Today is “Constitution Day,” and we are treated to Kevin Gannon’s takedown of that op-ed piece from yesterday by Sean Wilentz in which he argued that the Constitution did not nationalize slavery and racism. It is an effective rebuttal.
So last night during the debates Americans were treated to some pretty bad history and understanding of the Constitution. First, two of the four candidates in the undercard debate showed that they did not understand Marybury v. Madison and the 14th amendment (the irony is that Lindsey Graham had to set them straight). Then, in the main event, Huckabee did the same thing (again) in the middle of a tirade about “basic civics.” Yes, it is indeed basic civics, and the irony is that a set of DVD’s that he regularly promotes as a tool for teaching history to children (he cofounded the organization that produces them) actually teaches the opposite of his argument. In other words, it gets it right.
The saddest part, however, is that Huckabee is FAR from alone in misunderstanding basic civics. Want some upsetting news on Constitution Day? Then check out this piece on recent college grads and their understanding of the Constitution.
Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, so the good folks at the Civil War Monitor have posted a photo essay on Matthew Brady’s famous “Dead of Antietam” exhibit that shocked many people into understanding the war’s truly horrific nature.
Those of us that are looking forward to PBS’s new Civil War TV series will enjoy this piece about one of the historical consultants for the show. It provides some more details about the production, and has my hopeful optimism about it growing even more.