Friday, January 02, 2009

Michael Zak for Senator - Republicans must reclaim their glorious civil rights heritage from the party of exploitation and liberal fascist demagoguery

On New Year's Day in 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. For over a year, Senator Charles Sumner, Senator Orville Browning, Governor Andrew Curtin and other Republican leaders had been urging President Abraham Lincoln to strike this blow against slavery.

While all Republicans rejoiced, Democrat politicians and newspapers denounced President Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves. Demonstrating their depravity, New York's governor, Horatio Seymour, who would be the 1868 Democrat presidential nominee, denounced the Emancipation Proclamation as "a proposal for the butchery of women and children." The Louisville Daily Democrat called it "an outrage of all constitutional law, all human justice, all Christian feeling."

Acting on authority granted by the Republican-majority 37th Congress to seize rebel "property," President Lincoln had issued the proclamation two months before, to the dismay of the Democrats. Effective at yearend, all slaves in rebel-controlled territory would be "forever free."

Ill-informed critics of President Lincoln fault him for not freeing slaves in areas under U.S. control, but the federal government lacked the necessary authority. Within three years, the Republican-majority 38th Congress followed up the Emancipation Proclamation with the 13th Amendment, banning slavery throughout the nation.