It’s just not fair the way folks from other parts speak of us. As though it weren’t bad enough that Jon Stewart keeps remarking upon the recent embarrassments wrought by politicians from South Carolina, we have to endure this today from Peggy Noonan:
Politics is a rough arena, and understandably so, for our politicians tell us more and more how to order our lives. Naturally there will be resistance, and strong opposition. We have a long history of hurly-burly debate, and we all know examples the past 200 years of terrible things said and done. Capitol tour guides enjoy showing the stain on the marble steps supposedly left by the blood of Sen. Charles Sumner, beaten half to death on the floor of the senate in 1856 by Rep. Preston Brooks, who wielded a thick gold-tipped cane. So we’ve had our moments.
Doesn’t that just tear it? A congressman from South Carolina beats a senator bloody one lousy time, 154 years ago, and these Yankees just keep on talking about it. It’s not like the scurvy dog didn’t have it coming. And beating him with a cane was of course not Mr. Brooks’ first instinct. This was no act of animal passion. The perceived insult had come in a speech by the senator three days earlier. And Mr. Brooks, being a gentleman, initially intended to call him out onto the field of honor, as any gentleman would.
However, another gentleman pointed out that Sen. Sumner was NOT a gentleman, so that was out. What, indeed, was left but to thrash him with a gutta-percha cane? I appeal to your sense of civilized conduct.
And why do they keep bringing up this one incident? Why don’t they mention all the times that congressmen from other places beat colleagues to within an inch of their lives? Oh… um, really? You mean, never? Huh…
Oh, wait — that was Strom Thurmond wasn’t it? Well, so what? It’s not like it reflects on anything inherent in ol’ Strom’s birthplace or anything…
It’s not like there’s anything wrong with us — is there?