The South’s gonna burn ag’in. And again.
What Ulysses Grant Can Teach Joe Biden About Putting Down Violent Insurrections
The deadly siege of the Capitol in Washington, which sought to overturn a legitimate election by targeting lawmakers with assassination, was not the first attempted insurrection in American history.
Right out of the gate, you can see that this is going to be the kind of even-handed, thoughtful article so typical of Leftard sewer Politico. This next is mildly interesting, including a factoid I had either forgotten about or didn’t know.
Amidst the white terror campaigns, Grant and his legislative allies spied a solution. That year, Congress passed the first of what eventually would become three Enforcement Acts. In effect, the statutes made it a federal offense to deprive individuals of civil or political rights, and provided greater federal oversight of elections and voter registration. That wasn’t all. A few weeks later Congress voted to create the Department of Justice, staffing up lawyers under the attorney general and giving the attorney general oversight of all U.S. attorneys and federal marshals.
And hasn’t THAT worked out wonderfully. Just a reminder that the roots of so many of our current problems stretch all the war back to CW 1.0 and its aftermath. But let no one claim that the lessons of the dim and distant past no longer have anything useful to teach us today.
Despite the arrests, the court system stood overburdened by the rush of indictments, and only managed to issue serious sentences for a few dozen perpetrators. And even then, the sentences — five years maximum in a federal penitentiary — hardly fit the crimes, which often entailed murder and lynching. The new judicial behemoth appeared to be less than the sum of its parts.
More importantly, creeping exhaustion began crawling across Northern white communities, fatigued as they were by a decade’s worth of combating white violence in the South. Tired of seeing their boys off to fight fellow Americans — and uneasy about the potential of living in a republic held together by bayonet — white Northerners began wilting in the face of resurgent violence across the South. A sort of moral stagnation began to take root, rotting support for the administration to continue its anti-insurrection efforts.
It was a wilting that Grant easily perceived – as did the white militants still looking for any signs of weakness among the federal crackdowns. In 1874, white terror resurged once more, seen most especially in Louisiana. In Coushatta, a town not far from Shreveport, members of the KKK-adjacent White League assassinated a number of Republican officials. Shortly thereafter, thousands of White Leaguers set their sights on their statehouse in New Orleans, then serving as the seat of Louisiana’s government. Facing off with thousands more police and Black militia-men, the white terrorists ultimately prevailed, installing a rival Democratic government in a successful insurrection—what Smith called a “coup d’etat.”
Hmmm. Food for thought.
As I heard someone say, what we saw was that the Red Shirts of South Carolina have been replaced with the Red Hats of MAGA,” Janney said. Both are clearly aimed at upending the outcomes of democratic elections, willing to use violence to cow legislators — or worse. And both aim at thwarting multi-racial coalitions in the pursuit of ethnonationalist rule, a through-line of attempting to restore white rule that connects 1861 and 1876 to 2016 and 2020. As such, Grant’s experience in battling white insurrectionists presents a pair of primary lessons for the new Biden administration.
The first lesson, experts say, is relatively clear. As Trumpian insurrectionists continue popping up across the country — propelled by “the Big Lie” that Trump’s re-election was stolen—and as Republican legislators saber-rattle about potential violence if they don’t get their way, the administration has to use the full range of tools at its disposal. “There are so many more federal laws that can be used now,” Pitcavage said. “Conspiracy laws that didn’t exist [in the 1870s], laws about federal property that didn’t exist back then, laws about paramilitary training designed to foment civil disorder—there are any number of laws on the books now that theoretically could be used.”
Such utter, utter horseshit, underlining yet again that there is simply no possibility of peaceful coexistence alongside these fascist madmen. “Upending the outcome of democratic elections”? The “Big Lie”? Endlessly repeating this twaddle will never make it truth, no matter how long the loop is. As for “thwarting multi-racial coalitions in the pursuit of ethnonationalist rule,” that’s just laughable. There is not a single inch of common ground to be found with nitwits who cherish such extravagant hallucinations, and it would be wrong to even try. To do so would require sane people to indulge the delusional ravings of dangerous lunatics, tacitly agreeing to pretend that “their truth” even remotely resembles observable reality.
Sorry, no. When their pathology becomes a genuine menace, the deranged must not be cossetted; they must be removed from society, lest real harm be done. They should be dealt with humanely, of course. But they must also be dealt with firmly. Our compassion must never be allowed to trump our resolve to preserve civil order; self-respect demands no less.
The irony of the closing ‘graphs is so caustic it could eat holes through armor plating:
Despite the differences, Grant and Biden share more similarities than most might assume. One was a grizzled war hero, who’d crushed the most treasonous movement the country had ever seen. The other is a seasoned politician, known for moderation and political tact.
My God, he appears to really believe this crap.
There are plenty of echoes between the era of Grant and the coming era of Biden. After all, as Grant once said, “If we are to have another [civil war], I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”
Whatever else you might think of Grant, he damned sure got that one right.
And Grant’s words seem especially prescient as a new administration takes root — and looks to the lessons of previous American insurrections in order to prevent their repeat. “The fundamental question remains: Do we have a legitimate peaceful process of electing and governing that we accept? Or do we not?” Simpson said. “The stakes are actually bigger this time than during Reconstruction. Because the legacy of this deplorable episode will be whether we question the very legitimacy of a process that depends upon the acceptance of its legitimacy in order for it to work.”
With nary an acknowledgement that “acceptance of its legitimacy” depends in turn on said process actually being, y’know, legitimate. When legitimacy has been forsaken, acceptance will be withdrawn. It’s a perfectly appropriate, even vital response.
In the end, we’re left with only two possibilities here: either they’re A) constitutionally incapable of comprehending the absurdities, hyperbole, and contradictions that cripple the assertions and beliefs promoted in this dumpster fire of an article and elsewhere; or B) they’re lying through their fucking teeth—using dishonesty and manipulation as a tactic, a means of achieving a desired goal. Yeah, explain to me again why any decent person should WANT to find “common ground” with such swine, whydon’tcha.
Go ahead on, China Joe. You send out your Schutzstaffel squads. Compile your lists of Enemies Of The State. Build your gulags. Brand us as “insurrectionists” and “terrorists” and whatever other words your puppeteers can put in your lying mouth. Spy on us; surveil us; hunt us down; imprison us; enslave us—all 80 million-plus of us. Censor us; blacklist us, ban us, shun us. Suppress and oppress your opposition to the greatest extent you can possibly manage. Let’s just see what it all gets you in the end. Your precious “republic” is an obscenity—a sick, unfunny joke. Your “election” was fraudulent, criminal. For the record: I do not now and will not ever recognize the legitimacy of your corrupt fucking government. I owe it, and you, no allegiance, no affection, no cooperation. I will defy and resist it, and you, to the very last ounce of my strength.
Joe Biden will never, ever be my president. Any pus-nutted Progtard who considers that statement “whining,” or otherwise thinks I’m a big meanie for saying such awful things, is hereby cordially invited to suck my fucking dick.