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Heritage Foundation head Heritager Jim DeMint took a crack at revisionist history last week on aChristian radio program, and delivered the somewhat surprising verdict that the federal government didn't play a role in freeing the slaves. Instead, what did it was both the Constitution and the "conscience of the American people," which will certainly make for some disappointing costumes at Civil War reenactments.


DeMint made the startling revisions to history during an interview with Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries, as part of a discussion of how progressives are opposed to all the "ideas that made this country great," one of which is apparently the idea that just making shit up about history is at the core of American greatness. (And actually, you probably could make a case for that.) As an example, Newcombe suggested that a liberal might toss out the radical notion that the Founding Fathers didn't get everything just perfect, since we fought a Civil War just 80 years later. DeMint would have none of that communist nonsense:

Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God.

We were sort of hoping that Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation and a firm believer in the Constitution, would actually explain how the Constitution freed the slaves, what with its counting them as 3/5 of a person, but he apparently wasn't even talking about that Constitution. He was talking about the Constitution that most people call the "Declaration of Independence." He went on:

But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people.

Now, it's true that William Wilberforce was indeed a great foe of slavery and an evangelical Christian who fought to end slavery.

In England. In 1833, thirty years before the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S., a country whose people he was not part of.

And just for the sake of accuracy, English slavery was also ended by an act of Parliament, which a lot of us crazy liberal progressives would foolishly call "the government," but that's probably just because we're a little slow. DeMint wrapped up his explication of the True And Correct History of Slavery thusly:

So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God.

We'll just have to assume that DeMint is talking about Abraham Lincoln the private entrepreneur here, not the guy who was the head of the federal government and commander in chief of the Union military. (We think they had something to do with the end of slavery too, but we'll have to look that up.) Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation, apparently believes that the Emancipation Proclamation was somehow not an act of "big government," and we guess neither was the 13th Amendment, which really is just one of those unimportant non-Second ones anyway.

RightWingWatch also notes that Lincoln's Republican party was very much a party of big government, seeing the Constitution as justifying federal action, as opposed to the limited-government, states' rights ideology of mid-19th-Century Democrats. Then again, they're a bunch of liberals, so they simply don't understand that Lincoln just embodied the Christian love of the People -- especially the dead Englishmen of 30 years before his presidency -- and that God's love was what truly freed the slaves, although God's love had a bit of help from generals Grant and Sherman.

[RightWingWatch]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. Lincoln didn't, and look what happened to him.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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