Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The talk of Virginia Sen. Jim Webb for the VP slot raises questions:
Webb is no mere student of the Civil War era. He’s an author, too, and he’s left a trail of writings and statements about one of the rawest and most sensitive topics in American history.
He has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride. In a June 1990 speech in front of the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, posted on his personal website, he lauded the rebels’ “gallantry,” which he said “is still misunderstood by most Americans.”
Webb, a descendant of Confederate officers, also voiced sympathy for the notion of state sovereignty as it was understood in the early 1860s, and seemed to suggest that states were justified in trying to secede.
All of this was widely known before the 2006 Senate race between Webb and Allen. Yet it was Allen who got hit by the media with the "neo-Confederate" smear, even though all the real neo-Confederates in Virginia were supporting Webb.

(Via Memeorandum.) Ed Morrisey writes:
Will his writings on the Confederacy make much difference in a general election? Probably not. The one group that would be most offended would be African-Americans, and it’s doubtful that Webb would split them from Obama. Webb just wouldn’t do that much to help. He adds next to nothing to the ticket, and certainly doesn’t shore up Obama’s gaping vulnerabilities.
I disagree. Webb would definitely help Obama with "Hillary's Hillbillies," and his defense experience would help with veterans. But Ed's right that Webb's pro-Confederate writing would make no difference with black voters, who reliably vote 90% Democrat no matter who the Democrat is.

UPDATE: Just to show that you don't have to be a "neo-Confederate" to offend hyper-sensitive (white) liberals check out Sadly No's reaction to Anne Applebaum's latest column. I mean, "concubine"? Dude.

UPDATE II: James Fallows, neo-Confederate? Where were you when I needed you, Jim?

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