Doug Muder at The Weekly Sift has an interesting article that draws the connection between the un-reconstructed Confederates of the 19th Century and today's tea bagger Republican Party (h/t Nancy LeTourneau at Washington Monthly). Great read. Here's a small sample:
... [T]he enduring Confederate influence on American politics goes far beyond a few rhetorical tropes. The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries.
That worldview is alive and well. During last fall’s government shutdown and threatened debt-ceiling crisis, historian Garry Wills wrote about our present-day Tea Partiers: “The presiding spirit of this neo-secessionism is a resistance to majority rule.”
The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.
When in the majority, Confederates protect the established order through democracy. If they are not in the majority, but have power, they protect it through the authority of law. If the law is against them, but they have social standing, they create shams of law, which are kept in place through the power of social disapproval. If disapproval is not enough, they keep the wrong people from claiming their legal rights by the threat of ostracism and economic retribution. If that is not intimidating enough, there are physical threats, then beatings and fires, and, if that fails, murder.This is the same dangerous slice of the American demographic that existed before, during and after the Civil War. They call themselves constitutionalists, conservatives, tea partiers, Republicans. But what they really are, based on their worldview DNA, is Confederates. Violent, traitorous, nullifying, un-democratic, un-American Confederates.