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Whenever right wingers discuss the Civil War, one of the first points made is that the war wasn’t over slavery, but states’ rights. And whenever conservatives discuss their party’s resistance to the Civil Rights Act, they say that although they believed in the bill in principle, it was unconstitutional. There’s always an excuse for being on the wrong side of history.
Truth be told, a person can convince him or herself of anything. President Obama is a moderate politician, but if you need a reason to hate him, just apply labels that don’t fit, like socialist and radical. That’s what people are doing now, and that’s the rationale they’re giving themselves for recoiling against Obama and his policies. One Texas judge has even gone so far as to say that a civil war is possible if Obama is reelected.