Second-Guessing Bobby Lee

Several years ago I offered my observations on the challenge that Virginia posed to Ulysses S. Grant in 1864. But I’ve also pondered what choices Robert E. Lee had in the eastern theater. After all, people second-guess Lee’s offensive strategy all the time, and yet I wonder what else he was supposed to do. Abandon Virginia? Stand on the defensive and absorb punches? Leave the defense of Virginia to someone else and go elsewhere to try to win the war?

Say you concede that none of these alternatives offer any more hope of Rebel victory. Did Lee’s strategy, which featured counterattack followed by offensive operations across the Potomac, offer a real chance of victory? Or did his efforts in Virginia in June, July, and August 1862 drain his army of the manpower it needed to conduct successful offensive operations north of the Potomac that September? Did the bloodletting at Gettysburg compromise his ability to deal with Union forces in Virginia in the fall of 1863 and the spring of 1864? What were his alternatives, and did they offer more promising results?

These are not idle questions. Many historians argue that Lee’s performance in the East was the key to Confederate persistence and gave the Confederacy its best chance to win. Fair enough. But that didn’t happen, and, absent an unlikely and complete disaster on the battlefield, it was unlikely that the Confederates could have prevailed in that way. That leaves wearing out the Union’s will to persist. Was Lee’s approach likely to achieve that goal? Remember, the war was more than Virginia: I argue that Grant’s ability to neutralize Lee in Virginia in 1864, despite Lee’s best efforts, allowed the Yankees to prevail elsewhere in time to secure Abraham Lincoln’s reelection. It’s notable that after Sherman took Atlanta that September, the Confederacy failed to devise a game-changing approach to military operations in the two months that remained until election day.

So you tell me what you think … including you, Mark Snell. This one’s for you. 🙂

 

Connie Chastain’s War on Women … And Guess Who Supports Her?

It’s not been a good week for Confederate heritage advocates. They are unhappy about what’s happened at the University of Mississippi, where it appears that advocates of flying a Confederate flag have had a rough time telling the truth as they suffer setback after setback. Now comes news that the favorite candidate of most Confederate heritage advocates, Republican nominee Donald J. Trump, is in serious trouble because of his crass and lewd remarks (and that’s kind) anout women, which most observers believe includes an endorsement of sexual assault. No word yet from Virginia Whine Country, which has been very protective of candidate Trump, about whether protests against sexual assault are simply new examples of political correctness, the target of many a mindless post that are little more than a clipping service of the alt-right. We await efforts to find a Gordon Wood quote that can be twisted in suppport of that blogger’s position.

Without a doubt, however, one need only look at what Virginia Flaggers spokesperson and webmaster Connie Chastain says about Trump to understand that some corners of Confederate heritage advocacy are also busily engaged in conducting a war on women. Like Trump, Chastain favors criminalizing the decision of women to have abortions:
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Even Trump has thought better of this, but Chastain has not.

And, just like our friend at Virginia Whine Country, Chastain decides it’s all the fault of the left and the media:

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Note the identity of the single retweeter. Note also that I guess that one can conclude that Trump’s past is irrelevant, but not so Clinton’s past … or that non-leftists don’t care about treating women with respect.

Of course, one remembers that Chastain was also a big fan of claiming that women often made false claims about being raped (unless the person being accused was Bill Clinton, I guess). This was a theme of two of her underwhelmingly successful novels. Endorsing sexual assault as a way to approach women is okay in Chastain’s mind, because we can set it aside as “locker room talk”; that such talk, if put into action, results in rape seems irrelevant (will it elicit more squawking  from her about false rape accusations?).

It’s a small step from here to the reasoning of sexual predators that women “really want it” and that “no” means “try harder.”

After all, just saying one’s sorry is good enough.

war-on-women-5Note who retweeted both of these as well.

After all, Chastain wants Trump to whack people, including Clinton:

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Funny that she chose that means of expression.

Mind you, Chastain thinks something’s wrong with women (“cackling hens”?) who protest such treatment:

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Moreover, “real women” wouldn’t get upset:

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That’s right … this controversy about advocating sexual assault is simply “nothing,” and the best proof comes from the sales of a book that is not Chastain’s (jealous, Chastain?). Let’s mock the outrage over such behavior as nothing more than make-pretend about “women’s delicate widdle feelings.”

What else could you expect from someone who seems obsessed about false rape accusations? So … anger over language advocating sexual assault is nothing more than an act to placate “women’s delicate widdle feelings”? Really?

(Yes … Chastain’s gone the fake-name route in crafting an alternative identity of “Polly Graff,” although it did not take her long to drop the pretense that it was her.)

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We await Chastain’s efforts to identify which men engage in such talk. As her previous interaction has been with Republican politicians, Confederate heritage apologists, and false rape accusation protesters, we can’t wait to hear about her experiences about what is said in these locker rooms.

But don’t mistake Chastain for a feminist …

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Note the wording: it’s not “pseudo-feministic women,” but “feministic pseudo-women.” Real women aren’t feminists: feminists are “pseudo-women.” And no, folks, that’s not a mistake … she says “pseudo-women” twice.

We await the usual retort from Virginia Whine Country that protesting lewd talk and endorsements of sexual assault are nothing more than exercises in political correctness from a leftist academic who’s attacking a political candidate … because, apparently, these things should not be attacked. They are nothing more than locker room talk, as if that’s an acceptable excuse.

Finally, note who likes (and retweets) Chastain’s Twitter activity on behalf of sexual predators … Susan Hathaway. The fact is that Hathaway and her followers have politicized their movement in explicit ways by endoring Trump, not just as individuals, but as an organization:

flaggers-trump-1Oh, well.

The heritage of hate continues. If anything, it’s grown, because it now includes people who protest sexual assault and the victimization of women not named Susan Hathaway.