- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2001

The slavery situation is far, far worse than anyone imagined.

We have the word of America's irreverent reverends that the restoration of John C. Calhoun's peculiar institution is the very point of the election of George W. Bush. This is what's at stake in the confirmation of the Confederates in George W.'s Cabinet. Lincoln foresaw this and said it would be OK: The union restored without disturbing slavery.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson warns that George W.'s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court are likely to restore the infamous Dred Scott decision, which held that slaves had no right to citizenship. The Rev. Al Sharpton, the noted storefront theologian and Brooklyn divine, reveals a chilling premonition, saying darkly: "I would not meet with Bush alone." It's not clear what that means, but the men in the Bush inner circle understand that Al is the last man standing who can thwart their scheme to dispatch the U.S. Navy to Africa to buy more slaves. (The Sudan is selling.)

Only yesterday, Gale A. Norton, the attorney general of Colorado, George W.'s nominee for secretary of the Interior, was exposed for asserting in 1996 that states "lost too much" of their rights when the Confederacy was defeated in 1865.

The conspiracy may reach far deeper than a casual reading of the evidence suggests, with tentacles into both Democratic and Republican places. Consider these remarks of Kenneth A. Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, ostensibly (but not really) rebuking Mrs. Norton for her invoking the Confederacy in defending states' rights. "Her deeply divisive remarks suggest she lacks a vital instinct to protect what needs protecting, whether it's the wilderness or the rights of people of color," Mr. Cook told The Washington Post. Note well how he gives equal weight to the "wilderness" the rights of snail darters, stump moss and albino squirrels and the rights of "people of color." What could be a plainer signal to environmentalists that the restoration of slavery is nigh?

Which brings us to John Ashcroft, whose defeat at the hands of Jean Carnahan made him available to be George W.'s attorney general. The CIA could easily have arranged that plane crash only a fortnight before the election, a tragedy for Mel Carnahan, a good career move for the widow and a crucial twist of the plot to restore slavery. Wasn't George W.'s daddy once the director of the CIA? Do you have to ask?

The carefully contrived Democratic "opposition," so called, to Mr. Ashcroft is further evidence that the slave auctions in Charleston and New Orleans will be reopening soon. The Baltimore Sun Baltimore was a hotbed of seccesh sentiment only yesterday published a remarkable essay on Sunday pretending to decry the Ashcroft nomination. It was headlined, with evident subversive pride: "A Confederate in the Cabinet." The crackle of the crinoline of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, dancing wildly in the streets of Baltimore, has been deafening all week. The author of the piece, the executive director of something called the Institute for Public Accuracy, never once not even once bothered to apply the adjectives "dreadful," "appalling," "frightful," "ghastly," "atrocious," "gruesome," "heinous," or "monstrous" to slavery, so we know what he really thinks of the peculiar institution.

Or consider the peculiar statement of Ralph G. Neas, the chairman of People for the American Way, which pretends to oppose the nomination: "John Ashcroft might make an excellent choice to head the Christian Coalition or the National Rifle Association …." Why is this man saying nice things about the man George W. chose to restore slavery in America? Not once in his remarks did Mr. Neas say that slavery is "despicable," "loathsome," "repulsive," "vile," "detestable" or "contemptible," as political correctness demands. To apply fewer than six of these adjectives at least twice in any speech (or column) about slavery is a sign of nostalgia for slavery and proof of membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

And what are we to make of the behavior of the favorite grandson of Flem Snopes, now on his endless farewell tour of the land to say goodbye to the people who gave him two terms as president of the United States? He is busily undermining the legitimacy of the government of the man Americans elected to succeed him, behavior unprecedented in the nation's history.

Mr. Clinton relishes the description of himself, first applied by the fictionist Toni Morrison, as "our first black president." But the president is also a descendant of a Confederate soldier of a Mississippi regiment, which no doubt explains why he is doing absolutely nothing to help Jesse and Al prevent the restoration of slavery. This is no half-vast conspiracy.

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