Thursday, September 10, 2009
South Carolina Politicians Behaving Badly
Before South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson's interruption of President Obama's address on Health Care Reform, there was South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, who beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner senseless with a cane on the floor of the Senate. Brooks didn't like the tone of the speech, which, in truth, was fairly incendiary and resorted to some unfortunate personal attacks. Brooks later resigned from the House but became a hero in the South, receiving canes by the dozen from supporters. In the North, however, he was seen as a cowardly barbarian. Regardless of what side one supported, by this point, slavery had gotten personal. Very personal.