Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Restorationists

I've been meaning to bring your attention to this fine piece by Jonah Goldberg for a couple days but, in doing so, I wanted to take the time to explain why I think it is so fine.  But events are conspiring against me and if I wait until I can say something sensible (*insert insult here*) I may never get to it.  Let me just say, briefly, that Jonah's argument that the Tea Partiers be deemed "Restorationists" is at once brilliant, emboldening, moderating and evocative.  Lincolnian, even. 

"Restoration" you may know, was Lincoln's preferred term for what came (instead) to be known as "Reconstruction."  And, with that poor and anti-Lincolnian title (and without the benefit of Lincoln's wise hand guiding it's implementation), Reconstruction probably opened the door to all sorts of mischief and poor understanding in and of American political life.  Lincoln, like today's Tea Partiers, sought to restore America to her original and noble purposes as understood in our Revolution and Founding.  He did not imagine that he could or should transform it--and he worked mightily to prevent those laboring under that arrogant and foolish supposition (whether they were Unionists or dis-Unionists) from getting the upper hand.  Unfortunately, he did not live to see that work all the way through.

It is high time that someone did see it through.  Long live today's Restorationists! 
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As long as we are engaging in counter-factual speculation, you might spin out a scenario of how Lincoln's reconstruction program might have meant something other than negro disfranchisment, peonage, and black codes.

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