At left: Frank Murray, Sen. Glenn McConnell in a Union uniform, and Sharon Cooper-Murray. (Photo from the Columbia State)
I never knew Senator McConnell was once in a movie about the Hunley... I assume it was The Hunley (1999), the most well-known cinematic account... where he got to play Civil War dress-up as a movie extra. (And FTR, I think it's perfectly fine when grown men engage in Cos-Play, but I wish they'd just own up to what they're doing!)
As for these photos, though? Dumbfounding. McConnell is a Confederate re-enactor, so is anybody really surprised?
The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) held its annual fall Board of Directors meeting in Charleston, S.C. last weekend – a decision the organization is likely regretting after several controversial pictures from one of the meeting’s sponsored events began surfacing on the internet.Many more photos at the link, all posted right on FACEBOOK.
One of the pictures shows S.C. Senate President Glenn McConnell - who FITS readers will recall enjoys dressing up as a Confederate General – posing in his Rebel garb with a pair of African-Americans dressed in, um, “antebellum” attire.
The event in question – dubbed “A Southern Experience” – was held last Friday evening at the Country Club of Charleston. Hosted by the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women, it was included on the national conference’s official itinerary.
In addition to McConnell, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford attended (and spoke at) the event – although it was not listed on his weekly public schedule. S.C. Republican Attorney General nominee Alan Wilson also attended.
Invited speakers to the NFRW conference included U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Rep. Joe Wilson, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, former U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins and GOP gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley.
From Roddie Burris of the Columbia State, by way of the Spartanburg Herald:
A photo of Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, outfitted in a Union Navy captain's uniform and posing with two African-Americans dressed in “slave garb,” is making the rounds on the Internet.Ya think?
McConnell, easily the most powerful state senator, said the photo depicts friends greeting each other after a re-enactment performance to showcase several genres of South Carolina history to conferees from across the country. The picture was taken during a Republican women's conference in Charleston last week.
But the image — with the slave dress, the period military uniform and McConnell, who is widely known in South Carolina for his avid participation in Civil War re-enactments and for preserving the Confederate Hunley submarine — is viewed by some as offensive.
McConnell, a Charleston Republican, said the uniform he's wearing in the picture is the same uniform he wore in a movie about the Hunley, in which he had a nonspeaking role. He also points out he is not wearing a Confederate uniform, but a Union uniform that the hosts asked him to wear.
McConnell said there is nothing racist about the picture and people should “receive (the re-enactment and subsequent photo) in the spirit in which it was presented that evening,” meaning a learning experience.
But others say the image evokes painful memories of historic oppression in this state, as South Carolina once had the nation's second-largest slave port in Charleston, where the photo was snapped.
“That's the senator's unfortunate world view,” said Rev. Joe Darby, first vice president of the state NAACP, speaking of the photo depicting a Civil War era white military officer alongside black slaves. “The troubling question is how much does his world view affect his approach to public policy?”
Yet to be seen is how much such an image might affect the Republican Party, which has been trumpeting its gains among minorities this year.
I'm more amazed by how they're not ashamed of anything they do.
Which brings me to...
Rebel Jim DeMint sparks GOP Senate civil war
By MANU RAJU
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint accidentally walked into a room full of lobbyists Wednesday morning and declared that “Republicans are not prepared to take over the Senate,” according to people in the room.Read the whole thing.
Some Republicans agree — and say he may be part of the reason why.
Senate Republicans are now even more embroiled in an intraparty civil war in which DeMint has been the lead rebel, and the victory by conservative Christine O’Donnell over establishment favorite Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware only deepened GOP divisions that could haunt Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell well into next year.
Behind closed doors Wednesday, Republican senators tried to assess the damage. Several senators at the lunch, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, raised concerns that the party has sent a message that it had no room for moderates, even from left-leaning states, according to people familiar with the exchanges. And others expressed frustration that the GOP had essentially given away a pivotal seat that Castle could have won.
DeMint was pressed by several of his colleagues at the closed-door session Wednesday to pony up money from his high-spending political action committee to boost O’Donnell’s chances against Democrat Chris Coons, who already leads by double digits in a race that was a Republican lock had Castle won.
“In other words, put your money where your mouth is,” said a senior Republican official, who characterized the exchange as cordial.
DeMint agreed that he would — and tried to play the role as a peacemaker.
“Every Republican senator has a responsibility to help Christine build the resources she needs to win in November,” DeMint told POLITICO. “The primaries are over, and now is the time to unify as a party. I’m certainly going to do everything I can to support Christine and other Republican candidates to defeat the Democrats this fall, and I expect others to do the same.”
A DeMint aide said the senator’s PAC, the Senate Conservatives Fund, was on pace to raise $100,000 by the end of Wednesday, with an initial goal of dumping $174,000 into the race.
THIS is the kinda thing I was talking about, when I wrote "What's the matter with South Carolina?"... the MAJOR POLITICAL ERROR, wherein progressives and liberals decided to write off our state. This was a huge mistake. Not simply for the (I hope) obvious reasons, but because it gave the American Tea Party-Right wing a consolidation-point, a working power-base of operations.
The Upstate, my district, Jim DeMint's home (he lives only a couple of miles from here), is GROUND ZERO of the Right-wing network. They can do all of this meddling in the affairs of OTHER PLACES (like your district) since they face no genuine electoral threat from progressives at home. We have been neutralized, so they are free to do what they want, which means no end of the mischief.
See, what if you had funded us ON THE GROUND, like before DeMint even got into the Senate, and was still in the House? How might that have worked out?
During this next autumn, as you watch Nikki Haley light up network TV as designated Tea Party darling, think it over.
Get back to us, we're here. Take a lesson from the Tea Party, and consider funding the insurgents for a change.