Civil War historian and author James M. McPherson resembled what one Ashland University student termed "a rock star" when he appeared to speak at an Ashbrook Colloquia Friday afternoon. There was barely room for the crowd that came to hear him ...This talk was about Antietam and the bit that really jumped out at me was McPherson's observation about the Emancipation Proclamation: "It came in time to help Republicans keep their hold on the House of Representatives in the congressional elections." Oh, dear. From a study on the topic:
We examine the U.S. Congressional elections of 1862-63, which resulted in a stunning setback for President Abraham Lincoln and the incumbent Republican Party. After the electoral “dust” had cleared, the Republicans lost control of the House, as their share of seats declined from 59% to just over 46%. (The Impact of National Tides and District-Level Effects on Electoral Outcomes: The U.S. Congressional Elections of 1862-63, American Journal of Political Science, 2001, Jamie L. Carson, Jeffery A. Jenkins, David W. Rohde, and Mark A. Souva)That's certainly the way I remember it - an election result bestowing a free pass to fire Democratic generals who failed to help Lincoln politically.
The major benefit of being a media star is talking to crowds who have absolutely no idea what nonsense you may be putting out.
Meanwhile, "the man in the wraparound shades," as the Washington Post recently called him, has scored a Lite Bites type interview with USA Today on U.S. presidents.
If you want to see historical personalities sorted like cattle at a farm show, check it out.