which I replied: "doesn't his tongue get tired after about four or five?"

That shut her up.

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: When my aunt excitedly traced our fam's arrival here to the colonies' earliest days, for instance, she discovered that we were thieves and possibly prostitutes.

Huh. I never knew you were of Belgian descent.

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

(Stefan, warn a girl! Now I'm wiping coffee off my screen!)

People are often surprised by how far north red-neckism spreads in Missouri.

All the way to the southern tier counties of Iowa, so far as I can tell...

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 11, 2009 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of fitting that this AM at the KC Star sports section, there was a mention of African-American athlets being honored during Black History Month - Immediately, some area poster demanded to know when Caucasian-American Month would be celebrated.

However, would consider asking our magnificent defensive specialist of the infield, when anything in family changed, but,..............

Posted by: berttheclock on February 11, 2009 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

she claimed that "why, one Southerner can lick ten Yankees!" To which I replied: "doesn't his tongue get tired after about four or five?"

Good one, but I'd also have asked her why she was quoting Mr. Charles Hamilton. That's some freaky shit.

However, would consider asking our magnificent defensive specialist of the infield, when anything in family changed, but,..............

Honey, I enthusiastically do it without wanting payment for it. Changed enough for you?

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

The correct names for the war are:

The War of Northern Aggression
The War for Southern Independence
The Second American Revolution
The War Between the States

There was no "Civil War" - the South did not want to occupy Northern territory or force a change of government on the USA. It only wanted freedom.

As Gen Wise (CSA) said to Gen Chamberlain (USA) upon Lee's surrender: " You say that someday we may be forgiven - well we don't want your forgiveness - we hate you totally and completely and always will".

Posted by: froggie on February 11, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have heard that "Civil War" is a compromise term that didn't become all that prevalent until the early 20th Century. Before that in the North it was usually the Rebellion or Great Rebellion. I say let them go with War of Yankee Agression if they want. We can call it the War of the Slaveholders' Treason.

Posted by: Ken D. on February 11, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Who really cares what Southern dead-enders call it? They had a cause. It was a deeply repugnant and completely indefensible cause. They lost. They're still losing.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

froggie, the only "freedom" the South desired was the freedom to own other human beings. All else is revisionist crap.

Posted by: Susan on February 11, 2009 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK


number of black republican governors: 0

number of black republicans in congress: 0

number of black republicans in senate: 0

lincoln would be proud...

Posted by: mr. irony on February 11, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Good one, but I'd also have asked her why she was quoting Mr. Charles Hamilton. That's some freaky shit.

Oh, she was quite the GWTW fan. I was the Rhett to her Scarlett....

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

There was no "Civil War" - the South did not want to occupy Northern territory or force a change of government on the USA.

That is still a civil war. It is not a precondition for a definition of civil war to want to occupy territory or force a change of government. Secession movements are a form of civil war.

It only wanted freedom.

Except, you know, for its black slaves. For them, not so much.

Posted by: Stefan on February 11, 2009 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I was the Rhett to her Scarlett....

Good god. I hope there were no untoward fashion incidents involving curtain rods.

On the other hand, it was probably great fun for you to growl, "You need kissin', Virginia Sorority Girl, and by someone who knows how!"

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

"As Gen Wise (CSA) said to Gen Chamberlain (USA) upon Lee's surrender: ' You say that someday we may be forgiven - well we don't want your forgiveness - we hate you totally and completely and always will'."

But they'll be more than happy to take federal money from Washington.

Seriously, I read a Newsweek article a while back about how the current young generation in the South does not have the same sense of attachment to the Civil War that previous generations did.

Only time will tell.

Posted by: 2Manchu on February 11, 2009 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

the South ... only wanted slavery.

Fixed it for you.

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

As for alternate names to the Civil war, more accurate than "froggie"'s is the one favored over at Lawyers, Guns & Money and elsewhere: Treason in Defense of Slavery.

Some cause you have there, "froggie." You can have it.

Posted by: Gregory on February 11, 2009 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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