Sorry. Also: Suck It, Sean Wilentz

First off: Sorry that I’ve been gone.  My apologies to the handful of people who seem to read this blog on occasion.  A big fat sorry especially to zunguzungu and mrbubs, my only favorite commenters, who dropped by here a few months ago for a great little discussion.  It just so happens that as that conversation was going on, my computer hard drive crashed–big-time–and it’s been a catch-up game since then.  I know, I know–three months is a long time to cope with a hard drive crash.  But it was a big crash and I’m particularly slow and prone to obsession (do you know how long it takes to put bookmarks in exactly the right order?)  In any case, I think I’m on top of things now.  Moreover, I’ll be studying for my qualifying exams this summer, which means that I’ll be doing a shit-load of reading, and, per zunguzungu‘s advice, I’ll be looking to this blog for accountability.  In short: if you’re still reading this blog, thanks, and I hope you’ll drop a line every now and then.

Secondly: Suck It, Sean Wilentz.  Obama’s the nominee, like it or not.  In your last empassioned plea to ignore reality and make Hillary the Democratic nominee, you argued that Obama was “unmaking the Democratic party.”  Now, I know that you’re pretty committed to the Clintons.  I understand that you appeared before Congress and testified on behalf of Bill Clinton during the impeachment disaster.  Good for you, and thanks for that.  But get a fucking grip.  Obama is not “unmaking” the Democratic party; the party has been unmaking itself since Truman started down the civil rights path.  Ever since then, the Democratic party has been torn between its thirst for power and its desire to Do the Right Thing and make up for decades of pre- and post-Civil War racism.  You do remember that about the Democratic Party, right?  The part about them being a bunch of racist terrorists up until, say, FDR?  Oh, wait, now I remember: race isn’t important to you.  Or at least you couldn’t find room for it in the 800 pages of The Rise of American Democracy.  Jefferson liked to fuck his slaves so as to increase his property in people?  Not important.  Jackson sent thousands of Indians to their death because he thought them fundamentally inferior?  Trivial.  George McClellan and the Democratic Party tried to destroy Lincoln and the Union during the Civil War?  Insignificant.  The Democratic Party and the KKK worked together to rip away the meaning of freedom just as African Americans had secured it after the Civil War?  Trifling details!

Except: it is important.  Race has been at the core of Democratic politics since the get-go.  That we’re dealing with it only now is pretty pathetic, but at least we’re dealing with it.  Meanwhile, Sean Wilentz, you try to ignore the issue and proclaim that class trumps race at all turns (despite hilariously disturbing evidence to the contrary).  Newsflash from an outted Marxist to a closet Marxist: class and race are both important.  And we need to come to terms with that.

So sit down and shut up, Sean Wilentz.  You’re embarassing yourself.

p.s. I was originally going to write this up for Progressive Historians, where I had previously posted a comment in defense of Prof. Wilentz.  But Wilentz has gone off his rocker, and whenever I tried writing this article, I got way too vulgar for the high standards of PH.