Southern Faction- Election of 1860

John C. Breckinridge served as Buchanan’s Vice President and was a leading voice in the “Fire Eater” movement which dominated the US Senate. The Southern faction of the Democratic party nominated him for President rather than support Stephen Douglas in 1860. Douglas was seen as a weak on the issue of slave owning rights. TheContinue reading “Southern Faction- Election of 1860”

Fighting Words- Brooks and Sumner

Shortly after the violent sacking of Free State Headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner stood before the Senate and lambasted the primary authors of the Kansas/Nebraska bill, Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Sumner was especially malevolent to Butler, who he saw as the leader of the pro-slavery block,Continue reading “Fighting Words- Brooks and Sumner”

Kennedy and Vietnam

Kennedy wanted to end the Vietnam war.   Conspiracy theorists on both sides point to National Security Memo #263 as the smoking gun in Kennedy’s secret plan to get our troops out of Vietnam; and, also Memo #273 as proof the warmonger Johnson wanted to escalate the war.  Both accounts are demonstrably false.  Memo #263 simplyContinue reading “Kennedy and Vietnam”

The Iron Curtain

Sir Winston Churchill told the truth… to the audience at Westminster College on March 5, 1946.  The Truman administration was trying to balance occupation with nation building- the Berlin airlift was still a year away.  The Soviet Union was still seen as “our Russian allies” despite their heavy-handed occupation of Eastern Europe.  Churchill warned TrumanContinue reading “The Iron Curtain”

Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War

Historians, politicians, and neo-secessionists who argue that the Civil War… was caused by the Federal government’s manipulation of tariffs are at best terribly deluded, at worst, they are scurrilous ideologues with a shameful political agenda. A brief history lesson for Tom DiLorenzo, Governor Greg Abbott, President Donald Trump, the Freedom Caucus, Ron and Rand Paul, Continue reading “Tariffs Did Not Cause the Civil War”

Polk and Texas

James K. Polk made no secret during the campaign of 1844…  of his desire to annex Texas.  It was what the Texans wanted and expansionists demanded.  John Tyler bowed to political pressure from Whigs after they defeated the first treaty and failed to act on annexation.   Only the swell of support from Polk’s fiery rhetoric forced the lameContinue reading “Polk and Texas”

Eisenhower and Civil Rights

Eisenhower lacked the rhetorical flourishes of Jack Kennedy… but when it came to defending Civil Rights in America, Ike accomplished far more than his successor.  Popular history has embraced Kennedy as a Civil Rights champion and largely ignored the record of Eisenhower.  This is largely due to the martyrdom  bestowed on Kennedy and Ike’s measuredContinue reading “Eisenhower and Civil Rights”

On Impeachment

Should the current Chief Executive be worried? Supporters of corrupt Presidents, from Andrew Johnson to Bill Clinton… all use the same erroneous argument about the Impeachment provision of the Constitution.  “But he didn’t commit a high crime!”      If only our Framers had specific indictable crimes in mind when they included… the all important ImpeachmentContinue reading “On Impeachment”

The Great Dissent

Justice John Marshall Harlan, a former slave owner, issued the only dissent in the 1896 Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson. This case declared the doctrine of “Separate but equal” to be Constitutionally protected. Harlan’s scathing dissent exposed segregation laws for what they were- But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of theContinue reading “The Great Dissent”

Polk’s Rise

Great men with larger-than-life personalities … do not always make the best Presidents.  Too much of their focus is directed inward, and the needs of the electorate are overlooked (see Jackson.)  Consistency is required when dealing with momentous issues. A top ten President James Knox Polk was the right man… in the right place, at theContinue reading “Polk’s Rise”