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Monday, June 27, 2005

Lincoln Park

These guys are the right-wing equivalent of Josh Marshall, and it wouldn't be fair to call Marshall an idiot without admitting that this post is a little naive as well. To be fair, Marshall just isn't very good at abstract math.

Anyway, Jason Smith said Reagan and Lincoln were the two greatest Americans ever. I like Reagan and suppose a case can be made that that's the... case.., but Lincoln? Lincoln ended anti-federalism. Before the Civil War, people said, "The United States are..." Now, we say, "The United States is..." Ending slavery was great. His rhetorical skills were great. Invading another country in the name of American imperialism was not great. I'm glad he did- unlike Hank Williams Jr., I think we're better off as one nation, indivisible. It was still not a nice thing to do.

600,000 people died, so Lincoln could hang onto Manifest Destiny.

Reconstruction was a lot of regulation on the heretofor virgin soil, and it was very damaging to democracy. Not that slaveowners deserve democracy, but I don't see much evidence that the political integration of Reconstruction had any positive effects for southern Blacks. Emancipation = good, despite the fact that living standards for poor blacks weren't much better than for slaves. Screwing up democracy /= good, as the effects of Reconstruction ended when it did.

I'm not sure that the change in social attitudes culminating in 1964 was accelerated by Lincoln's war or not. If not, it seems a rather stiff price in blood.

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