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May 04, 2011

When people say Lincoln was never really interested in ending slavery they are wrong or lying, here's why

Yglesias -- Judge Politicians By What They Do
When you look at the career of Abraham Lincoln, you see a guy who joined the more slavery-skeptical of the two political parties. As a member of the Illinois state legislature, he opposed the short-lived effort to bring slavery to the state. As a member of congress he criticized the Mexican War as a slave power land-grab and backed the anti-slavery Wilmot Proviso. He got back into politics to criticize the Kansas-Nebraska Act as too favorable to slavery. He helped found a new anti-slavery political party. He ran for Senate in 1858 as a member of the new anti-slavery party and criticized his opponent as an appeaser of the pernicious slave power. Then he ran for president in 1860 as the nominee of the new anti-slavery party against a number of candidate who all warned, accurately, that his election would precipitate secession. Then when his election did precipitate secession, he implemented a policy of military coercion against the seceding states rather than compromise on slavery even though he knew this would prompt even more states to secede. Then he fought and won a war against the seceded states, during the course of which he freed the slaves! On the other side of the ledger, you have the fact that he spent a lot of time saying that he was only interested in saving the union. But the entire point of the Republican Party was to break the hold of slaveowners over the national government at the cost of provoking sectional conflict. There was a whole other political party—the Democratic Party—organized around the principles of white supremacy and sectional accommodation and it’s a party Lincoln never belonged to. Back to the present day, this all reminds me of the idea that Paul Ryan is a “deficit hawk.” Sure throughout his career his regularly voting for deficit increasing measures and regularly voted against deficit cutting ones. Sure his budget plan actually cuts taxes on the rich. But he talks a lot about the deficit. So that must be what’s really driving him! Political actors never use rhetoric to try to broaden their coalition and advance their real aims.

OMFG, it's Quatro de Mayo!!!

Poor Mojo's Rant: David Erik Nelson "Happy Quatro de Mayo!"...

April 18, 2011

Polls are inherently unreliable

How you phrase the question makes all the difference. Joe. My. God.: Identity Gap

April 17, 2011

"And as a bro masters these, becomes wise and temperate, you bet your ass he's happy as fuck." Amen.

Philosophy Bro: Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics, Book I": A Summary This...

April 14, 2011

We are going to fight pirates with lasers

U.S. Navy's New Laser Could Put Pressure On Pirates "Hats...

I have a grapefruit in my kitchen *right now* . . .

. . . ergo, from a certain perspective, I'm doing...

Continue reading "I have a grapefruit in my kitchen *right now* . . ." »

April 13, 2011

Chart: How would Congress look if it was really representational?

Joe. My. God.: This Is Not My Beautiful House

April 12, 2011

None of these tips *really* work, do they?

Ugh, men; amIright, ladies? How To Get A Guy To...

April 08, 2011

The original Tea Party was a revolt against corporate power and corporate tax breaks

The Original Tea Party was not Anti-Government but Anti-Corporation
Progressive political commentator Thom Hartmann has something to say about the real history of the Boston Tea Party. Using a first-hand account written by one of the participants, he shows that it was not against government regulation; it was not against the size of government. It was not even really at its core about government at all, except to the extent that a government supported a huge mega-corporation that had a stranglehold on America’s economy. As Thom Hartmann says, the Boston Tea Party was “A revolt against corporate power and corporate tax cuts.” The heavy of the piece was not specifically the British government but the East India Company, which had a monopoly and was exploiting it. The East India Company was almost a nation unto itself, with tremendous influence over the British government and guilty of tremendous corruption and violence. The original Tea Party patriots were having none of this. They were not going to be ruined by corporate greed. Obviously, these were not a bunch of conservatives, especially not a bunch of people like today’s conservatives, who embrace corporate power and willingly place themselves into thrall of these powerful conglomerates, today’s East India Companies, like GE (which paid no taxes). The status quo defends corporations, defends the right of corporations to evade taxation, and defends the rights of corporations to exploit the average citizen. The original Tea Party patriots rose up against this idea, and threw tea to the value of a million of today’s dollars into Boston Harbor. Not government tea, mind you, but corporate tea.