Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Confederate enthusiast isn't one-dimensional

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- William Oden Jr., a man with controversial views, wants to celebrate the bicentennial.

Grab your chairs and hold tight.

He's not talking of Greensboro's 200th birthday. He wants to hail a person who wandered Greensboro a defeated man in April 1865 — Confederacy President Jefferson Davis. Davis was born in Kentucky in 1808 the same year Guilford commissioners peeled off $98 to buy land to start Greensboro.

Oden, with gray eyebrows and hair, believes that those who vent outrage about Davis and the Confederacy haven't done their homework.

He says before the Civil War, Davis served the United States in many ways and was wounded in the Mexican War. The Civil War would have been avoided, Oden says, if Davis had run for president in 1860 as some friends urged. The war would kill 680,000 Northern and Southern soldiers.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported that like many with views equal to dynamite sticks, Oden isn't one-dimensional. Although he loves conservative columnist Thomas Sowell, he also likes liberal Maureen Dowd for how she beats up on President Bush.

Liberals, and some conservatives, would shout hooray when Oden declares, "Bush is the worst president," but many would cringe when he adds, "since Lincoln."

Oden says Bush's war in Iraq doesn't match what he calls the Civil War debacle — which he blames on Abraham Lincoln — "but it comes pretty dang close."

See Full Story;