February 21, 2005


Last of the Confederates (Cathy Young, February 21, 2005, Boston Globe)

CONSERVATIVES often complain, with good cause, about America-hating left-wing radicals in academia. Yet in recent weeks, a college professor who co-founded an organization that refers to the United States as an ''alien occupier" in its manifesto -- and whose 2001 essay blaming the ''barbarism" of American policies for Sept. 11 was picked up by Pravda, the Russian communist newspaper -- has received gushing praise on the conservative media circuit.

Meet Thomas E. Woods Jr., assistant professor of history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island and author of ''The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." A main selection of the Conservative Book Club, it has been propelled to the New York Times best-seller list with help from talk shows such as Fox News's ''Hannity & Colmes."

The book's back cover promises a refutation of ''myths" written into textbooks and popular history books by left-wing academics. But don't expect a book that celebrates American heroes and American accomplishments as an antidote to hand-wringing over the sins of dead white males.

If there are any American heroes in Woods's book, apart from the Founding Fathers, it's the Southerners who fought for the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln is on the villain side of the ledger. [...]

Woods's own writings for publications such as The Southern Partisan are revealing. In a 1997 essay, he writes that the Confederacy's defeat was the ''real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends" in modern America. He vilifies abolitionists and endorses a Southern theologian's description of slavery's defenders as ''friends of order and regulated freedom." There's a lot more, collected by University of North Carolina professor Eric Muller at www.isthatlegal.org.

When you find someone who pathologiocally hates Lincoln it's almost always a paleocons or a libertarian isolationist.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2005 6:49 PM

Someone please try to figure out what the usually-sensible Walter Williams is smoking.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 21, 2005 7:27 PM

Thankfully, the southern conservative Calhoun worshippers are no longer as ascendant in conservative circles as they once were.

Posted by: kevin whited at February 21, 2005 8:46 PM

Doesn't Al's Cousin Vidal hate Lincoln as well. isn't he part of the looney left.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 21, 2005 10:54 PM

> has received gushing praise on the conservative media circuit.

Strange -- every conservative blog I've seen that mentioned it at all mentioned it only to criticize it. Maybe blogs don't count as part of the "conservative media circuit," but I'm sure I can't be the only person who's too lazy to hook up an antenna and too cheap to pay for cable...

Posted by: Guy T. at February 21, 2005 11:05 PM

Max Boot weighs in. And it ain't pretty.


Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 22, 2005 2:49 AM

The MSM is still trolling the fever swamps of the Buchanites and Klansmen to find the 'true voice of conservatism.' And of course the semi-literate Hannity is so witless that he blithely helps them do so by giving this nut a soapbox.

It is incumbent upon all American conservatives to condemn this tripe as loudly and as often as possible. There is nothing praiseworthy about slavery or Jim Crow. The Confederates were racist insurrectionists and deserved a much harsher fate than they got.

Woods represents American conservatives as well as Ward Churchill and Lynne Stewart represent American liberals. 99.99% of Americans have opinions within a pretty narrow spectrum, and it is incumbent upon each side of the normal curve to excise its loonies with all speed. Responsible conservatives have no use for Woods or Sobran or Buchanan or Taki Fullofcrapolos and responsible liberals have no use for Ward Churchill, Lynne Stewart, the MoveOn bunch and Jim McDermott.

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 8:45 AM

bart: think about where these cranky old farts (eg buchanan) get air time or print space. its not in the conservative spaces, its in the liberal spaces. liberals do so love a minstrel show, and there is always someone ready to oblige them. given that these same liberal venues are fast approaching collapse, what's the harm in letting ole pat collect a few more peanuts to add to his hoard...

Posted by: cjm at February 22, 2005 12:05 PM

CJM: What it says on the signs at Jellystone Park: "Do Not Feed The Bears."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 22, 2005 12:19 PM

rs: ok, ok, someone take pat out back for the old yeller treatment

Posted by: cjm at February 22, 2005 1:44 PM