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The Lost Cause: A David Blight Perspective

Yale historian David Blight has been in the news lately. Even he is surprised about the frequency of his cable news appearances. His increased visibility derives from two related by difference sources: The Lost Cause and Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. In general terms, his expertise as an historian in the Reconstruction is what draws attention. But he muses at times about the need to be a lawyer, too. Either way, his “15 minutes in the sun” attests various adages about history not being dead and not in the past. There is a battle raging to control the past so those who call for the cutbacks or dissolution of history departments at the college and/graduate school level may wish to reconsider. For that matter the same applies to history in k-12 as well.


This article from the New Yorker dated July 1, 2020, provides a snap shot into Blight’s thinking a little less than four years ago. The article begins with a vignette about his fallen Berlin Wall souvenir and the watching of Confederate monuments in the United States likewise being reduced to pieces. He calls those monuments “public vestiges of the Lost Cause tradition.” He raises the possibility that the summer of 2020 like autumn of 1989 “could mark the death of a specific vision on history.”

Blight advises caution: don’t celebrate too much. “The Lost Cause is one of the most deeply ingrained mythologies in American history.” He calls it a twisted version of history encouraging the revitalization of a vast system of oppression that can poison a civil society.

Some myths are benign as cultural markers. Others are rooted in lies so beguiling, so powerful as engines of resentment and political mobilization, that they can fill parade grounds in Nuremberg, or streets in Charlottesville, or rallies across the country.

The Lost Cause was bot about the preservation of slavery. The Confederacy was never truly defeated on the battlefields of glory. The Confederacy stood for civilization “in which both races thrived in their best ‘natural’ capacities.” Robert E. Lee was transformed into a godlike Christian leader and genius tactician who could only be defeated by overwhelming odds.

Blight goes to describe the ongoing development of the Lost Cause. There were:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Confederate Association
Ku Klux Klan
Jim Crow.

Monuments mushroomed across the Confederacy. Every town center and city square had one. The names of Confederate heroes adorned schools, streets, and parks. The Lost Cause had become a victory narrative where the South shall rise again.

Blight cites Jefferson Davis, the “ultimate sick soul.” Drawing on the 1279 memoir of Davis, Blight reports of some of the staples of the Lost Cause. Slavery was not the cause of the war. In fact slavery had been good for Africans where slavery already existed. Now they had been “’trained in the gentle arts of peace and order.’” They had “advanced from ‘unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers.’”

Blight chooses to end the article optimistically:

But if this is to be our 1989, we must make the most of it. The whole world may be watching.

One might add, we are a city on a hill and the eyes of the world are upon us as the last best hope of earth.


 Confederate Memorial Day, as the name suggests, is a holiday dedicated Confederates. In an article entitled “Engaging Toxic Nostalgia on Confederate Memorial Day” (History News Network, May 7, 2023), a somewhat shell shocked, Richard Brown PhD, senior executive editor for Religion at Rowman & Littlefield, described his close encounter of the third kind with Confederate Memorial Day.

Up ahead on the steps were clusters of Confederate Army reenactors, some wielding period rifles band nearby was blowing Dixie, and an unfurled battle flag of the Confederate States of America, roughly forty by sixty feet, was draped on the steps of the gold-domed Capitol building. We stopped at the traffic light on Gervais Street, next to a group of Black protesters. When the light changed, I turned to my daughter. She had witnessed Southern iconography during her college years in Richmond, living near Monument Avenue with its oversized statues of Confederate heroes, now vanquished. But even she was shell-shocked.

As Brown reports, Confederate Memorial Day continues to be a legal holiday in the state of South Carolina. Observed on May 10, it marks the anniversary of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s death in 1863. With the passage of Act 80 in 1896, South Carolina recognized two legal holidays: May 10 for Stonewall Jackson, and January 19 for the birthday of Robert E. Lee. Every April, state offices in Mississippi and Alabama also shut down for their Confederate Memorial Days. Legislators and advocates in all three states trumpet “Heritage, Not Hate.”

For those of us who have a visceral objection to Confederate Memorial Day—who are appalled at not only commemorating but celebrating an economic and social system that oppressed a race for over two centuries—how should we engage a worldview that doesn’t see the harm of such celebrations, or that embraces the mythology of the Lost Cause?


Blight returned to the Lost Cause this year, this time in reference to Trump’s failed attempt to steal the election. In his description of the failed insurrection of January 6, Blight writes about the event:

For the next four to five hours, in the most recorded event in American history, the world watched as a new “lost cause” was born in violence and spectacular lies.

Blight writes that there have been three lost causes in modern history,

1. The Lost Cause of the Confederacy
2. Following their bloody defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, the French exhibited an intergenerational cultural need to avenge the loss. [Blight did not mention the Dreyfus Trial decades later.]
3. “Then, following Germany’s defeat in World War I, the Nazis gained traction by blaming Jews and leftists, who were depicted as ‘poisons’ in the blood of the body politic [a term Trump has now brought back when speaking of vermin immigrants.]

In a letter to The Atlantic (March 2023), Peter V Huisking writes:

Germans didn’t avoid their own “Lost Cause” movement by accident. At the end of World War II, the Allies set policies to ensure that there would be no tolerance for anything memorializing German military traditions or the Nazi Party. …

This established an environment that required the defeated Germany to face responsibility for what happened. The defeated American South never faced such a reckoning, and we still live with consequences.  

Neither Confederates nor MAGAs have had to face such a reckoning.

Blight compares our “lost cause” today to a gangster cult. It is still early in the process. For example, eventually a parade of Republican witnesses will testify against him in criminal cases for his actions in instigating this failed insurrection attempt. But will the latest lost cause survive Trump?

Blight writes:

Lost causes can turn lies into common coin and forge deep and lasting myths. We are a long way from knowing how much staying power the Trumpian “lost cause” will have, regardless of whether he survives his criminal charges and the election campaign. What we do know is that we have already witnessed its formative years.

There is a lot riding on the presidential election this year. If Trump loses again despite voter suppression and against someone who was practically at death’s bed last time, the repercussions could be violent. On the other hand, Biden controls the military and police forces in the Capital, he knows Nikki Haley from Nancy Pelosi, the MAGA forces may be willing to talk the talk but not so much to walk the walk this time. They have seen what has happened to the people who participated in the failed attempt last time. They will see the unleashing of civil and criminal cases which have been delayed until after the election. They will have seen that the world has not come to an end in brutal carnage despite Trump’s wishful thinking.

And perhaps, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, they will be ready to get on with their lives especially if MAGA candidates don’t do so well again.  Instead of a ongoing lost cause, we should also think about post-trumphatic stress disorder and how to treat scammed people who want to return to Earth 1. On the other hand, Trump could win and the Stolen Election will be enshrined in American history.

Trump versus Lincoln: The Battle Is Engaged

The Mount Rushmore President and the Mount Rushmore Wannabee (

Finally. Finally. Finally. After years of talk about the civil war in the United States, it has now officially arrived. The events about to unfold in the trials of Trump and the 2024 election will determine what kind of America will exist when we celebrate the 250th birthday of the country on July 4, 2026.

Right now there is no way to know which side will prevail in the war. The details of what it means to “win” in this remain also will be a point of contention. Given how often pundits use the term “unprecedented” for the actions of or related to Donald Trump, one may reasonably anticipate the same term will apply to the outcome of the war. But make no mistake about it, we are engaged in a conflict to determine if the United States can long endure of if we have reached our expiration date.


Where is the military in this war? When I first started writing about political action thrillers on January 3, 2021, I had the military in mind. Generally, such thrillers involved the military in some way. Coups or attempted coups automatically bring to mind the military. Think of the current events in Niger or Sudan as examples.

The attempted coup here did consider bringing in the military. One way was the long-known proposal to seize the voting machines in areas (meaning Democratic cities in battleground ground states). That initiative never went anywhere in practice. But the very fact that it could be reasonably considered by the Commander in Chief demonstrates how seriously this unconstitutional action was taken.

The second way is more recently exposed. This would be the application of the Insurrection Act whereby the President of the United States would be authorized to deploy military forces against Americans, specifically Americans who would rioted against the seizure of power by the Loser Incumbent. Again it never happened. And again, people very very close to the Commander in Chief were casually recommending it as a course of action to be taken.

One notices that both recommendations were coming from civilians. Contrary to the traditional political action thriller, the real military was nowhere to be seen in such deliberations. The loyalty of the military was to the Constitution and not to a coup plotter. Presumably the same would be true in 2024 should a similar circumstance would arise which is unlikely given the current President.


One of the fixtures of the attempted insurrection was the infamous war room. How many times have you seen the clip of Bannon admonishing us to strap in because the next day is going to be like nothing anyone expected. We need to keep in mind that the original plan was for the President of the United States to crash the Capitol meeting with his possibly armed followers. It was only because the Secret Service declined to draw him there that the intrusion did not occur. Remember the President grabbing the steering wheel and agent in the attempt to make this drive.

The war room planning for this event included among others Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Mark Meadows by phone, and possibly some Congressmen. So far, no of them appear to have been included in the indictment.

My recommendation, which counts for nothing has been that the indictments be divided into parts:

Interference with the state legislators
The fake electors
January 6.

The indictment so far covers the first two but not the third. We know that the unnamed co-defendants will be indicted at some future date. It is still possible that the sedition indictment is an ace up the sleeve waiting for the dust to settle on the existing indictments before being revealed.


The attempted coup was perpetuated by lawyers of all people. It was not to occur due to tanks rolling the streets but to supposedly legal actions through the courts and legislatures. At this point we know that all the legal machinations failed. Instead the lawyers who participated in such court proceedings look like legal fools.

Some lawyers decided to take it to next level. In these instances they sought to influence the legislatures in battleground states with direct appearances that crossed the line on what is legal. They sought to weaponize the Department of Justice in clearly illegal ways to intimidate the battleground state legislatures to do what needed to be done to reverse the vote in their states. These efforts failed and these people are now co-defendants. That means they will be charged in the future once the main case against the Boss is underway.

The lawyer coup as opposed to a military coup does show it a strange way that we are a nation of law. Think back to the Brooks Brother brigade in the 2000 presidential election. Now we have lawyers who are the prime actors in the coup whereas once upon a time priests may have been the ones involved in the battle for power at the capitol.

The presence of lawyers at the center of the attempted coup (plus one political consultant) attests the place of lawyers in American culture. Think of the Devil and Daniel Webster where an individual is more than a match against Satan versus the more traditional match between priest and Satan in the The Exorcist. Clarence Darrow in history and fiction in Inherit the Wind looms large in American culture as does Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird. Of course these are all lawyers for the defense like Perry Mason and Ben Matlock, not lawyers who sought to perpetrate a crime. Even the Dream Team lawyers who helped O.J. get away with murder did not actually participate in the murder itself.

In this case the lawyers were the prime movers in the assault on America. They had to be restrained by Team Normal in some very contentious meetings. Still the presence of these lawyers at the pinnacle of extra-judicial power telling the moron child what he wanted to hear shows how perilously close we came to there being a successful coup.


When the indictments were first announced, I saw and heard Chris Hayes, MSNBC, passionately speak out on behalf of Lincoln. He recited parts of the Gettysburg Address, one of the most sacred texts in American history. He reminded us today that Lincoln knew of the fragility of the American experiment, of how the current generation in his time was being tested to determine if it could long endure just as we are now being tested. In so doing, Hayes raised the stakes (or rather recognized that they had been raised) to the level of an existential threat to the continued existence of the United States.

While Hayes was right in what he said, what he omitted also is important. Hayes was acting if all Americans recognized and accepted the validity of the message Lincoln delivered at Gettysburg. Even in his own time, Lincoln did not represent the views of all Americans. Even in his own time, Lincoln did not represent the view of all northerners. To this very day Lincoln is not a hero in the Confederacy. The Lincoln Memorial is a union memorial where Union people hold great events. Mount Rushmore Lincoln is in the north, Stonewall Jackson is in the Confederacy.

What Hayes omitted was something else Lincoln said about a house divided not being able to stand. We are that house divided. True the multiple trials may cumulatively undermine the passion to put one’s life on the line for Trump, but it does not change the fact that we are a divided country.


All the fuss over the votes the Loser implored the Georgia state officials to find obscures the truth of the voting in the state. Republican candidates did win sufficient votes in the down-ballot elections. What happen was over 30,000 people voted for Republican candidates except for the one at the top. These people may be prepared to do the same again in 2024 provided the down-ballot candidates are not also stolen election denying MAGAs. The same polls that show the size of the MAGA base in the Republican Party also show the number of Never Trumpers and pursuables in the Party.

Here are some questions to ask Republicans who are open to moving on.

If Trump is such a fighter, how come he never takes the stand to defend himself?
If the Department of Justice has been weaponized, how come all the people testifying against him are Republicans?
Who would testify on his behalf? Jim Jordan? Scott Perry? Roger Stone? Steve Bannon?

If the civil war is to end peacefully in 2024, it is essential that these Republicans make their voice heard. Back in 1861, people had plenty of time to prepare for what they would if Lincoln became president. Similarly, in 2025, the same would be true if Biden won again.

When the Confederate states seceded upon Lincoln’s inauguration, not every adult in the state had the right to vote. Any state, even Alabama, which rejects a Biden victory if he should win, will discovered a strong Union minority that does accept the result and wants to remain part of the United States. All the bluster “not my President” and secede may come to naught not simply because of the number of Democrats who do not want to secede, but because of the Republicans in the Confederacy for whom secession is a line too far to cross.

Is Gerrymandering the New Three-Fifths Compromise?: The Alabama Story

George Wallace at the University of Alabama (Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report Magazine)

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past” (William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun). The latest escapade over voting in the Confederacy would seem to bear that out. At any moment one imagines George Wallace rising out of the mist from the world beyond to take charge of the Alabama state legislature. Since the story is still unfolding, perhaps he will.


The three-fifths compromise has attained a certain notoriety in American history. On the plus side it was part of the Great Compromise which helped make the ratification of the Constitution possible. On the negative side, it defined slaves to a secondary status in the American political arena. They would be counted in determining the population of a state but with three strikes against them.

Strike One – an individual counted as only 3/5th of a human being

Strike Two – the total Congressional legislators allocated to a state would include the total with the 3/5th people in the population of the state

Strike Three – the 3/5th people could not vote in the elections not even partially.

The consequence of the compromise was that the future Confederacy received a disproportionate number of representatives related to the number of people in the state. That also meant a higher number of electors in the presidential elections. The unsurprising results was a skewing of the vote totals on behalf of the future Confederacy.


The South shall rise again. How often have you heard that phrase? For a while, it seemed as if the South might become a one-person, one-vote region as expected in the Civil Rights and Voting legislation in the 1960s. That wish was shortchanged requiring the Supreme Court to step in and to ensure equal voting at the state level. Then the Court stepped back based on the false belief that its work was done. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! The New Confederacy came roaring back as if nothing had changed. The new game into town was gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering isn’t as rigid or obvious as the 3/5th rule. However the effect is just the same. Through gerrymandering Confederates can manipulate the voting districts so as to reduce the voting impact of the former 3/5th people. Now they count as full people but they are dispersed over multiple voting districts based on the lines drawn by the supermajority Confederate legislatures so as to dissipate their strength. The net result is a discrepancy between the number of Confederate representatives and the population of Confederates compared to the former 3/5th people who remain shortchanged.

This manipulation of the voting districts maximizes the Confederate number of representatives at the state and federal level. Given our winner-take-all voting, gerrymandering in and of itself does not directly impact statewide voting. For that, voter suppression is required but that is a separate story.

However we can readily observe today how gerrymandering impacts Congress just as it would have two centuries ago. Right now, the House of Representatives is divided roughly into two equal sides. We saw in the last election, how much impact a single state could have with its oh too clever machinations in New York. In that state, the loss of Democratic seats contributed to the Republicans winning the majority.

Something similar could happen in the reverse if Confederate gerrymandering ceased. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is certainly well aware of the stakes in Alabama. Although only one seat potentially is at risk in that state that still is a significant percentage of the spread in the House especially given illnesses, deaths, and vacancies for other reasons. Add the other Confederate states skilled in the same arts of gerrymandering as Alabama and the next thing you know the political totals shifts ever so slightly, enough to change the balance of power in the House all other things being equal.

Alabama knows the stakes as well. It knows that a fight for Confederate control in that state is a fight for Confederate control in other states is a fight for control of the House. If there is another change in the New York Congressional districts that could further complicate the efforts of Republicans to retain control of the House.


How far will the Confederates go in pursuit of control by undermining the vote of the 3/5th people? For now it is willing to defy the Supreme Court. Even the Trump Court may not be willing to back down before such a brazen act of defiance. Unlike last time, there will be no George Wallace standing at the door. If the Supreme Court orders the Alabama legislature to remain in session until a fair map is drawn, would Alabama comply? If the Supreme Court drew its own districting map, would Alabama comply? How would the Supreme Court enforce it? We know about two slates of presidential electors but what about two slates of Congressional representatives from Confederate states?

As this point no one knows what will happen. I doubt Alabama or the other Confederate states would divorce over this but you never know What starts out small can spiral out of control (remember World War I). I doubt that the non-Confederate portions of the Confederate states will secede from the state and create new Union states although that Constitutional option is available to them. It would be ironic if the very document that created the 3/5th people in the first place now was used to free those very people from continued rule by Confederates.

Are Abortion Bans Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

State Abortion Laws (CNN)

The Supreme Court has decided the there is no constitutional right to abortion. The matter therefore has devolved to the states to pass or not to pass laws as they see fit. A corollary to that ruling is whether or not the Eight Amendment banning cruel and unusual punishment applies to the states as well.

When the Supreme Court thinks about abortion, what images come to mind? Does it think of healthy white women who are carrying a healthy white fetus conceived of by a married couple … meaning as if their own parents had aborted them?

Instead, do they think of poor white trash, an unmarried white woman carrying a fetus which may or may not be healthy?

Perhaps what comes to mind, is a non-white person whether married or not, carrying a fetus which may or may not be healthy?

I do not know the answer to these questions. However it does seem unlikely that medical concerns were of much concern to the Supreme Court be they to the fetus or the mother. No guidelines were issued to be followed in the event a state chose to issue a ban on abortion. At least previously there had been a trimester plan. The Supreme Court decision seems to have been based solely on abstract principle as one might proclaim devoid of human interaction. Once the decision was made, it did not take long for incidents in the real world, to expose the shortcomings and inadequacies of the ruling.


In earlier blogs (The Law of Unintended Consequences: From Abortion to Voter Suppression December 5, 2021, Abortion Armageddon: The Post-Alito Apocalypse May 8, 2022), I detailed some of the conditions in the real world which could and did arose based on the state laws implemented or triggered by the Supreme Court ruling and proposed some remedies (Abortion and Gun Control: Democrats Bring a Plastic Spoon to a Gunfight and Wonder Why They Lose

May 27, 2022). At that time and since then people have written about the various ways in which the state bans have caused cruel and punishment although without using that phrase. There is no need to expand the list to include all the medical conditions which can and have arisen due to:

1. women being forced to carry a medically comprised fetus to term
2. women being forced to give birth to a medically comprised fetus
3. women having to endure the heroic medical care being given to the medically compromised fetus or being saddled for life for having to care, meaning pay the medical bills, for a medically compromised fetus
4. women being forced to give birth to twins when one is medically comprised fetus or even dead.

The list goes on and on including when the health of the mother herself may be at risk. The situation may create a dilemma for the medical staff as to what to do as they are sucked into the maelstrom created by state legislatures and governors in the race to the bottom. It is painful enough for librarians and teachers scared about what they can say in a classroom or what book they can assign or make available. Only here the situation is one of life and death.

So the question remains, is the treatment mandated under state law one that imposes cruel and unusual punishment? Do states have carte blanche to create any abortion bans they want without consideration to whether or not it permits cruel and unusual punishment on the mother of the child, the father of the child, the doctor and related medical staff attempting to provide medical care, or to the child who now legally is a person?

I do not know if the abortion bans qualify as cruel and unusual punishment as written, but one would think based on the anecdotal evidence that people certainly are suffering as a result of the state bans. This would seem to be an issue for the Supreme Court to decide as soon as possible.


But there is more to the story than simple cruel and unusual punishment. There are the states which have chosen to make cruel and unusual punishment the law of the land. A CNN map showing the states which have enacted abortion restrictions shows a decidedly Confederate tinge. This would be even more true if South Carolina had been successful in implementing its own ban.

We are at a point where Marjorie Taylor Greene’s call for a divorce is becoming more and more true every day. It is not just that the Union and the Confederacy vote differently at the state level. Rather there are a whole host of issues where the two regions functional differently legally in our federalist system. The list of differences include but is not limited to:

COVID (and vaccines)
CRT (and 1619) prohibitions
Gun control
Medicaid expansion
Voter suppression.

In many ways we already are two countries. People are learning to plan trips from the Confederacy to the Union in order to have an abortion. Various organizations are issuing travel warnings about visiting certain states.

Given this reality, what can be done? Previously I had written a blog about whether California or South Carolina would secede first following the 2024 presidential election (Will California or South Carolina Secede First? September 25, 2020). We are at a point where neither would be sad to see the other side go. But we also can see there are many ways the two houses can operate within the same legal structure with both still standing. A Confederate judge in Texas can throw the whole country in a tizzie over what medication can and cannot be used to prevent pregnancy or to cause an abortion.

Once again, I return to the West Virginia solution (Can West Virginia Save Ezra Klein? October 11, 2021). In our last Civil War, the people in the Commonwealth of Virginia separated to form their own state over the issue of slavery. They did so constitutionally. It happened once before, it can happen again. If the Confederate states divided into their Union and Confederate constituencies so many of the problems identified above and at federal level would disappear. While it would not solve all the problems facing the country, it would solve a great deal. Even the threat of dividing all eleven Confederate states would immediately changes the political dynamic of the country. Do you have a better solution?

Republicans Are Losing, But Is the Tea Party Winning?

The GOP is losing; the Tea Party isn't

The Morning Joe Show with Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist has established certain routines. The hosts and their circle of guests in this morning talk show on MSNBC each in their turn, tell a tale of woe for the Republican Party. They bad mouth it as a party of losers that hasn’t learned anything from its defeats. Round and round they go belittling the Party for its repeated election loses. Each one wonders what it will take to get through to the adults in the room that they are on the wrong path if they want to win in the United States today. How many election loses will it take to get to through to them before they wise up and chart a new course?

On a recent show, I witnessed some pushback to this daily denunciation … and from a Republican no less! He commented that these supposed losers think they are winning. Therein lies the tale. There is no constructive purpose in belittling the Republican Party for not being the Party of Lincoln, Reagan, Bush, and McCain, and then faulting it for not changing course. The Republican Party today is not the Party the host left, it is not the Party of Lincoln, Reagan, Bush, and McCain. It has no desire to be the Party of Lincoln, Reagan, Bush, and McCain. Therefore to judge the party on traditional Republican standards is a waste of time.


The Tea Party now Freedom Caucus has been around since prior to the 2010 election. Then the combination of midterm election for the party out of power, the new census districts, and, Obamacare, the Tea Party exploded onto the national political arena. The Tea Party won bigtime at the state and federal level. These victories enabled it to carry forward into the 2020 census and to perpetuate voter suppression. There have been long term consequences to the 2010 victories that reverberate to this very day even with some rather strange Senate candidates in subsequent elections.

My expectation back then was that the Tea Party would form its own party and selected its own presidential candidate in 2012. In effect, it would become a third party feasting on the remains on the second party. I was wrong. Instead it remained within the Republican Party feasting on its carcass. It succeeded in forcing two Republican Speakers of the House to take early retirement. Now it has a third one tied up in knots even before he becomes the Speaker. Marjorie Taylor Greene vigorously supports Kevin McCarthy for Speaker because she knows she can dominate him. The Tea Party/Freedom Caucus is prepared to move forward aggressively in 2023 through its control of committees. It will launch attack after attack against the Democrats. So on what basis is it correct to say the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus is losing?


The Republican Party, however, continues to wither on vine. Its members retire because they are old and have had enough. Its members are primaried. Real Republicans have been bullied and cowed into submission. When Republicans do support bipartisan actions it often times is because they are retiring and can’t be punished.

It was bad enough that Real Republicans had to submit to every criminal act committed by the twice-impeached loser President.

It was bad enough that Real Republicans had to acquiesce to a failed insurrection.

Now the new mouthpiece for the Freedom Caucus has openly supported the January 6 insurrection. Her only objection to it is that it failed. If she and Steve Bannon, who have yet to testify under oath about it, had been in charge the results would have been different. No more pretense about Antifa. No more pretense about BLM. No more pretense about FBI plants and false flag operations. No more “normal tourist visit.” No more “legitimate political discourse.” The curtain has been pulled back. The truth has been revealed.

We want to cross the Rubicon. We want total war. We must be prepared to do battle in every arena. In the media. In the courtroom. At the ballot box. And in the streets (Gavin Wax, Young Republican).

This Party has not lost. If anything it is getting stronger within the Republican carcass. The proof is clear: Real Republicans do not denounce it. They remain silent. They acquiesce. Instead, the leaders of the Freedom Caucus are to be rewarded with positions of power in the new House.


The Civil War so eagerly anticipated by the Freedom Caucus first will be fought within the Republican Party. Lines have already been drawn in the sand. The wrangling over the Speaker position is underway. Even with the Loser in-chief on the phones, getting to the magic 218 number remains problematic. This battling is merely a harbinger of things to come even if it is resolved.

The same applies to the debt limit. The emphatic “Hell, no!” from McCarthy is part of the political performance he needs to do to secure the votes that will put him over the top. He does not want to start his time in office with a Republican-initiated shut down of the government.

Again, all these maneuverings are even before the new Republican Speaker would take office.


Lost amidst all this discussion about the Speaker position, is the triumph of the Confederacy. LBJ famously predicted the Democratic loss of white southern voters following the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). That prediction came to pass. Over the years, the Confederates migrated to the Republican Party.

But something has been lost in the focus on race. Confederates did not like damn Yankees telling them what to do. Confederates despised the Yankee elitists dictating to them how to live their lives. Those Confederate values live on with the Freedom Caucus today. That attitude may be seen in the derisive treatment of Anthony Fauci and the resistance to wearing masks. It attests that there was more to the opposition to abolition back during the Civil War.

Confederate confrontation with the Federal Government during the COVID crisis expresses the continuation of the Civil War fought under different means. We have already seen on January 6, the Confederate flag waved in the Capitol, an action not achieved in the Civil War. Now the Confederates and their allies are poised to take over control of one of the two Houses of government. Don’t tell them that they are losing and need to change.

The Morning Joe Show needs to stand back and examine the larger picture. The Republican Party they miss also was the Union Party. Lincoln, Reagan, Bush, and McCain were all Unionists. The Freedom Caucus despises all those who support the Union cause. Their heroes are those who fought for the Confederacy. They have not lost in 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022. Quite the contrary. They stand on the brink of power in one House. They are gunning for reducing/eliminating programs that help all Americans and support those that only help real Americans. Better not to build a municipal swimming pool than to waste taxpayer money on one that even, you know, those people can use. So instead of continually reprimanding the Republican Party for being a Party of losers, one should step back and realize the South has risen again.

The United States of Trump and the United States of America: Is It Time to Separate?

Virginia Slavery Map 1861 by US Coast Survey before the split (Library of Congress)

America’s Third Civil War is accelerating and in unexpected ways. There has been a change in the tone of the discourse. I have been writing about the Third Civil War for years. During that time, people generally talked about the Culture Wars instead. Recently there has developed a more realistic concept of the stakes involved. The national effort to suppress the vote is only part of the changed circumstances. This time it is accompanied by a change in the certification of the winner where Trumpican state legislatures will make the decision. What is at stake now is not the relitigation of 2020 but the rigging of the vote for 2024 for a preordained result. There is an open awareness that the continued existence of the United States as a constitutional republic is now at stake.


These changes present the country with new challenges and therefore the need for new solutions. Let’s review the situation.

The First Civil War was an all-or-nothing conflict. Both the Loyalists and the Patriots engaged in a winner-take-all war. Each side sought to govern all 13 states or to maintain all 13 as colonies. The British might have been willing to lose the North if it could have kept the South but thanks to Cornwallis, we will never know.

The Second Civil War was different. The Confederacy was willing to settle for half-a-loaf, the same area the British might have settled for. It did not seek the conquest of the North or to impose its way of life on the Union. By contrast, the Union as befitting its name sought dominion over the country.

The Third Civil War at present is being waged along the lines of the first one. Each side wants to govern the entire country.

The question to be raised now is are the two sides willing to settle for half-a-loaf or is it winner take all?


The question is not moot. The process of dividing into two countries already is underway. I am not simply referring to the well-known voting patterns with the infamous red and blue maps of Presidential elections. I am referring to how we live.

The first major example of the separation this century occurred with Medicaid. It was up to each state as to whether or not to participate in the Medicaid expansion. To the surprise of no one, the participation breakdown followed the presidential voting pattern with the Confederacy taking the lead in not joining the Union program.

Recent events have continued this pattern:

1. the lawsuit to the Supreme Court to invalidate the election
2. the support for the efforts of the loser to steal the election
3. the support for the insurrection on January 6
4. the lack of support for holding the instigator of the insurrection responsible
5. the lack of support for creating a January 6 commission to document the truth
6. the effort to restrict and suppress voting
7. the effort to rig how the votes are certified
8. the cessation of the $300 supplement.

One does not need a degree in statistics to see the consistency in approach taken by the states led but not limited to the Confederacy. This continuity of the South through the three civil wars renders meaningless Lincoln’s observation that a house divided can not stand. We are not a house divided, we are two houses and have been right from the start.

Polls indicate the roughly one-quarter of Trumpicans see a Storm coming when Satanic-worshiping pedophiles will finally get what is coming to them.

Polls indicate that roughly one-quarter of Trumpicans agree that violence will be needed to save the country.

Even as Michael Flynn walks back his support for a coup, the fact still remains that the question was asked with great seriousness and Flynn’s supportive response was welcomed by the QAnon audience, one of the leading religious groups in the United States now.

It should be noted that gun sales are skyrocketing. People are armed and ready for action.


What will it take to light the fuse? What will it take to spark the fighting? What will be involved in transforming the mostly peaceful Civil War so far excluding January 6 to a more violent one?

Personally, my best guess as of now is the 2024 Presidential elections with 2022 serving as a preview. Neither side will accept the results of the election. We already know that. In this regard, 2020 was practice for 2024. What will happen when one side refuses to accept the results in 2024?

Scenario 1: Suppose despite all the voter suppression and rigged certification, Joe Biden wins re-election, what will Trumpicans do? One might think that under those circumstances it would be impossible for Trumpicans to declare that the election was stolen. Given all the changes they have implemented, how could they do so? Under normal circumstances that would be true. However if Biden wins again despite the Trumpican effort to rig the vote, Trumpicans will be desperate. At this point, what can they do to save the country? The answer will be a violent one. To anticipate and mitigate that possibility, if separation into the United States of America and the United States of Trump is already planned, the need for a violent resolution may be curtailed. Instead the division will be embraced.

Scenario 2: The voter suppression and rigged certification work and Joe Biden is defeated. If Trumpicans prevail in 2024, California and New York immediately will embrace John C. Calhoun and become champions of state’s rights. A lot will depend on who controls the Congress since we have seen how the losing side can attempt to derail the winner. For that matter, who knows what issues will be raised regarding the election of the Representatives and Senators.

At this point there are too many fluid variables to determine what the likely course of action will be except that it will be ugly.


The key to minimizing the violence and uncertainty may be in following the example of West Virginia. In the Second Civil War, the people of what became West Virginia separated from the Confederate state of Virginia. They did not ask Virginia’s permission; they just did it and with the Federal approval.

We need to follow that precedent. The eleven Confederate states need to divide into their constituent parts – part Trumpican and part American. The boundary lines should not be that difficult to determine. There already are gerrymandered districts at the Congressional and state level. Voting results are known at the county level. As part of the post-2020 census reapportionment, the Confederate state legislatures effectively will divide their states into two groups. The next step is to take that division further by creating separate states based on those boundary lines drawn by the Confederates.

The result will be eleven new states. They will need names. They will need a constitution. It very well could be the existing state constitution with a name change will do. Either the Trumpican state or the Union state will need a new capital depending on where the current capital is located. The Congressional representatives will need to be allocated between the two states based on population. Each state will be entitled to two Senators so most likely the new state will elect two Senators in 2024 but that will vary from state to state.

Obviously there will be issues to decide. Where is the Department of Election located? Motor Vehicles? The State University campuses? The State prisons? Computer files will need to be transmitted. Pensions will need to be allocated. Each state will have its own voting guidelines. These are straightforward decisions given that both sides will welcome the separation.


Consider the benefits of dividing the eleven Confederate states into their Trumpican and American components.

1. There will be no need to suppress the vote.
2. There will be no need to rig the winner certification process.
3. There will be no uncertainty about who will win in each state.
4. There will be a ratcheting down of tension since there is nothing to fight over.

Take Georgia as an example. Instead of 16 electoral votes in a winner-take-all battleground, there will be two states. Each will have 7 Representatives reflecting the virtual 50:50 split of the statewide vote in the presidential and Senate elections in 2020. Each will have two Senators. The total of 18 electors will be split 9:9 in 2024. This will represent a gain of 9 for the Trumpicans and loss of 7 for Biden. Of course, the results in Florida and Texas will favor Biden. To some extent, the process matches what Maine and Nebraska do now in allocating electoral votes by congressional district. The difference will be that state will have split into two. Temporarily there will be 61 states. Other states outside the Confederacy may wish to split into two parts as well increasing that number. That will last only until the Trumpican states separate from the United States (July 4, 2026?). In the meantime, all will be quiet on the voting front and the trench warfare will cease.

Confederates Seceded, Trumpicans Did Not: America’s Third Civil War

News research at Foxhub

During America’s Second Civil War, Confederates seceded from the United States. During the current civil war, Trumpicans remain in the United States and the halls of Congress even as they advocated for the overthrow of the democratic process. Confederates expressed no desire to rule over the North. By contrast, the Trumpicans want to govern the entire country including over people they don’t consider to be Real Americans. The result is a very awkward situation where people who do not recognize the legitimacy of the current President still vote on the legislative proposals submitted by him if only to oppose them. Imagine if this situation had existed during the Second Civil War.


According to Abraham Lincoln, the states of the Confederacy never legally left the Union. There was no Constitutional provision for such an action, so officially we always were one country. That argument is a weak one. After all there was no provision to declare independence from the British Empire either. Yet we did it. From the British perspective, we always were the 13 colonies. It was only with the Treaty of Paris that Britain recognized that we were in fact an independent country.

Now suppose, the Confederacy had decided to call Lincoln’s bluff. Suppose during the election of 1864, the Confederates had sent electors to Washington pledged to support Jefferson Davis for president of the United States. In that scenario, would the electors have been accepted for the vote in the Electoral College and certification by the Congress?

The odds are “no.” Still one wonders what hoops the Union would have gone through to deny the legitimacy of the Confederate electors while still proclaiming the existence of Union including those very same Confederate states. In fact, the recently captured-by-the-Union states of Louisiana and Tennessee did hold elections although their electors were not counted. Although the defeated candidate barely won any states, he did win 45% of the vote. If the Confederates had voted the election results would have been quite different. Here is where we could use a novelist/screen writer to tell the story of the alternate universe where the Union accepted the Confederate electors and Lincoln was defeated. After all, although Lincoln is considered our greatest President except in San Francisco and by the Republican Party, there was a lot of opposition to him during the war.


If we flash forward to the present, the situation is quite different. Even though the Trumpican Party effort to steal the election was unsuccessful, they have paid no price for the attempt. The traitors who sought to subvert the election are far more welcome in Congress than Robert E. Lee ever was. In fact, for all intents and purposes it is business as usual on legislative matters. Trumpicans will still oppose the legislative agenda of the President. The margins are tight in both the House and especially the Senate as the recent tie-breaking vote by the Vice President demonstrates. There may be times when the Democrats wish the Trumpicans would leave just as their predecessors had in 1861. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the Trumpicans know better. In fact they are chomping at the bit in anticipation of regaining power in both houses of Congress in 2022.

Former Senator Jeff Flake had always suggested that there many closet Republicans within the Trumpican Party. On the outside, they toed the party line, but underneath they were still Republicans. They were well aware of the shortcomings of the immature-child president with no conscience, no ethics, no morals, who was incapable of telling truth and who only cared about himself. Still they feared the proverbial base and behaved as good little Trumpicans even if their heart wasn’t it.

Now thanks to a slew of votes we have a better sense of where the Congressional members of the Republican Party stand. We know who pledge their first loyalty to the loser President and who pledge their first loyalty to the Constitution.

1. The public action in support of the Supreme Court case to overthrow the election.
2. The public vote on certification of the electors.
3. The public vote on the impeachment of instigator of the insurrection to overthrow the government.
4. The secret ballot vote on the fate of the #3 person in House.
5. The public vote to remove a loser loyalist from two committees (not to expel her).

These all provide some insight into the validity of the claims by Flake and Rick Wilson among others. There still are substantial Republican majorities in both houses over the Trumpicans provided the vote is secret. In public votes, there are only a handful willing to cross the line (Note – two who did on Marjorie Taylor Greene had local issues regarding 9/11 and school shootings so their votes should not be construed to suggest their first loyalty is to the Constitution).


For two years now Foxhub has been touting the Squad with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the real power in the House and the Democratic Party. According to its version AOC is the face of the Democratic Party and Foxhub is sure to display it every opportunity they have.

By contrast in the real world, Nancy Pelosi runs a tight ship. She remains in charge. The insurrectionists unsuccessfully targeted her…and AOC too. Still the claim that the Squad runs the show is pure wishful thinking but apparently just what the Foxhub audience wants to believe.

The situation with Marjorie Taylor Greene differs She very rapidly has made herself the face of the Republican Party. In fact, the Democrats were quick to rebrand the party as QOP, the party of QAnon. One may expect that branding to continue right through the next election. After all, the Democratic Party has held no such vote on the merits of AOC. The QOP meanwhile has fully embraced MTG as its face.

There was a time when I thought QAnon and MTG would be the final straw. I knew the Trumpicans would never publicly disavow the Loser President. January 6 proved that in the House and will prove that in the Senate shortly.

But I thought such obeisance might not carry over to MTG even though she had his support. Nationwide, Trumpicans do not necessarily know her or have the same visceral commitment to her that they have to person who scammed over 2 million people to send him over ¼ billion dollars simply by asking for it, perhaps the largest con by number of people in the history of the United States. I really thought MTG might be the line they wouldn’t cross, the bridge too far, the final straw. Boy, was I wrong.

What does all this mean for the ongoing civil wars between the GOP and QOP? Will it have to become the TOP if MTG starts getting too much publicity for the recluse in-exile?  And then there is the original civil war between the two national parties. Despite all the talk about unity there won’t be any. Instead there will be a lot of resolutions and Vice President voting. Republicans retirements are creating openings in the Senate. Republican state legislators are ramping up their voter suppression even before the new Congressional district lines are drawn.  Electoral College delegates are transferred among the states. The playing field keeps changing. 2022 and the bicentennial of the 1824 presidential elections are shaping up as do-or-die battlefields where no election is accepted as legitimate by the loser.