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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dumb and Dumber: Glenn Beck and David Barton's Latest Lunacy (Glenn Beck Check, Part VIII)

America's Favorite Pseudo-Historians
Make Asses of Themselves...AGAIN!

My two favorite goofballs (Tweedle Dee and Tweedle DUMB) have managed to once again open their mouths and insert both feet.  Yes, the always comical dynamic duo that is Glenn Beck and David Barton, the gift that just keeps on giving, have added another smash single to their already "stellar" greatest hits album. But instead of tackling the legacy of our nation's Founding Fathers (a topic they just can't seem to ever get right no matter how hard they try), their target this time was none other than Honest Abe Lincoln.  Take a look:

This is absolutely PRICELESS!  David "The Brain" Barton actually admits to writing a review for a movie he never saw!  Are you kidding me!?! Well, Mr. Barton, with that sort of litmus test let's just pass blind judgement on whatever we don't like.  What a buffoon!

But let us not get distracted and focus on Mr. Barton's bogus depiction of the passage of the 13th Amendment.  Mr. Barton states that "there wasn't the wheeling, dealing kind of back room deals" and that the passage of the amendment was a "slam dunk, big time." 

Ugh! I don't even know where to begin!  It's almost as if these two idiots go against EVERYTHING that those in the know (in whatever field of expertise) have to say.  Evolutionists point to fossils, carbon dating, etc. to claim that the world is billions of years old, these two quote Deuteronomy to say that is wrong.  Climatologists overwhelmingly declare that the Earth's climate is changing, these two call it a progressive hoax to subjugate us all.  Historians assert very obvious truths about our nation's founding, these two say that the exact opposite is true and that evil, socialist, progressive, fascist scary people are destroying our nation's heritage.  In short, these nut-jobs have absolutely no clue what they are talking about!

But I digress.  Mr. Barton's portrayal of the passage of the 13th Amendment couldn't be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is there was a great amount of back door "wheeling and dealing" taking place.  Not only does Mr. Barton (and Beck) demonstrate his ignorance for how a Congressional Amendment is brought to pass, but he is apparently unaware that there was a plethora of drama surrounding the passage of the 13th Amendment.

First off, prior the the commencement of the Civil War, Congress (which consisted of northern and southern representation at that point) had already passed a 13th Amendment (in Feb., 1861) which "guaranteed the legality and perpetuity of slavery in the slave states."  This was the latest in what had been a series of congressional bills that had sought to protect slavery for literally decades, and appease the Southern leadership (yet somehow the Civil War wasn't about slavery...yeah, right!).  With the onset of the Civil War, the states were unable to ratify the newly-created 13th Amendment (a requirement for any Constitutional amendment), and thus it never became law. 

With the obvious division of the nation brought on by war, northern abolitionists saw an opportunity to eradicate the "peculiar institution" once and for all.  In December of 1863, Representative James Ashley of Ohio proposed a bill to support "A Constitutional Amendment for the Abolition of Slavery." For the most part, Ashley's petition fell on deaf ears (and eventually contributed to his failure to be reelected), but it did get the ball rolling.  Other congressmen, including Lyman Trumball and Charles Sumner, would propose similar measures before Congress.

But there was still a great amount of tension (even without the Southern delegates) in Congress over the issue of slavery.  It wasn't until President Abraham Lincoln decided to include the passage of a Constitutional amendment on slavery as a part of his 1864 reelection that the matter started gaining steam.  It took Lincoln and his supporters a full year to garner enough support for the measure.  In fact, a number of deals were made to appease reluctant Republican voters and to sway the 4 needed Democrat votes in the House in order to secure the passage of the 13th Amendment.  If the passage of the 13th Amendment was the "slam dunk" that Barton thinks it was, why did Lincoln and his supporters feel the need to make it the principal issue of their reelection campaign, especially when they already had passed the Emancipation Proclamation the year before?  Why were abolitionist leaders, including prominent Black leaders like Frederick Douglass, campaigning so vigorously for this amendment if it was such an obvious "slam dunk?"

In addition to this, Mr. Barton's apparently doesn't realize that constitutional amendments have to be passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, so the 119-56 vote in the House was anything but a "slam dunk."  Heck, Barton's ignorance is so great that he states for all to hear that the amendment had "an 80 percent vote."  Uh...not quite, sir.  The measure barely passed the House with 68% support (just barely making the 2/3 cut), while the combined House and Senate support was 70% (the Senate voted 38-6 in favor).  Again, this reveals the woeful ignorance that both Beck and Barton have when it comes to the Constitution; a document they claim to "revere."

Barton's failure to accurately describe the history surrounding the 13th Amendment, along with his obvious illiteracy of Constitutional practices, just proves how untrustworthy the man is when it comes to American history.  David Barton is not a historian.  Let me say that again: David Barton is NOT a historian.  He's an activist for a radical agenda, nothing more.  Much like Howard Zinn was to the left, David Barton is a errand boy for the right.  What he writes isn't history, pure and simple. 

But let's not let good ol' Glenn off the hook here either.  Beck, who is always more than eager to suck up whatever ilk Barton spews at him, actually states at the beginning of this video that he found Spielberg's "Lincoln" film to be "a remarkable movie."  But after hearing Barton's one-minute "rebuttal," Beck stated that he "wished he had un-seen that movie."  Amazing...simply amazing. This clown, who claims to be a voice of "truth," does a complete 180 in a single minute. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, reveals just how simple-minded Glenn Beck truly is!

For anyone left (and I know there are very few and the numbers continue to decline) who still grant these two buffoons any level of credence I hope you will now see just how misplaced your trust really is. Please, will somebody save these two from themselves!  Glenn Beck, who has fancied himself as the next Thomas Paine and then as the next George Washington (until he realized that both men would probably have hated his stupid guts), really does need to hurry up and complete his Utopian community so that he can just go away, drink the crazy Kool-Aid with all of his crazy followers, and never bother us again.  How can anyone still buy into all of this blatant bullshit???

Meanwhile, Beck's sidekick, Pseudo-historian David Barton Extraordinaire, needs to face reality.  David, you're not a historian, not even close.  Everything from your foolish assertion that half of the signers of the DoI were ministers, to your indescribably stupid "Black Robe Regiment" argument, not to mention the fact that your Thomas Jefferson book was so horrific that not only was it recalled by your publisher, but even the most conservative of supporters called your work "a joke," prove that you don't know history. Mr. Barton, I think you need to join your pal Glenn at his heavenly new compound and just leave us all alone. 

And for those of you thinking about joining Beck and Barton in "Independence, USA," consider this: Once upon a time, not that long ago, another leader decided to create a Utopian paradise for his followers where they could separate themselves from the evil, "progressive" world and teach one another according to their own values and beliefs.  Click here to see how things worked out for them. 


Naum said...

Please don't compare David Barton to Howard Zinn. It is false equivalency to an exponential degree…

…Howard Zinn has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University (isn't that one of them there Ivy league schools?) and was nominated for American Historical Association prizes. David Barton has a bachelors degree in "religious education" from Oral Roberts University.

When I ask what makes Zinn so deplorable or what is wrong about the history he presents, all I receive in return is that he is selective, or he didn't update his work with newer sources, or some minor irrelevant inaccuracies that matter not in a macro view. Other charges are vile and baseless, or based on ignorance -- for instance, the charge that he relied too much on secondary sources. Pure malarky, as most of his material is based upon primary sources, voices from the time, or direct from the influential figures (like Las Casas and Columbus diaries on Columbus).

Zinn never proclaimed that his was an complete, unabridged, authoritative approach -- that he wished to expose counter-narrative from the "little" people vantage point, that most students were already indoctrinated^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H endowed with the jingoistic nationalistic narrative that painted history with a Orwellian^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H euphemistic brush.

Zinn has a bias, but he upfront about it, and his point is that ALL historians have a bias, whether they acknowledge it or not. Impossible not to represent your own set of assumptions, cultural mores, mentor imprinting, etc.…

raySoller said...

When a caller (named John), during The Kojo Nnamdi Show 6/9/2011 audio interview with Daniel Richter, author of America Before the Revolution, asked about Howard Zinn, this was the response:

Nnamdi: Well, you know, Howard Zinn was -- he's one of the most important historians and certainly one of the most widely read historians that's out there. He's had a profound influence on an awful lot of people and I think for the most part, a very positive influence.

Richter - His books, though, were written quite some time ago and he was not particularly interested, I think, in the colonial period. And quite rightly, that was not the story he was telling in most of his books. So I'm a big fan of Howard Zinn and it was a great loss to learn that a year or so ago that he's no longer with us.

Thank you very much for your call John. Why I mentioned the teleological aspect of it is because one way of looking at Howard Zinn's work and it was very necessary and brilliant work, is that in the same way that some of the more Anglo-centric histories look at American expectionalism through the lens of determining what was going to happen later on the way Howard Zinn tends to look at history from the worker's point of view or from the point of view of those who were oppressed, lends itself to another explanation, if you will, about why the U.S. came to be. When it seems to me that the whole purpose of before the revolution is to say that there is no easy explanation that is predetermined.

Anonymous said...

Most interesting article. As a closet historian myself, and interestingly enough, I share the same passions as you indicate, Early America and Roman Empire periods, but I digress. I have long despised Barton's historical acumen. I line in Asia for many years now and was sent a copy of his book on Jefferson. I was not even a few pages in when I knew Barton had an extreme bias and was either willfully ignorant or just plain incompetent. I did enjoy reading the debunking of Barton by Chris Rhodda.

The christian need to rewrite American history which is fairly recent, caused me to wonder what other things christianity may have glossed over or recast in a better light. After a few years of research and inquiry, I have left the fundamental christian faith of 50 years to become a free thinker....or atheist as you might call me.

I have no more interest in your faith then I do Hinduism or Islam, and disregard all other beliefs for the same reasons that you are a Mormon disregard all other beliefs. I have no need to discuss your mythical beliefs, but I do appreciate your discussions on historical matters.

Best to you