No Party for You.

Sure.  Tennessee.  And one dreary line in the “Culture War” that pierces the educational system.

Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”

That would include, the documents say, that “the Constitution created a Republic, not a Democracy.”

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.

Curiously there is surely a good contingency within this group who won’t keep this “Hero Worship” sentiment up with Abraham Lincoln.  They also likely will be bristling against Woodrow Wilson — oddly making issue with some of the same racial problems that float about the Founders, but mostly just to prop up a supposed government “Eugenics” plot, and for base partisan attack in Republicans versus Democrats.  As the case shows in Texas, they seriously would want to reconstruct the figure of Thomas Jefferson, or if they can’t manage him, would settle on emphasizing more religious founders — I guess leaving the “Tree of Liberty” quote to be taken up at the Age of Majority.

It is hereabouts that we find a serious fault line for this proposal:
Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, thinks members of his party and Republicans should sit together — not on opposite sides of the aisle — when President Obama delivers his State of the Union message to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 25.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter reported by NPR and Politico, Udall said, “There is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country. The choreographed standing and clapping on one side of the room — while the other side sits — is unbecoming of a serious institution.”

Customarily, Republicans sit to the right in the House of Representatives chamber — as viewed from the Speaker’s rostrum — and Democrats to the left. On the night of the State of the Union it gets crowded as senators, cabinet members, the diplomatic corps and some Supreme Court justices also squeeze in.

I guess this would keep Representative Joseph Wilson from shouting “You Lie!”  (Code Pink had been barred as a guest of a Congress-woman during the Bush Administration for fear they would do what a Congress man did.)  But… is this a proposal to dissolve the two parties and show that the bitter arguments of governance are, at the elite level, a facade?  Or is this supposed to launch a new Era of Good Feeling, the kind of which we have not seen since the Federalists threw in the towel and co-opted the James Monroe Administration?

There wasn’t a State of the Union speech delivered until Wilson’s time — Jefferson had deigned toward obsequious displays of humbleness and this clashed with that.  But, you can imagine the partisanship that would televise through the years in rolling down the Senate division chart (and surely one exists for the House Chamber).  Funny thing here, though: note the 1855 session breakdown.  Interesting.  One Republican.  While he pretty well sat alongside the breaking-apart the party Whig and unsettled Northern contingency that was the “Opposition” party (amalgam of Whiggery, Republicanism, and American Know-Nothing), it is… you see… the case that at one point, there was a one member Republican Senate contingency.

So, congratulations.  Amos Nourse.  I understand he yelled at President Pierce “You Lie”, and was thus reprimanded, which strings together the eras of the Republican Party from its 1850s holding to its twenty-first century state.

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