September 07, 2006
1860's democrat would fit the D's today

Here is a little of the story of Clement Vallandigham, a Democrat from the 1870's that would fit in with the D's today.

Vallandigham was opposed to the war, the draft, Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, the Emancipation Proclamation, and every other step taken by Lincoln to bolster the power of the Union, the federal government, and the presidency.

Vallandigham lashed out at Lincoln. "I see more barbarism and sin... in continuing this war" he wrote, than in "the sin and barbarism of African slavery." As he gained national attention as a critic of the war

Vallandigham criticized Lincoln for Executive Order #38, whipping the crowd into a frenzy, and prompting General R. L. Burnside to order Union soldiers to arrest Vallandigham and bring him before a military tribunal

Here is the full text:

And it continues with this on how President Lincoln dealt with the situation:

In the Vallandigham case, Lincoln conceded that if the only reason for the arrest was the words he spoke, then the arrest was wrong. However, Lincoln argued that Vallandigham's intention was to undermine the armed forces and destroy the military force of the the Union. With a brilliant sentence, Lincoln set out his policy on Free Speech in wartime, and provided one of the major precedents that would help decide the major Free Speech Cases in the twentieth century: "Am I to shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?" Thus Lincoln, who was a fierce champion of constitutional rights, read the law to mean that certain speech was objectionable in wartime if (a) the speech was designed to cause people to break the law and (b) the speech was likely to interfere with the war effort - though this does not necessarily mean that criticizing or dissenting from the war was punishable by law.

Here is the link to the second half:

Posted by TrueSoldier at September 07, 2006 04:21 PM | Email This
1. 1860s Democrat you mean?
Although your main point remains. So who do you think should be wearing "Copperheads" on their lapels today?

Posted by: Reporterward on September 8, 2006 04:40 PM
2. Thanks for the correction Reporterward. As for your question I could very well see the likes of Sen Durbin or Rep Murtha wearing a copperhead on their lapel. I see a similarity in the way that both of these two Politicians are trying to undermine the war effort with their comments about the troops and how being in the middle east just "fans the fires of the insurgency". I will point out that stiffling free speech is not the answer and that Burnside did go too far. Debating the war is fine, but saying that our troops "killed innocent Iraqi's in cold blood" without a trial or comparing GITMO to Nazi' concentration camps is not debate. It is inflamatory statements aimed at undermining the effectiveness of our fighting forces.

Posted by: TrueSoldier on September 8, 2006 04:56 PM
3. A crackling good post, TrueSoldier!

Posted by: ERNurse on September 11, 2006 07:04 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?