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Tue Oct 27, 2020, 09:24 PM

How Democrats Can Learn Hardball From the Republicans of 1861

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/27/how-democrats-can-learn-hardball-from-the-republicans-of-1861-432698

Neat piece:
If you’re looking for a historical example of a revanchist political minority that kept its foot on the neck of a growing and restive majority, look no further than the defenders of slavery in antebellum America. In the interest of keeping Black people in a state of intergenerational servitude, pro-slavery politicians in the antebellum period trampled flagrantly and frequently on the civil liberties not only of Black Americans, but of white people who opposed slavery’s expansion. They shut down the right of abolitionists to use the U.S. Postal Service and the halls of Congress to proselytize against the Peculiar Institution. They deployed violence and voter fraud to rig elections. To maintain property in human beings, they perverted the institutions of American democracy.

It wasn’t until the Civil War, when many of those pro-slavery politicians rebelled to fight for the Confederacy, that the anti-slavery Republicans had their chance to reverse the damage. And they did it by playing hardball.

With Southern Democrats absent from Congress and their northern pro-slavery allies reduced to a shadow of their former power, anti-slavery Republicans pursued a bold, majoritarian agenda that remade the nation in the North’s free-labor image. After decades of violent obstruction from the slaveholding minority, they exhibited little concern for traditions and niceties. From changing the size of the Supreme Court and adding new states to the Union (partly to pad their majorities in Congress and the Electoral College), to their refusal to honor the credentials of Southern congressmen-elect who were chosen in sham midcycle elections in 1865, the Republican Party of the 1860s used hard-knuckle measures to enact a sweeping constitutional revolution that established the foundation for liberties that Americans of all races enjoy today.

These Republicans of the 1860s weren’t angels. Their motives were not uniformly pure. And they didn’t always agree with each other. But in response to decades of anti-democratic incitement by white politicians from slaveholding states, who represented roughly just 25 percent of the country’s population in 1860, Republicans in the age of Lincoln and Grant united to make the rules work for the majority, even when doing so required rewriting the rules wholesale.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Democrats Can Learn Hardball From the Republicans of 1861 (Original post)
LymphocyteLover Oct 2020 OP
JoeOtterbein Oct 2020 #1
The Magistrate Oct 2020 #2
NNadir Oct 2020 #3
LymphocyteLover Oct 2020 #4
NNadir Oct 2020 #5
LymphocyteLover Oct 2020 #6
NNadir Oct 2020 #7
lagomorph777 Oct 2020 #8
LymphocyteLover Oct 2020 #9
yankee87 Oct 2020 #10
Earthshine2 Oct 2020 #11

Response to LymphocyteLover (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 09:33 PM

1. K n R ! Thanks for posting! nt

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Response to LymphocyteLover (Original post)

Tue Oct 27, 2020, 09:48 PM

2. Quite A Good Read, Sir

In present circumstances, radical measures are required for rectification, let alone progress. Measures beyond what 'business as usual' methods or attitudes might manage to enact. That is what their voters want. A Democratic administration and Congress which does not reckon with this will find itself on quicksand.


"No king save King Demos!"



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Response to LymphocyteLover (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 07:51 AM

3. An excellent interpretation oh history.

As someone very familiar with the history of the period in the decade before the Civil War, the war itself and reconstruction (which ultimately failed but not before President Grant built the machinery to ultimately allow for full human rights for all Americans), this analysis strikes me as absolutely correct.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:36 AM

4. yeah, it's fascinating-- I read a lot on the US Civil war when I was younger

but mainly the battles, not the politics

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Response to LymphocyteLover (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 10:00 AM

5. In many ways, the effects of the politics are more profound...

...than the battles.

Of course the major political giant was Lincoln, but vastly underrated as a political figure is President Grant, who, though is often maligned as a President, was actually the key figure in setting the course of this country for generations of Americans, a course of justice and decency that the modern racist Republican party cannot even imagine.

He would be appalled at what his party has become.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 10:21 AM

6. Yes. I got his autobiography years ago and tried to read it but couldn't get far

I need to try reading it again. I think I'm old enough to appreciate it now.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 12:07 PM

7. Chernow's biography may be more accessible.

In his Memoirs, Grant does not discuss his Presidency, which for my money, was the second most important Presidency of the 19th century.

I do not agree with Chernow's assessment of Grant's "drinking problem," but otherwise it is a fine book in the long overdue assessment of Grant, the President.

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Response to LymphocyteLover (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 02:10 PM

8. If we give Dems a Blue Tsunami, and they squander it on "bipartisan" bullshit, they will disappear

in 2022. Voters DEMAND massive change. NOW.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 03:49 PM

9. Agree.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 04:45 PM

10. Can not agree more

Moscow Mitch and Leningrad Lindsey have destroyed any thoughts of bipartisan BS. If they taught us anything, it's that only power matters. I will always vote Blue, but I am so pissed off now, I could spit fire. Jam through every thing we want, Expand all courts, PR and DC statehood, go after 45's crime family, expand the ACA, go back to a progressive tax rate.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 06:45 PM

11. Agree here. The republicans will be on the run after 2020. They need to be run out of town.

If Democratic politicians fail to deal with the people's agenda: health care, climate change, economic inequality, racist law enforcement, and so much more, they will lose elections in 2022.
This is the DU member formerly known as Earthshine2.

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