Reader and world famous balladeer, David Corbett, recently shared this with me:
Federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Washington have launched a new criminal investigation of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. involving alleged financial improprieties, including possible misuse of funds monitored by Congress, law enforcement sources tell NBC News.More here.
This reminded me of some more details about Congressman Jackson, brought to us by OVB faithful reader and world renowned Civil War blogger Kevin Levin regarding Jackson's legislation politicizing the WBTS at our Nation's Civil War battlefields and parks. Of course, the Civil War Trust got in line as well. (More on that to come in a later post - that ain't gonna be purty.) As Kevin pointed out in his original post:
Many read the initial bill as falling squarely within Jackson’s own political and social agenda, and his language as emphasized in italics clearly worried many that he was calling for a drastic change and/or supplanting of any discussion of what happened on the battlefield. His opening remarks at the 2000 Civil War symposium sponsored by the NPS and held at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. highlights his political agenda and further alienated those that were already feeling defensive. "Only with the appropriate interpretation of these historical events–of the Civil War–,"argued Jackson, "can those Americans ever arrive at the right to a more perfect union through health care, through education, and through housing."
Is is possible that pols like Jackson often take their cues on politicizing the WBTS from historians like David Blight:
Why doesn't the Confederacy just fade away? Is it because we are irresistibly fascinated by catastrophic loss? Or is it something else? Is it because the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history?
The Civil War is not only not over, it can still be lost. As the sesquicentennial ensues in publishing and conferences and on television and countless websites, one can hope that we will pursue matters of legacy and memory with one eye on the past and the other acutely on the present.
But just remember - with these folks, it's really not history, it's sociology and politics. They're really no different than the heritage crowd whom they so often impugn - just a different perspective with federal support. Interesting how history repeats (and reveals), isn't it? Let's see - a corrupt congressman from Illinois, doing the old bait and switch routine on the causes of the Civil War - oh, the irony and poetic justice of it all.