Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . .
. . . Republicans used to be both liberals and the good guys. Honest.
On May 22, 1856, the "world's greatest deliberative body" became a combat zone. In one of the most dramatic and deeply ominous moments in the Senate's entire istory, a member of the House of Representatives entered the Senate chamber and savagely beat a senator into unconsciousness.
The inspiration for this clash came three days earlier when Senator Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts antislavery Republican, addressed the Senate on the explosive issue of whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state.
[ . . .]
Shortly after the Senate had adjourned for the day, Brooks entered the old chamber, where he found Sumner busily attaching his postal frank to copies of his "Crime Against Kansas" speech.
Moving quickly, Brooks slammed his metal-topped cane onto the unsuspecting Sumner's head. As Brooks struck again and again, Sumner rose and lurched blindly about the chamber, futilely attempting to protect himself.
After a very long minute, it ended.
The astute observer will note that in classic conservative fashion, Brooks snuck up behind Sumner and whacked him over the head with a weapon rather than facing him man-to-man. Some things never change.
Drink a toast Sunday to the memory of Charles Sumner, one of the first Americans to stand up for what he believed against chickenshit conservatives and get Pearl Harbored for his troubles.