The modern day Tea-Publican Party in Arizona has forfeited any claim of right to refer to itself as the “Party of Lincoln.” The anti-federal government Neo-Confederate secessionist bills recently passed by these Tea-Publican insurrectionists, see Thank God it’s Sine Die!, demonstrates that they are the very antithesis of the “Party of Lincoln.”
The “Party of Lincoln” is dead. It’s dead carcass has been hollowed out by the far-right fringe parasites of the Neo-Confederate secessionists, John Birchers, and theocratic Dominionists. The pundits have yet to come to accept this obvious fact, and to write the obituary of the Arizona Republican Party.
And yet Arizona Tea-Publicans dare to hold Lincoln Day Dinners, and to thereby dishonor the name of the president for whom they feign admiration. The Republic’s E.J. Montini reported that “Maricopa County Republicans invited has-been rocker and right-wing blowhard Ted Nugent to speak at their annual Lincoln Day dinner last Saturday.” Ted Nugent Goes On Unhinged Rant About Shooting Immigrants, ‘Crushing’ Democrats:
Ted Nugent was just getting started in his Saturday address to the Republican Party of Maricopa County, Arizona, when he blamed veterans’ suicides on President Obama.
Nugent suggested that people shoot immigrants who illegally cross the southern border, fondly recalling a time he threatened to shoot a trespasser on his property.
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“Let’s not just win, let’s crush the enemy,” he said, before saying of Nancy Pelosi: “Bitch ain’t in jail yet?” Nugent added that he and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who introduced him at the event — should arrest former IRS official Lois Lerner and declared that whoever thought the U.S. compound in Benghazi “had adequate security is the devil.”
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Later, Nugent said the GOP should be more aggressive and finally put Hillary Clinton in jail.
Ted Nugent’s racist rants and Threatening the President’s Life are well documented. This is the face of your Tea-Publican Party, Arizona. They should drop the pretense of clinging to the “Party of Lincoln” label and just embrace what they have become by holding an annual Jefferson Davis/Robert E. Lee Dinner, followed by a good old-fashioned cross burning.
This Thursday, April 9, is the Sesquicentennial (15oth) Anniversary of the unofficial end to the Civil War when Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.
Brian Beutler at The New Republic argues that we should make its defeat, and the end of slavery, a national holiday, and call it “New Birth of Freedom Day”:
This week provides an occasion for the U.S. government to get real about history, as April 9 is the 150th anniversary of the Union’s victory in the Civil War. The generous terms of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House foreshadowed a multitude of real and symbolic compromises that the winners of the war would make with secessionists, slavery supporters, and each other to piece the country back together. It’s as appropriate an occasion as the Selma anniversary to reflect on the country’s struggle to improve itself. And to mark the occasion, the federal government should make two modest changes: It should make April 9 a federal holiday; and it should commit to disavowing or renaming monuments to the Confederacy, and its leaders, that receive direct federal support.
Two years ago, writing in The New York Times on the occasion of Memorial Day, Jamie Malanowski proposed recommemorating 10 Southern U.S. Army bases that bear the names of Confederate officers.
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It’s unfathomable that anyone today would attempt to name a new military installation, or rename an old one, after a Confederate general. But at the time these bases were named, there wasn’t nearly as much of a consensus behind the argument that the Confederates committed treason against the United States in support of a war for slavery.
That lack of consensus was an ineluctable consequence of concerted postbellum efforts to sand down the seams reuniting the states. There was a real but inadequate constituency for crushing the Southern establishment after the Civil War, and reintegrating the country under an entirely different paradigm. Instead, the North enabled the South by giving it unusual influence over shaping the official mythology of the war. Yes, the South surrendered. The states ratified the 13th Amendment. The Union survived. These facts couldn’t be altered. But memorializing the rebellion as a tragedy of circumstance, or a bravely fought battle of principle—those narratives were adopted in part for the unspoken purpose of making the reunion stick. “You lost, we won, and we’re all living in the USA,” Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall once wrote. “But we’ll let you win in the battle of memory and valor and nostalgia.”
People of good faith can argue over whether these kinds of symbolic concessions (as opposed to the concrete ones, which consigned emancipated slaves to a century of sanctioned depredations) were wise or necessary means to the end of preserving the Union. Some of them weren’t concessions at all, so much as insufficient commitment on the part of Northerners to the livelihood of blacks in the South. “[A]s Northern Republican Party became more conservative,” historian Eric Foner wrote recently, “Reconstruction came to be seen as a misguided attempt to uplift the lower classes of society.” But 150 years on, we know that subjugation is a moral obscenity, and that there’s no valid modern argument for spitshining the Confederacy.
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By contrast, the Union’s victory, and the abolition of slavery, both merit celebration as exemplars of American improvement and renewal, even if many Unionists weren’t moral heroes. These twin accomplishments are as worthy of a federal holiday as any holiday we already celebrate. So let’s name April 9 New Birth of Freedom Day. And if that creates too much paid leave for government workers, we could swap out Columbus Day. We don’t yet live in the America Obama described, but we should strive to.
In a better America, we’d all have Thursday off. And there would be fireworks.
And the “Party of Lincoln” would have survived to celebrate this day. RIP.