Did George Washington really not “stoop” to Nelson Mandela’s tactics?

It’s really remarkable sometimes how overtaken by extremism the Republican party has become.  Case in point: The GOP reaction to Nelson Mandela’s death.

While a few Republicans offered kind words about the former South African president, and freedom fighter, they were excoriated by GOP constituents irate that anyone would offer condolences for a “communist.”  Here’s what happened to US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor when he said a few nice things about Mandela:

Courtesy of TPM.

Courtesy of TPM.

And today the hits just keep on coming.  Here’s a quick look at the latest Republican hate inspired by the death of Nelson Mandela.

Former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan says that Ronald Reagan was right and “courageous” to oppose anti-apartheid sanctions.

American Family Association radio host, and former head of the religious right group Concerned Women for America, Sandy Rios, said Mandela deserved his jail time, and questioned whether he really did a good thing by liberating South Africa from apartheid:

Nelson Mandela was placed in prison because of the violence that he did in the country of South Africa. Now you can argue, I guess, you can say it was worth it because we overthrew apartheid, I don’t know, is that really the way a victory should be won? Is this really a righteous cause? Is he really a saint for doing this? They talk about him being in solitary confinement, well, criminals are placed in solitary confinement, if you murder other people you lose your rights. I don’t view it as sainthood, I’m sorry… I think the truth has to be told.

WorldNetDaily columnist and regular Fox News guest Erik Rush discusses whether South Africa was better under apartheid.

“You know I hate to rain on the parade here, but there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate aside from this synthetic symbolism that is being made out of someone who, you know, didn’t do much,” Rush said. “Apartheid went away, great. There are South African blacks who have told friends of mine they wish it was back because the country was safer, if you can believe that.”

WorldNetDaily’s magazine, WND Weekly, called Nelson Mandela a conman.


Anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek thinks Mandela is guilty of “mass genocide” for being prochoice, so she just can’t mourn his death.

Even the Pope and Cardinal Dolan have been lauding South African leader Nelson Mandela following his death earlier this week of natural causes at age 95. But I can’t. Nelson Mandela has the blood of preborn children on his hands… lots of them…. I cannot get past this and cannot view Mandela as any other than a leader who engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people.

Of course, not to be outdone in crazyland, Glenn Beck told his audience of conspiracy-believers that “you are the next Nelson Mandela.”

Nelson Mandela vs. George Washington

I think the most interesting response was from Newt Gingrich, who praised Mandela, and then from Gingrich’s followers on Facebook who excoriated Newt for praising Mandela.

So Newt went ahead and praised Mandela again, and his followers got even more ticked.

Here are a few of the ticked:

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I have to say that I’m intrigued by this notion that George Washington never let the ends justify the means.

I seem to recall, from my reading of American history, that Washington and the patriots were all too happy to throw gentlemanly convention out the window and partake in tactics that, at the time, were considered quite uncouth by civilized men.

Yes, George Washington practiced guerrilla warfare.

From author Max Boot on NPR:

MAX BOOT: Today, we’re used to having Americans soldiers be the forces of the government. And, of course, in our revolution, we were the insurgents and the British were the role of the counterinsurgency. And, in fact, many of the strategies which the American rebels used against the British are similar in many ways to the strategies now being used against us around the world.

NPR’S INSKEEP: Now, the American revolutionaries eventually did form a regular army. But guerrilla tactics played a huge role in securing their independence. Max Boot sees modern lessons in that story, as told in “Invisible Armies,” his new history of guerrilla warfare.

What were the strategies that the American rebels used when they were rebels?

BOOT: Well, it first of all, comes down to not coming out into the open where you could be annihilated by the superior firepower of the enemy. The British got a taste of how the Americans would fight on the very first day of the Revolution, with the shot heard around the world, the Battle of Lexington and Concorde, where the British regulars marched through the Massachusetts countryside.

And the Americans did not mass in front of them but instead chose to slither on their bellies – these Yankees scoundrels, as the British called them – and fired from behind trees and stone walls. And not come out until the kind of open gentleman’s fight that the British expected, and instead, took a devastating toll on the British regiment.

And as for the notion that “in our struggle for freedom never once did George Washington condone rubber necklaces and burning innocent people alive,” vulcanized rubber was invented in 1844. And rubber tires were invented in 1888.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your Facebook feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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