Saturday, October 5, 2013

American Civil War: De Ja Vue?

John F. Kennedy famously described Washington, DC, as a "city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm." That description has been updated to read: "DC is Hollywood for ugly people," and it's getting uglier every day that grimaces bespeak the tensions of the government shutdown.

The update appears to have been lost in the proverbial murk of Foggy Bottom. As reports: "Washington? As one comedian has put it, Washington is a Hollywood for ugly people." That quotation they attribute to the first issue of George Magazine, when the joke was already old, but the magazine was co-founded by JFK's heir apparent, whose words, like his father's, are sorely missed.

Nevertheless, JFK deserves kudos for recognizing where he was in the United States, once he became ensconced in the White House. As a Yankee, he entered foreign territory with a Texan, not a Delaware senator, at his side. Thus, JFK's White House team embraced both sides of the Civil War.

Civil War buffs may find it fascinating now to track the geographical strains wrenching that "Southern city" and "Northern charm" described by Obama's supposed model and definite forerunner in political hula-hoop exercises, which attempt to gather opponents in a circle pointing to the Oval Office.

Where does Senator McCain's power originate—Chicago, Boston, NY City? No. He hales from Arizona, the Western frontier. His chosen running mate also haled from outside the DC corridor, so far that land lubbers barely recognize Alaska and the United States in the same breath, as they ridicule its proximity to Russia.

Where does Speaker of the House John Boehner's power originate? In Ohio, the heartland of the Midwest, but years and leagues from urban Chicago. Note: Ohio and Iowa are NOT Chicago. MO is not Chicago, either. Then who exactly speaks for the Heartland of America? Why are spokesmen for this area not on the same side?

Where does Senator Harry Reid's power originate? Nevada. How many Northerners know beans about Nevada, except, perhaps, that Nevada gambling has its own website at—and Utah is next door, right along with Idaho, Oregon, California, and Arizona, which brings us right back to Senator McCain?

Where is the White House's strategy to bring these titans together? JFK's plan was obvious, so obvious that historians still speculate on how JFK and LBJ cooperated, if they did. The aggravating point which requires attention is this: Why should the South cooperate with an administration which seems not to have heard of it—except for vile rumors?

The causes of the American Civil War remain a contentious subject. In the South, however, one hears references to the "War between the States,' and one sees that "Many Confederate monuments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places," as noted by Wikipedia." To enflame conflicts among the states is the specialty of scoundels. As Lincoln said: "A nation divided against itself cannot stand."

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