The Bright Side of the Government Shutdown

Once again, the battlefield of Gettysburg is the site of a Confederate defeat.

It seems the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were planning a rally this Saturday at the Gettysburg National Military Park. But, as fortune would have it, the park will be closed because of the government shutdown that began today.

That means the South shall not rise again over the scene of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War – at least not this weekend.

“Gettysburg National Military Park has rescinded all permits for special events, including the October 5th first amendment demonstration to be held by the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan,” The Hanover (Pa.) Evening Sun reported today, quoting from a statement by a park official.

The Maryland-based group had received a permit to rally on the lawn north of Mead’s Headquarters, where the Union command was based during the Battle of Gettysburg, fought 150 years ago.

Last week, the group’s leader, Richard Preston, told The Evening Sun, that his KKK chapter’s main objective was the removal of President Obama, the nation’s first black president.

“He’s never proven his U.S. citizenship,” Preston told the Sun.

But even before House Republicans shut down the government and the park permits were revoked, Preston seemed to be playing a game of low expectations. He told The Patriot News that he “will most likely attend the Saturday rally with no more than 5 to 10 members.”

That’s a far cry from the 72,000-man Confederate Army that was turned back by Union forces in the pivotal 1863 battle. But lost causes are nothing new to the Klan.

“There is no reason to have a large group,” Preston told the News. “I want people in the crowd to listen to my words not look on in fear.”

The Maryland Klansman also told the paper that he is looking into holding the rally in the town square.

Other events canceled at the park because of the shutdown, according to the paper, include a geology tour of the battlefield, a U.S. Marine Corps retirement ceremony and two weddings.