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May 28, 2018


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Deep State Special Legal Counsel

"Many" is vague like burden of proof standards. "By a preponderance" "clear and convincing" and beyond a reasonable doubt. What do they mean? Maybe "many" in this context is prose and nothing more?

James Fox

Steve - Nice point about how Lost Cause mythologies continue to seep into our discussion of and assumptions about the war and Reconstruction, especially in how Lee is remembered. I also love the Union troops’ satirized Dixie quote you give. But I am thinking your comment underplays the significance of white northern opposition - the Copperheads particularly. I doubt the NYT author had this in mind, but it was a significant aspect of the northern internal tensions during the war, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation and the draft. (Jennifer Weber’s Copperheads explores this nicely.). This white opposition also shows just how important black troops and activists were in making the war what you say it became. - Jamie

Dan Joyner

This is fine, Steve, as long as you consider George Washington a traitor too.
Often, patriots are just traitors who win their wars.

Steven Lubet

Yes, of course Washington was a traitor to the Crown. And no one in Britain today would write that "In 1778, Washington was marked as a traitor in many Royal eyes."

Likewise, Lee would be considered a Confederate patriot if the South had managed to win and thereby maintain the enslavement of 4 million Americans for generations to come.

That does not change the fact of his treason against the United States, which was fully recognized in the Union during the war. It was bad journalism and worse history for the New York Times to report otherwise.

Fortunately for humanity, the Confederacy lost.

Steven Lubet

Good point, James. I suppose that Copperheads such as Clement Vallandingham would not have called Lee a traitor, but neither would anyone call Vallandingham a "Union" man.

It would be interesting to find out how "many Union eyes" came to be inserted in the story. Was it the writer's idea or the editor's?

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

^^^^Oh, Oh, them are fighting words. I am not so sure the Confederacy lost. Exhibit #1 Donald John Trump. 2. Women are still sexual slaves subject to the whims of 6 older men. 3. The Stars and Bars is shoved into my face almost daily. 4. The NRA 5. The tow real estate developer dudes who couldn't sit down at Starbucks. 6. The Yale student who called the police on a classmate because she fell asleep in a common area. Shal I continue how the confederacy still plagues us?


As usual, the chest thumping sense of triumphalism that underlies so much of the self-righteous partisanship that is ruining our country today is drawn in stark relief by the post above.

It is all well and good to say (falsely) that Lincoln ran to abolish slavery, or that most in the North agreed with that purpose. Lincoln stated, in his First Inaugural:

"Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that-- I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

The institution of slavery is the hook to your righteous indignation, but Lincoln, unfortunately, didn't share your views.

So, rewrite all you want, from your perch in Illinois: the North was (and is) just as racist as the South.

Of course, tthe institution of slavery was vile and wrong in every sense of the word. IMHO, that institution was put on a path to abolition long before the Civil War (indeed, in the Constitution itself) and would have ended in any event. But, that is a debate for another time. Perhaps the War was necessary to end it as soon as possible. I don't argue otherwise.

What I do find galling about the post above is the celebration of Sherman's war crimes. Even if the end of slavery could not have happened without war, these crimes were beyond the pale.

As usual, however, partisans like Lubet can't understand their own excesses. To CELEBRATE Sherman's March is revolting. In Sherman's own words:

"[We will] produce among the people of Georgia a thorough conviction of the personal misery which attends war, and the utter helplessness and inability of their ‘rulers’ to protect them… If that terror and grief and even want shall help to paralyze their husbands and fathers who are fighting us…it is mercy in the end.”

To that end, Sherman wreaked a cruelty that is to this day nearly unrivaled.

To celebrate that March epitomizes everything that is wrong today. And, that attitude may produce the same result.

Finally, as noted before here in the FL, for every one of Lubet's generation and "side" who has shed a tear when Joan Baez ore the Band plays "the Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" think about the harsh, cold and ruthless way that Lubet writes above about the same subject. He seems to have no sense of the grief of the war and no realization that for most of us, partisanship like his has nothing to do with it.


"the North was (and is) just as racist as the South."

Strongly disagree. Only one side fought in order to ensure the continued bondage of other humans. Whether the Union war goal was immediately a direct repudiation of that Confederate goal, the confederate goal never wavered.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

Didn't Southern Confederats migrate North in great numbers after the War to pursue industrial jobs?



Read what Lincoln said. Your interpretation is politically correct, but not entirely accurate. Lincoln didn't start or wage a Civil War to end the institution of slavery, which he pledged to allow and support when elected president.

Are his words meaningless? Do you really think most in the North disagreed with the racist notions that Lincoln promulgated, over and over and over, including during the War?

Look to today. My observation is that in just about every North Eastern and Mid Western urban area ghettos were formed, and have existed because of the extreme racism in the North, especially the type of racism typified by the Democratic machines that created and ran the most egregious examples of segregated cities in the North for years.

You say the South waged war to preserve slavery. Perhaps you are (in part) correct. (It is nowhere near as black and white as you and Lubet claim, as scholars have noted again and again.)

But racism is a different question, and tolerance of the institution of slavery was expressly advocated by Lincoln: no, more than advocated, promised. And, he was elected on that promise. This isn't presentism: there were abolitionists at the time. He chose the "politically correct" way to get into office.

That is the reason that the moralistic, holier than thou attitude that would allow someone to praise Sherman's war crimes is so especially offensive. And, this is so today as well.

Those who cast such dogmatic aspirations (even when doing so hypocritically) can't seem to see the fault that lies on their "side" of it. Please wake up and don't praise a war crime because you think your morals are so much better than others that you can sit there and celebrate the pain of the children who starved and were burned to death by Sherman.

Understand that fault lies in human failings: and extreme left wingers are only human, after all. Do you not agree?


BTW, there is plenty of self-righteousness going around on all "sides" today: but, one rarely hears any voice in the FL that isn't way over to the left side of things. As such, by definition, the extreme left-wing views expressed by nearly every person with posting privileges here in the FL cannot be correct, because these authors ignore all contrary evidence and believe and slavishly propound tired and shallow political tropes. That is the reason the author above could praise Sherman's war crimes without ever stopping for even a moment to think about the gravity of that insensitivity and tolerance of truly despicable acts.


Under that reasoning, it makes no difference whether the South or North won the Civil War since they are equally morally stained. I refuse to believe that is true, and never will.



Please don't be purposefully obtuse. As stated above, repeatedly, "Of course, tthe institution of slavery was vile and wrong in every sense of the word. IMHO, that institution was put on a path to abolition long before the Civil War (indeed, in the Constitution itself) and would have ended in any event. But, that is a debate for another time. Perhaps the War was necessary to end it as soon as possible. I don't argue otherwise."

If you believe that LIncoln wasn't a blatant racist and supporter of slavery (he was likely the former, but not the latter, though he fudged this with a promise to not interfere with slavery where it was permitted), then you must believe that he agreed with the statement above, despite his racism. Racism was and is as strong in the North as in the South and, if you choose to believe otherwise, you are likely not a person who is familiar with the people of either region.

BUt, in any event, you are deflecting. Lubet celebrates and applauds Sherman's war crimes. If he could, he'd likely be posting YouTube videos of gleeful Union soldiers drunkenly singing that song he quotes above, celebrating their war crimes.

You liking that? Is that your "moral" position, Anon? Or, do you just want to keep repeating your hillbilly hominum, like Lubet recently did with his vicious attack on a Southern man's character, based on the mispronunciation of his name and few other insignificant and ambiguous faux pas.

Doug Richmond

How is quoting a song verse celebrating war crimes?


Read the verse. As usual, the chest thumping sense of triumphalism that underlies so much of the self-righteous partisanship that is ruining our country today is drawn in stark relief by that quotation.

How would this be:

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,

Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;

The villagers fled before us, for resistance was in vain

While we were marching through Quảng Ngãi.

Would you object to that sort of celebration?

Beware those who think their cause is so just that they will justify any atrocity to further their cause.

Deep State Special Legal Counsel

I don't want any of my followers and posters above to misconstrue my political leanings. I am very Conservative. I believe we should go back to the New Deal, National Recovery Act, reestablish the Civil Aeronautics Board, repeal the USA Patriot Act and abolish the Department of Homeland Security. Conservative means go back in time to when America was Great Again.


TO avoid the filter:


put together with


put together with


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