While Robert E. Lee was whipping Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville in May 1863, there were ominous developments for the Confederacy in Mississippi. During that month, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg and then executed a lightning campaign of maneuver that sealed the doom of that important Confederate stronghold, which surrendered on July 4.
Journalist Bob Woodward explained this morning on CBS that "there's a civil war in the Democratic party":
"There's a civil war in the Democratic party," said Woodward. "You had Nancy Pelosi on, saying, oh, we're not going to change the eligibility age for Medicare. And down at the White House they very much want to do that."
Geoffrey Norman’s lovely piece on the Seven Days Battles of June 1862 in this week’s edition of the magazine needs no glossing, but the fights that brought Confederate General Robert E. Lee to the fore also marked the beginning of a period where the future of the United States was increasingly in doubt.
Visual memories, especially those of boyish vintage, tend to be inexact but I am pretty confident of this one: Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton was a short, gnomish, balding figure, longtime chairman of the history department at the University of North Carolina, and founder of the great Southern Historical Collection there. And more to the present point, a valued friend and mentor to my father and his older brother, who had studied under him in the 1920s.
With the debt ceiling thing done, the scribes are now straining for the illuminating metaphor and “terrorism,” it seems, is the preferred choice. One New York Times columnist writes that “the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people,” and you had to wonder if he would have accused even Osama bin Laden of that. Another Times columnist describes the Tea Party as “the Hezbollah faction” of the Republican Party. Maureen Dowd, the Times’s diva columnist went with a different, idiosyncratic metaphor. The whole thing, she writes, was like a horror movie, a “gory, Gothic melodrama on the Potomac … without the catharsis.”