First of all, apologies to South Carolina for the ridiculous national coverage of tonight’s Secession Gala in Charleston. The coverage reinforces a number of assumptions about regional identification and race that are likely a thing of the past. Tonight’s episode of Hardball with Chris Matthews is a perfect example of this coverage, which somehow managed to surpass the nuttiness of a recent episode of the Ed Show that featured Al Sharpton. Matthews decided to interview Thomas Hiter of the SCV and columnist, Eugene Robinson. All three were equally appalling. Robinson decided to describe the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter as an “act of terrorism.” Hiter did the usual dance around the issue of slavery and Matthews through out the hardball question of the night: “Was John Brown a good guy or bad guy?” As far as I can tell none of these guys understands the history of secession and the Civil War. To give you a sense of how bad this is, I actually think that Hiter won more points on the history. And just think how easy it would be to find two guests, who could actually engage in an intellectual discussion.