The neo-copperheads

In the face of unexpectedly bloody and costly engagements with enemy forces, the President encountered severe criticism from his Democrat opponents, who wanted "peace" more than they wanted victory. They mocked him as some kind of primitive creature, unable to straighten—out the mess he had created. The year was 1864.
 
At that point in American history, the re—election of President Abraham Lincoln was in great doubt. After three years of war, the Union armies suffered a series of setbacks, most notably in the Red River area of Texas. Gen. John Sherman's progress had been slowed in the South, and Gen. Ulysses Grant's advances came at the expense of thousands of Union casualties. In July, the month the North had expected the Confederate capital of Richmond to capitulate, Washington, D.C., itself was in danger of falling into rebel hands.

Of the many opponents to Lincoln's re—election, a group of northern Democrats known as the 'Peace Democrats' wished that the President would sue for peace. Gaining popularity in the Midwest among farmers, and with New York immigrants who feared for their jobs in the absence of slavery, the party briefly held the New York governorship and controlled the Illinois legislature. Members of the party in New York were pejoratively nicknamed 'Copperheads' by the New York Tribune, after the snake that strikes without warning. The main objectives of the Copperheads were the defeat of Lincoln, the immediate end of hostilities with the Confederacy, and commencing a peace summit with the rebels.

What does this look back have to do with the 2004 election? Everything. Sen. John F. Kerry's talk convening a summit of American 'allies' during last week's Presidential debate of put one in mind of the Copperheads. Like their historical ancestors, the neo—copps believe that talk is better than war, and that the enemy will be reasonable if we just behave ourselves. Kerry believes that pleading our security interests with the United Nations, summits, and similar navel—gazing will make us more secure and somehow assure victory in the war on terrorism. 

President Lincoln, like President Bush, became convinced that taking the battle to the enemy was the only way to protect the nation. In Lincoln's case, the aim was to preserve the Union and to release men from bondage. In Bush's case, the goal is to preserve our way of life from medieval fanatics, and introduce freedom to a region that has been under the terrifying grip of terrorist—harboring dictators for too long.

Both Lincoln and Bush  attempted to avert war with negotiation. Yet the South was incorrigible; and the United Nations Security Council ignored its own charter and its own sanctions in refusing to punish Saddam Hussein. The time for talk came to an end and the time for action began. Both Lincoln and Bush went to war reluctantly, but out of necessity. 

The Copperheads, like their modern—day descendants, the neo—copps, believed that President Lincoln was a stubborn fool who took some sort of perverse pleasure in all of the blood that had been spilled during the Civil War, and gloried in stamping on the Constitution and individual rights. They were convinced that if the Union would just sit down and reason with the Confederacy, all would be forgiven and all would be well. That a separate nation may have been established below the Mason—Dixon line, and that slavery would have not only continued but grown on this continent seemed not to matter to the Copperheads. Only the cessation of war mattered.

For President Bush, the cries of 'quagmire' were heard even before the first troops arrived in Afghanistan. Attacks on our troops in Iraq and the thousand—plus American deaths have aroused a neo—Copperhead movement in today's America, led by the likes of Michael Moore and Sen. Ted Kennedy. They denounce the costs of war for political gain, while arm—chair quarterbacks like Kerry claim that they can do better than President Bush by magically convincing nations who have already said 'no thanks' to help us fight terrorists. They stand for 'engagement' with an implacable enemy who must be defeated, not accommodated.

At almost every turn during last Thursday's debate, Kerry indicated that he would follow the direction of the United Nations when deciding upon military action. Kerry even admitted that any sort of plan for military intervention would have to pass 'the global test,' whatever that means. That was perhaps the most alarming statement a candidate for the presidency has uttered in decades, and it needs to be hung around Kerry's neck like a noose. The President must ask Kerry who he specifically thinks should grade this test, and why he places such faith in the United Nations, an organization so corrupt that Terry McAuliffe would be a fitting successor to Kofi Annan. Why do Kerry and the neo—copps, like the Copperheads before him, place such faith in the power of his words to tame our enemies?

As President Bush no doubt knows, the Copperheads did not get very far and Lincoln was re—elected. Between President Bush and Sen. Kerry, it is the President who is the true student of history. He has time and time again shown that he understands what the pattern of weakness and appeasement brings, even if it means sending Americans into harm's way. Kerry is seemingly unaware of the folly of depending on certain allies that, for some reason, he wishes not to name aloud. Yet he rails at President Bush for allegedly 'losing.'

As with every other major decision in his life, Kerry would punt on national security and take the credit or place the blame elsewhere, depending on how things turn out. President Bush stands strong, as Lincoln did, knowing that, despite those who advocate peace yet don't know what peace really means or how it is fairly won, he is in the right.

President Bush, as Lincoln did before him, defends the nation from those who want to destroy us, and he wishes decisive victory at this crucial point in history. Sen. Kerry wishes to revert to the passive tactic of dealing with terrorists after they attack, and hopes more than anything in his life to receive warm kisses on his exfoliated cheeks from Jacques Chirac, at Presidential summits that will accomplish nothing for our nation except regression to the dark days of Jimmy Carter. To quote the leading neo—Copperhead, which is worse?   
 
Matthew May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com

In the face of unexpectedly bloody and costly engagements with enemy forces, the President encountered severe criticism from his Democrat opponents, who wanted "peace" more than they wanted victory. They mocked him as some kind of primitive creature, unable to straighten—out the mess he had created. The year was 1864.
 
At that point in American history, the re—election of President Abraham Lincoln was in great doubt. After three years of war, the Union armies suffered a series of setbacks, most notably in the Red River area of Texas. Gen. John Sherman's progress had been slowed in the South, and Gen. Ulysses Grant's advances came at the expense of thousands of Union casualties. In July, the month the North had expected the Confederate capital of Richmond to capitulate, Washington, D.C., itself was in danger of falling into rebel hands.

Of the many opponents to Lincoln's re—election, a group of northern Democrats known as the 'Peace Democrats' wished that the President would sue for peace. Gaining popularity in the Midwest among farmers, and with New York immigrants who feared for their jobs in the absence of slavery, the party briefly held the New York governorship and controlled the Illinois legislature. Members of the party in New York were pejoratively nicknamed 'Copperheads' by the New York Tribune, after the snake that strikes without warning. The main objectives of the Copperheads were the defeat of Lincoln, the immediate end of hostilities with the Confederacy, and commencing a peace summit with the rebels.

What does this look back have to do with the 2004 election? Everything. Sen. John F. Kerry's talk convening a summit of American 'allies' during last week's Presidential debate of put one in mind of the Copperheads. Like their historical ancestors, the neo—copps believe that talk is better than war, and that the enemy will be reasonable if we just behave ourselves. Kerry believes that pleading our security interests with the United Nations, summits, and similar navel—gazing will make us more secure and somehow assure victory in the war on terrorism. 

President Lincoln, like President Bush, became convinced that taking the battle to the enemy was the only way to protect the nation. In Lincoln's case, the aim was to preserve the Union and to release men from bondage. In Bush's case, the goal is to preserve our way of life from medieval fanatics, and introduce freedom to a region that has been under the terrifying grip of terrorist—harboring dictators for too long.

Both Lincoln and Bush  attempted to avert war with negotiation. Yet the South was incorrigible; and the United Nations Security Council ignored its own charter and its own sanctions in refusing to punish Saddam Hussein. The time for talk came to an end and the time for action began. Both Lincoln and Bush went to war reluctantly, but out of necessity. 

The Copperheads, like their modern—day descendants, the neo—copps, believed that President Lincoln was a stubborn fool who took some sort of perverse pleasure in all of the blood that had been spilled during the Civil War, and gloried in stamping on the Constitution and individual rights. They were convinced that if the Union would just sit down and reason with the Confederacy, all would be forgiven and all would be well. That a separate nation may have been established below the Mason—Dixon line, and that slavery would have not only continued but grown on this continent seemed not to matter to the Copperheads. Only the cessation of war mattered.

For President Bush, the cries of 'quagmire' were heard even before the first troops arrived in Afghanistan. Attacks on our troops in Iraq and the thousand—plus American deaths have aroused a neo—Copperhead movement in today's America, led by the likes of Michael Moore and Sen. Ted Kennedy. They denounce the costs of war for political gain, while arm—chair quarterbacks like Kerry claim that they can do better than President Bush by magically convincing nations who have already said 'no thanks' to help us fight terrorists. They stand for 'engagement' with an implacable enemy who must be defeated, not accommodated.

At almost every turn during last Thursday's debate, Kerry indicated that he would follow the direction of the United Nations when deciding upon military action. Kerry even admitted that any sort of plan for military intervention would have to pass 'the global test,' whatever that means. That was perhaps the most alarming statement a candidate for the presidency has uttered in decades, and it needs to be hung around Kerry's neck like a noose. The President must ask Kerry who he specifically thinks should grade this test, and why he places such faith in the United Nations, an organization so corrupt that Terry McAuliffe would be a fitting successor to Kofi Annan. Why do Kerry and the neo—copps, like the Copperheads before him, place such faith in the power of his words to tame our enemies?

As President Bush no doubt knows, the Copperheads did not get very far and Lincoln was re—elected. Between President Bush and Sen. Kerry, it is the President who is the true student of history. He has time and time again shown that he understands what the pattern of weakness and appeasement brings, even if it means sending Americans into harm's way. Kerry is seemingly unaware of the folly of depending on certain allies that, for some reason, he wishes not to name aloud. Yet he rails at President Bush for allegedly 'losing.'

As with every other major decision in his life, Kerry would punt on national security and take the credit or place the blame elsewhere, depending on how things turn out. President Bush stands strong, as Lincoln did, knowing that, despite those who advocate peace yet don't know what peace really means or how it is fairly won, he is in the right.

President Bush, as Lincoln did before him, defends the nation from those who want to destroy us, and he wishes decisive victory at this crucial point in history. Sen. Kerry wishes to revert to the passive tactic of dealing with terrorists after they attack, and hopes more than anything in his life to receive warm kisses on his exfoliated cheeks from Jacques Chirac, at Presidential summits that will accomplish nothing for our nation except regression to the dark days of Jimmy Carter. To quote the leading neo—Copperhead, which is worse?   
 
Matthew May is a freelance writer and can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com