On the op-ed page of the New York Times, the hijinks just won’t stop. The execrable Sarah Vowell continues to make us look back on the work of the execrable Maureen Dowd with something approaching nostalgia. Today she’s decided to reach out to Middle America with a display of Blue-State Values:
[At the Texas State Capitol in Austin,] there are two creepy monuments dedicated to the Confederacy, one of which features hand-carved testimonials from Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee lauding rebel soldiers responsible for the Gettysburg deaths Lincoln would hope were not in vain.
Good lord, readers. Confederate monuments are “creepy.” She seems to think Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee took time out of their schedules to travel down to Austin and put their long-dormant stonemasonry skills to use. Finally, she blames all the deaths at Gettysburg on “rebel soldiers.” Now she’s on a roll. She next “disses” the mythological iconography of the Alamo, sounding kind of like Noam Chomsky after eating a bad taco:
Then there’s the memorial festooned with a man gripping a muzzle-loader to honor the Heroes of the Alamo, the men who died trying to steal Tejas from the Mexicans, who had taken it from Spain, which had grabbed it from the Indians in the first place. If I remember correctly, not stealing is one of your Top Ten Ten Commandments. One of these Alamo heroes, Davy Crockett, is said to have advised the men there, “Pierce the heart of the enemy as you would a feller that spit in your face, knocked down your wife, burnt up your houses and called your dog a skunk!” Does it get any less “thou shalt not kill” than that?
Res ipsa loquitur, as they say.
Then she staggers into an incoherent topic shift, giving us a taste of Vowell family lore:
Another statue honors the beloved Texas cowboy. I happen to be descended from one of these. My Texas cowboy great-great-grandfather, John Vowell, abandoned his newborn baby, Charles, when his Seminole wife died in childbirth. Is it O.K. if I break the commandment about honoring one’s father to point out that my great-great-grandfather was a deadbeat dad fiend?
Young Charles, by the way, did not follow in his daddy’s cowboy footsteps; by the age of 8, the poor kid was earning a living as a shepherd. Until the range wars, when some of those beloved cowboys symbolized by that statue gunned down all his sheep. Probably not on a Sunday, though. Heavens, no - that’s the Sabbath.
For God’s sake, somebody please get Sarah Vowell her very own Daily Kos Diary, and get her out of the Times. Her columns are getting embarrassing.
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