Monthly archives "September 2014"

Summer of Stalemate

In the summer of 1864 Abraham Lincoln believed he would lose the fall election. Horace Greeley said, “Mr. Lincoln is already defeated. He cannot be elected.” Things were indeed grim as the Union cause rested with two men not in uniform four years earlier when the war began–U.S Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman . Geoffrey Norman of Vermont writes often about the Civil War. He quotes a newspaper at the time of the Vicksburg campaign as follows: “The army is being ruined in mud-turtle expeditions under the leadership of a drunk (Grant) whose confidential adviser (Sherman) is a lunatic.”

But the one who drank prevailed and would later face the South’s greatest general, Robert E. Lee, and the greatest army of the time, The Army of Northern Virginia. Grant  defeated Lee and his army, essentially ending the war in April 1865.   The one considered mentally imbalanced defeated General Joseph Johnston and the Army of Tennessee and with it Atlanta fell to the Union on September 2, 1864.   This is noteworthy also as it assured Lincoln’s re-election and the saving of the Union.   After the war Sherman and Johnston became friends and Johnston was a pall bearer at Sherman’s funeral in February 1891.

Though many Americans and the American press had little confidence in these two men who would win or lose he war, the two men had faith in each other.   Norman notes how Sherman summed up their bond with colloquial precision:   “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”

Our nation has faced more than a summer of stalemate.   It has been a season and it is not simply the Democrats vs. the Republicans.   Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, writes in the 9/29 issue that Republican voters are down on their sluggish officeholders while GOP officials whine about the unreasonable people who voted them in.  Republican backbenchers complain about their lame leaders and the leaders grumble about unruly followers.   Conservative activists loathe the Establishment and the Establishment is terrified of and contemptuous of the base.

After years in the wilderness the Republicans appear poised to take the Senate and to have a House majority that is the largest in modern times.   This is in no small measure due to the failed, radical nature of the Obama Presidency.  Our time has been likened by Newt Gingrich to the time of the Civil War and the most critical time since those desperate years.   And many of these new leaders will bring with them the energy and bold imagination of youth.   This is a day where this is much needed after the years of Obama–years of radical attack on the Constitution and individual freedom.  The danger is that the Republican Establishment and donor base will play it safe in the days up to the election of 2014 and the years that follow.

One hundred years after the beginning of the Civil War,  John F. Kennedy was elected President.   He said, “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans. . . ” That was two generations back and the Civil War ended 150 years ago under the leadership of Lincoln, Grant and Sherman.   At one time all three were considered lightweights.   Now we know they were giants who saved the Union.  Grant and Sherman would not be deterred and set backs were always seen as temporary as they set their face like a flint on the course of winning the war and saving the Union.  After one difficult day of battle at Shiloh, Sherman found Grant under a tree smoking a cigar.   He said, “Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?”   “Yes,” said Grant, “Lick em tomorrow, though.”   And they did.

Let us be inspired by these men and the lessons of their history to be bold in the days between now and the 2014 election and most certainly after.    Instead of trying for 6 Senate seats, Bill Kristol asks, “Why not 10?”   And let us see a larger majority in the House.   Millions stayed home in 2012 whose votes might have given us a Romney Administration.   Instead we have four more years of the devil’s days of Barack Obama.   Beginning November 4 with General Grant let us, “Lick em tomorrow,” and many tomorrows to come.   And with John Kennedy let us say, “The torch has been passed to a new generation.”  Amen!


Up & Running Again

After the June 15 blog on Hillary Clinton’s botched book roll out, the format for blogging with Go-daddy changed which necessitated tech support.  This was provided by Jon Haywood of Level Up Media Solutions in Fort Collins, CO.   He is responsive, timely, reasonable and very competent in his services.   Mr. Haywood was able to preserve and even improve the mountain background of the blog and to help preserve the subscriber list.  Should you need such support he can be reached at  I recommend his work without reservations.

In the three months since the last blog we lost two talented stars–Robin Williams in his early 60’s to suicide and Lauren Bacall to a stroke at age 89.   If we are in our senior years we think of Bogart and Bacall together as a married couple who made several 4 Star Movies together.   In an interview with Robert Osborne of TCM she spoke of her admiration for and a bit of fear of John Wayne.  She also said they got along well though she was a strong Democrat and he an equally strong Republican.  There may be lessons there for us in days of such division.   Ms. Bacall added that the Duke wanted to both star and direct–as he did in The Alamo.   But he also wanted to direct when someone else had that role which led to some intimidation unless it were someone like John Ford or Howard Hawks in the director’s chair.

We will be addressing some of the issues in coming posts.   But for now we hope you are well, have had a good summer and are looking forward to the fall.   Thank you for your interest and we wish you all the best of God’s Brightest Blessings in these exciting, challenging days.