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Ken Burns' "Congress" Is Pure Blather
Oregon Magazine ^ | 26 May 2003 | "LL"

Posted on 06/02/2003 8:14:12 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones

Oregon Magazine

"Ken Burns' "Congress"

May 26, 2003, 9:00 PM --

The most powerful accomplishment of tonight's segment of the PBS program, Ken Burns' "Congress," is that Mr. Burns managed to describe the period of official racism in America from just prior to the Civil War to the post-Reconstruction era, without once identifying a pro-slavery congressman or senator as a Democrat.

When the Republicans outlawed slavery (which is exactly what actually happened), guess who walked out of the House and the Senate. Their party begins with the letter "D." Guess who after the Civil War worked to disembowel the black franchise. You have it. The same bunch.

Not once did Mr. Burns use the terms antislavery congressman or senator, then follow it with the word Republican. To listen to this program, the two terms (antislavery and Republican) didn't go together. The one Republican identified in this whole section of the show was described first as a radical, and then as being antislavery. This, of course, left the impression that the fellow was odd for a Republican. Everybody knows that radicals, regardless of party affiliation, are few in number. Taken in this context, it implied that it was unusual for Republicans to be antislavery. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Nor did Mr. Burns identify the political affiliation of the first black American to be elected to either house of congress. A former slave who attained office during Reconstruction, before Democrats managed to change the rules so blacks couldn't win, Mr. White was a Republican. During my research, I didn't run across a single black Democrat who was elected to federal office during Reconstruction. All I located were Republicans.

The only Democrat Burns identified as such was Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, who assumed the residency after the assassination. He was the architect of the first version of Reconstruction. Here's some American history which will shock every black Democrat who reads it.

Radical Republicans in Congress moved vigorously to change Johnson's program. They gained the support of northerners who were dismayed to see Southerners keeping many prewar leaders and imposing many prewar restrictions upon Negroes.

The Radicals' first step was to refuse to seat any Senator or Representative from the old Confederacy. Next they passed measures dealing with the former slaves. Johnson vetoed the legislation. The Radicals mustered enough votes in Congress to pass legislation over his veto--the first time that Congress had overridden a President on an important bill. They passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which established Negroes as American citizens and forbade discrimination against them.

A few months later (led by "Radical" Republicans) Congress submitted to the states the Fourteenth Amendment, which specified that no state should "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

All the former Confederate States except Tennessee refused to ratify the amendment. The Radical Republicans won an overwhelming victory in Congressional elections that fall.

In March 1867, the Radicals effected their own plan of Reconstruction, again placing southern states under military rule. They passed laws placing restrictions upon the President. When Johnson allegedly violated one of these, the Tenure of Office Act, by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, the ("Radical" Republicans in the) House voted eleven articles of impeachment against him. He was tried by the Senate in the spring of 1868 and acquitted by one vote.

. This was the Democrat the program said supported the Union side in the war. Historians like the one who wrote the text above frequently describe him as a "decent, honorable man." His acts defy that description At his best, he was a bad executive who lacked the guts to stand firm for the principles attributed to him.

This inability to give credit to the good guys or discredit to the bad guys if the good guys are Republicans and the bad guys Democrats is common practice by liberals in television. (And all other forms of communication, as well.) If they are subtle, people like you don't realize what has happened. A bad guy can be presented as being on the correct side. They can leave behind the presumption of Democrat innocence without actually saying it. If you are ignorant of the facts about the events described, and aren't aware that liberal program producers use these deceptive methods -- hell, if you're just not paying very close attention at the time -- they get away with it.

Summing it up, this program said that congress ended slavery. While describing some of the great personalities involved in the debate, it did not even mention their political affiliations. That way, the audience was not informed that Republicans were against slavery and Democrats for it.

A famous socialist once said that the public will believe any lie if it's a big enough lie. The lie of omission in Ken Burn's Congress is a big one. It is perhaps the biggest coverup in the history of history.

If the situation had been reversed -- if Republicans had supported slavery and Democrats voted to end it -- you may be sure that the program would have been quite different. I am reminded of the time PBS, in a nature program, credited the extinction of the original species of American horse, which lived here before the Spanish arrived, as being due to "climate change and human activity." We know which race of people wiped out the big buffalo herds. PBS identifies that bunch with ten foot neon lights and trumpets. (The evil European white race.) But when the noble original inhabitants of America wipe out an entire species? It is politically incorrect to mention them by name. So it is with those who supported slavery and those who ended it.

If you watched the segment of the PBS series about Jim Crow that ran after Charlie Rose's program on May 28, you saw the lynching of blacks, you heard about the beating deaths of blacks who merely wanted to vote and you cheered when southern blacks finally managed to get enough people registered to take a congressional seat from a white male "conservative," and give it to a white female "moderate." (The "conservative" racist that blacks finally defeated in that election, by the way, was a Democrat. When you hear the term "conservative," you automatically assume the individual is a Republican. The people who make programs for, and work at, PBS know that.)

No mention was made that all of those people who lynched blacks, all of those people who beat blacks to death for trying to register to vote and all of those people who committed all the other atrocities all the way down to forcing blacks to sit in the back of the bus were Democrats. Direct descendants of the Democrats who tried to block all Republican attempts to end slavery in congress, who started the Civil War to defend slavery, who with Andrew Johnson tried to disenfranchise blacks during Reconstruction, who opposed the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Republican 14th Amendment -- and who created Jim Crow when they managed to retake congress in the decades that followed the Civil War.

As far as this program was concerned, none of the above happened. Civil rights began in Democrat congresses in the Sixties. And, as far as that goes, no mention of the Democrat resistance to the Sixties civil rights legislation was made, either. Republican votes are the only reason that legislation wasn't defeated, in a Democrat congress with a Democrat Speaker of the House, a Democrat Senate Majority Leader and Democrats chairing all the important committees!!!.. During this section of the program, one brief mention was made of congressional Reconstruction civil rights action -- but, of course, didn't identify which party had initiated it, and which party had fought it.

The congress of Ken Burns' history is a fraud. The Democrat-protecting bias by way of omission here is titanic. The statements made by black historian Barbara Fields, implying that with present-day Republican congresses Democracy no longer exists, were outrageous. The Republicans identified in the later portions of the program were portrayed as bigots, blueblood boobs and bloated business barons. And as felons and warmongers, of course. This is all standard practice at PBS -- the network that tells us they explain the meaning of things.

Do America, Oregon and history a favor. If you usually give these people money, stop it. If your political representatives support public broadcasting, fire them.

© 2003 Oregon Magazine


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: congress; kenburns; liberalelites; mediabias; pbs; purebs; revisionisthistory
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Ken Burns: one trick pony.
1 posted on 06/02/2003 8:14:12 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
I was thinking of getting the Civil War series on DVD from this guy. Has anybody seen the series and if so, is it worth buying?
2 posted on 06/02/2003 8:18:06 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (Back in boot camp! 260 (-30))
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
To set the record straight is why I wrote "Back to Basics for the Republican Party" -- the acclaimed history of the GOP from the Republican point of view. You can read about the book at http://www.republicanbasics.com
3 posted on 06/02/2003 8:18:28 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: SamAdams76
The Civil War series is well worth buyig. Not enough, though about the other Republicans at the time besides Lincoln.
4 posted on 06/02/2003 8:21:39 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Does he explain that West Virgina left Virgina so that Robert Bryd could stay in the Senate?
5 posted on 06/02/2003 8:21:54 AM PDT by sticker
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Bump. Good.
6 posted on 06/02/2003 8:22:44 AM PDT by BunnySlippers
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To: SamAdams76
How many people are aware that the KKK is a wholey owned subsidiary of the DemocRATic Party? Or that the number of Republicans in the Klan approached zero?

Wonder why?
7 posted on 06/02/2003 8:22:53 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (RATS will use any means to denigrate George Bush's Victory.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
During Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.
8 posted on 06/02/2003 8:23:39 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
without once identifying a pro-slavery congressman or senator as a Democrat.

Similar to the way most educators generally avoid indentifying Hitler as a socialist.
9 posted on 06/02/2003 8:25:22 AM PDT by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Ken Burns' "Congress" Is Pure Blather
Oregon Magazine ^ | 26 May 2003 | "LL"




Who knew "LL" moonlighted as an op-ed writer in Oregon?!?!
10 posted on 06/02/2003 8:30:38 AM PDT by bourbon
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To: SamAdams76
I own it; it's rock solid. Amazingly so. Except for a few whiny minutes from the black female "historian" cited in the OREGON MAGAZINE article above. But then I'm a goddamyankee, so what do I know?
11 posted on 06/02/2003 8:33:36 AM PDT by Ronly Bonly Jones
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones; GOPcapitalist; stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices; aomagrat; stand watie
Ken Burns: Socialist lackey.
12 posted on 06/02/2003 8:34:48 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
More sad stuff paid for by taxpayers.

When will the Republicans DEFUND this travesty?

13 posted on 06/02/2003 8:35:13 AM PDT by DoctorMichael (........Welcome to the Jungle........)
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To: SamAdams76
It's well worth it, if for no other reason than hearing Shelbe Foote's stories.
14 posted on 06/02/2003 8:37:49 AM PDT by PMCarey
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To: SamAdams76
I have the Civil War on tape. It is enjoyable and very well done. It does reflect his bias a bit, and of course leaves a great deal out (with 11 hours to cover such an event this is inevitable). It made me want to read and learn more. It is better than his later stuff, which has shown his obsession with race a bit more.
15 posted on 06/02/2003 8:39:13 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (A bad day FReepin' beats a good day workin'.)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
And it is the direct descendents of those "evil" white Southern Democrats that allow the Republicans to hold power today. Most of you Yankee dumb asses cannot even carry your own states for the Pubbies.
Look at the record. Every single Southern state went Republican. No west coast state and only a very few northern states were counted in the red column.
Looks like the world has turned upside down.
16 posted on 06/02/2003 8:40:40 AM PDT by BnBlFlag
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To: PMCarey
Shelby Foote's books "The Beleagured City" (Siege of Vicksburg) and "The Stars in their Courses" (Gettysburg) are available unabridged on audio read by the author. They are quite a treat.
17 posted on 06/02/2003 8:40:56 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (A bad day FReepin' beats a good day workin'.)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Ken Burns blew his credibility out in "Not For Ourselves Alone", his docu-drama on the early feminists, which somehow managed to overlook their strong anti-abortion views.
18 posted on 06/02/2003 8:41:34 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Not once did Mr. Burns use the terms antislavery congressman or senator, then follow it with the word Republican. To listen to this program, the two terms (antislavery and Republican) didn't go together. The one Republican identified in this whole section of the show was described first as a radical, and then as being antislavery

What? Not fitting the revisionist history you've been taught, eh? Abolition was quite radical, even to the point that less than 1% of northerners even belonged to the Abolition Party. Why don't you give us a little insight about your state's own record, say 1859 and their constitution?

19 posted on 06/02/2003 8:41:42 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
bump
20 posted on 06/02/2003 8:45:28 AM PDT by CGVet58 (I still miss my ex-wife... but my aim is improving!)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
It appears Burns' well has run dry.

I've enjoyed his other projects.

21 posted on 06/02/2003 8:47:38 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: BnBlFlag
A time machine, not Free Republic, is the proper vehicle for re-fighting the Civil War.
22 posted on 06/02/2003 8:50:51 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Our educational system has done one helluva job brainwashing our kids and now the liberals are affraid that some Conservative might get a hold of a TV,radio station or a newspaper and the "Mainstream Media" will not nbe as able to push their liberal agenda without being exposed.
The Democrats have been taken over by liberals and they are almost as dangerous as Saddam.
23 posted on 06/02/2003 8:51:32 AM PDT by gunnedah
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To: Grand Old Partisan
Tell that to the poster of this travesty.
24 posted on 06/02/2003 8:55:24 AM PDT by BnBlFlag
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
We can show the way. If we can stop giving our money to Liberal movies, then maybe Congress will stop giving our money to Liberal TV.
25 posted on 06/02/2003 8:56:34 AM PDT by Consort
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To: BnBlFlag; Ronly Bonly Jones; justshutupandtakeit
"A time machine, not Free Republic, is the proper vehicle for re-fighting the Civil War."

Democrats (and you and other neo-Confederates) such as Ken Burns are continuing the long tradition of Democrat historians praising the Democrat-Confederates and denigrating the Republicans who preserved the Union and freed the slaves.
26 posted on 06/02/2003 9:03:13 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
It remained that for the next 70 years as Sheets Byrd will tell you and as Hugo Black once could have told you. Course, you know that already.
27 posted on 06/02/2003 9:03:38 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (RATS will use any means to denigrate George Bush's Victory.)
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To: justshutupandtakeit
Yes, I make that and many other pro-Republicans points in my book.
28 posted on 06/02/2003 9:04:34 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Grand Old Partisan; BnBlFlag
A time machine, not Free Republic, is the proper vehicle for re-fighting the Civil War

How is this time any different from the others where you have 're-fought' the War of Northern Aggression on these very pages?

29 posted on 06/02/2003 9:04:43 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: billbears
"War of Northern Aggression"

We're done.
30 posted on 06/02/2003 9:05:45 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
Democrats (and you and other neo-Confederates) such as Ken Burns are continuing the long tradition of Democrat historians praising the Democrat-Confederates and denigrating the Republicans who preserved the Union and freed the slaves.

You're kidding me right? The only thing further left would possibly be Jimmy McPhernut (of which Burns gets most of his information from his specials) and possibly Sandburg, the other Socialist Burns is wont to quote. Burns is no friend of Confederates

31 posted on 06/02/2003 9:07:38 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
Where are you from, Boy?
32 posted on 06/02/2003 9:08:05 AM PDT by BnBlFlag
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To: Grand Old Partisan; BnBlFlag
We're done.

You see, Grand Old Partisan can't take too much criticism. The wishy washy arguments he presents of Republicans of the 1800s walking the land as gods among men is so paper flimsy that a 3rd grader with a good history book could see through the arguments. After rereading this article there may be hope Burns actually presented a normal historical special, far from his lincoln is god pieces in the past

33 posted on 06/02/2003 9:10:28 AM PDT by billbears (Deo Vindice)
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To: BnBlFlag
I am from the United States of America.

"Boy"

We're done.
34 posted on 06/02/2003 9:10:41 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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To: SamAdams76
The Civil War series is excellent. Pictures and music from the day are a treat. His subsequent work is less than wonderful as we know, but the KB Civil War was fascinating.
35 posted on 06/02/2003 9:28:43 AM PDT by RightWhale (gazing at shadows)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Shelby Foote's books "The Beleagured City" (Siege of Vicksburg) and "The Stars in their Courses" (Gettysburg) are available unabridged on audio read by the author.

My understanding is that those two "books" are simply extended excerpts from his Civil War trilogy (required reading for anyone interested in the CW.)

36 posted on 06/02/2003 9:32:58 AM PDT by PMCarey
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look for the audio tapes.
37 posted on 06/02/2003 9:54:39 AM PDT by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Ken Burns is famous for simulating excellent camera movement on still photos. Beyond that, there's no there there.

A one hit wonder.

38 posted on 06/02/2003 9:59:45 AM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: SamAdams76
It was good enough to record VCR.
39 posted on 06/02/2003 10:10:48 AM PDT by ShapeShifter
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To: SamAdams76
Has anybody seen the series

Ken Burns Civil War Series is a superb work. You need to own it if you are keenly interested in the Civil War. So much of it can be seen or listened to over and over and it need not be reviewed in the order presented to be informative.

40 posted on 06/02/2003 10:17:56 AM PDT by MosesKnows
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Sorry, but he has also done 2 other very good works, History of baseball and Jazz
41 posted on 06/02/2003 10:21:19 AM PDT by centurion (The eyes of truth are always watching you.)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
The sore-losers of the new South love to throw around the phrase "boy", don't they?

If they must know, I was in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, 57th FA Brigade..."The Iron Brigade".

For you Neo-Confederates, the Iron Brigade (Black Hat Brigade) didn't break against the vaunted Army of Northern Virgina...it kicked their collective butt.

Now, the War is Over...Get Over It..."boys"!

42 posted on 06/02/2003 10:24:41 AM PDT by Redleg Duke (Stir the pot...don't let anything settle to the bottom where the lawyers can feed off of it!)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
I went to Amazon to view the status of your book and it says it's "out of stock." Is it still in print?
43 posted on 06/02/2003 10:25:27 AM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Free! Read my historical romance novels online at http://Writing.Com/authors/vdavisson)
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To: ShapeShifter
VCR=with a VCR
44 posted on 06/02/2003 10:26:48 AM PDT by ShapeShifter (I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.)
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To: Grand Old Partisan
Any valid points you raise are diminished by your constant hawking of your wares on FR.

By attacking the conservative vote, you do the GOP no good.

45 posted on 06/02/2003 10:32:48 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: SamAdams76
The Civil War: A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, Red River to Appomattox by Shelby Foote is far superior to the DVD.

Their are too many goofy historians, with an axe to grind in the Burn's film.

Also, to enjoy the books you must be literate, something that is not required from a video.
46 posted on 06/02/2003 10:33:38 AM PDT by TheWillardHotel
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To: BnBlFlag
Ouch!
47 posted on 06/02/2003 10:35:57 AM PDT by wardaddy (And they tried to warn me of my evil ways, But I couldn't hear what they had to say)
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To: Ronly Bonly Jones
Thanks for posting this. It is a fine article, more so for highlighting an important aspect of post-civil war history than for just exposing the hypocrisy of Burns.

Reconstruction was a period that was much hated by the majority of Southerners. It was Reconstruction that cemented the Southern States as the Democrats' "Solid South." For example, when the "Carpetbaggers" were removed from power in Texas in 1876, practically no Republicans were elected to statewide office for 100 YEARS! The "Solid South" enabled the elections of Presidents Wilson, Roosevelt, and Truman. Today, the "Yellow Dog" Democrats (whose name comes from the saying, "I'd sooner vote for a yellow dog than a Republican") have mostly passed from the scene, but there are enough left to effect a really close election in a few Southern states.

The current challenge for the Republican Party is to chip away at the current knee jerk Democrat voters, who must become convinced it is Republican policies that are the best for all Americans, regardless of race or color. I guess Ken Burns is afraid of just that.

48 posted on 06/02/2003 10:47:25 AM PDT by San Jacinto
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To: SamAdams76
The Civil War series was fantastic. But like somebody said, Burns is a one-trick pony.
49 posted on 06/02/2003 10:54:03 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion
Thank you very much! I did not know that a search on Amazon gets a reply that it is out of stock. No wonder sales have dropped lately. The book is indeed in stock, as you will see if you click on the Amazon link on my website. You can also search for it by the ISBN 0970006322. Barnes & Noble just starting stocking the third edition.

50 posted on 06/02/2003 10:56:35 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan (You can read about my history of the GOP at www.republicanbasics.com)
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