Many pundits have observed the current federal government shutdown and the events leading up to it, and concluded: 1. The shutdown is akin to the Civil War, and 2. Republicans are playing the role of the South. To wit:
Colbert King writes over the weekend in The Washington Post:
Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.
No shelling of a Union fort, no bloody battlefield clashes, no Good Friday assassination of a hated president — none of that nauseating, horrendous stuff. But the behavior is, nonetheless, malicious and appalling.
The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War.
Steven Rosenfeld writes:
The most apt historical precedent for today’s marauder Republicans is the old Confederacy, where the provocateurs are not merely intent on stopping federal governance, but withdrawing from it or sabotaging it if they can’t get their way. Today’s Tea Party darlings like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and the House right-wingers driving the federal shutdown are cut from the same disunionist cloth as the old Southerners who fomented secession and the Civil War.
They have branded Obamacare as their Tariff of Abominations, which were export taxes imposed by Northern industrial states the South railed against before the Civil War. Fox News is the disunionists’ Charleston Mercury,egging on the rebels, and seeking to convey legitimacy to their crusade to save government not by fixing things, but by blowing it up piece-by-piece.
Stepfan Richter writes:
The equivalent of politically and economically freeing the slaves back then is now granting health care access to all Americans. In either case, the old order is about to be toppled and that leads especially Southerners and white conservatives everywhere, to fear for the end of the United States, as they know it.
Back then, they felt the abolition of slavery and the economic independence of blacks had to be prevented at all costs because the Southern state economies and their leaders’ personal wealth depended on slavery and the economic suppression of the ultimate underclass.
Now, the move by Obama to declare that the state plays a role in securing that all Americans are under the umbrella of health insurance plays the role of the secessionist cause.
Oh, and this Republican congressman is getting into the act, GOP Rep Compares Shutdown to Gettysburg, Republicans to Confederacy.
UPDATE: Bill Moyers adds his two cents:
Despite what they say, Obamacare is only one of their targets. Before they will allow the government to reopen, they demand employers be enabled to deny birth control coverage to female employees; they demand Obama cave on the Keystone pipeline; they demand the watchdogs over corporate pollution be muzzled and the big bad regulators of Wall Street sent home. Their ransom list goes on and on. The debt ceiling is next. They would have the government default on its obligations and responsibilities.
When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum. Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.