Quote of the Week: January 11-17, 2015

Now this is funny:

Chastain Whines Anew

Bless her little dark heart!

The entire Confederate Heritage enterprise as practiced by certain groups rests upon the claim that people can believe what they want to believe (which is rather obvious) but that does not stop certain people from claiming that they know how to interpret history, however badly they do it. Case in point:

Chastain Historian
The major historical inaccuracy here, of course, is that while most people did not go to war to free the slaves, a healthy number of them said that the reason they seceded was to protect slavery. To pretend otherwise is to lie.

By the way, history doesn’t send messages. Maybe someone hears voices.

Not that an inability to be a good historian stops some people:

Oh, that was brought to you by the person who just asserted that she won’t tell you what to believe.

All of this goes to suggest a few things:

  • Either Chastain’s a liar or she just can’t keep track of what she says. Or both. In any case, she’s not to be trusted.
  • Chastain’s a poor excuse for a historian. And yes, she’s claimed that she’s a historian.
  • When Robert E. Lee said that “history teaches us to hope,” he was not thinking of Connie Chastain.

Happy birthday, General Lee. Enjoy MLK Day.


25 thoughts on “Quote of the Week: January 11-17, 2015

  1. Sandi Saunders January 19, 2015 / 9:51 am

    General Lee would be appalled by people like her IMO. They are quick to curse, insult, threaten and lie about anyone who dares to question their lies, distortions and brain washing efforts but they are nothing but propagandists and charlatans. We in the South can honor our ancestors, General Lee and those brave men who fought the war with honesty and integrity all day long without their hate, distortions of truth and fact. They cannot.

    • The Lamp January 19, 2015 / 11:57 am

      To be honest, I don’t think any of us can speak for a rotting corpse who has been dead for over 100 yrs nor is it mature or accurate to create a personality cult around them.

      If Lee fought to protect slavery, I have no use for him anyway.

      The moronic senseless war is done and over with, time to grow up and move on.

    • Leo January 19, 2015 / 5:35 pm

      Well said!
      ~ A fellow Southerner.

  2. M.D. Blough January 19, 2015 / 11:31 am

    What she doesn’t deal with, of course, is (1) that the Constitution, in Article IV, Section 3, has detailed procedures and conditions for the ADMISSION of states but is silent on any state leaving, particularly without the consent of the federal government and/or the other states. If we’re putting our hat on the specific controls the general, that’s a strong indication that the Constitution did not allow secession. (2) James Madison was quite explicit there was no constitutional right to seceded. This not only can be found in his publicized letters during the Nullification Crisis but also his earlier plans to use military force if the Hartford Convention ended with one or more of the New England state attempting to secede. and (3) the Supremacy Clause in Article VI.

    • Jimmy Dick January 19, 2015 / 1:58 pm

      It really has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with waving flags. You will only confuse them when you bring up facts and logic. That doesn’t go with waving flags around. They cannot process advanced thoughts while trying to synchronize flag waving.

  3. Jimmy Dick January 19, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Today is the fourth and final day of their long celebration of ignorance by waving cbfs around. They accomplished exactly what I predicted: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    They were mocked by kids. They were ignored by adults. They were even rejected by the SCV and shut out of the SCV conference. Lexington did not change their laws. The local newspapers lampooned them as silly. In fact, they may have encouraged more people via their idiotic flag waving to look up history and learn that the flaggers don’t know history.

    They also showed that the group is a graying organization headed to extinction along with their ignorance.

  4. Stefan Jovanovich January 19, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    Ms. Chastain’s argument is that the individual States seceded from the Union before they formed a Confederacy and, therefore, Section 10.’s prohibition against a State’s entering “into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation” does not apply. James A. Bayard, Jr. agreed with her. When the Senate convened for its first regular session in July 1861 he argued that the individual States had a right to secede.


    If, as Ms. Chastain argues, the States did not require Congressional approval to “secede”, then what were their rights of secession?

    To make war? No – the States had pledged not to “without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

    To seize the funds of the Federal Treasury? No – the States had pledged not to, “without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.”

    The Confederate Constitutional argument for secession has always relied on two rather slender supports: (1) the omission from the first paragraph of Article 10 of the phrase “without the Consent of Congress” and (2) the assertion that the attempt of the Star of the West to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumter was somehow an “actual” invasion that presented South Carolina and its Confederacy with “such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

    The difficulty with this brief was that the logic of the first argument was undermined by the facts of the second. If the States were claiming that they did not need Congress’ permission to fire on Fort Sumter, then they were arguing that their actions were within the boundaries permitted to the States under the Constitution. If that was the case, then how were they allowed to abandon their commitment to the other States not to “enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.” They might not owe those obligations to Congress; but, if oaths, pledges and promises had any meaning, they still owed them to the other States in the Union.

    Bayard and Chastain’s arguments were and are no more “ridiculous” than Robert E. Lee’s sense of obligation to his home state; but none of them has the weight of the argument on their side. Lee, as an officer in the U.S. Army, swore this oath: “I, Robert E. Lee, appointed a Lieutenant in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.”

    Grant was too kind and thoughtful a man to ever question his friend Pete or any other Confederate about how they reconciled the oath to serve “honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever” with taking up arms against the Army of the United States. He knew it was a question that had no good answer.

    Under Johnson’s Proclamation of Amnesty, Lee and others were obligated to sign this oath: “I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.” Lee signed his oath on October 2, 1865.


    • Jimmy Dick January 19, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Chastain’s views as well as anyone else alive today who thinks any state had the constitutional right or has the constitutional right to secede are that of sheer ignorance. Their only claim is that secession is not mentioned in the Constitution. Therefore they claim a state can secede. The hilarious part is that they ignore all the historical data that shows the Founders intent was a perpetual union and secession was not contemplated therefore it was not placed in the Constitution. All they care about it trying to justify the treason, dishonor, and shame the traitors that voted for secession instigated when they rebelled against the lawful authority of the United States of America.

      • Brooks D. Simpson January 19, 2015 / 3:17 pm

        There’s nothing in the Constitution about states resisting the effort of a state or states to secede, either.

        • Stefan Jovanovich January 19, 2015 / 3:29 pm

          Nor, as I hope Professor Simpson will agree, is there any decisively clear Constitutional authority for thr President to call for volunteers in the absence of a Congressional declaration of war. The President has extraordinary powers as Commander in Chief but only after Congress affirms them by a vote to have a war.

          • Brooks D. Simpson January 19, 2015 / 3:48 pm

            Actually, the president could cite the guarantee clause. And we both know it’s all about the war powers (a phrase that never actually appears in the document).

          • M.D. Blough January 19, 2015 / 4:54 pm

            Stefan-(1) Lincoln had statutory authority to call for volunteers against an internal insurrection. It’s called the Militia Act of 1795 and formalized what President George Washington did in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion. The Militia Act of 1795 states, “Sec. 2 And be it further enacted, that whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to call forth the militia of such state, or of any other state or states, as may be necessary to suppress such combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and the use of militia shall so to be called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days of the then next session of Congress.”

            (2) There is no constitutional requirement for a declaration of war in order for a President to deal with an internal insurrection or in responding to a foreign invasion. This is not simply my opinion. It is the opinion of the US Supreme Court in the 1862 decision in the Prize Cases. (Officially The Brig Amy Warwick 67 U.S. 635 (1862) http://laws.findlaw.com/us/67/635.html. The opinion of the court, written and delivered by Mr. Justice Grier (the Chief Justice of the US, Roger B. Taney, was in the minority), beings on 67 U.S. 665.

          • Stefan Jovanovich January 19, 2015 / 5:50 pm

            Mea culpa. In questioning Lincoln’s authority in the absence of a Congressional declaration of war, I was referring to his call for U.S. volunteers, not his requests to the loyal States’ governors for quota detachments of militia. My reading of Grier’s opinion is a bit different than M.D.’s. The President has the authority to respond to a state of war, provided that Congress endorse that response by retroactive declaration, as in the Mexican War and the present conflict. M.D. is right about the President’s freedom to act, but those actions have to be ratified by Congress. I also think Henderson’s dissent has the better of the argument when he writes that the President’s ability to use the militia to enforce the law cannot be read as the power to make war, in this case to seize ships under the auhority of a blockade. There, too, only Congress has the Constitutional authority.

          • M.D. Blough January 19, 2015 / 9:41 pm

            Stefan-The problem was, as the Supreme Court clearly recognized, there was no Congress. The prior Congress had dissolved in March 1861 with the House of Representatives term ending shortly before the inauguration and the Senate remaining in session only long enough to confirm the new President’s appointments. Congressional elections were still underway (there was not a fixed federal election day except for presidential/vice-presidential electors at this point). The new Congress was not set to begin until December 1861 (the Constitution was not amended to change this to January 3 until the XXth Amendment, which also changed Inauguration Day to January 20, was ratified in 1933). As it was, Lincoln exercised his power to call Congress into special session and the new Congress convened on July 4, 1861. BTW, the Congress ratified the President’s decisions in the interim and didn’t reject anything although the Court was quite explicit that it was not saying that this was necessary.

            In the second place, as the Prize Cases make clear, declarations of war only can occur between two separate nations. The US never recognized the Confederacy as such. The realities of war when rebels control sizable portions of contested territory is that belligerent status is accorded the rebels to afford interaction between the combatants on matters such as the treatment and exchange of prisoners and for foreign governments to determine whether or not to remain neutral. It does not confer recognition of the independence of the rebels by anyone. That is a separate decision

            BTW, the last formal declarations of war by Congress were in World War II.

          • Stefan Jovanovich January 20, 2015 / 5:14 pm

            Of course the problem was that Congress was not in session; the question has always been exactly what authority did the President have as Commander in Chief and under Article IV. The Militia Act allowed Lincoln to request the States to provide soldiers; no one seriously doubts that. But, did it allow him to call for direct enlistments in the U.S. Army without Congressional authorization? There really is no case that answers that issue; the usual Foner dodge is the one being offered here by you and the other contributors – that Article IV somehow magically blends State militias and the War department into a necessity military stew. I don’t buy it; neither did Henderson. But the question is moot. Whether or not, as Grier hints (he is less emphatic than you imply), Congress needed to ratify Lincoln’s actions, they did.
            I have never thought the question of whether or not the South was “recognized” had any importance so I am happy to accept your opinion on the prize cases on that question (I don’t think I offered an opinion either way); on the presumption of Presidential war authority without Congress’ approval, I demur, as noted. Enjoy your class!

          • Jimmy Dick January 19, 2015 / 8:11 pm

            The US has the authority to put down domestic violence per Art. IV, sec. 4. Now, the legislature or executive of the affected state is supposed to request help from the US, but what do you do when the legislature and executive are traitors and have rebelled against the US? This goes into the Unwritten Constitution. Obviously since Congress was out of session when Ft. Sumter was fired upon, Lincoln was the US government responsible for dealing with domestic violence. As commander in chief he could use the US military or even state militia.

            His actions had to be supported by Congress though…when it came back into session which is exactly what Congress did when Lincoln called them into session. Eric Foner pointed this out about Lincoln making some “extra-legal” decisions in that window and asked Congress for their support for his choices. They voted and supported his choices. Foner’s EdX class on the Civil War is very interesting. I am finishing up The Fiery Trial right now and it is very clear why that book won the Pulitzer.

          • Christopher Shelley January 20, 2015 / 12:29 am

            M.D., what class do you teach? I want to take that class!

    • Brooks D. Simpson January 19, 2015 / 3:24 pm

      I think it is funny. The fact is that the Virginia Flaggers are not interested in distancing themselves from these groups, and as Chastain claims she’s not their official spokesperson, what she says is irrelevant. She can only give what she says standing by admitting that she speaks for them.

      Ever think that perhaps they are embarrassed by her associations?

      She is absolutely right about one thing. Her hatred of Islam does not make her a racist (although I don’t recall anyone making this claim). Her hatred of Islam makes her an intolerant bigot. So I am pleased that she wants to set us straight on that issue. Claims of her racism rest on other things she has said.

      She’s starting to sound like Charles Goodson, he of “the New Confederate Army.” Maybe she needs to start offering her views on You Tube, too.

  5. Sarah January 19, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    Does Chastain remind anyone else of Gena Rowland’s character Violet Devereaux in The Skeleton Key?

    • The Lamp January 19, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      OMG LOL!!Now I really have to watch it…

  6. Mousy Tongue January 21, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Whoa. That academic article in the link is a hoot. Seriously, do you all have this on your syllabi? Not sure I’ve seen a college textbook cite Dave Tatum before.

  7. Jarret Ruminski January 24, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    “Confederate Heritage” might as well be another term for “factual relativism.”

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