Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This week in "What the hell does that mean?"...

From the Kirkus review of the novel, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee by Thomas Fleming (the book, not the review):

"Suppose, just suppose, the Radical Republicans decided that the amnesty Ulysses S. Grant offered to Johnny Reb didn't have a sicificiently punitive sting. What might have happened had they put Robert E. Lee--Saddam Hussein in gray--on trial for treason."

"Saddam Hussein in gray"? WTF does that mean? Is it a slam against the current "Radical Republicans" who have indeed put Hussien on trial? Or...no. There's no sense to be had from it. One was a general fighting for a flawed by understandable cause (the right of succession, not slavery). Hussein was purely an evil thug. No matter how seriously you remain about the Civil War, comparing Lee to Hussein is insane. Hell, even comparing Sherman, a far more controversial figure than Lee, to Hussein is well beyond the mark.

So...what? Did the reviewer just think that commment somehow sounded clever? Seriously, I am quite bewildered.

Hmm, I was trying to give the reviewer the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps he is just a jackass rather and a partisan jackass, but then dig this: " And whether intentional or not, it's all quite timely, as latter-day politicos debate states' rights and the legality of the Dredd Scott decision."

Yes, well, Federalism is a big constitutional issue, no doubt, although casting it as 'states' rights' is an attempt to make it sound all ominous, since that term has been tarished since the Civil Rights movement. But who the hell is 'debating' the Dredd Scott decision?! I mean, what the hell does that even mean?

7 Comments:

At 1:05 PM, Blogger A Muchoney said...

Ya, leaving aside the fact that I've never heard of the 'Dredd Scott' decision, although I've heard of Dred (two 'd's only) Scott v. Sanford (1857) -- unless the author is confusing the nineteenth century escaped slave with the twenty-second century enforcer of Mega City One immortalized by Sylvester Stallone -- I wonder who in their right mind would suggest the existence of, or for that matter, even the possibility of a 'debate' over the 'legality' of a decision which found in the Constitution of its day no Congressional power to confer liberty upon enslaved African Americans; I mean, not only does such a suggestion make downright silly suppositions about the present political and moral climate of the United States, but it is thus silly almost precisely to the same degree that the subsequent (to Scott v. Sanford) 13th and 14th Amendments . . . to the Constitution were specifically designed to confer the power upon Congress denied in 1857.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

I personally prefer the Sanford v. Jefferson debate of '73, but that's just me.

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

Boy, I thought there was nothing worse than a spam post, but a lawyer posting? Geez.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Plus he just billed me $275.

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger Henry Brennan said...

Sounds like blog fraud, Ken. Consult your nearest copy of "The Firm"

 
At 8:19 AM, Blogger Marty McKee said...

Longest. Sentence. Ever.

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous KurtVon said...

Considering the author's previous remarks, perhaps he though Dred Scott was an "enemy combatant" prisoner? It's sad considering I am no lawyer or historian and I apparently know more about the issue than the reviewer who invoked it.

Oh, and longest sentence ever is in "The Bear" which, sadly, I was forced to read (four times to parse it, if I recall).

 

Post a Comment

<< Home