Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ben Cohen, Daily Banter: [President] Trump has explicitly stated that "both sides" were at fault for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and claimed there were some "very fine people" marching in the Unite the Right rally. Now he claims he never said this. He's lying. There's a familiar pattern to the president's incessant lying: he says something demonstrably false, gets destroyed by the press and public for lying, then he claims everyone else is lying about whatever it was he said. ... When does this end? How many times can the president make false statements, support bigotry and then attack everyone else for accurately reporting on what he said? read more

This isn't a presidency. It's a -----------. read more

The point, evolutionary biologists agree, is that humans evolved to breathe air. And there are other ways to get equally if not more medicated or recreationally mellowed. So, on to those. read more

Five days after President Trump took office, he signed an executive order that promised a swift, sharp crackdown on illegal immigration -- immediate construction of a massive border wall, quick hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and stepped-up deportation of undocumented migrants.

"Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders," Trump declared at the Jan. 25 ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security, which controls federal immigration agencies.

Seven months later, construction of the wall has yet to begin, the number of Border Patrol officers has actually dropped by 220, and immigration agents are on track to deport 10,000 fewer people this year than in President Obama's last year in office, the latest figures show. read more

In the department of small violins, consider the moral embarrassment, after Charlottesville, Va., of right-of-center Jews who voted for Donald Trump in the election and remained -- at least until last week -- broadly supportive of his presidency.

If conservatism is supposed to teach anything, it's that, even in politics, character counts above everything. Trump's Jewish supporters, like so many on the right, ignored the lesson. After Charlottesville, they've discovered too late that the price of that support will fall, as it so often has, disproportionately on them.

It's not going to get better. read more


Breaking from THE HILL...

[Bannon's] departure is another sign that new chief of staff John Kelly has broad authority to clean house in a West Wing that has been hobbled by infighting and leaks.

Trump this year has fired two other aides who helped him win the White House -- Reince Priebus and Michael Flynn -- but the departure of Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, is perhaps the most monumental change yet.

The president signaled Bannon stood on shaky ground Tuesday when he was asked by a reporter if he still had confidence in his chief strategist.

"We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Trump responded, adding that while he believes he is a "good person" he "came on very late" to the campaign.

"We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Trump responded, adding that while he believes he is a "good person" he "came on very late" to the campaign.

Boy, talk about the proverbial Kiss of Death in Trumplandia.

Future uncertain? Check.

"Late" to "the campaign"? Mid-August 2016 too tardy? Check.

But the real killing-point? Taking limelight away from Guess Who.

All this would be hilarious if carried out inside a sealed geodesic dome in the Upper Sonoran Desert somewhere around Tucson.

But as a national spectacle with real-world consequences? Unfunny, in the extreme.

James McPherson, one of his generation of historians finest Civil War era's chroniclers, contributed this a few years back: "Southern Comfort" (www.nybooks.com). Therein, he notes regarding the Lost Cause interpretation of the conflict:

[S]lavery was merely an incident; the real origin of the war that killed more than 620,000 people was a difference of opinion about the Constitution. Thus the Civil War was not a war to preserve the nation and, ultimately, to abolish slavery, but instead a war of Northern aggression against Southern constitutional rights....

The Lost Cause myth helped Southern whites deal with the shattering reality of catastrophic defeat and impoverishment in a war they had been sure they would win. Southerners emerged from the war subdued but unrepentant; they had lost all save honor, and their unsullied honor became the foundation of the myth. Having outfought the enemy, they were eventually ground down by "overwhelming numbers and resources," as Robert E. Lee told his grieving soldiers at Appomattox. This theme was echoed down the years in Southern memoirs, at reunions of Confederate veterans, and by heritage groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "Genius and valor went down before brute force," declared a Georgia veteran in 1890. The Confederacy "had surrendered but was never whipped." Robert E. Lee was the war's foremost general, indeed the greatest commander in American history, while Ulysses S. Grant was a mere bludgeoner whose army overcame his more skilled and courageous enemy only because of those overwhelming numbers and resources.

Not only did Confederate soldiers fight better; they also fought for a noble cause, the cause of state rights, constitutional liberty, and consent of the governed. Slavery had nothing to do with it.

As Gary Gallagher notes in his introduction to The Myth of the Lost Cause, "White Southerners emerged from the Civil War thoroughly beaten but largely unrepentant." Some proponents of the Lost Cause remained candid about the racial ideology that sustained the Confederacy. The unrepentant Edward Pollard, wartime editor of the Richmond Examiner, wrote the first history of the Confederacy, with the appropriate title The Lost Cause. The war had ended slavery, Pollard acknowledged, but it "did not decide negro equality ... . This new cause -- or rather the true question of the war revived -- is the supremacy of the white race."17 In a speech to Confederate veterans in 1890, a former captain in the 7th Georgia Volunteer Infantry echoed Pollard: "We fought for the supremacy of the white race in America."



Start with:

A decen start. There's a ton of stuff on the Myth of the Lost Cause, basically an attempt trump wring inspiration from defeat.

Problems? Here and always happy to help.

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