Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Long-time enemy of Southern heritage in hot water
Am I indulging in a little Jessefreude as I watch Jesse Jackson, Jr. sweating in front of the news cameras, denying he’s a crook? No — I’m positively wallowing in it. This just gets better day by day:
ABC News quoted federal law enforcement sources saying the son of the civil rights leader is the candidate identified by the FBI as willing to spend up to $1 million to secure the Senate seat.
"Senate Candidate 5" is listed in the FBI complaint, which includes a compendium of wiretapped conversations involving Blagojevich and his allies, as being named by the governor as an option for Obama’s Senate seat because he would pay or raise money to Blagojevich’s re-election campaign.
According to the affidavit, in a Dec. 4 recording of Blagojevich with an unnamed adviser and unnamed fundraiser, the governor says he may be able to cut a deal with Senate Candidate 5 that provides Blagojevich with something "tangible up front."
If Blagojevich ran for re-election, Senate Candidate 5 would "raise money" for the campaign, the affidavit alleges.
"Blagojevich said he might ‘get some (money) up front, maybe’ from Senate Candidate 5 to insure Senate Candidate 5 kept his promise about raising money for Rod Blagojevich. (In a recorded conversation on October 31, 2008, Rod Blagojevich described an earlier approach by an associate of Senate Candidate Five as follows: ‘We were approached "pay to play." That, you know, he’d raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a senator,’" the affidavit reads.
While it’s good to see any lefty politician get his comeuppance, we in the South are particularly gratified to see the Blago "Pay-to-play" scandal unfolding the way it is, with more surprise treats than the dessert table at a family reunion. Jesse Jackson, Jr, you’ll recall, is one of the few politicians who’s openly anti-Southern. If you go to a Civil War battlefield these days, you will no longer see the story of the brave soldiers who fought and died. Instead, the National Park Service presents the battle in the simplistic terms of the forces of freedom and enlightenment versus the eeeevil forces of slavery. We can thank Jesse Jackson, Jr,. (the son of the esteemed Reverend Jesse Jackson) for that. Jesse Jackson Jr. represents the Chicago area in Congress, and he introduced the legislation that makes all Civil War battlefield parks reinterpret what they tell visitors. Here’ a selection from Jesse Jackson Jr’s remarks to employees of the National Park Service, in which he explains his reasons behind the legislation:
“I learned very early on that politics in Congress has a lot less to do with Democrats and Republicans, left or right, liberal or conservative, and a lot more to do with North and South.
I listened very carefully to the rhetoric, not only of Democrats but also of Republicans. And I wanted to know more about the underlying currents of this North-South political dynamic. I went on three different tours of Civil War sites in the eastern theater.
As I sought and probed answers to very difficult questions from some members of the National Park Service, many of those who did not know I was a member of Congress, informed me that in order to change their opinion about what they saw and did, it would take nothing less than an act of Congress.
So, less than one session later, I have given those folks their act of Congress. Now let me try to tell you my perspective once again. This time with the force of the law. Racism or states rights, that is, states rights as a cover for racism, is a major reason prohibiting us from building a more perfect union. Whatever you feel about Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, moderates on economic issues, or liberals and conservatives on social issues, no period in history is greater in defining who we see ourselves as today as the Civil War. So, into the interior bill, I introduced language to put the battles in a particular context.
I believe in the year 2000 that it is clear that the crisis will be resolved only when every American is: provided with economic security–employment, health care, education, and housing. Not long ago I proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States granting every American the right to an education of equal high quality.
I am arguing for more social programs; my colleagues are arguing for more tax breaks. All are part of the dynamic that this event–the Civil War–created for contemporary American politics. As Garry Wills has suggested in his marvelous book on the Gettysburg Address, the interpretation of Gettysburg battlefield has most to do with redefining the nation in the context of the Declaration of Independence rather than in the context of the Constitution.”
Congressman Jesse Jackson understands very well what Southern heritage is all about, and what it would mean to eliminate it. The Southern political tradition is opposed to big government. It is opposed to socialism. If you want socialism, if you want the government to act as an armed nursemaid for the entire population, and provide for them from cradle to grave, then Southern culture and tradition most certainly stand in your way. It’s what Alexander Stephens once said, "The Cause of the South is the Cause of us all." And he was right. If leftists like Jackson and Obama have their way, Lincoln’s Revolution will be brought to its natural conclusion, which Jesse Jackson tells us means the redefining of the Constitution, and the redefinition of America.
Which is why we fight.