Well, not all of them. "Behold the Cultural Power of the Left," wails Rich Lowry at National Review:
On the Confederate battle flag, we are once again witnessing the sheer cultural power of the Left: take an irrelevancy (or at the very least a sideshow), make it the central, all-consuming issue, move the debate with astonishing speed, and then, after achieving the initial victory (in this case, removing the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol), demand yet more (now Wal-Mart and other retailers aren’t going to sell Confederate-flag paraphernalia and there will be a broader assault on anything associated with the Confederacy). This is the grinding wheel of the Left’s cultural war in action.Sarah Palin gave him starbursts, but Nikki Haley has left Lowry limp. Now, I know Haley's just made a calculation here to sacrifice this many goobers for this much national cred. And I suspect, as the tide turned, Republicans both Southron and otherwise looked on the bright side and saw the big upside in severing the Party's connection to this symbol of Treason in Defense of Slavery. (Some of 'em are even trying to pin the flag to Hillary Clinton!) But that's politics, kids -- the scumbags who rule us won't get their asses off the stove unless someone turns on the heat. And now a significant number of citizens won't have to explain to their kids why their town tells them every day that they would put them in irons if they could, at least by that medium. Let us enjoy the moment.
UPDATE. Jonah Goldberg makes everything worse!
I agree with you, of course, about the moral horror that was slavery. I basically agree with you about the ultimate issues at the heart of the war. I may or may not agree with you about the extent to which southern soldiers saw the war for what it was, but that’s probably as much a matter of my ignorance as anything.No comment.
...As a matter of reason alone, the United States flag stood for “white supremacy” too, at least when looked at through the eyes of African slaves and Native Americans. But I think everyone here would agree that while that may have once been one of many arguable interpretations of the Stars and Stripes, it no longer is (though I have no doubt there are plenty of professors out there who would like to argue the U.S. flag still stands for white supremacy).I wonder if Goldberg knows what flag the Union soldiers carried into Richmond, and which flew when Lincoln came and the city's freed slaves gathered to celebrate their emancipation?
UPDATE 2. How's this for a Forced March through the Institutions? Rand Paul is agin' the battle flag now! The same Rand Paul who just five short years ago was explaining that the Civil Rights Act is anti-freedom. I've heard politics makes strange bedfellows, but this is practically Man on Dog.
UPDATE 3. Now Mollie Hemingway is comparing taking down Confederate flags and statues with the Taliban blowing up Buddahs, bless her insane little heart.
UPDATE 4. "I’ve been getting the feeling over the past few days that the Left is trying to troll us into defending the Confederate flag, simply by way of the trivial, obnoxious, and gratuitously partisan way they’re campaigning against it." I wonder if Mollie Hemingway is miffed that Robert Tracinski apparently doesn't read her stuff. In short, Tracinski wants some of the traitor relics to come down, but because of "love," not for the eee-vil reason the Left (whoever that is) is asking for it -- that is, as part of their endless "chipping away at America’s culture and seeking to expunge the parts of its history that don’t suit their ends." For example:
I have no problem striking the name of Jefferson Davis from our roadways, but I wouldn’t entirely expunge Robert E. Lee, and here’s where I think the campaign smacks of totalitarian-style overreach, attempting to send inconvenient history down the memory hole.Orwell! Drink!
Lee’s reputation is not as a tyrant or fanatic but as a good and honest man fighting for a bad cause. I think it’s worth honoring him here and there, just so we are reminded that this combination can in fact occur.You can read here the testimony of one of Lee's slaves on Lee's goodness and honesty ("Gen. Lee, in the meantime, stood by, and frequently enjoined Williams to 'lay it on well,' an injunction which he did not fail to heed; not satisfied with simply lacerating our naked flesh, Gen. Lee then ordered the overseer to thoroughly wash our backs with brine..."). Well, we all make mistakes; Lee probably had his slaves whipped but seldom, being so busy arranging to keep them in bondage through treason.