I realize that Robert Moore has shed a few tears over this, but somehow the idea that Fort Sumter might indeed be shut down … indeed, “evacuated” … on the 150th anniversary of the firing on the fort by Confederates strikes me as having its amusing aspects.
I mean, come on … 150 years after Lincoln decided to risk a confrontation by keeping the fort supplied, a president who models himself on Lincoln decides to risk a confrontation that would close it. And the descendants (even if in name only) of the party that backed Lincoln in 1860 would be among those contributing to the shutdown as well.
Given how in recent years we’ve had several leading political figures make major gaffes in their attempts to cite historical examples, perhaps it is just as well that we bypass historical remembrance (or misremembrance) altogether.
After all, we still have Governor McDonnell’s new proclamation to celebrate.
Once upon a time people asked what if there was a war and nobody came. Now we might have to ask what would happen if everyone came to commemorate the firing on Ft. Sumter only to find the fort closed.
Of course, the governor of South Carolina might take inspiration from Arizona governor Fife Symington’s actions during the last shutdown. The governor vowed to take over the Grand Canyon and reopen it as an exercise of state rights. He even gave the appearance of a willingness to use force. Will South Carolina do in 2011 what it so dearly wanted to do in 1861 until Jeff Davis brought forces in the area under Confederate control? If it does do, it might do well to send for State Rights Fife.