Day: December 20, 2010

Back To the 19th Century Mentality: Proposed Amendment Would Permit State Nullification Of Federal Laws! Have We Failed To Learn The Meaning Of Our Constitution? :(

Just as we begin to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginnings of the Civil War over the next year, we now see a movement promoted by Congressional Republicans, including future House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, to propose a constitutional amendment that would allow states to overrule any act of Congress, effectively nullification of federal law! ๐Ÿ™

This battle was fought by Andrew Jackson in the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833, when he threatened John C. Calhoun and South Carolina with federal military intervention if that state refused to obey the federal tariff law.

It was also being threatened by Zachary Taylor if any state attempted secession during the debate over the Compromise of 1850.

It was also the reaction of Abraham Lincoln when the Southern states seceded from the Union and seized American military property and bases in 1860-1861.

These were three Presidents of different parties, all from Southern slave states of birth, who were ready to uphold the federal government’s authority over the states, and actually led to Lincoln’s actions against the Confederacy during the Civil War.

But now, a century a a half after this issue was supposed to have been resolved by the Northern victory, there is a push on to allow just that–states refusing to obey the federal laws and Constitution and claiming the right to do so! ๐Ÿ™

If the legislatures of two thirds of the states–34–voted for such a repeal of a federal law, it would not be in effect. So far, 12 states have supported such an amendment being introduced.

Of course, two thirds of the House of Representatives and two thirds of the Senate would have to agree to such an amendment, which is hard to imagine, as it would limit their own power and authority.

Additionally, 38 states, three fourths, would have to ratify such an amendment, and that also seems extremely unlikely, as there are more than 12 states which certainly, in a political sense, would oppose such a concept.

While one cannot be sure of the exact dynamics of which states would be opposed to such an amendment, were it to make it through the House of Representatives and Senate, the likelihood would be that the following states would NOT support such an amendment: Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Thirteen of these seventeen states would be enough to stop such an amendment, and realize that there are other states that might also oppose it, including Maine, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico, which would bring the total to a potential 25.

And also realize, in other states that might be seen as supporting such an amendment, all that would be needed to defeat it is a one vote margin of defeat in one of the two houses of the state legislature.

Another consideration is that such an amendment would allow small states with small populations to have equal influence on such nullification, despite having, in many cases, tiny population totals as compared to large states, so even large states which might be motivated to support such an amendment would not be pleased that small states would have an inequitable influence on repeal of federal laws.

So basically, this is all demagoguery, and a sign that many people do not understand their own Constitution, and the concept that ONLY the national government can speak for the nation through the tortorous process of passing laws through our Congress, and that the state legislatures, many of them incompetent and corrupt on a far greater level than our Congress, have no ability or competence or justification to interfere with what is good for the nation at large,whether they like it or not!

A Grim Anniversary: 150 Years Ago South Carolina Voted Secession From The Union! :(

On this day, December 20, in the year 1860, exactly 150 years ago, South Carolina became the first state to vote ordinances of secession and break away from the Union, after many years of such threats going back to 1832-1833 during the Nullification Crisis over the protective tariff during the administration of Andrew Jackson!

Hard to believe, but South Carolina is tonight “celebrating” that anniversary with a reading of the secession ordinance, a party and dance and banquet, as if this is an honorable moment in history to commemorate! ๐Ÿ™

It is one thing to honor the dead of the Confederate side of the Civil War, and to promote the history of the Confederacy, as in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.

But it is NOT a time to celebrate or glorify the treason of the South which was out to destroy the Union, and to keep African Americans in slavery for all time! ๐Ÿ™

This is unfortunate proof of the reality that the old scars of the Civil War remain much too fresh and unhealed, and that we have a long way to go before we can say that this nation is “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!”

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, White Citizens Councils, And The Presidency: A Strikeout! :(

Mississippi’s Republican Governor, Haley Barbour, who also in the past was Chairman of the Republican National Committee and the head of the Republican Governors Conference, has come out in defense of the White Citizens Councils that were prevalent during the 1950s and 1960s, formed to oppose integration and civil rights in the Southern states.

Barbour has every right to speak freely, but advocating support of such groups which promoted hate and bloodshed in the Southern states, and reaching its greatest level in Mississippi in the 1960s, is a reprehensible act, and should immediately disqualify Barbour as a serious Presidential candidate for the GOP in 2012 or beyond! ๐Ÿ™

There is no room in this nation in the 21st century to have an advocate of such views being the spokesman for the country on issues such as civil rights and human rights, when he has no issue with such hateful, divisive groups, who worked against the federal government and the Supreme Court on the most significant social issue of the second half of the 20th century, and advocated closing of public schools.

So, Governor Barbour, forget about running for President, as your potential candidacy would be a total disaster for the party of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

But then again, is it not true that the Republican Party of today is a shameful example of the principles of Abraham Lincoln? Sad, but absolutely true! ๐Ÿ™

Arizona Badly Served By John McCain And Jon Kyl: A Longing For The Times Of Barry Goldwater! :(

Arizona has been badly served by its two Senators–John McCain and Jon Kyl– who have become so right wing, anti immigrant, anti gay, out to do anything to prevent any social or economic progress or foreign policy advancements! ๐Ÿ™

McCain was once considered a moderate and a maverick, but that now seems long gone, and McCain himself so labeled himself as never having been a maverick as he ran a right wing campaign to hold on to his Senate seat this year. ๐Ÿ™

McCain showed a lack of leadership during the financial panic of 2008, chose the absolutely most disastrous possible Vice Presidential running mate in Sarah Palin, and has constantly reneged on what he believed in and advocated during his earlier years in the Senate.

Jon Kyl also originally was perceived as a moderate, but has lately become a bitter man like McCain, and is blocking the START Treaty, fought against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as vehemently as McCain, and is also leading the fight against the September 11 First Responders Medical legislation, a shameful action, which lowers the esteem any reasonable person can have of Kyl! ๐Ÿ™

When one compares these two present Arizona Senators to past Senator Barry Goldwater, the classical Mr. Conservative, one has to actually wish for the “good old days” of the 1960s, when Goldwater stood on principle, but cooperated with John F. Kennedy, and later came out for abortion rights and gay rights, and said regarding the military that as long as a soldier can shoot straight, who cares if he is straight?

Goldwater may have been a conservative, but he was never a bitter, hateful obstructionist on so many issues as John McCain and Jon Kyl have now proved to be! ๐Ÿ™

It just goes to show how far the Republican party has moved from the mainstream where it was located in the 1960s, 1970s, and even the 1980s! ๐Ÿ™